My Kid May Turn Out Gay… So?

A friend of mine (quite a popular online personality, but that’s really all I have to say… or need to) posted up a Facebook status last Sunday about his opinion on how homosexuals come about.

He thought most of the gay (men) he’s ever met were like that because they didn’t have a father figure.

I thought, “Oh. My. God. You did not jussst sssay thaaaat.” (I can actually impersonate one quite well. I have various cross-dressing photos to prove it.)

But more than just wanting to comment on how a public figure should never shoot himself in the foot like that (I’ll talk about that a little later), I wanted to just share my opinion (my opinion ah, not my advice ah) about this whole homosexuality issue. Because I like to live life on the edge, you know?

My dad is very homophobic. When I was a kid, he would disallow me from making voices for my stuffed dolls because it sounded like a girl (I have another blog post for that story). When I first had my left ear pierced, I had to explain to him left was for male and right was for gay just so he’d let me. He was okay with it only because I already had a girlfriend at the time already.

And just like that very popular friend I mentioned just now, I’ve had my fair share of experience with LGBT friends. I even got picked up a couple of times. Understandably, I was pretty homophobic too in the beginning. But then I started getting acquainted with quite a number of people (both straight and LGBT) in the nightlife and entertainment industry, and my perception changed.

Particularly one night at a bar I was working in, when one guy tried to pick me up. I was starting to get used to it (the pick-up lines, which I must say, are a lot better than what guys usually use on girls), so I said to the guy, “Dude, sorry, I’m straight. But I do want to talk to you.”

It was one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life. He shared so much about himself, his lifestyle, and how much he would like to take me home with him. But what really struck me that night was how much I enjoyed the conversation, his company, and more importantly, how he had managed to break my homophobia to smithereens with his respect for my choice of sexual identity, kindly returned by my utmost respect — and curiosity — for his choice. And as I grew bolder and enquired more, I learned that sometimes, things happen or don’t happen, and then you become that way. Sometimes, you are just born that way. Either way, there is no choice. It’s just… life.

My wife and I have lots of LGBT friends. And we absolutely love them to bits, as they do us. I’d like to think it’s because I took the time to understand their point of view, but I’m beginning to suspect it’s really because of something else, something that up till now has been left unspoken.

I refuse to be a hypocrite. If I can accept my LGBT friends for what they are, I know I have to accept the lifestyle, the culture, the being, wholeheartedly just as it is. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it, and I will never, ever say, “Oh, I know gay friends, but I’m sure my son has been well-provided for enough that he won’t turn into one.”

That is just so contradictory, and downright hypocritical to me.

So for all my gay friends out there, and the Singapore LGBT community at large, this is my statement to you, as a heterosexual father whose sole purpose is to bring his son up right: my son likes flowers, not toy soldiers. He likes the colour pink, not blue (though this may change, we don’t know). And he has asked my wife for nail polish on a couple of occasions. We let him make his own choices, because we want him to be him, and not what we want him to be. So are we worried he might turn gay? No. And we’re not worried if he does become a homosexual either. Because we love him just the same, and we know the world will love him just the same.

Mind you, this is just me sharing my opinion.

32 Replies to “My Kid May Turn Out Gay… So?”

  1. thank you, for your openness and your sincerity. I am grateful, because even some of my closest friends are concerned that their children don’t turn out gay or lesbian.

    1. Actually that’s just half the story. The more important bit is letting the son know that the parents love him regardless of who or what he is. Then there’s no need to hide, deny or cook up stories.

    2. Actually that’s just half the story. The more important bit is letting the son know that the parents love him regardless of who or what he is. Then there’s no need to hide, deny or cook up stories.

    3. Miak Siew: Thank you for your kind words; I just felt I needed to voice out.

      Tsen Tan: If we just spoke of love and nothing else, we wouldn’t even need to tell the story, would we? But tell the story we must, because life is just that much more complicated.

    4. Miak Siew: Thank you for your kind words; I just felt I needed to voice out.

      Tsen Tan: If we just spoke of love and nothing else, we wouldn’t even need to tell the story, would we? But tell the story we must, because life is just that much more complicated.

  2. Kudos to you and your wife for giving your child unconditional love. If all parents in Singapore were like you, there wouldn’t be discrimination and hate in our society.

  3. Thank you for sharing. We need more fathers to be open and out with their own truths instead of hiding behind facades of false acceptance and tolerance. Failure as a parent is not in how the child turns out , but how he or she is treated and loved unconditionally , irregardless of gender , sexual , preference and choices. I have known many people who failed as a father , as a mother , as a parental unit as they abandoned their child when the child needs them the most in life.

    Kudos to you for the unconditional love , respect and acceptance of your child , a beautiful gift from the divine. 🙂

    1. ” I have known many people who failed as a father , as a mother , as a parental unit as they abandoned their child when the child needs them the most in life.”

