daddy issues

If you’re looking to read an uplighting story, this one is not it. It’s about to get Debby Downer real quick.

Exactly thirty years ago this month, my biological father died from a tragic accident. I was only 8 at the time and somehow I spent my childhood without grieving the loss.

It wasn’t until I was about 20 years old, watching a movie called My Life. It is about a man (played by Michael Keaton) who is dying from cancer while his wife (played by Nicole Kidman) is pregnant. He recorded videos of himself talking to his unborn child so the child will have memories of his father without ever meeting him.


So, I am watching this movie by myself on Saturday night with a whole box of tissues from just balling as if my father just died. All of the sudden, I felt this huge hole in my life from having very little memories of my father. Unfortunately the memories I do have are the times he was abusive to my mother.


My mother remarried about four years after my father’s death and my step-father pretty much raised me since I was about 12. I even call him my dad and have always referred him as my dad. Back in February of this year, I briefly wrote about my mother and my step-father getting a divorce. Read the story  Fuck Valentine’s Day. For the past four months while my family is going through a major turmoil, the relationship I had built with my step-father had drastically changed. It is, in some ways, re-experiencing the loss I had thirty years ago.

Today, I am fatherless on this Father’s Day, but I am certain I am not the only one. I recently met a cute boy name, James, at a gay bar. He is 21, just graduated from college and was about to start law school in fall. A very successful and ambitious young adult, who seemed so much more mature than me. He grew up without any father at all. He has two moms, a lesbian couple, of which, one of them is a biological mother with a sperm donor. He then eventually met the biological father and has developed a relationship with him. James actually refers him as a dad. I wondered what it was like for him to be raised by a gay couple then also being gay himself. So many of my gay friends grew up without fathers or did not have a close relationships with their fathers. 

Also, as I see my gay friends with children, I asked myself if I could ever become a parent. I don’t get the “awwwww so cute” feeling when people show me their baby pictures. In fact, I totally lose my shit when I am out obnoxious children at restaurants or crying babies on an airplane. But something about helping a person to grow and develop is an appealing concept.

The word father has so many different meanings for many people. It’s also used in Catholic church, which always confused me when I was young. Regardless of being a biological father, there are father figure relationships that is solely based on paternal and protective role of a young person. This also can apply in some romantic relationships of two people. The whole sugar daddy – son relationship is a very complex concept stigma perhaps due to power inequality. Yet, it is so common between a older white guy and a young gaysian. Read last year’s father’s day blog here: happy daddy day.

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