Amor Vida June: A father’s love-a father’s rejection

A father’s love – a father’s rejection.
By: Jorge Diaz, MSW Clinical Social Worker

The month of June has arrived, let the pride festivals and summer begin. It’s also the month we celebrate Father’s day. Many of us either celebrate with our father or simply live through this Sunday like any other day. As a gay man, I learned that the most sacred and valuable relationship to me is the relationship with my father. The man that will never hurt me, lie to me, or cheat on me and certainly will always love and accept me regardless of how feminine or masculine I become. How does the relationship between a son and his father get tarnish in the lives of many Latino gay men? How are we suppose to be in healthy relationships with other men when we don’t even have one with our father? How is it possible for a father to reject his son for identifying as gay or bisexual? How can a father think he has nothing in common with their gay son simply because they love someone of the same gender? Love should have no gender. A father and son should be able to dialogue about love and sex without the shame and stigma associated with sexuality.

When I think about the rise of HIV Infections among Latino men or the lives being damaged by crystal meth-I wonder if this epidemic is correlated with being rejected by our father? Do we search for love and acceptance with every man we meet? Are we moving from one partner to another because we don’t know who we are or what we’re looking for? It’s unfortunate that we loose the bond between father and son due to our sexuality or gender expressions. Many of us come from homes where the father is missing. Others come from experiences where physical abuse was the means of punishment or the way we learned how to be a “man.” While others remember falling down as a little boy and rather than dad coming to our rescue, we hear ” get up, don’t cry, be a man!” Are we boys or men? How can we be healthy gay men when we receive messages that prohibit us from processing or expressing our emotions? For those of you without your father-I admire you for being strong and overcoming this experience.

I hope your father realizes the pride and joy of having a gay son. If you have your father in your life-celebrate, love and enjoy this beautiful relationship. To all the fathers who are unable to love and accept their gay son due to cultural or religious beliefs, I challenge you to redefine what it means to be a “man.” I challenge you to think about whether you want to have a “macho son” or a son who behaves like a “caballero.” To my dad Francisco, and all the Latino fathers whom love and accept their son for who they are, we thank and celebrate you!