To be honest: I'm still not 100% out, though I think the rest of the world has figured it out. It's a left over part of 'Don't Ask, Don't Speak' (No I'm not using this wrong, I assure you). If you never admit it to someone, then you are just neutral. You don't mean anything to them. You're not "that" and you're just simply you. It's a topic that isn't spoken about.
But today is Father's Day. And I don't have any children. Yet. That's a different topic for another day.
But I am a godparent/guardian to several children all from different families. My role is pretty much this, with the exception of a few, their parents are good friends of mine and their parents value my understanding of their child and have bestowed upon me the responsibility of making sure their child is well looked after in the case of their sudden death. Most of the children will actually move in with family. But I have a moral responsibility that has been dictated in wills and trusts. Some, it's strictly religious. Other's it's mentoring. But being the responsible person I am, I am at major birthdays, major family events, major milestones. And for the religious roles, I have discussed the role of faith, self respect (sexually and otherwise), and been that third neutral adult in family lives that doesn't dote, but isn't an authoritarian.
But while I'm certain the oldest 5 have 'figured it out', today, I get to sit down with the group aged 14 to 5 and tell them. I'm a lesbian. That I am not allowed to get married, so please stop asking. That maybe one day, they'll get to meet someone who will be more than just a friend. I will hold her hand. That I don't bring this up all the time, especially when we have church events. That they may notice that I may not take part in certain events because I am gay.
But why on Father's Day, not on Mother's Day?
Because I want them to understand that hard choices are made by everyone, every day. Because I need them to learn the sort of silent resilience that has taken so long for me to learn to deal with. That because I'm neither a 'mother' nor 'father', and I'm never intending to be either to them. The difference is minute. For most of them, I'm not the first gay person they've met. But I'll be just about the only gay person they will have recognized.
Fathers define. Dads love and nurture. I'm going to define this tiny segment of their lives. And answer their questions, the ones today, and the ones in the future. I'll always be the rock that they can turn to without judgement, without harm because my priority in their lives is simply just to make sure they can get through the hard parts in life with just enough ability to read their own moral compasses.
I'm prepared to understand that they may turn their back on me one day, even today. That won't change my role. That won't change the fact that I'll handle their lives fairly should I be called upon. But it's time they knew.
Part of the reason I started writing here, in this blog, was because I hadn't really come out.