families

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    Aug 14, 2007 6:47 AM GMT
    I apologize if this is a little long-winded.

    Tonight, I was thinking about the shapes of families and how gay guys participate in them. I wonder what you guys think about this?

    A lot of guys on here have expressed their desire to find "that one guy" to form a couple with. That seems to be the conventional model, in these times, but for gays, it also seems to preclude procreation.

    In American cultures, it seems that the standard role for gay people to take in the rearing of children is merely the eccentric aunt or uncle who lives on the fringe of the family. In some of the more ancient American cultures, gay people had a more central role in the tribe.

    Growing up, I was a disciple of Heinlein. He frequently wrote about families with multiple adult men and women who raised groups of children as little tribes. Heinlein's characters were always strong and willful. They got along together because they were all "right thinking." I can't remember that he ever broached the possibility of gay or bisexual relationships within his little tribes. As far as I know, though he may have been a bit of a "swinger," he never tried such a thing himself.

    Tonight, I watched the movie "A Home at The End of The World," based on a novel by Michael Cunningham. (Oddly enough, I haven't yet read his books.) His story is grows into a three-adult family, though it ends as a tragedy. Here the characters are mostly weak, but somehow complete each other. Come to think of it, most of the stories that I know about three-way families are tragedies.

    Samuel DeLaney went so far as to write about family structures in which there were never any genetic relationships between any of the parents and children.

    The common theme here is that some people may be able to form loving families beyond the bounds of the current dominant model. It seems as if gay people have already taken one big step toward this.

    I do know that there are many unconventional families living quietly, out in little places in the west. I've also known a couple of guys who grew up in authentic 1960's communes. They seem just as twisted as the rest of us. (Although I must say, quite gregarious people.)

    So, there are two themes to this thread: 1) Can you imagine (or have you experienced) stable relationships involving more than two people; and 2) Can you see a role for gay people in raisng children?
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    Aug 14, 2007 1:52 PM GMT
    its just one of those situations where you have to do what suites you .
    i would love to raise children with a partner , nothing wrong with that at all,some children dont have families so if a gay couple can offer them one, with love , fun, education then thats great, regardless of what some people may think.
    a true couple can be many things, regardless of gender...however, after being engadged to 2 women and now being totally gay and experienced relationships with men, it saddens me to say that a relationship with a man is much more difficult/unstable.
    i think families are great, i worship my family and respect them greatly, i hope i can have that with a prtner one day and raise my own family so they can think the same....
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    Aug 14, 2007 2:08 PM GMT
    I was raised by wolves.
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    Aug 14, 2007 2:18 PM GMT
    looking at your picture i would have said more like....shrek !!
  • zakariahzol

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    Aug 14, 2007 2:22 PM GMT
    Since I am from Asia (eventhough I was educated and live nearly 9 years in United States) my value is probably different from most of the Real Jock here. I always believe kid should be raise with mom and dad. I think they deserve a right to live in normal families with parent , brother and sister . I dont mean gay couple is not normal, it just you shouldnt confuse kid with homosexual ideas before they even reach puberty.

    I would love to have chirldren (especially if it is my own biological one) but in this world (my country anyway) that are not favourable to gay people I think is really irresponsible to bring a new life to this world. No , not possible at this moment.

    Just my opinion.
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    Aug 14, 2007 2:36 PM GMT
    Being a parent and having a husband I can tell that, as long as there's love in the couple, gay or straight, and love for the kids (14 and 16), then everything will be fine.

    My children are well adjusted to the situation. They know my husband and loves him. He loves them back. That's all they need.

    The dialogue is always open for them.
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    Aug 15, 2007 2:03 AM GMT
    Heinlein To Sail Beyond the Sunset

    The mother of Lazarus Long repeatedly mentions relations with other women.

    Just so ya know.


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    Aug 15, 2007 2:14 AM GMT
    Wow, GREAT topic. I seriously was going to post something very similar.

    The direct answers to your questions first:
    1) Yes.
    2) I like to think yes as well.

    I agree that there likely are examples of this living quietly... perhaps all over the place. I come from a close knit family, and one of my aunts was always around (she is single, and almost definitely a lesbian, for some reason has never chosen to come out despite having two gay brothers and a gay nephew (me)).

    I like to read evolution theory, and have even come across theories theories that the reason homosexuality hasn't been weeded out by natural selection is that there may be circumstances where it is an advantage to have more than two adults raising offspring (i.e., perhaps in situations where food is scarce).

