Updated: Dec 26, 2022
People have essentially two major resources that can be used throughout their lives: time and choice. How we each use them is our opportunity and responsibility. There is also the law of the harvest. For example, if we want to grow wheat, we plant wheat, not oats. We get what we have earned through our endeavors.
Childhood is that important period when boys develop into young men. Sometimes bad things simply happen to good people that negatively impede the growth process. Unfortunate circumstances can prevent a boy’s proper social and emotional growth. When very young, even as infants, children can experience trauma that encourages them to feel insecure around others. They may grow to believe wrong things about themselves and think they are not good enough or unable to do what is needed to fit in with other guys.
Not all, but many issues that retard or obstruct male children’s proper development concern their fathers because they are the first and most influential model of what it means to be a man. Boys critically need their fathers. However, many fathers are absent from the home for various reasons such as being ill or physically and emotionally inaccessible. They may often be away at work, in jail, or go for long periods in the military. Many men leave their families following a divorce. Some fathers are inadequate or abusive.
Children can likewise have problems that discourage father/son closeness. Some suffer from poor coordination or other physical issues. There are many factors that can weaken the bond that should normally grow between boys and their fathers. When this father/son relationship is lacking, it weakens the sons’ ability to be secure in relationships with other men. They may feel incompetent and inferior to other males. They often fail to robustly engage in those team sports and other rambunctious activities boys usually like to share. As they become estranged, they keep themselves apart from those males whom they admire and should be like.
In 1971, New York columnist, Merle Miller, wrote a book entitled “On Being Different: What it means To Be a Homosexual.” He wrote, “The popular boys were the athletes…I ate carloads of Wheaties, hoping I’d turn into another Jack Armstrong, but I still could neither throw nor catch a baseball. I couldn’t even see the thing; I’d worn glasses as thick as plate-glass windows since I was three.” Research has found that most of the boys who grow up gay have experienced some form of relational trauma in their early lives. John Reid, aka Andrew Tobias, wrote of his childhood. He had no close male playmates, didn’t get along with his older brother, and was not allowed to work with his father as a painter or do other male things. He helped with feminine chores. He also did not fit in with the jocks. He wrote of painful times at camp, unable to play ball like his idol, Tommy, wanting to fit in, but able to do so. “But, oh, what I would have given to be Tommy’s best friend. God, how I wanted. to be like him, to do the same mischievous, self-assured things he did, to have muscles, blond hair, and a smile like his. …Just to be like the Hardy Boys, two blood brothers, two cowboys . . . that‘s it: two cowboys” (emphasis original).
Olympic diving champ, Greg Louganis, hated his father, as did celebrated gay scientist, Simon Levay. Football standout, David Kopay, and actor, Alan Cumming, wrote of their violent and abusive fathers. As alienated boys and as men, they become hungry and desperate for the love and male bonding they did not adequately receive growing up. Psychiatric researcher, Richard Green, studied the lives of gay youth and found them to be “male affect starved,” hungering for the love of men. Noted gay author, Martin Duberman, wrote, “In some complicated way I think all my homosexual activity is an attempt (among other things) to identify with a masculinity I never was sure I had. Simply, entered by a man is perhaps the most direct way of incorporating and absorbing that masculinity.” Gay author, Douglas Sadownick, wrote about two associates, prominent gay writers and activists, who were approaching death from AIDS. They were “… in their final moments, reduced to tears at the way in which the love from father (or father surrogates) seemed so out of reach. (One pensively questioned) ‘Were we looking for our fathers through so much sex?’” There are so many parallels in the early lives of those who become homosexual.
The bounds of physical and moral truths cannot be ignored without consequences. Young boys, like tender seedlings, cannot develop optimally in an unhealthy social environment. They need sustained loving relationships in an intact family comprised of both mother and father.
Growing into and beyond homosexuality follows lawful, definable paths. Those who wish can learn about those developmental issues that adversely affected them. They can also learn of options available to them that can help them get their legitimate same-sex emotional and social needs rewardingly met. They do have a choice as to how they wish to live their lives. Such options will be explored in a future blog.