When I found out in 1998 that my son was gay, I didn’t know anything about homosexuality. When my wife found out that my son was gay, she was devastated and she told me. As I was first trying to calm down my wife, I started thinking what I could do. A few days later, my son told my wife first, and then me, that he was gay. A few days that passed in between had given me the opportunity to think. I said: “This is your life. You’ll have a hard life. We will always be with you”. As I was saying this, I really believed that he had to decide for himself what kind of life he wanted to live and what would make him happy. In the following days, my son was trying to talk to me but I told him that I didn’t want to. Because I was uninformed and I could unintentionally hurt him. Because he was very sensitive and fragile. Later on, I started getting informed by reading magazines and brochures he left around in the house and I started talking to my son. I learned a lot of things I didn’t know from him. I went to their association a few times. I met other LGBT people and my prejudice started to dissolve. However, I couldn’t share my son’s situation with anyone but a few people in the family and a few close friends. I still thought I accepted my son’s homosexuality. Today, I can, in fact, share my son’s homosexuality with a lot of people, I can give interviews with my name and my picture. I understood that my real acceptance was now. Ten years have passed like this. It was hard. I was carrying the burden of living with a lie. In May 2008, my son told me that two moms (of gay people) and some LGBT people would get together at a cafe and that I could go if I wanted to. My wife and I went to that meeting. There I liked being with people who spoke the same language. When we went there first, I was the only male parent. A mother who saw that I came, phoned her husband and told him that there was a father and asked him to come over, so we were two dads at the meeting now. This made me think that I had a mission to encourage other dads to join in. After that, I tried to participate in every meeting. Later on, two moms went to Italy for an AGEDO meeting and when they got back, we contacted CETAD (an association of medical doctors on sexuality) and we started regular meetings with psychiatrists in October 2008, so my real period of getting informed has started. As we gained information and confidence, we have started giving interviews to magazines and participating in radio shows. There, we used to talk under pseudonyms. Then, for the first time in November 2010, an interview done with us (two dads and a mom) has been published in one of the most widely circulated daily newspapers of Turkey, with our real names and photos. It was then that I understood my son’s homosexuality. I, who had found out about it before but couldn’t share it with anyone, can now openly talk about my son’s homosexuality with everyone. Because I have the knowledge to answer people’s questions and I have confidence in myself. Now, I feel that our real duty is to make a contribution to other families getting better informed and having better relations with their children.
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