Father Figures

Discussion in 'Dating and Relationships' started by cypher21, Dec 8, 2015.

  1. cypher21

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    We've all heard the claim the one of the ways men "become gay" is through a lack of strong male presences in a child's life. I'll be the first to admit my relationship with my father isn't the best (for multiple reasons) but I also haven't had a male best friend since elementary school. I grew up mainly around women (even most of my cousins were girls) so I just naturally felt more comfortable around them. Sometimes I wonder what impact, if any, that may have had on my sexuality and wanted to start a discussion on this and get your opinions. Do you think there is any truth to this? Has anyone grew up similarly or have experiences close to mine??

    Of Fathers and Father Figures: Supporting or Undermining Gay Men's Health
     
    #1 cypher21, Dec 8, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2015
  2. Cyrus-Brooks

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    The myth that lack of a male role model causes men to be gay is one of the biggest falsehoods promoted by homophobic people. If that were actually true a huge chunk of the black American male population would be gay. That said I did have male role models growing up. My dad when I was young and one of my uncles when I was a teenager. From an early age I knew I was gay even before I knew what being gay actually meant. For me having strong male role models was both a blessing and a curse. Both my dad and uncle taught me how to carry myself like man, how to be emotionally tough, and how to deal with being a black man in a world that is very harsh on black men. The downside is they were both very homophobic so as grew up I learned all of the negative attitudes towards homosexual men from them thus I had a negative attitude and loathing attitude towards myself which caused me some psychological problems which I didn't work out until well into my 30s.
     
    #2 Cyrus-Brooks, Dec 8, 2015
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  3. Dante

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    If you are asking if it's true that being gay or even bisexual is due to lack of male role models in your life, then the answer is HELL NO! Your sexuality is a predetermined factor, just like race and gender. By the time we all were about or just hit puberty, we knew they we were either gay or bisexual, even if we didn't act on it or were in the closet, especially due to the way you were raised and the environment you grew up in.

    I think that homophobic and biphobic people ignorantly and nonchalantly assume by default that when they see stereotypical gay men around or befriending females and see them "act in the manner of/imitate" their gestures and characteristics, that somehow that's the common denominator that contributes to a man "choosing" to be gay, because he has been mentally influenced and somehow poisoned by injection of the "attraction and desire" for the same gender as straight females do. The notion never holds any weight, but somehow those individuals seem to bring that up in a "Can you be born gay?" or "Why is someone gay?" discussion. It's just as weak as the notion that molestation and rape causes someone to be gay. My comeback would be "What about the gay and bisexual males who were molested by someone of the opposite gender who are still gay and the straight males who were molested by someone of the sames gender that are still straight?" and you get no kind of intelligent or common sense answer.
     
    #3 Dante, Dec 8, 2015
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  4. GaTekno84

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    I think male role models are very important for young boys. They're the only ones that can teach you how to be a man. However, women teach men how to be good men. Boys need the dynamic of both. I dont think sexuality has anything to do with any of that. You were going to be gay either way.
     
  5. cypher21

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    I'm not a psychologist by any means but things like this are very interesting to me and I would like more insight on how others feel is all. It's also apart of me trying form a deeper understanding of who I am by figuring out how I got to this point, if that makes sense.
     
    #5 cypher21, Dec 8, 2015
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  6. Nigerian Prince

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    I have mostly male friends and it has been that way for most of my life. At one point, I had more female friends in middle school but I started to notice how students thought I was "soft" or gay just because I hung out with more females so I made a conscious effort to have more of a balance between gender/sex. I have not had a close female friend EVER.

    I had both of my parents in my life and I was around all my African uncles, aunts, cousins, etc so that theory speaking my personal experience is ridiculous. I just knew when I was 4 or 5 years old and wondering why different boys were cute that I was different.
     
  7. DreG

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    I have two fathers.I was raised by one man,and I knew my bilogical father my whole life too.I am undeniably my biological father's favorite child,and I was the only kid in the house ,so I got a lot of my (adoptive) father's attention too.So i grew up being doted on and I still was attracted to men.Biology is what it is.You can grow up in an all boys military school and still be a homosexual.

    The women in your life can have an influence on how you interact with people,but not your orientation.
     
  8. grownman

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    This is similar to my story. I grew up around predominantly women my father died when I was 4. My uncles took me "under their wings", so to speak. They toughened me up some. I gained a even balance. I know how to show my emotions when it's needed. But, I know how to stand up for myself. I learned how to mesh with straight men. Which is why I have no gay friends. The guys are petty and dumb as hell. I get along better with straight people. But, I got off topic.
     
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  9. grownman

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    I can remember when I was in kindergarten me and my female cousin were in the same class. Their was a a boy named Kevin and we were all playing tag. Well, me and my cousin both tagged him. I was running thinking that ol boy was chasing me. I looked back and he was going after her. I remember being upset. That happened at 5. So, I know better.
     
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  10. Nigerian Prince

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    It is too bad that people have negative experiences with gays that they just keep str8 friends. I think it is good to have a balance. I am very happy to have other black gay men that I associate with because I love how open we all are with each other.
     
  11. Dante

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    I understand. I hope I wasn't in attack mode with my response. It looks to me that you are trying to determine if anything thus far in your life may or may not have determined who you are, specifically your sexuality. And there's nothing wrong with that. I hope that you are able to contemplate within your own timing and own reason. However, I hope that you avoid any pressures of people denouncing homosexuality and the negative BS from people who are homophobic and biphobic that can easily be the push into the DL lifestyle room.
     
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  12. tigerbreaux

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    While I can't speak to that specifically and holistically, I think the nature vs. nurture conversation is a very real one as it pertains to sexuality and sexual preference. Your surroundings absolutely have an influence on that, but it doesn't influence everyone the same.

    While I know my father, and he's always been in my life, he was never a central figure, especially when I needed him most in my impressionable years. Would having him in my life have changed my sexual preference? No, probably not, but it would have definitely changed certain aspects of my personality, my likes and dislikes and my knowledge and perspectives on certain issues.

    Having male role models is extremely important for all males, especially young males of color and more importantly young gay or gender-fluid males of color. They need to know it's okay to be themselves and see positive representations of themselves.
     
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  13. BlackguyExecutive

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    This is a very interesting discussion. Growing up I lived in a single parent household, primarily with my mom and had a working relationship with my father, although we have not ever been close. It makes me a little sad that we never had a traditional relationship but it is what is. That being said, my mom was very good at keeping male role models in my life. Whether is was my grandpa, uncles or men in my church. When I was a teenager, my mom always connected me with mentors and I cherish all those relationships over the years. I have definitely been shaped by a number of men in my life. That being said, I don't necessarily think that not having that experience would have changed my outcome as a black gay man.

    I have however made it a habit to be a resource for young men who may be questioning their sexuality because that was a vital piece of my upbringing that was missing. I spent a lot of years in fear and not recognizing that my feelings were normal and if I can do a small part in some other guys life to make that process a little easier I will be glad to do it.
     
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  14. Discordant

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    My dad and my grandpap both have very strong roles in my life and have influenced my understanding of what manhood is. I was actually a "daddy's boy" growing up, emulating his mannerisms (I still walk around with my left hand in my pocket,) and a lot of his views on life. I'm also a "gold-star gay" having only kissed a female and, I identify as a bottom. Their influences may have an impact on how I go about life in my relationships and work ethics, but it has nothing to do with my attraction to men. I will say my dad and grandpap's acceptance of my sexuality helped me with my own self-acceptance and confidence.
     
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  15. cypher21

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    Thanks Dante, I appreacite your opinion along with everyone elses! :)
     
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