Gay Show: A Look at Gay Fathers
I was going to do any of you have any problems or is there any bickering or hard feelings.
Trouble with seeing your children or anything of that nature.
I'm not sure that it's that I felt any more hard feelings and the usual person going through the dissolution of divorce.
There's I've been aware of a lot of anger. Maybe there is something special. Angry that my wife is not able to accept. My gayness. She accepts the feelings but she doesn't accept the acting out of my gay feelings and that makes me quite angry.
And is she thinking maybe you'll come to your senses in being gay or something.
I think no I don't think that I think that there was a while time that she was hoping and I was hoping to do that but that maybe the gay feelings would wouldn't be so strong and I'd be able to sort of forget acting out. But I have been able to and I think she's finally come to realize that and. But the anger isn't working out but it's taken quite a bit of time. You meet her with your children know them both. Both of them have I'm quite pleased as to how they have responded to my letting them know that I'm gay and and this is the reason for leaving the family.
I would just say they were one 15 and the other one's 20 actually. And how long ago was it.
Three or four years ago.
Can you give me a problem. Why did it first. But I just point no. We get along fine she accepts it. She's met several guys that icon with that.
There's actually no problems with her and she and her children know and accept it.
Yes well the youngest one is sick so he's really younger really realize what's going on. But the oldest one is exception. Except it doesn't seem to be any problems.
OK Alan when your children are both still very small do you have any hard feelings your problems and I don't know.
Well when I first got my divorce my ex-wife was really bitter because of the fact that I wouldn't tell her why I wanted divorce I just said you know it's over let's forget it. And my little boy was really really hateful towards me at first because he couldn't understand why I had left his mother you know he was 5 4 at the top and my little girl you know she cried all the time you know I want to come home and stuff like that. But at this point you know my ex-wife is you know has got a friend that she sees you know those with the you know she's really got her life together now you know and we get along good as friends I think it pleases her that I'm not seeing other women because she'd accuse me of seeing women you know which I had and you know and. My daughter you know once you come home and stay on my you know sleep on accounts and this and that you know. But other than that you know we don't really have any problems at all. I just look forward to coming over you know constantly because it's I guess it's a constant through you know excitement to look forward you know for the next weekend to be with you know my From. And it works out real good.
I read his here in the studio with us some of you may remember him from poetry readings on previous gages shows he is not a father but I just wanted to get anything he wanted to say relative to the show.
The only thing I can think of is I would ask the fathers here if there was anything they would do if they could change things so that other men don't have to do this.
I would say you know don't don't try to solve the problem yourself. You say account so you know. If you're a kid or you're a doll you know whatever you know. See you know don't seek seek help and decided you know making your decision before you bring children into the world or you know children or are lots of fun and you know they're always there I love you but it's rough on yourself emotionally and mentally to combat the problem of figuring out if you're doing right or wrong when you're around you and then wondering you know how much longer you know it's going to be before they find out. And then finding out you know if they're going to love you you know afterwards.
Why would getting married and having children does not prove you're straight which is I think a lot of the problem people the gays that get married there are closet cases.
They're not sure whether they are not they get married to prove that they are straight and have children and then they end up stuck.
Would you consider that you were in the closet when you get married.
No no I wasn't really at that time thank you should you go very much due to family pressure.
Yeah which was at same time a stake for you and only son as well.
I have a younger brother but he's also 10 years younger than I am and there's a few other problems. Do you think your parents were good parents. Oh yeah I get along with my reply to him. They have accepted very well.
Rick my answer to your question would be to be honest with yourself and honest with the woman that you are thinking about getting married with and if she's open to it.
I would see nothing wrong with marriage and children. And as far as I'm concerned I'm glad that I have had the marriage in it and have had children.
Are you saying you know let's or whatever now and then you know why you do what you want to do and you know keep the marriage law.
Yeah I don't think you know you're asking two months you know you're taking part of that woman's life away.
I know a case like that a very good friend of mine that did marry. He's got one child and one on the way. And goes to the gay bars she knows. Sometimes she goes with him sometimes she doesn't. They have a good relationship. It seems to be working out they've been married about two years now.
Don't you feel though when you marry a woman or when you you know like if you love a man you mean you've got to give your all to that relationship and you can't give it all if you're for around the side with the straight person or gay person you know you can't put all your concentration into that relationship to keep it going to keep it building you know to make a good life for each other.
You know I said well you know I see your point too.
So I got you know I couldn't for my ex-wife you know you know why you know I tried but it was always this guilt feeling you know built up on so I don't know.
You just can't you know you can't give a relationship. I have chance you have to give it a full chance whether it's you know straight or gay. That's that's my own personal opinion.
Well as I feel that I want to lay the cards on the table and let her make her decision. I feel that it would be possible to have a marriage and to have another relationship too. That's a feeling I haven't tested it out.