    On a less theoretical note, here I am two months before hitting 33, and to be frank, I find myself thinking more and more often about having my own biological kids. A long term friend has said she'd happily donate an egg, I just need a uterus, lol.
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    Aug 15, 2007 2:31 AM GMT
    Zakariazol:

    "I always believe kid should be raise with mom and dad. I think they deserve a right to live in normal families with parent , brother and sister . I dont mean gay couple is not normal, it just you shouldnt confuse kid with homosexual ideas before they even reach puberty."

    Are speaking of this as a fact from knowing kids on a personal level who were raised by gay parents...? Or is just a personal assumption based on your personal upbrining and beleives alone....?

    I know a few kids, in their late teens, raised by gay dads. If anything, they are LESS confused about human sexuality and open to learn than kids that grew up in conventional homes.

    Kids do not know anything and they are confused about everything, whether you consider natural/normal or not... What you perceive now is TAUGHT... Sexually is a big taboo and not taught by most tradtional parents until the parents have no choice until puberty is just around the corner... This sets up MORe ignorance, intolerance, and LACK of understanding of human sexuality as it is in nature. These kids will only learn about human sexuality from a very manipulated and shaped form attached with subjective values and not always fact in an open manner, and the value taught in this manner about human sexuality is often the exact contradition from what they see others practice in action... These kids learn contraditions and hypocracy... And often times become ignorant and cloese minded from a very early age...

    Kids from gay families tend to be exposed to the fact of human sexuality from a very early age, which is actually, in my personal observation, the pathway to become much better adjusted and open minded adults, with less confusion...
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    Aug 15, 2007 3:12 AM GMT
    "...I dont mean gay couple is not normal, it just you shouldnt confuse kid with homosexual ideas before they even reach puberty..."

    Will this silly idea never die? I was raised by heterosexual parents, and I am gay. Did the fact that my parents have "straight" sex confuse me into being gay?

    If zachariazol's contention is consistent...to be raised by gay parents is to create sexual confusion....so to be raised by straight parents is to create a sexual identity based upon your parents' model? If that's the case, why am I gay?

    And then underlying this is the outrageous contention that we can pick to whom we are sexually attacted.

    If that were the case, mindgarden and I would be attracted to chocolate cake.

    Please...
  • zakariahzol

    Posts: 2241

    Aug 15, 2007 4:00 PM GMT
    Boy., this the first time since joining Real Jock that I been attack by two hunky stud.

    Really those thing I write is just my opinion. I dont mean to be rude, letting down gay men who what to start a families or anything.

    Fastproof, I was raise by straight parent and I end up to be gay. Surely I dont follow my parent sexual orientation. I never mention anything about having gay parent will influence kid to grow up to be gay. But dont you think this kid will have a harder time growing up with gay parent , rather that straight parent. What are they gonna tell their school mate. What if they became a subject of ridicule among their friend. Doesnt it a little selfish to let this innocent kid go thru all this just because we want them to grow up to be tolerant and more open minded(just like NYC Muscle suggested).

    Its probably easier in some society where homosexuality is acceptable such as in San Francisco or New York. Certainly not in my country. I have never heard any gay man here living together adopting a child ,raising kids. There are a few case of a very famous female politician adopting a kid (strongly suspected to be a lesbian) and a famous male designer (effiminate and single) adopting a kid. But this two people adopting and raising them alone . They never really admitted as gay or living with a partner which is more acceptable in the eye of society.

    I apologize if I hurt somebody feeling here. Just my opinion. Just like I mention earlier I lived in conservative Asia.

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    Aug 15, 2007 4:51 PM GMT
    My model for alternate families is Jesus. He was raised by a single mother. His closest friends were men. The one place he called home was run by two women, Mary and Martha, and the disciple he loved, Lazarus, lived there. He preached that his mother, sisters, and brothers were not his blood relatives, but his Father's children, all of whom are brothers and sisters. There's a great book by Diedre Good, a lesbian minister, called Jesus' Family Values which talks about all the alternate family structures Jesus endorsed.
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    Aug 15, 2007 4:56 PM GMT
    Well I see that there is a lot of work to do in conservative Asia concerning the acceptance of homosexuality.

    My son has no problem with my homosexuality or with the society in general. He still doesn't show any growing up problems. I was stunned by the comments made by "Zakariahzol". I think that, my dear friend Zakariahzol, you have a long way to go.

    My son told his friends about me and my husnband and they thought it was "COOL". Nobody in school laughed at him or anything.

    So where is the problem ? He's a teenager, by the way, STRAIGHT (I don't think that he was influenced by my own sexuality), well adjusted and really mature for his age. He's tolerant and open-minded like his father and his mother.

    I think the word here is "evolution of mentality".

    I'm not the first gay that married, had children and made his coming-out after a few years. Does that mean that every kid that have gay parent(s) are ending up screwed for life ?

    That didn't screw up my kid, not one damn bit !

