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Raymond

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When I was a 7 year old girl, back in 1964, my father left the family and my parents got a divorce. My mother had to go back to work, she was a teacher, and was able to obtain employment teaching Special Education.

She started dating again. Her second boyfriend was Raymond, who taught at a high school for teenagers with mental and physical handicaps, with my Mom. Raymond was really, really nice to my brother Steve and me. We really liked him. Raymond really loved kids. He was funny and added a lot to our lives.

We were troubled kids, especially my brother, who was very affected by my parents' divorce. Steve was already getting in trouble before that, but he and my Mom sort of fell to pieces after my Dad left to marry his 23 yr old student. I was in my own world, and didn't express my emotions much, and just kept busy with my fantasy world and my stuffed animals.

When my Mom and Raymond called us in to tell us that they were getting married, I was ecstatic! Raymond loved us kids, my own father was never much fun, he teased me all the time, was mean to my brother, and never did much with us. He was basically a self-absorbed narcissist.

Then, some time later, we were told the wedding was called off. I was heartbroken! My mother ended up marrying a man I didn't like, who was mean to me, when I was 10. Later, I asked her "Why didn't you marry Raymond, I loved him?!"

It turns out that Raymond was a homosexual. I think he was trying to have a 'normal' life and wanted a family. I think, if Raymond had become our father, my brother and I would have avoided so many of the problems that we ended up getting ourselves into. Raymond was the kindest adult I'd ever encountered in my young life.

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Many LGBTQ people have tried to hide their identity by getting caught up in a "normal" marriage. I am so glad you at least had a chance to get to know Raymond as a person and not those preconceived notions that some are exposed to just by the label. It is understandable that your mom wanted a heterosexual marriage. What I find so sad is that he was cut out of your lives. He certainly could have continued to be a great family friend, if people really understood. Since it has been years, I suspect lack of knowledge was as much to blame as anything.

I am sorry you lost a father figure only because his sexuality was not conducive to a heterosexual marriage.

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Wanting to be married to someone who is attracted to you is understandable.

Forcing someone who is mean to your kids on them is inexcusable.

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