My name is Ed and I am the very proud father of 3 very special and handsome young men. Stephen, who is turning 18 on October 20, 2007, and Matthew and Philip, who are fraternal twins, just turned 14 on August 13, 2007.
They are my reason to finding the strength to face each day. Given the fact they live in Newfoundland with their Mom and I live in New Brunswick, there have been times when their physical absence from my life has been almost unbearable. Not being able to hold them, hug them and most importantly, just touch their face, has proven to be the most painful feeling I have ever felt as a human being and a dad.
I guess I should give you a little information about me.
I am 44 years old and after living for over 40 years in the closeted, closed-minded world of Newfoundland, events and life made it impossible for me to continue living a lie as to who I am. So I decided to be true to me. Little did I know the journey of awareness, pain, soul-searching, tears, laughter and openness that lay ahead.
So, now I am me!
And the “titles” that I carry are, male, queer, Newfie, homosexual, brother, faggot, uncle, friend, son, grandson, college graduate, and last but not least Father.
My journey of “coming out” involved such events as leaving the province that I had “existed” in for 40 years, leaving my marriage of 22 years, divorce, turning from my entire family due to the fear of losing them when they knew the true me, telling my very religious parents they have a gay son, going through personal financial bankruptcy, moving to 2 new provinces, living on my own for the first time ever!, and the most painful part…. the physical, emotional and spiritual separation from my 3 children.
When I look back over the past 3½ years, there are times when I wonder how I got up in the mornings and how did I find the strength to face the next hour, day and event unfolding!
Given the events in the past 3½ years, I am humbled and amazed to say that my 3 boys have come to terms with having a father who is gay. And with all the pain that goes with it, they still love me for being me, at last!
There is not a day that does not go by when I don’t re-live and experience the pain, fear, loss and other emotions that were a part of my “coming out“ process.
Each day, I work hard to build my life back piece by piece. Some days, I feel like I am really making great strides. Other days, the anxiety and separation between my boys and myself, knocks me back so far from my journey that I have to find the starting line again.
Thank you to the people who have created this forum for fathers to share their journey, their lives and most importantly, show the rest of the world, we do love our children!
As well, I would also like to say “thank you” to
-My friend and “partner to be” Ben for standing beside me when I have been at my lowest and my highest and loving me always – U2!!
-My sister Trudy and Brother Dan – you are what a brother and sister should be!
-Barry Jones – formerly with Gay Fathers of Toronto http://www.gayfathers-toronto.com My other brother!
-My “true family and friends” in New Brunswick.
-Denise – the Mother of my children…
-And Stephen, Matthew and Philip… Thank you for your unconditional love!
Ben and Ed at Pride Moncton Launch – 2007
My babies then!
Stephen – High School Graduation – 2007
Matthew – Summer 2007
Philip – Summer 2007