You know I think it be very hard to find a woman that would do a little of the you know because I know it would take a lot of understanding on their part.
I have a comment to make. As one who has more than one ongoing relationship. For me it's very possible. You know I could because if I relate to one person I can't give them all anyway. And I find that they are complimentary rather than taking away from each other.
You know like I said that was my own opinion you know I guess you know I was brought up you know like that you know I just feel like you have to give it all you know you have to take the bad with the good you know the pressures of other people you know want in you or you want other people you know and it's just something you have to shout back and say hey you know I want I want this one person you know and I don't want anybody else. I think it really makes room and show them how strong you know your feelings and love and understanding is for a person you know.
OK we have one other person in the studio here.
This is John did you want to come up to the mike. I did have you ever been married John. No I haven't. And of course you know when you have any comment you want to make them do anything that's been saying no thank you.
Right. That's what it is.
Mark are you ever are serious about a girl or anything like that.
No. I just had a lot of prohibitions about being close to girls. It's almost like I've been told not to like showing affection to her was like this respect or something like that. Also it's dangerous I got the idea in my head that the only reason a girl wants to get close to you is to take advantage of you.
That's very possibly foolish really checked it out. These days I will I think I've had some of the same feelings myself.
Did you have those kind of feelings to Ruth. I still do I think it's because of the way the society is the values you know you're expected to.
You know give yourself to this relationship with the girl and you know she can demand things I view because of it and it's all very cut and dried. That's at least that's my feeling that it is and it is dangerous to get involved with a girl.
Yeah I feel it's like playing a political game. I mean you know I think you know through a power struggle or something like that. Yeah it's you know you play by the rules and you just do that you get to do the you know watch out. The rules say that if you don't do that you are stuck. I suppose that's you know tolerating divorce lawyers.
That's about the size of that actually didn't happen to you.
Well I wonder how come some game in can overcome those feelings to the point of getting married even though it doesn't last for. I'd say probably the majority of gaming have never been married and possibly never even been seriously dated or anything. You know why some gay men get into it and some don't have any ideas on that very.
But before I try to answer that I'll say that we really don't know whether the majority of gay men aren't married because I think that there are a good many married men who have gay feelings and perhaps even that are acting out on their gay feelings and we really don't know about about that.
As far as why some men just don't have any positive feelings toward women I don't wonder is it a curious thing that I notice that if my relationships go well with men they also go better with women.
I just feel more friendly toward everybody who I don't know why.
And I think maybe if you have a relationship would you put you in a better frame of mind or a better mood or whatever you want to call it and you can relate better to everybody that way would be your boss your next door neighbor or whoever.
I've got something else on my mind you. Have you mattered you believe that there are what you call true bisexuals that is perhaps a man who may be married and continuing to have a more or less satisfying y relationship with his wife. But I'm also having a relationship or relationships on the side with other men and possibly even other women do you believe that's possible.
I believe it's possible. What do you feel about that.
I think it's possible I really do. They put their self in a frame of mind where you know they have to be with the man but you know they love their wife and they enjoy it you know. But I think it's a gang you know a mind game that you know will hurt him you know eventually one way or another.
You're saying that people are really either heterosexual or are gay but I think I really feel that there are people that enjoy both you know but I don't believe it's a married man you know I think a married man who was around you know in my own mind I feel that it's where they like to fool around with man you know but you know they want that security of a woman you know to wrap up wrap them up you know and so on that it's all OK and everything. But I believe that a single me that has no responsibilities you know can enjoy both. That's because he wants not because he has to not because of legal responsibility his wife children whatever.
That's what I know about it.
I guess you did you come from a religious background.
Both my father and my mother drank real heavy. My father used to beat my mother constantly and there was no caring and loving. There was six of us. It was not religious at all.
And when you expressed a little bit of what I would call a conservative view that a man must be true to his wife. And that sort of thing. Did you feel that way to pray and do you best be true to one person or kind.
I think that up until the last several years that's that's what I felt about the whole monogamy fidelity. I take it that you can.
Help me on that one. No I I never let it bother me much. I fooled around a lot. You are great it was a fun. Oh there was a lot of fun. Yeah I can I say.
But but your facial expression indicates that well maybe you shouldn't have.
Oh I I don't know. I think everybody's brought up with the idea that you're not supposed to that you should be faithful when you're married.
I wasn't because she always said it was with another girl.
I don't ever hear an anthropologist say once that you thought you know the office I have marriage. I thought one reason for that was just to cut down on the sexual competition as if there were such thing as marriage everybody running around and nobody would ever get anything done.
It sounds great to talk about it.
I don't seek Him Thank you good children in their teens. Have you noticed any gay tendencies in them and how would you feel if one of them should turn gay.
Possibly there could be some gay tendencies. I really don't know what it's like. It's something I'm going after. I thought well I thought of a lot of them.
