Frequently Asked Questions
Q - I can't be gay, I am married and have kids, that can't be right surely?
A - How you define your sexuality is up to you. It is true that the fact you are here suggests you have some doubts. Most members of this group will still look at a guy with kids and assume he is straight even though they know loads of other gay dads. It is a difficult concept to accept but it does happen.
Q - I have always known I am gay but really wanted children. I entered into a deal with a woman and now I am a father, is this site for me?
A - Gay Dad Support welcomes all gay dads. Many of our issues will be the same as we go through fatherhood as gay men. No matter how we become parents whether through a sort of heterosexual relationship, a shared parenting agreement, surrogacy or otherwise, we are still gay dads doing our best for our kids and somewhere, there has to be a woman involved, we can't argue with biology!
Q - I think I am bisexual, should I tell my wife about it?
A - Only you can know the answer to that one. There is no standard reaction to that sort of statement. The general rule of thumb is, if there is some other way she may find out, you are best to tell her. If only you know, why do you feel she needs to? Will it add anything to your relationship with her or take something away?
Q - I am gay and am really worried my children will turn out gay too, can that happen?
A - Yes but no more likely that if you were straight. However, if they know you are gay they are far more likely to accept their own true sexuality rather than hide it like many others, probably you included, have done.
Q - If I have sex with a man, can I pass on anything to my wife?
A - Yes. There is no such thing as 'safe' sex. The best any of us can hope for is 'safer' sex. Always use a condom for any sexual contact and that does include blow jobs. Many sexually transmitted nasties can be caught orally.
Q - Is it possible to lust after men yet still love my wife?
A - Yes, the human emotion system is an extremely versatile thing. Just because we discover we are sexually attracted to someone of the same sex, that does not mean that our emotional attachments to those we love has to change. It is quite possible for a 100% gay man to be in love with a woman but it will generally not be the same or as strong as a love that can have for someone of the same sex and certainly not as satisfying sexually.
Q - I know I am gay, I have to get a divorce and leave home, that's the only way right?
A - No, you don't. What you and your wife do is make up rules that suit the pair of you and that may well be divorce but you may decide to stay together without sex, even if just for now. Whatever you can get to work for your family is what you should do.
Q - Most gay men, when they leave home lose all contact with their kids right?
A - No, this rarely happens and the courts will not support a claim against a father on the basis that he is gay. Access, as with all separated parents, will change, that is unavoidable. Some gay men even keep residency of the kids. Just occasionally an ex wife can create such problems of access so as to tender even the courts useless so be wary of that possibility.
Q - Does it cost anything to be a member of GayDadSupport?
A - Not now nor will it ever.
Q - I really want to meet face to face with other gay dads, can that be arranged if I join your group?
A - There are regular meetings around the country and these will be announced on this website and also on the yahoo group messages. You are also free, with mutual consent, to meet up with any other members if you choose to do so.
Q - I know I fancy men but want to stay married and just have some fun. Can I join your group and find some other guys to have sex with?
A - No, GayDadSupport is not an introduction group and any members discovered seeking sex with other members will be removed.
Q - I am not a gay dad but I want to be, can I join your group and talk to other guys like me?
A - No, we are sorry but this group is strictly for guys that already have children.
Q - How will my children cope if I meet a man and settle down? Can kids adapt to having two dads?
A - Someone remarked to me recently, and I'd never given it any thought before but 'Jesus has two dads and he turned out ok'. Now, true, in his case we have to presume there was nothing sexual but, the truth is, kids react in equal measure to the amount of love they receive. They really don't care whether it is two dads, a mum and dad, two mums or any combination of adults. It only becomes a problem if it is allowed to become one. So, make sure all the schools are aware that your child(ren) attend, any social groups or, any other parents. Your child never has to tolerate prejudice so look out for it, it is sadly still there.
Q - I may have these feelings now but given time and lots of heterosexual sex I will be OK right? I mean, I won't feel gay anymore?
A - Sorry, those feelings will always be there and most likely get stronger as you get older, despite what some wacky religious groups may like to claim, there is no cure for homosexuality.
Q - Should I tell my kids and how do I do so if I decide the time is right?
A - Every situation is different, no one can decide for you as you know your kids better than anyone. Importantly, don't allow someone else, including their mother, decide for you as it is one of the most personal decisions a man can make. This may help:
What do you tell a child about homosexuality?
Should I tell my children about Homosexuality?
The point is, children WILL hear about it, and if parents don't address the subject with their children, somebody else - who may not share their views - will.
So, how should a parent approach such a discussion?
As casually and as directly and age appropriately as possible, experts say. A four year old for example, doesn't need - or want - to hear the details of homosexual love making any more than she/he needs to hear about the details of heterosexual intercourse. Instead, your first mention of it should take place when your child is five or six - perhaps sooner if your family knows a gay couple - and you might begin by saying that most of the time men fall in love with women and women fall in love with men, but sometimes men love men and women love other women and that's what people mean by the words gay, lesbian and homosexual. When you speak informally about homosexuality to your child, you illustrate that you are open to questions and that you are the right person to ask even the most difficult ones. For this reason alone, it is wise to be prepared to discuss homosexuality with your child; it is also helpful to familiarize yourself with how much kids can understand at different ages.
PRE SCHOOL CHILDREN
Teach a Little
Some Experts maintain that parents have no reason to introduce same sex relationships to younger kids unless the subject comes up naturally, say if a classmate's parents are of the same sex. If one of your child's friends is being raised by a gay couple, just explain that Johnny lives with his two mums, The basic message should be that there are lots of different kinds of families.
