Support meetings

When you come out, you change—utterly. You are for the first time yourself. And what has an actor got to use onstage but himself?
—Sir Ian McKellen

You're not alone
Questioning 

“I have so many questions. Do I tell my wife and children? When, how? Will they leave me? Should I leave them? Do I want to start over as a gay man? Will my children hate me? Am I using my spouse, am I just afraid to move on? Will anyone understand?”

Many who visit the Gay Fathers Association (GFAS) website are experiencing one of the biggest quandaries in your life─being gay or bisexual and married or partnered with a woman, and having children. Their families may feel like they are on the verge of collapsing, and it all seems to be centered on Dad.

Words from a member
"I knew I couldn’t deny my same sex attraction any longer. Trying to do so was taking its toll on my health and well-being and everyone in my life was suffering. Something had to give!"

Does anyone understand? Yes, but no man has the answers to another’s questions. What GFAS members do have, however, is their own experiences to share with others, and they will listen. Some will have separated or divorced, others will have stayed in their relationships, and a few will have negotiated a new relationship with their spouse or partner. For many, holding on to loved ones and retaining personal integrity will have been like trying to keep sand from slipping through their fingers. Just as inner selves begin to boil over as they embark on the “coming out” process, our husband/father selves panic about hurting our loved ones.

For many men, the realization that they are gay or bisexual happens later in life. Sometimes this realization develops slowly, other times more suddenly, for example, when someone asks outright or a significant male/male friendship develops. Not surprisingly, the psychological cost is enormous and often times accompanied by anger, guilt, defensiveness, lowered self-esteem, depression, isolation, and emotional withdrawal from loved ones.

Words from a member
“As I got older I simply put any thoughts or feelings about men aside, as if I put them in a little box and kept them separate from what I thought of as the "real" me. I appeared happily married, but had a growing dual identity that increasingly confused my feelings.”

 

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