A short while ago, I was in Key West, Florida, having the time of my life and making incredible connections with folks from all over the country.
As I was enjoying a night out at a local watering hole, I started up a discussion with a guy who informed me that he was about to tie the knot. The joy he was feeling was palpable. We discussed the wedding plans in detail, and he raved about how wonderful his future wife is. He gushed about how lovely she was, both on the inside and out. He was eager to tie the knot and start his new life with her.
His subsequent words, though, were a crushing blow to my emotions. This is his story in his own words:
“I won’t have my gay son re-enter the closet…”
At 17, I became a dad. Since that time, I’ve been raising my son alone as a single parent. It was tough to make ends meet for a long time, but I always tried to provide for my kid as best I could.
Currently, my kid is 22, and I own my own company. He works full-time in my office while also attending college. I accepted him wholeheartedly when he told me he was gay when he was 14 years old.
About three years ago, I met the woman who would become my future wife. Also, she is from a very devout and traditional family, yet they have never shown any hostility toward my son. Nothing she has ever told me, at least. When my son was 16, he started seeing his current partner, and through the years, I’ve grown to know him rather well.
Although my fiancee has lately informed me that she does not want my son’s boyfriend to attend our wedding. Furthermore, she does not want her family to suspect that my kid is homosexual in any way. She claims that he would cause a major uproar if her family found out he was gay. Seeing that I won’t have my kid re-enter the closet, this greatly irritated me.
Can you tell me what the future holds?
As soon as my own kid ties the knot? When it comes to other family gatherings, do they want him and his spouse to be banned?
To refuse him a plus one just because her family has a problem with gay people would be cruel since he is my son and will be the best man. I informed her, and she became extremely furious, accusing me of being oversensitive and petty since it was just for one day and because she wanted a flawless wedding. This, I informed her, was not acceptable, and I would not dare force my son to leave his partner at home. Since I was also his boyfriend, I’m getting married as well.
When I brought it up again the next day, I was ignored and the topic was never brought up again. My wedding plans are in serious jeopardy as a result of the very bitter aftertaste it has left in my mouth. Because of the possibility of discrimination against my kid, I refuse to marry into that kind of family. While my fiancée has my undying affection, my kid comes before anybody else. My brother heard about this and told me I was being a total jerk, that it was just for one day, and that now that my kid is an adult, he probably won’t spend much time with his “step-grandparents” anyhow. Even now, I’m really considering calling off the wedding because I just can’t get over how uncomfortable I am with the whole thing.
Could it be that I’m being too critical? Should I just let it go for the sake of my kid’s future and let him deal with his own problems when the time comes? Or is this a deal breaker that I’m absolutely justified in refusing to budge on?
This is what I told him:
It is understandable that you are feeling upset about this situation. It is not easy to watch your child be discriminated against, and it is even harder to know that you may have to choose between your child and your future spouse.
However, on one hand, it is important to remember that your child is an adult now, and he or she will have to deal with their own problems in the future. As a parent, you can only do so much to protect your child from the hurt and pain of the world.
On the other hand, if you feel like this is a deal breaker for you, then it is probably best to call off the wedding. It is not worth sacrificing your own happiness or your relationship with your child just to appease your future spouse’s family. Your child is more important than anything else in this world, and they deserve to have a parent who is willing to stand up for them.