Is it wrong to have two fathers?
When I was finishing primary school the class guardians had arranged a special dinner dance for parents and students. My dad had bought me a special coat and shirt to wear and he spent a hell of a long time combing my hair. The dance was fantastic, the teachers played all our favourite songs. At the end of the dance a photographer came around to take pictures of each student with their parents and their guardians, so that we could look back and see what we looked like when we finished primary school.
Finding out my dad was gay
The photographs were hung up on a wall for everyone to see. I remember looking proudly at the photo of my parents and I then suddenly realised something was definitely different. Most kids had a mother and father smiling next to them in their photo, but there were a lot of kids with only one parent, a mother or father and some had a grandparent as well.
But I carefully scanned each photograph on the wall and it was very clear to me that I was the only kid there with two fathers. Primary school had ended and high school started and I made new friends, but I was always very careful never to let anyone come back to my house, and I never talked about my family.
When parents teacher meeting nights came around, I hid the notices so my parents didn’t find out. One day in a PE class our teacher began to teach us a topic on relationships. She told us that we were going to be exploring all different aspects of relationships, and she put a box at the front of the room and we could write down any questions we wanted anonymously and put them in that box and she would answer them in class.
So I decided it was time to ask some questions. On a piece of paper I wrote three:
1) Is it wrong for a person to have two fathers?
2) How can a baby be born with two fathers?
3) if a boy has two fathers, is he ever allowed to marry a girl, or does he have to marry a boy too?
I nervously entered the next PE class having waiting so long to find out if I was normal. The teacher took out the pieces of paper and began to answer questions. Finally my paper came out and the teacher read it out loud, the class room erupted with laughter and someone yelled ‘who’s got fags for folks?’.
Someone else answered ‘I bet you it’s James Tyrfell-Jones because he’s got two last names; one from each dad!’ an encore of laughter filed the air. I had got one name from each father, and the thought of having my secret exposed made my stomach churn.
So I ran from the classroom, and through the school gates all the way home. Pap was in the kitchen, but I ran straight past him to my room where I locked the door and crawled under the bed. When dad came home the two of them came into my room and sat on the floor just near me.
‘What’s wrong kid?’ Pap asked ‘Why haven’t I got a normal family?’ ‘Who says we are not normal?’ Dad said ‘Well it’s not half obvious is it? Why have I got two fathers? Where’s my mum? Why haven’t I got sisters and brothers? The other kids do…’ I said from under the bed.
What it means to be gay
‘Ok’ Pap said, ‘Do you know what it means to be gay?’ ‘Sort of’ I replied ‘It means that you love someone the same sex as you. Your dad and I are gay. Unfortunately a lot of people don’t like gay people, they think it’s wrong. So that’s why your mother left, she didn’t like your dad being gay.’ Pap told me I got out from under the bed and talked to Dad and Pap all night about everything. They told me all about mum and about why she left and how Dad and Pap got together. They told me about how hard it was to be gay in their time, and how it had cost them both their careers.
Support and talking
Talking about it with them lifted an enormous weight from my chest and I felt such a relief. I decided to change schools and start again somewhere where I was more supported. At my new school I went to visit the school counsellor who gave me lots of pamphlets to read about sexuality, and about growing up as a child of a gay couple. She answered all my questions and she helped me to sort out my feelings. She suggested I join a local support group that met once a week in a coffee shop for children of homosexual parents.
All of a sudden I met heaps of other people like me, and I made new friends. Joining the group helped me build my confidence to a level where I wasn’t ashamed of who I was any more. Growing up as a child with two fathers was tough, I faced a lot of prejudice, and I still do. But I’m proud of my parents for sticking up for what they believed in, and standing strong. Love, be it heterosexual or homosexual should never be discouraged it should be encouraged.