Our earliest influences that form who we become as adults start with our parents. While I am certainly not saying that my parents made me gay; how I was raised absolutely influenced my identity as a gay male.
We looked up to our parents as children.
We believed everything they told us to be true. They were our first leaders. We learned how to develop and exhibit our masculine and feminine characteristics based on how they acted within their status-quo gender roles, and in relation to each other.
But how we grew from adolescence into adulthood was also influenced by other environmental factors like education, location, religion, financial stability, the quality of the relationship between our parents, whether we had a single-parent household, or another form of guardian, and so on.
Each of our parents had their own unique makeup and balance between the masculine and feminine that influenced who you grew up to be.
In my experience, I was brought up by loving and supportive parents.
I wasn’t taught that I had the option to be straight or gay, or to act more masculine or feminine. It was never a subject of conversation in the sense that it simply did not exist in the consciousness of the time and place I grew up in. I was also never forced to have to act in a particular way either. Nor did I ever hear anything negative about homosexuality from my parents.
Looking back, I grew up somewhere in the middle, precariously balancing the masculine and feminine characteristics and energy. This might have to do with how my parents – respectively and equally – taught me the skills traditionally considered masculine and feminine. I learned everything about housework from my mother (cooking, cleaning, sewing) as well as empathy. My father taught me how to fix and build things (electrical, home repairs, fixing the car).
But what my parents never expected of me, was to play sports. My father never displayed an interest in competitive sports, nor did we ever watch sports on television. This classic masculine trait in my father was non existent.
Listen to todays episode and discover how all this lead to my “becoming” as a balanced, gay man.
Further Reading and Listening:
- Forgiveness and Self-Acceptance of Internalized Homophobia – LOP039
- From Sissy Boys to Straight-Acting Gay Men – Forgiveness and Self-Acceptance Starts with Understanding Gay Shame.
Living OUT theme music: “Summer” by Bensound.com ~ Photo by Michael Taggart