      This statement is such an epiphany for me. Thank you, Daniele.

  4. I SALUTE BOTH U AND YOUR WIFE! If I may share with U all here, I happened to be very close to a gay couple who brought up their only adpoted son. They provided for him and gave him the best, like all loving parents would. Having grew up in a ‘happy’ enviroment, he is now 28 years old and what a caring, brilliant young man he is today! Recently, he got married to a very lucky girl. Both parents are equally overjoyed and felt very blessed that he turned out str8. Now, both parents can look forward to grand children! Yes, this is a Singapore story, right here in our little red dot.

    1. Hi Baba Rich! I SALUTE YOU BACK! Thank you for sharing your story! It’s interesting that your friends were relieved that their son is straight. It really shouldn’t matter, but it still does. That has to change.

    2. True. It really doesn’t matter which way it end or began. It’s the positive love & total care that will bring out the best in our loved ones. Now’s the time to let go of outdated stereotypical beliefs, set free the old burdened ideology of what we used to hang on to. We must unite, bring closer universal acceptance & deeper respect for each other.

  5. Winston, I really liked what you wrote. I used to teach GP at JC and one of the topics we covered was homosexuality. I found a lot of the male students I taught were dead set against it and thought it was wrong or unnatural – and their reasons for thinking this way were less than logical or informed. I always wondered if it was because they’d grown up in an environment where their fathers or other male relatives had told them that being gay was wrong, or even shameful. I never asked them of course (there are some lines you can’t cross in a classroom), which is why your article resonates with me – it’s heartening to know that if more fathers are like you, perhaps we’ll have more students in the future who are able to better understand homosexuality and not instantly label it as wrong.

    1. Hi Sangee,

      So many factors I don’t even know where to begin. Mindsets to homosexuality are formulated from the very highest echelons of our society (the 377A debacle is testament to that) to the very hearts of our homes (and it’s not just from the men), to our own perceptions of what is natural and man-made, good and evil, right and wrong.

      Young minds will develop. It’s just a question of how far and how wide. We cannot control how others think of us, but we need to be able to address how we feel about ourselves properly. We owe ourselves that much.

  6. Hi, thanks for writing this.

    I’m the owner of the blog, http://www.myrighttolove.com. It had created this so that I can share my experiences to help others along, so that they would know that living and growing up as a gay person is about loving and respecting yourself, just like anybody would.

    So, thank you so much for this. I’m very heartened that another person would think like this. And it means a lot to me, as well as a lot of gay people in Singapore to know of someone, like you, who are able to understand and empathize with who we are.

    Thank you so much.

    Your son is very lucky to have a father like you.

    Roy

  7. I cried, Winston, literally (touched, figuratively). For me, this is like something that tells me that there is someone straight out there who really understands. The point is, what you’re saying is to let your kid to be happy to be himself (the really point). Anyway, I don’t hate my dad, I love him, but in some different areas, I kinda wish you were my dad. Oh, I don’t know, I must sound rambling, but above all, I give incredible warm regards to you and your wife, and of course your kid, Winston. 😀

    1. Hi Irwan! I’m equally touched by your response (figuratively). No matter what, your dad is still your dad. I’ve given my own father plenty of hard pills to swallow, but never doubt for one minute that your father has forsaken you. For everything that you and your dad have gone through, you are still his son, and that can never change; not for you, and not for him.

  8. I’ve never been a homophobe, perhaps because I was exposed to the said entertainment and F & B industry from a very young age. Being in the media industry also (like it or not) brought me in contact with some pretty amazing LGBTs.

    I have had the chance to actually know them as the persons that they are, and not simply by their sexual preference. They are no different from the regular ‘straight’ men and women, just so happens that they prefer to be with the same sex or are more comfortable to be of a gender which they were unfortunately born as.

    In fact, they are passionate people, and will always go the extra mile for anything and anyone close to their hearts. Being what they are does not change who they are, apart from making them more sensitive to understanding views from both the male and female perspectives.

    My best friend is a Lesbian. I work with transgenders and transsexuals. My ex bf is a bisexual (I found out only after we broke up, but we’re still good friends!). I have a bunch of male friends who are gays… and I was so sorely tempted to make them my Groomsmaids, if I wasn’t concerned about giving the old fogeys heart attacks.

    They don’t change who I am. I don’t try to change who they are. I love them for who they are, and they in turn, are regular doods and doodettes, same as you and me.

    I love this post. Especially from a straight, regular guy – albeit one who has dabbled in cross dressing and the likes. 😉

    1. In truth, I will not pretend to know the hardship LGBTQs have to go through in being who they are, dealing with the views of the people around them, or even with themselves. I can only promise I refuse to be that one more person they have to worry about. Life is already hard enough as it is.

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