It’s a good thing I had just left church Sunday morning when I looked at my Facebook page and saw what my son wrote on my timeline.
I sat in my car, looking down at my Droid, staring at the hateful word typed on my page. Just numb.
It’s funny how God gives you what you need just when you need it. Less than an hour before the minister had preached a sermon based on the feuding twin brothers Jacob and Esau from the Old Testament.
The sermon was about how you can’t change other people. You can only change yourself. How you react. What you say. I inhaled and breathed.
My son is going through some serious problems. In the space of year he has been arrested for marijuana possession during a graduation trip to the beach, got failing grades in his first semester in college, dropped out of college, and lost his job at a fast food restaurant.
If he doesn’t pass the next series of drug tests in weeks ahead he could face a few months in county jail for violating probation. It astounds me how my family could go from “A Different World” to “Oz” in one generation.
My ex-wife coddles him, lies to me about what is going on at home, and refuses to listen to me, or family or friends who say our son is disrespectful and needs tough love or things could get much worse. Instead, she blames my leaving the marriage almost three years ago and my new gay sexuality for my son’s issues.
And he eats it up because he can use “My Dad is a faggot” as a trump card to get out of being responsible and win sympathy.
And nevermind that I have been completely open with him about why I left the marriage and my sexuality and kept the lines of communication open. I also continue to pay the bills to keep him with a roof over his head, a Mac book to do schoolwork, cable television, high definition flat screens, WiFi, food in his belly, not to mention heat and water.
Funny, he wasn’t calling me faggot just weeks ago when I was taking him out to dinner at restaurants on U Street, floating him a $100 bill to buy some clothes, and picking up the monthly tab for his Metro commute.
“You are a good father,” my mother says later that afternoon when I tell her. “You support your kids are always there. Live your life and don’t let that nasty ass grandson of mine make you feel guilty. He is out of line.”
My friend the “Mentor,” who is also a gay father, has gone through this with one of his kids. In fact, his son called him faggot in front of friends a few years ago but they are much closer now.
“Stand your ground,” he advises. “You are the father. Believe me they will come around.”
After I saw “FAGGOT” on my Facebook wall I sat in my car for a few minutes and just thought. I ain’t going to lie, the Devil was talking over my left shoulder.
“Drive over to his house right now, grab him and beat the shit out of him,” Satan whispered in my ear. “Fuck that lanky motherfucker up. Shit, he is calling you faggot but that is some punk ass shit to post on your wall. If he was a real man he would have said it to your face but he knows you can beat him up.”
But I thought about Jesus. I thought about visiting the Martin Luther King Memorial on the Tidal Basin and reading his words that hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.
So I wrote to my son on Facebook: “I know you going through a lot. I will always love you and will be here to support you as you work through your issues. Dad.”
And I went to the gym, worked out like a fiend, ran some errands, went home and had dinner with my partner Morgan, and watched the football playoffs.
I looked at at my Facebook timeline today. My son’s comment to me was erased along with my response. I didn’t do it so he must have removed it.
I hope he got the message. There is still hope.