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What A Family Is by Bruin Fisher


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Being the father of very nice absolutely straight kid and the friend of very good gay adoptive parents, I'm heartened by this story how families are found and how people of all ages continue to grow into their natures.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Dabeagle

I found myself having to kill a bit of time this morning, and as such catching up on my reading. My father always used to say 'family is what you make of it'. Indeed, I'm not close with the vast majority of my blood relations, and in some cases, relieved to not be. I have used this theme from time to time, but this was an especially strong use of the concept and I enjoyed it very much.

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Nice story. My granddad is 73 and is definitely straight. We've talked about what it was like for gay kids when he was a kid. He says you couldn't be gay and out, or even suspected of being a "homo" because there was the danger of being physically assaulted. He said he knew a couple kids who were gay when he was in high school; they'd been his friends as they were growing up.

Colin :icon_geek:

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The fact you can talk about such things with your Grandad is pretty cool, Colin. He's clearly a great Grandad!

Thanks everyone for your kind comments, I'm delighted you like my story. I'm also very pleased everyone seems to 'get' it - my attempt at showing the 'coming out' theme from the point of view of an old man - and trying to explain how he could have got to his great age without previously coming out. For the older generation today, living a life in the closet is not that unusual. Many friends of mine lived 'straight' lives, even marrying, and only came to terms with their sexuality in later years. Who knows how many people we pass on the street are still in that closet?

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True that, Bruin. My granddad was a great support when Doug and I finally came out to our folks (who'd figured out we were gay and "together" a couple years earlier). I wasn't sure what he'd think but he was absolutely okay with it the same as our folks. We've always talked on the phone and emailed. He tells me stories about growing up in Southern California and I tell him what Doug and I have been doing, at least until my brother Chris grabs to phone away from me to talk to him. He is a great Granddad. I've written two stories based on things he told me about growing up, including Childhood Memories and Bad Haircut.

Colin :icon_geek:

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I hadn't read Bad Haircut before, Colin, and it's an interesting story. Interesting not only because of the haircut plot and your great depiction of what a six year old like Cory can be counted on to get up to, but also because of your depiction of family dynamics. One theme I see here that I believe deserves more attention from some of our writers is that of the wife/mom/boss figure, 'She Who Must Be Obeyed.' She has become almost a cliche in our culture, and yet when I think about it stories about her are far outweighed by our stories about fathers who are drunken bigots beating on their kids. I'd be interested to find out if gay kids had just as much of an issue with dominant mothers as they appear to have had with brutal fathers. I know I did.


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I grew up under three head strong women, yet each differing in their dominance trait. They certainly influenced me, but I was head strong too, as it turned out, and the one thing I did not want was to be like the women in my family.

As I had only remote or weak father figures in my childhood, I was and still am amazed at the number of adult males who are concerned with gaining their father's approval for what they do, and who they are. I understand that has been something I have missed out on, but I also think it has contributed to my sense of freedom and independence from having to live up to a father's expectations. I like to joke that my family got out of my way and let me get on with living my own life, but my formative years were much later than they should have been.

I would certainly make it clear that the reduced role of a father figure in my childhood had no bearing on my sexuality, I was determined to be gay from around five years old, but it took me until I was 15 to realise what my five year old self knew instinctively. It has taken the sexual revolution for me to discover that just maybe, sexuality is much more fluid and evolving for the individual then we presently acknowledge. This doesn't challenge the idea of genetic determination of sexuality, just that without indoctrination and cultural taboos, we humans are more than likely happy to explore sexual expression without restriction, or guilt.

Yeah, there's probably some story material in all of that.

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