Would you feel guilty or like it was personally your fault or something.
I don't think so. That's going to have to be his choice.
What about you for being you know seeing gay tendencies in your children.
No I haven't.
I've thought about the question as to whether how I would feel if if one of them both of them were gay and and fall back on response to whether he meant the masculine with his or manly with his children himself with his children. I would like my children to be themselves whatever it is whether it's had a second straight or gay.
However they are I'd like them to be honest with it and live with it.
I can see that there are problems as being a gay end of the world.
And from that standpoint I might be perhaps a little bit sorry.
How would you feel if one of your children turned out to be gay you know.
I would have heard about it. Why.
Because I feel that I really think that at times it's a mystery. You know when you're you know in the presence of some of your family you know they'll say well you know what woman are you saying you know blah blah blah blah. It's a constant runaround you know store. But I would be heard about it but I wouldn't I wouldn't try to storm away from it. I would I wouldn't encourage him. You know I try to talk it out with them. You know maybe go as far as you know having a meeting with my ex-wife and you know talking about letting her say what she had up that you know you might look like and it would be very it was but I think we could sit down and really talk it out you know where the children would have to go through as difficult as a time about realizing what was there. You know what the problem was. You know I just don't want to say I'm going through a marriage and everything else.
Right to disagree.
She said think of her.
You know the.
You know the.
Guy I don't know.
To them. You know the new.
You know the new lives.
Hope you hope for your kids.
I just want to have a happy life. I mean they're going to have the times in which everybody story. I would like one of the story. Doesn't make any difference. But I want to work with them on the problems that they confront me with. But I just want to have a good life you know.
Again how do you feel.
Are you going to sort of wish him the best and hope they make it about it. I want to be themselves regardless of whatever they choose. I believe in it pretty much up to them to check out what choices there are available and yeah I'm going to encourage him in any direction. But at the same time it's whatever they choose. I know you don't want to have to go through a bunch of households you know they would choose to be gay then that's fine but I'm straight and that's also fine. Have you thought of where you can help steer or help them steer clear of the hassles you went through.
Yeah I thought about that. What kind of thing would you tell not to pretend they said.
Be themselves friends that they're OK however they support them in who they are. I like what you said. Don't pretend I want them to have the courage to be who they are despite whatever the hassles society might have in store for them.
We're going to have missiles Regardless within certain limits what of a bright came to your town to go over. You would probably encourage him to pretend a little bit. Oh no I mean that's an extreme case.
I enjoy my son's telling me about the latest homophobic thing that that he's heard on on TV on the radio or read in the paper.
Tell me about it and putting it down. So if Anita Bryant came to town welcome they're parading in front of the place saying she's homophobic and maybe that's not what you meant.
Well no comment. Understand we've had some phone and questions from the audience.
I talked to one woman who described herself as predominantly straight and she had a couple questions one when she was picking up on that we were talking about gay as if it were a decision she was under the impression that it's not a decision that people have so to speak can't help but saying that that sitting down and talking with somebody and making them see the light and so on would not be helpful because that's already established in their early childhood or whatever and the other question was she has a very close relationship with a gay man she's thinking of. Maybe wanting to make it permanent but she's afraid of it because it may not last and she's wondering what advice we could give her. She's not concerned with him going out a couple nights a week or something like that which he's concern is him losing interest in her and moving away going to San Francisco or something like this.
We want to comment on either of those questions.
The first one that comes to mind right off for the second one the woman who's contemplating a permanent relationship with a gay man. There's no guarantee even with a straight man as far as permanency is concerned if she's can live with his going out a couple of nights a week and seeing minutes and the relationship at this point is is a good one. Enjoy it move with it.
I agree with her that one doesn't decide that one has what one doesn't.
I did and I think what you're trying to say is that a decision is whether to come out right. A whether to remain married to stand the closet. Well that's a decision you're gay you know you're gay. It's whether you're going to come out or not.
I think it's a subconscious feeling of being rejected by friends and family if they found out you know it's hard to break away from that. You know people you know you're always thinking you know what if this person finds out I'm gay why am I going to do you know I think it's not a decision I'm doing it.
It's a decision of breaking away from the hang ups of the society you know of rejection.
No one can choose to have gay feelings. They're there you know.
And it's whether you acknowledge that this is the words you use maybe you sort of decide how to handle your gay feelings or in deciding whether you're gay I don't think anybody decides to be gay in quite the same sense that they decide which college to attend there which branch of the service to enter or anything like that.
I think probably the majority of people if not everybody has gay feelings and straight feelings up to a point. And there's a decision as to how to handle them. Do you do the second part do you. Caller I ask you how to handle what is your relationship with a gay man to be permanent. If she can accept his need to be intimate with other men and if she thinks there there really is an emotional or physical or whatever element in him. I don't see why it wouldn't work out as long as there's plenty of open communication.
