Dear Gay Dude,
My dad has been happily married to my mum for over 15 years. We often tease him about how he must be secretly gay because he listens to Mika, Abba and Will Young and his favourite film is Top Gun. Last night I turned on his laptop and found he had gay porn websites up. He was on private browsing and had an extra private IP address program running. He had an account on the website – it must be something he does often. What does this mean?
Oh my god. Okay, first of all, let me extend to you my deepest sympathies as I’m sure you are tripping out right now. Finding gay porn on your father’s computer definitely ranks high up there on the “Things I Would Never Want To Happen To Me” list.
So your dad is looking at gay porn and you want to know what it means. Hmm, okay. Normally, I wouldn’t have answered this question because it’s so intense but I surprisingly have some experience with gay dads. My father is straight but my mother’s father turned out to be gay or bi (that’s a long story for another day). I also used to date someone whose father had recently come out of the closet, and I have a best friend whose dad came out when she was in her early teens. Through listening to my mom and my friends, I’ve kind of gotten an idea of what it felt like for the family and how they recovered.
I’m not saying your dad is gay but at the same time, an account with a gay porn site is mighty suspicious. You really don’t know the situation though. For example, your mother might even already know about his fondness for men. It could’ve been something that was understood going into the marriage. I don’t know the dynamic of your family but if you have a sibling, maybe you should go to them first. I mean, you have to tell someone obviously. You can’t carry around the knowledge that your father might be gay without sharing it with someone. I think that would make you go crazy.
What I’m struggling with is whether you should go to your mother or father first with the information. If you tell your mother first, you run the risk of her not knowing and it turning into an absolute shitshow confrontation with your father. However, if you go to your dad first and are like, “Hi, dad. What is this I found on the computer?”, he could potentially freak out and pressure you into keeping it a secret, which would be TOTALLY fucked. You do not want all of that pressure and guilt resting on your shoulders. It’s not your job to protect your father. Everyone in the family deserves to know. But it’s hard to say about anything because I don’t know what kind of man your father really is.
However you choose to go about it, you need to understand that it will all be okay. Maybe not at first but it’s important to know that you will survive this. Because at the end of the day, he’s still your father. That doesn’t change. My friends are still very close with their fathers after they went through the gut-wrenching coming out experience. It was certainly hard at first and their families definitely went through a tough period but everything’s okay now. And it will be for you too. Again, I’m truly sorry that you’re going through all of this. I’m sure you wish you could forget that you ever saw the gay porn site. The only thing you can do now is move forward by figuring out what’s really going on with your dad. Talk to someone in the family and take it from there. Good luck!