Cabiosile Chango because you have given me the truly beautiful gift of a child. One that is, like yourself, both handsome and intelligent. He has been your child since his conception and I praise you for taking care of him!
For those of you who don’t know, my exwife and son live in Miami and I live in NJ. This weekend, they went to a celebration and he was talking to some other santeros about becoming a babalawo and el paso de IfÃ¡.
At some point (and mind you, I’m paraphrasing much of this from what I gathered) he was talking to his [church] godmother (who is my yubonna) about what the santeros were saying to him and he, naturally, asked if he’d be doing IfÃ¡ with me (since we made ocha together). His godmother simply said “your father can’t be a babalawo.”
Later he was talking to a [ocha] godbrother and asked him if he would be doing IfÃ¡ and he said that he could not be a babalawo.
“Why is that,” asked my son.
“Because I am gay,” said his godbrother.
On the drive back home, my son asked my exwife “Is Dad gay?” She said, “I don’t know, you’ll have to talk to him about that.”
My son is now 12 years old, going on thirteen. He has entered puberty and I have known for some time that this day would come.
The worst part, ironic and comical as it may be, is that his little sister, who is not my biological daughter but who has adopted me as her father as well, says to him “DUH! Yes he’s gay!”
She called me and recanted this little story to me telling me that her daughter’s remark left her dumbfounded. She would say neither yay or nay nor would she offer any opinion. We discussed long ago that the day I have to sit with him on this subject, I would be alone.
- And rightly so, I suppose. I have spent many years thinking of what I would say or do in this very situation. In the meantime I have forged a very strong bond with my son (forging, because that is what OggÃºn does!). I have let him see me for who I am. I did not put on any masks and to him I have always simply been Dad.
I’m actually quite calm about this situation. I am confident that my relationship with him will vary only slightly due to this revelation. Once I have time to have a detailed conversation with him about it [without getting into any specific detail], I trust that this extraordinarily intelligent young man will simply say “okay, I understand,” and continue as he has always been.
I have never lied to him [although I have concealed this] nor have I purported to be someone that I’m not; a faker, a poseur. I have shared with him the things that I like and dislike [again not in specific detail] and he knows me as to the core as I think he can for his age.
Now he has a little bit more to work with. Being that he has entered puberty, it’s the right time for him to start digesting this before he can be corrupted by a homophobic society-at-large.
ChangÃ³! Give me the wisdom to speak to him in a manner that he will understand and give me the strength to clear this hurdle unscathed. I pray that you do not let this be the feud between father and son, omo OggÃºn and omo ChangÃ³.
This was written as a blog on MySanteria Community by JavierOggun one of our members.