I would agree with that.
In fact I'd say that you know if you know if by chance this person that you're talking about feels the same way I do and kind of fear is getting trapped and that might have something to do with reluctance to making a commitment to you know it just seems kind of cool and accept a certain amount of you know well you know it's going real well real now but last month it was all good just a little flexibility that way. It could probably last a long time and I think with increasing age the fear of being alone would draw people to my drawing together.
I think there is one important question we need to deal with before the show is over. Everyone here is again me and I was wondering on the subject of lesbian mothers what we probably should have a show some time dealing with sans issue. What problems would be different or worse are not as bad or so on in the case of a gay woman as opposed to a gay man being married and and having children know that we can't really speak to it. To directly being oh man I wonder if somebody wanted to touch on that issue.
I think my wife's a closet case. Personally. But they're not really because if you ever mention that to him. Oh yeah. In fact she was supposed to have a date with my roommate but I don't think anything's so far it's been avoided a little bit.
What was your reaction to get together I think of the kind of different you know that might make a good relationship is really going to think a woman with children you know that everything will work out for her possibly because you have to have your opinion or know any lesbian mothers personally or problems they have.
I know several you know a lot of you know wondering lesbians have over gay men back and they usually keep their children a lot easier having the children House raising the way you want.
That isn't that's not always the case and there's a letter in the Yellow Springs paper a few months ago of some woman who's who's a divorced husband it just showed up at the door one day to take their son out to dinner and never come back never came back. And then later a judge in this distant state awarded custody of the kid to the Father but that is another program.
Supposed differences. The whole thing could be.
I mean is much more traditional for women to be stuck with kids and a man to go off you know off to sea or off to war or wherever it is.
I think in most court cases there is a an advantage to the woman if it's not known that she is gay. In a word in the matter of rewarding children if it's known she was gay she probably has the same problem that a known gay father would have if you want to kill us children.
Mark I'm interested in you saying that the woman is usually stuck with the children. I would view having the children as something good. I miss likes being around the children day in and day out.
I think I'm repeating my mom too. I'm not going to not mind you OK.
When we call we recall well we read the paper every once in a while. We're single people are. Allowed to adopt children even in the couple cases known gay people they want to comment on that.
I think I would really be neat if it could really happen. I think they might try to find something else wrong with you.
You know if it were acceptable to be a gay person with and adopt you know adopt a child. I also think that was not done in Ohio hi laws are very strict. If she really wanted to get nasty about it I'm sure that she could get off my visiting rights.
As far as being well do you think you'd enjoy having a good time.
God love it. I just I just think it would be the responsibility.
Oh no you have to show more responsibility when you're around him you know on the weekends and stuff like this during the week you get you know take all those fill ins you've got form you know instead of cramming in a couple days you know you can just even it out you know and like watch TV together you know hug and kiss and all this you know and it gives you you can give more of yourself to not necessarily financially but but more time you know more time to listen to your son tell you about you know what he did in school and how he rode his bike you know and stuff like this and you can listen to your little girl tell about what she did with her doll you know whatever it is. And it you just have more time. You know you have less mental strain on them in yourself which to me it would be you know perfect.
I'd love it. You know I remember you know and then you know like I live with a man you know. And he would enjoy having them all the time and they love him very much.
You know they they showing and he shows them and they appreciate everything that you know that goes on around him. And I just think it would be really terrific.
You know because you get tired of hearing about what Mom did you know how mom did this and did that or their step brother you know did this and that and so you would just be great not listening to their hassles but enjoying them you know after school or whatever.
I thought of another question yeah. Yes. From deal with from an odd perspective does anybody in this room have a parent who was gay or suspected of being gay.
I'm not aware.
How would you feel if you discovered that one of your parents was gay could be a mind blower.
And when you think of the gather 25 years and I know you know your mom comes from you and I would I wouldn't be surprised at all.
I want to say that you know I was one board and I did it well if you read this I was in the library. What he said was if you read the Picture of Dorian Gray and the court by Oscar Wilde and I thought what. Why did you suggest that to me. What's going on. After I read it I didn't even understand I read it. Thinking back on several years later another thing he used to love to give me a haircut. You know he'd sit there and snip snip snip column column column and toss the stuff for 45 months. You know I'd sit there on a chair between his knees and he just.
Really get off on me cutting my hair. Yeah so I would not be entirely surprised. Thanks.
This transcript is machine-generated and has not been corrected. It is likely there will be errors.
- Gay Show: A Look at Gay Fathers
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- WYSO (Yellow Springs, Ohio)
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- Chicago: “Gay Show: A Look at Gay Fathers,” 1979-08-07, WYSO, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 25, 2019, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_27-76f1vrdr.
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- APA: Gay Show: A Look at Gay Fathers. Boston, MA: WYSO, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_27-76f1vrdr