    That's my own life experience.
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    Aug 15, 2007 5:04 PM GMT
    zakariahzol:

    I don't think anyone meant to attack you. I disagreed with you too, but thought that your initial post was at least an honest counterpoint to some of the other responses. I can respect that whether I agree or not.

    As I have spent more time on the forums here I have come to realize that some people simply have trouble understanding where the line actually is between voicing a dissenting opinion and attacking or bullying a person or their beliefs. Some people also just aren't very careful with their tone, and don't know when they have gone too far.

    Since I don't think anyone on here is an expert in child development (though I am sure some will claim to be), and to my knowledge there no single parenting strategy has been proven above all others (though some will always claim to have all the answers), there will inevitably be times when opinions clash.

    Presumably, the initial post was meant to collect a variety of opinions on this subject. As such, yours is as valid as anyone else's.
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    Aug 15, 2007 5:16 PM GMT
    I DO hope this was a JOKE "eyecatcher" when you typed...

    "looking at your picture i would have said more like....shrek !!"

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    Aug 15, 2007 7:39 PM GMT
    zacharoipol asked: "...I never mention anything about having gay parent will influence kid to grow up to be gay. But dont you think this kid will have a harder time growing up with gay parent , rather that straight parent...."

    Well, that's a different point of view, than what you expressed in your original response to the thread. Here it is:

    "...I dont mean gay couple is not normal, it just you shouldnt confuse kid with homosexual ideas>/b> before they even reach puberty..."

    If you read that, it sure seems like you are suggesting that the kid would have his "orientation" confused with "homosexual ideas".

    That's a lot different than, perhaps, having concern that the kids would be ridiculed.

    By the way, I don't know if you were referring to my post (I doubt it, since I am not hunky... :-) ), but an attack is this "...you are an idiot to believe this. You're stupid..." or something like litally (now gone once again from this site).

    That's a lot different than expressing strong dismay to a stated opinion, and questioning the factual basis or the logic.

    I don't understand why people engaging in discussion founded in a disagreement implies a personal attack. It doesn't.

    Besides, I am Italian, and Italians get passionate about arguments. But it should never devolve into name calling or disparaging comments.

    I do believe, however, that the notion that I have "chosen" to get a hard on with males as implied by reparative movement gays and the religious right, or what I thought you were implying in your original post is silly or stupid, if someone gives it a moment's thought.

    :-)

    John
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    Aug 15, 2007 7:39 PM GMT
    Sorry for the repost. The formatting was messed up.

    zacharoipol asked: "...I never mention anything about having gay parent will influence kid to grow up to be gay. But dont you think this kid will have a harder time growing up with gay parent , rather that straight parent...."

    Well, that's a different point of view, than what you expressed in your original response to the thread. Here it is:

    "...I dont mean gay couple is not normal, it just you shouldnt confuse kid with homosexual ideas before they even reach puberty..."

    If you read that, it sure seems like you are suggesting that the kid would have his "orientation" confused with "homosexual ideas".

    That's a lot different than, perhaps, having concern that the kids would be ridiculed.

    By the way, I don't know if you were referring to my post (I doubt it, since I am not hunky... :-) ), but an attack is this "...you are an idiot to believe this. You're stupid..." or something like litally (now gone once again from this site).

    That's a lot different than expressing strong dismay to a stated opinion, and questioning the factual basis or the logic.

    I don't understand why people engaging in discussion founded in a disagreement implies a personal attack. It doesn't.

    Besides, I am Italian, and Italians get passionate about arguments. But it should never devolve into name calling or disparaging comments.

    I do believe, however, that the notion that I have "chosen" to get a hard on with males as implied by reparative movement gays and the religious right, or what I thought you were implying in your original post is silly or stupid, if someone gives it a moment's thought.

    :-)

    John
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    Aug 15, 2007 9:14 PM GMT
    I am reading The Velvet Rage by Alan Downs. I think it is one of the best books on growing up gay I've read. I like the way he turns the reparative therapy paradigm upside down. I was always told that my absent father and overbearing mother caused me to be gay. I was born straight, according to the reparative paradigm, but my father's rejection and mother's affection turned me gay.

    This book says that I was gay first. It was the fact that I was born gay which made it difficult for my father to bond with me. My gayness caused my father to be absent because he didn't know what to do with me. And so I had to turn to my mother to get the affection I needed. They didn't make me gay.

    It shows why the absent father/overbearing mother motif appears so often in gay men's lives (though it is not, of course universal). It's not the cause of homosexuality--it's the result.

    It is difficult to be born gay in a homophobic society. As your family begins to intuit that you are different, they respond inadequately and sometimes abusively, and it's not your fault.

