It's not surprising that our first piece of advice would be on the importance of education. My oldest son started college this week, and is living away from home for the first time. While at school, he will become friends with young men who are finally able to live openly and honestly as gay men. Over time, I hope this project becomes a resource for gay youth who cannot come out at home. And, eventually, I hope this project becomes obsolete because gay youth will never have to be afraid in their own homes and schools.
The opportunity to be fully self-expressed is only one of the advantages of a college education. College graduates make more money on average than people without college degrees. College graduates are more likely to be employed during tough economic times. And college is an excellent way to prepare for professional life.
For some of you, a four year degree is not the pathway to achieving their dream. Maybe you want to take a few years to explore the world, learning from the rich experiences you expect to have. For you, the educational path might be on-the-job training or finding a mentor to help with a start up idea. Perhaps it's trade school or an apprenticeship.
Pick an educational pathway makes sense for you and your dreams, and do it! Your education cannot be taken away; what you learn will be with you forever.
Today's quote comes from Nick Literski, a professional spiritual guide, working primarily with the LGBTQ community to help individuals discover and deepen their relationship with the Divine, whatever form that relationship may take. Nick holds a Master's in Spiritual Guidance from Sofia University, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Depth Psychology with Emphasis in Jungian and Archetypal Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute.
September 29th is an important anniversary for A Father's Pride. In addition to it being the date of the first blog post, which you're reading now, two other important events happened on this date.
Two years ago, in 2013, the idea for A Father's Pride first coalesced. My oldest son had come out about a year prior, and I struggled with the best way to share the most important things I had learned. As I pondered the best way to share the things that I thought would make him happy and successful, I realized that we had already followed two different paths. I got married and had children prior to choosing to live authentically and amicably divorcing his mom. He, on the other hand, came out in high school.
While I didn't have the same experience as my oldest son, many of my friends did. They had already walked the path he was headed down. They could provide advice and counsel that I might not be able to. And for every one of my friends who had some ideas about how to be happy and successful, there were hundreds of other gay men with something valuable to pass on to my son, and boys like him. With that realization, this project was born. And, on September 29, 2013, with the help of my friends, it found its name.
Then, like so many great ideas, the project sat dormant for a while. I was busy with life, work, and raising a son. I made a few attempts to get things started, but it just wasn't good timing.
Then, on September 29, 2014, my second son came out. Where my first son's coming out was anticipated, my second son's coming out was a surprise. This event really brought home the value of multiple perspectives. What might resonate with my oldest son might not resonate with his brother, and vice versa. Once again, however, the project sat dormant as I dealt with a heavy work schedule and a poorly timed broken arm.
While it's been two years in the making, I'm very excited to be sharing this first blog post today. The potential of A Father's Pride is just as real today as it was then. The need for more experienced gay men to share their knowledge and wisdom with gay youth and their dads is still there. The opportunity for gay elders to contribute to the next generation of gay men still exists.
Today I'm inviting you to share your thoughts with me and the gay youth who will eventually see this project. Your advice can cover any topic that you think will help these young men live a happy and successful life, including areas like relationships, money, spirituality, health, or any other part of life where your insight might make a difference.
Thanks for reading, and I'll post more about the project as it moves forward.
I'm a gay father with gay sons. My mission is to work with the community to prepare them -- and other young gay men -- for a happy and successful life.