Ask Athena: I Found Gay Porn on My Dad's Computer | Ask Athena | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice
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Ask Athena: I Found Gay Porn on My Dad's Computer 

Dear Athena,

A few years ago, I used my dad's computer. I accidentally came across a porn site he'd been to. That's fine, but it was a gay porn site: men on men. He's been married to my mother for almost 30 years. I'm sad, confused and shocked about it. I called a crisis hotline. I wasn't suicidal, but I was so upset. Does my mom know? Did he marry her because he wasn't sure, was in denial or is selfish? Is he depressed about it now?

This is also incredibly upsetting because I am gay. My father and I have always been antagonistic toward each other (unrelated to my sexuality). Is part of it because he sees himself in me? Is he jealous? I have thought about staying in the closet, marrying a woman and having a family. But I realized that would be a selfish thing to do.

Do I tell anyone? I have siblings I'm close with. Do I tell them after he passes? I don't think I can tell anyone while he's alive, and I don't want to tell my mom. But what if she already knows?

Signed,

Freaked TF Out

Dear FTFO,

I can almost hear your stress right now. You feel like your life with your family could be a lie. You sound like someone who loves his family and wants what's best for everyone involved.

Here's the thing: You don't know anything for sure. So your dad looked at male porn — it doesn't necessarily mean he's gay or he doesn't love your mom. Whatever your dad's sexual identity, your parents' relationship is probably way more complicated than you ever imagined. And what happens between them is their business — not yours.

You can learn to accept that. But, since it sounds like you're unable to move on without peace of mind, there's one person you can turn to for answers: papa dearest.

This could be the hardest conversation you two ever have. You will feel uncomfortable and vulnerable. Your dad may be embarrassed, but I imagine it will be more important to him to assuage your concerns. He may not tell you everything, but at least you'll have confronted your fears and concerns.

I'm troubled by your consideration of waiting until he passes to talk about this. Trust me, you don't want to wait 'til anyone is dead to figure shit out. Ask now. Before you assume the role of memoirist, you ought to get the rights first.

Proceed with love, and know when to mind your own business. I hope you find the clarity you need.

Yours,

Athena


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