I never thought I’d write a book and never a book on a topic like this, but life is funny that way. I found myself raising a son at 18 years old, still a kid myself, with a baby boy headed down that taboo highway. I was confused, frustrated, and angry at the world. “Why me?” I often thought in those early days… Why has life thrown me this crazy curve ball?
Back then it wasn’t so easy to talk to my friends about my son’s odd behavior, something’s you just didn’t talk about it. So I struggled alone, doing everything I could to stop the unstoppable.
This book is the “Voice of the Silent Father” for those going through the same thing I went through; and this is my story:
I was raised by my single white mother in the suburbs of Suffolk County, Long Island along with my sister Luvina who’s three years older than me. Our African American father played a limited role in our lives, moving back to Rochester New York, when I was two months old.
Visiting with my father a few weeks out of the summer wasn’t enough to make a big impact, let me correct that, it wasn’t enough to instill the positive impact a young black male needs.
I wanted the type of dad that all of my friends had, taking them to Yankees games, and throwing the football around, but my father never made much of an effort to be interested in my life, which looking back to those early days definitely a contributing factor for me turning to the criminal lifestyle.
I promised myself that I would be the father I needed instead of the father I had. But who would have thought that fatherhood would inflict me with a catastrophe that would have me second guessing that promise.
My son Drew was born September 20th 1990. I don’t know if homosexuality is a biological or mental condition. I never thought Drew grew up making a conscious decision to be gay, in the way other kids are making plans to be firemen, police officers, or doctors.
When I would ask him what he wanted to be when he grew up, he would tell me all the normal kid choices and never straight out said “Dad, I want to be a gay ballerina dancer!” but as a father with a keen street intuition I sensed something was having a premature influence affecting Drew.
At a very young age he started sucking his teeth and rolling his eye’s copying his mother. He would alter his voice to imitate a girlish tone and it would get on my nerves with every word spoken like the gayest stereotype on TV. This was when he was still very young, a toddler and I avoided paying too much attention to these signs for fear of re-reinforcing those flamboyant behaviors.
Around others, especially the women in Drews life, I was depicted as “Mr. Macho”… The bad guy who was “over-reacting” when I addressed and attempted to correct certain mannerisms that couldn’t be ignored.
My “Gaydar” was active watching all his behaviors for a “Gayness Alert!” which would make me rush in like the heterosexual swat team to stop whatever he was doing and make it more boyish.
Most often other adults would tell me that my son would grow out of his feminine characteristics, but what if he grew into them? No one had an answer for me to that.
I’ve read and seen a lot of media theories on what causes homosexuality, and although I’m not an expert or have a degree in psychology or some other paper certification printed and framed hanging dusty on display for all to see, I am the father of the gayest son on earth. When I say gay, I don’t mean the quiet closet type, maybe that I could have handled that but no- the son that I was meant to father was probably doing lady gaga impressions in full drag queen attire while still in his mother’s womb, born to show the world what being gay, proud and loud really meant, and lucky me, I had a front row seat.
Questions plagued my mind, searching for answers, maybe even a “cure” for my son’s condition.
Was it in his genes? I don’t remember having any gay family members on my side of the family. Was it programmed into his D.N.A.? Or was my son choosing to be gay? If so, then I should have the right to choose if I want a gay son, which of course I didn’t.
I wanted a son that grew to be a man, like me, I wanted a son that has lots of girlfriends and would one day save up three months’ salary at his very manly job and place an engagement ring on his beautiful future wife, not some… “Life Partner.”
Back then with my limited experience when you said the word gay, I would picture a pervert, infected with AIDS that’s molesting little boys, because isn’t that what homosexuals do?
In the crowd I hung out with I wasn’t the only person to think that way.
If Drew chooses that path, I’ll take whatever steps to completely relinquish any type of association with him, making him hate me.
I know what you’re thinking… How could you feel that way about your own son… Gay or not?
It was a tough mindset being a teenage Dad and learning as I went through the years and tears but I thought that would at least solve the problem
for both of us. He wouldn’t want to see me and I wouldn’t want to see him, walking around limp wrist, for all the world to see.
I was at a crossroad without a compass, with no one to advise me on such an unorthodox situation.
Don’t most fathers disassociate themselves from their child, once they find out that they’re going to like men?
I pushed back the wall of my son’s gay future with both hands, fighting, cursing, and questioning God and my sanity. I’m old school and hard headed thinking I could stop the incoming tide of change.
My experience should help any person that has someone in their life that lives differently, specifically is that person is your gay or lesbian child.
Stereotypes attached to homosexuality have a staggering effect on society. I retained many of those stereotypes, used derogatory terms, made queer jokes and laughed openly at any one living an alternative lifestyle.
But the Universe thought it appropriate to send me the situation of having a gay son.
Me… Eddie Wright… Street Entrepreneur… Ladies’ man and hustler.
The ironic point to be made here dear readers was that as a black man, I myself was being prejudiced against my own flesh and blood, and as a black man in America… That’s a hard pill to swallow and embarrassing to admit.
This book is meant to teach other Fathers and all parents of gay children the lessons I learned the hard way, and should start a discussion on having a meaningful relationship between fathers and their children that choose to live gay-straight- or somewhere in between. My voice will be silent no more.