    The book probably describes the situation better than I do.
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    Aug 15, 2007 9:35 PM GMT
    Funny, a friend of mine recently introduced me to The Velvet Rage. I was not impressed by the book. Many of the author's assumptions simply were not true in my case.
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    Aug 15, 2007 10:14 PM GMT
    I didnt read the Velvet Rage, but my ex-therapist highly recommended it...

    You may want to consult Obscenwish's perspective on this since this is his area of expertise...
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    Aug 15, 2007 10:37 PM GMT
    Zakariahzol...

    You have to take in consideration taht you live in a country where Islam is the officail state religion... I lived in Libya for 4 years as a teenagers. I do not know how fundamentalist it is there in Malaysia, but Islam is not the most open minded faith when it comes to human sexuality. It is on par, if not much worse, than the born again Christian camp of this country when it comes to anything that has to do with human sexuality.

    I just wanted to point out your views may be severely biased and shaped by your religious culture, and that it is far from the facts or even logical by any means of deductive reasoning.

    And that the virtue of this public forum is to be challenged with your views, and get to evaluate any topic with facts and logic rather than unquestioned concepts based soley on assumptions and emotional subjectivity.

    "But dont you think this kid will have a harder time growing up with gay parent , rather that straight parent. What are they gonna tell their school mate. What if they became a subject of ridicule among their friend."

    Kids become the subject of ridicule for the most insignificant things, you cannot prevent that even if you set up the "perfect" environment. And to say, growing up WITHOUT any ridicule and to be always fitting to the mass is not always the best thing for a kid anyway. A kid has to learn not to rely thier internal values and self worth via the means od external validation by the general mass. Why do you think ao many "popular" kids or even kid celebrities end up having such a hard time adjusting to the reality of adulthood?

    "Doesnt it a little selfish to let this innocent kid go thru all this just because we want them to grow up to be tolerant and more open minded."

    Actually, it would be selfish to let the kid experience life being sheltered from facts of life... It is actually UNSELFISH to want them to grow up to be tolerant and more open minded, because this charater carries over to one's own self image and self worth. Youre much better adjusted adults if you have this character... Where do you think self hate, especially amongst us gay men, came from? It has been incubated for a long time as we reach adulthood from this lack of openess...

    So, this is not a personal attack, but just points to make you think about your views and the lack of logic how your views were formed... It has nothing to do with you, it has to do with what you were taught....

    Gay or not, you might be a better adjusted person with less hang ups about human sexuality, different lifestlyes, different values systems, if you grow up with untraditional family/parenting figures, and become a happier adult...
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    Aug 16, 2007 1:58 AM GMT
    Is anyone interested in going back to Mindgarden's original questions?

    I thought this thread had a lot of potential, and would like to hear some more perspectives... Assuming that more people are willing to answer and aren't afraid of being machine gunned by folks with differing opinions.

    The original questions provide an foundation to have a rather deep discussion, and -- I'm sorry guys -- I do believe it is possible to answer them, and have an enlightened discussion, without having the thread devolve into this web site's 9000th pity party on how oppressive the straight world is.
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    Aug 16, 2007 2:11 AM GMT
    "without having the thread devolve into this web site's 9000th pity party on how oppressive the straight world is."

    Has this specific thread even come close of being a pity party on how oppressive the straigth world is...? How so? Where is the evidence as far as this thread...?

    Yes, very intersting topic indeed.

    His 2 questions:
    "1) Can you imagine (or have you experienced) stable relationships involving more than two people"

    That depends on how involved the 3rd party is... 3 somes can be many different combinations of parental figures: 3 gay men, 3 gay women, 2 gay men and a surrogate mother/natrual birth mother, 2 gay women and a surrogate fterh/natrual birth father, a straight couple with a grandparent figure, a straight couple with a divorced natural mother/father, etc, etc...

    Which ones are you talking about...?

    "2) Can you see a role for gay people in raisng children?"

    Of course, it is already a fact of life happening everyday. I know oof a few gay men, single or coupled, had use their sperms to have kids, and one of these men is HIV + (I am not sure how he did it or when he did it)...
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    Aug 16, 2007 2:45 AM GMT
    Italmusclebttm...

    You dont need a uterus... You can hire one..., for 9 months...
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    Aug 16, 2007 2:50 AM GMT
    I don't think it's appropriate to provide "evidence" because I'd rather not point fingers at specific people.

    Question 1 starts with "can you imagine". This means using imagination, not exact, defined parameters. This is not a call for a clinical study.

    Question 2 says "raising children" - not "fertilization."

    Not everything in life is pure, cold science and absolute, irrefutable facts. This is a discussion of theory and, perhaps, personal hopes. Can't we just lighten up?