- Tom- Tom
This morning I saw an interview in which John Boehner said he would oppose marriage equality even if his son was gay.
When I heard that my father’s second wife had died, I called him to offer my condolences. I told him that I could empathize with his grief having just gone through the death of the man who’d been my partner and committed lover. After my father’s death, I learned that he told relatives that he would never talk to me again because I equated the loss in my “immoral relationship” to the death of his wife. For the record, he did talk to me again – once – to ask for money. And it’s fair of me to say that I was faithful in my relationship. My father was not in his.
What my father grew up with is what Boehner grew up with – prejudice claiming the cover of moral superiority. These are sad men – John Boehner and John Bianchi. My father died in myriad addictions – venomous to the end. When he died, I did not go his funeral. I’d escaped the life in denial he gave me and would not put myself at the receiving end of testimonials from his last drinking buddies about what a great guy he was.
Every gay man who had a father like Boehner – and we are legion, – is Boehner’s abused son. We had to challenge these fathers who refused to know us for the sake of our survival. We are better off when what he stands for passes. And we are right to mourn Boehner’s lost opportunity to grow more human for himself and do good for us.