I have put considerable thought into Fathers without being able to put into words how the book speaks to me and would speak to others.
Last night I asked my wife what she thought about when I asked her what the gay lifestyle was like. Now, keep in mind that she has a baptist background and, like me, belong to a very conservative pentecostal religious community.
“If you would have asked me ten years ago, I would say that gay people go around looking for boys and men to have sex with. They are deviants who crave immoral sex. But, I know better than that. They are people who have jobs, pay bills and taxes, have interpersonal issues, and worry about tomorrow. In other words, they are normal.”
And, if I could summarize how Fathers impacted me, the phrase would be compellingly normal.
I believe that a gay person who reads this would feel normal. I lost friends due to AIDS in the 80’s who felt anything but normal, whose family dynamics were similar to the Pinchas family. I believe a “breeder” (I really did laugh out loud when this term was used) would react with empathy to the characters and situations in the book and be convinced that Lynn and Mark were both experiencing human situations.
Being gay is legal and socially acceptable in the public forum. But, on the community level, I fear that being gay is not “normal.” I think anytime someone is labelled, some sense of normality is stolen.
I have many friends who are our age who have struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts because they believed they were not “normal”. I will share your book with them. Well, the link. They have money and damn it, they can pony up!
My sincerest hope and prayer is that you will continue to write stories like this. Fathers didn’t make me think, it made me process.