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I AM JOHN BOEHNER’S SON

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.

Tom_Bianchi_at_2

Me at 2 years old.

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.

 - Tom

 

3 Responses to “I AM JOHN BOEHNER’S SON”

  1. Steve In Palm Desert CA says:

    So very, very & tragically true. My Father passed away before I told him that I was gay, but I know he knew. And when I told my Mother, she first told me that my Father would be turning over in his grave. That was when I was 30. When my partner of 14 years died of AIDS in 1994, it took my Mom about a year to finally tell me that she knew, that I knew, the meaning of loss – her way of finally telling me that she realized the love I had for another man. To her dying day, from then, she could not have loved me more – but I know she prayed every day for me to be “straight.” Thank you for writing such a poignant statement of your life. I will keep you in my thoughts when I pray to the Lord each evening . . . Tom, the best for you -
    Steve

  2. Dan says:

    I lived in abject fear of my parents’, especially my father’s, potential rejection until I finally met a man I thought I could share my life with. It was at that point that I decided I could no longer hide my truth from them. It turns out my fears were completely unfounded. They both loved Todd as though he were anyone I decided to love. He became their “4th son” and I became a little less cynical. Todd is now an ex and my father is now dying of cancer but he encourages me to keep searching. In tribute to his trust, acceptance and love, I will.

    Face the wind and shed what holds you back…it’ll be cool.

  3. Derrick says:

    I was very fortunate When first told my father I was very worried about it you see he was this matcho NHL hockey player. And this was in the 70 when we hardly knew what gay was. But I will never forget getting it out and telling my Father at dinner I was gay. There was silence all around the table for a few second that seemed like an eternity. Then my Father looked me in the eyes and told me he just wanted me to be happy no matter what and he would always love me. How cool is that for a macho hockey player. And we still tell each other that we Love each other to this day.

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