When dad becomes a mom

Q: I am a single parent with a wonderful 15-year-old son. My son’s father, my ex, is a gay man. We’ve accepted this and we love him dearly, but there are issues affecting my son which my ex is ignoring. My ex has also been diagnosed with HIV. This was heartbreaking news for all of us. Now my ex has announced that he is undergoing hormonal treatments to become a woman. He kept his therapy and the entire process a secret until two weeks ago. My son is deeply disturbed by this — and I don’t know how to help him. I’m not saying that my ex should put his life on hold for us, but he has blatantly disregarded how his choices affect our son. Our son was told about his dad’s sexuality when he was younger. But as he got older, he began to fully understand the hatred, bigotry and ignorance in our society when it comes to having a gay loved one. Unfortunately, his father has flaunted his sexuality in inappropriate settings (school) where other children noticed. I explained to my ex that I wasn’t asking him to give up who he was, but to be more aware of how his behavior affects our son’s life. My ex has hit us with one thing after another. My son is truly upset at the prospect of having two moms. I don’t know how to make my ex see that it’s not just about him. —Heartsore and Saddened

A: On the one hand, HAS, I want to tell your son that it’s not his father’s fault that some people are hateful and ignorant. Your ex shouldn’t have to hide his sexuality at your son’s school any more than my boyfriend and I hide our sexuality at our son’s school. (We also don’t flaunt our sexuality — i.e. we don’t make out at parent-teacher conferences and we don’t wear those hi-fucking-larious “Pitcher” and “Catcher” T-shirts when we have his friends over for a play date.) It simply isn’t fair of your son to hold the existence of anti-gay bigots against his father, and I sincerely hope my son won’t hold their existence against me. On the other hand ... divorced parents, gay dad, the HIV bombshell ... and now, so suddenly, a woman. That’s an awful lot for a high school kid, especially a boy, to deal with. The tranny activists are going to jump down my throat for this, but it seems to me that your ex could’ve put off the sex change until after his son was out of high school. One of the things parents are supposed to do is make sacrifices, big and small, for the sake of their children. And while I think people have a right to do pretty much as they please (and parents are people), I also believe that children have a right to some stability and constancy from the adults in their lives. Perhaps I’m a transphobic bigot, but I honestly think waiting a measly 36 months to cut your dick is a sacrifice any father should be willing to make for his 15-year-old son. Call me old-fashioned. Unfortunately, your ex wasn’t willing to make that sacrifice (selfish tranny!) or it never occurred to him to make that sacrifice (stupid tranny!). So what do you tell your son? Tell him his father can do what he likes — suck dick and flaunt it; get his dick cut off and flaunt that. If Dad chooses to live as a woman, there’s not a lot you or your son can do. But guess what? Your son is old enough to do what he likes and if he chooses to live without seeing or speaking to his father, there’s not a whole lot his father can do. If your son can’t deal with having his dad/mom/whatever around right now, support your son and tell his dad/mom/whatever to leave the two of you alone for the time being. Don’t get me wrong, HAS: I hope in the long run that your son eventually accepts his dad/mom/whatever and forgives his dad/mom/ whatever for being selfish and imperfect. When your son is an adult, he’ll hopefully be able to forgive his dad/mom/whatever for his selfish decision to run off and have a sex-change operation when his only son, like all teenagers, was struggling with his own identity and didn’t need to struggle with his father’s identity. Good luck.

Q: The Web has been useless in helping to further my goal of finding a nice, non-fucked-up yuppie dominatrix. It would be easier for me to find a sadistic male master, I think, if I were gay. I am jealous of gay culture on this score, but bellyaching serves no purpose. Will I ever find an abusive female partner or are statistics working against me? —Sadly Undominated Bottom

A: Since sexually dominant women are rare, SUB, finding one can be difficult. So why not make one? Meet a nice, non-fucked-up, yuppie woman and once you’ve determined that you like her, let her know about your kinks. Don’t be creepy about it; most sophisticated women, yuppie or otherwise, are aware that there are kinky men out there. So no need to make a tearful confession, SUB. Instead, initiate an upbeat, alcohol-fueled conversation about her turn-ons, your turn-ons, her wildest experiences, your wildest experiences, her ultimate fantasies, your ultimate fantasies, etc. You might have to repeat this process with two or three women before you meet one who is either willing or aching to abuse you. Good luck.

Q: Every once in a while you print a letter from a desperate reader who needs help pulling off a hard-to-realize fantasy. I hope you’ll help a nice, normal gay couple out. My boyfriend of five years wants to be ordered around and, um, fucked completely senseless by a hot, muscular, older, prematurely gray daddy type. (I’m not the daddy type myself, sadly.) My boyfriend is 29, has a beautiful face, a hot body and the world’s greatest butt and he wants this daddy-type guy to be straight and/or married. I told you this was a tall order. We’ve seen lots of letters in your column from “mostly” straight married guys who want some gay action on the side. If there’s one out there reading this, we’d love to hear from him. We’ve been monogamous up to this point, we’re HIV-negative, and we’re looking for total discretion. (We don’t want our friends to know about this any more than our ideal straight guy, if he’s out there, wants his wife to know about it.) If a good-looking, mostly straight, in-great-shape, gray-haired “Savage Love” fan out there wants the occasional boy on the side, he should drop us a note. And you’re probably wondering what’s in this for me. My boyfriend will love me for making this happen and I would really get off on watching. [email protected]

A: Actually, [email protected], I’m wondering what’s in this for me. I guess it gets my good deed for calendar year 2003 out of the way, but that’s about it. Anyway, you’re welcome.

Contact Dan Savage at [email protected]

About The Author

Dan Savage

Dan Savage is a sex-advice columnist, podcaster, and author, and has appeared on numerous television shows. His sex advice column “Savage Love” first appeared in The Stranger, Seattle’s alternative weekly, in 1991. The column is now syndicated across the United States and Canada. He has published six books...
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