More often than not, the topic of homosexuality comes up on the playground in some light-hearted but pejorative context, like the games that proclaim the the loser is a queer. When this happens, you might simply explain that the phrase in question is often used to tease people and that this form of teasing is inappropriate. If the topic of same sex relationships does not arise before the child is five or six, maybe parents should simply describe love and relationships so that they can lay the foundation for later conversations about couples and sex.
But some experts believe that parents should introduce the subject of homosexuality fairly early, even if a child doesn't bring it up on their own. The argument being: If you never discuss homosexuality, it becomes an unmentionable. Besides talking about gay relationships has nothing to do with talking about sex. Children under five are naturally curious about relationships and family ties - and that is the context in which gay couples should be discussed. At this age, though, kids don't yet have the ability to comprehend degrees of intimacy. If you've ever told a three year old that you love lasagne and she asks, "Would you marry it?" then you get the picture.
Just the Facts
Through the early school years, children want to know more about the nature of relationships. They are also extremely interested in how things work - including the human body and all of its parts - as well as sex. When it comes to gay sex, some mothers and fathers worry that just discussing the subject might encourage their children to eventually experiment sexually with people of the same gender. However, a chorus of experts say that there is no evidence to suggest that simply talking about any kind of sexual behaviour with young children will have any effect in their sexual orientation later in life.
By the time most kids start edging to their early teens, they begin to develop a sense of justice. At this point, witnessing an instance of discrimination may arouse feelings of empathy or anger in children. Such feelings will only grow stronger as children move closer to adolescence, and the questions kids ask can give parents an opportunity to teach them about tolerance.
Some people use things such as nightly news broadcasts about gays in the military as a springboard for discussing discrimination. During these talks, one could draw parallels for kids between the gay rights movement and the civil rights movement, One could also point out that only a generation ago, inter-racial couples were viewed with the same kind of outrage that gay couples are viewed with today. In the end it could be explained to children that the variations in people's lives, whether they be racial, religious, or anything else, don't make them better or worse, only different.
Time to Get Specific
Children on the verge of puberty are overwhelmingly curious: not only about their own identity as males and females but also about whether their emerging sexuality will be accepted by their peers. So questions at this age sometimes become more probing.
Gay friends may already be around your children. What we would need to explain is that when two people want to be intimate with each other, they don't have to be a man and a woman, they just have to be two people.
Children are very content with simple answers. Its the adults who get nervous and begin explaining all kinds of things that the kids didn't even ask about, overloading them with too much information that they really don't know how to use.
What children at this age can use are matter of fact discussions delivered without emotion or preaching. Over the years a parent may be approached many times by their children who simply want to know what happens during homosexual sex. Their questions may well be very specific and direct. It may help if the parent answers them equally directly, dispassionately and factually. If you don't become embarrassed, neither do they.
Whether or not mothers and fathers approve of homosexuality, it is a fact of life. No two parents are going to follow the same script when they discuss this topic, and that's fine. But children can usually sense when you are struggling for answers to questions and they can tell when you are pretending to know more - or less - than you really do. They'll wonder what is it about this particular subject that is upsetting enough to make you put on a fake face; they may even decide its OK to lie whenever a difficult subject arises.
So it's better to be honest; if you don't know the answer to a question about homosexuality, just say so. Tell your child you will research it for them, or invite them to join you in browsing through a related book. As difficult as answering a child's questions about this subject might be, doing so provides a perfect opportunity for you to share your values, not just about sex and sexuality, but about tolerance and differences as well.
You may also find this 'Coming Out' guide quite useful
More will be written in due course, for now, look at this and it may lighten your mood a little!
My Personal Experience
As a gay dad I have found situations crop up that I didn't think would happen. We presume our kids may or may not take an interest in the 'ins and outs' (excuse the double entendre) of gay sex. Indeed, as a gay parents who used to be with an opposite sex partner, we are very well versed in sex and sexuality so our answers can be everything our kids may want to know. But, what when they bring their mates around and it is these mates, all around 14-16 asking the questions? Maybe, knowing we are gay makes it easier, there are no consequences asking us. These are not only potentially gay friends either but heterosexual kids with a healthy interest in all things sexuality who just know they don't want to be ignorant.
Well, my approach has always been to answer the questions honestly without any bias either way, without any prejudice or preferential talk. I find these kids just need answers, not opinions. Questions such as 'anal sex, doesn't it hurt?' are quite common. Sometimes they want to verify or rebuke a stereotype such as - 'Is it true that if two guys fuck, they'll get aids?'
As with any answers given to children, never make something up. If you don't know, tell them you don't know. If they ask for an opinion, give them your opinion but enforce upon them their right to have their own opinion which may not be the same.
You could be surprised at just how many kids gravitate toward you. Sadly, this is not a fair world, some countries worse than others. Some will experience well meaning gossip of how gays and children shouldn't mix, you know, cos their all really paedophiles. It would be a mistake to allow yourself to think there isn't someone saying or thinking it. Be careful, don't place yourself in a position where accusations can be made and you cannot defend yourself. Always have others in the house when other peoples' children are there. Try to get to know their parents if possible. No one is safe from such accusations, just think 'Michael Jackson'. Never any proof he ever did anything sexual with kids, never anything to suggest it was just innocent caring yet, once an accusation like that is made, it's amazing how quickly people will claim there is no smoke without fire.
If you follow some basic safety logic for yourself, there are no reasons why you can't have an amazing relationship with your kids and their mates and you may find, like I have, that years later those mates become your mates too and never once was there an issue sex. It was not asked for or wanted. We have friendships based on trust and honesty.