We are not a religious organization. We are men who are daddies and who are gay. The group has been in existence since April of 1982, here on LI. We meet once a month. We are an informal discussion group. We meet to socialize, to offer emotional support to each other and discuss issues that arise regarding our children, spouses, family, job, neighbors etc. It is a safe environment for men to meet and discuss matters of interest. Currently, we are an older group. Most of us have established friendships and for some, marriages. We have helped each other through the struggles of coming out. Some members have been out for years, others are coming out and for some they don't see a need to come out. In any case, we are there to help each other. We have many years of experience among us in dealing with homophobia and parenting. For some, coming out is an ongoing experience especially when our Child(ren) marry and when grandchildren are born. We have the life experiences regarding our own children and then we encounter similar life experiences with the in-laws of our children.
We still believe there is a need for our group. There are still people who hate and some are just plain misguided. Our group is much older and somewhat complacent because we have discussed every topic possible among ourselves many times over and over and, have experienced all we can in being dads who are gay. We get very few dads contacting the group. We get very few new members to share our "wisdom". But, we know there is still a need for our type of group. There are limited outreach resources to inform men of our services on LI.. The gay life on LI is very much blended and most guys who do contact us are younger. It seems the younger dads are not comfortable being with older guys claiming they don't have much in common! Unfortunately, they miss the purpose of the group and what originally motivated them to seek out a group like Gay Fathers of Long Island (GFLI). The issues are still there ... not everyone on Long Island is accepting of a gay dad or a gay couple when it comes to their children.
Not all men feel confident in dealing with their sexual orientation and raising a child9ren). To an extent, being gay and having a child still creates an issue here on LI. Regardless of the extent, it is very comforting to be able to socialize with men in a similar life style. . . being a parent and being gay. There is a difference if the dad is straight, gay or bi. Yes, a parent is a parent -- gay or straight or bi. But, there are extenuating factors in each sexual orientation that can interfere with effective parenting communicative skills. Being in a group likes ours gives the dad an opportunity to discuss his life situation with other guys who had similar experiences and having the other dads share how they handled and resolved their life situations. Also, the life situations we discuss are not always gay related. We also discuss general matters that men have in common.
If you are gay and a dad via marriage, adoption, surrogate or a granddad and feel alone, contact me. Please be sincere and an adult. We can meet in person and/or talk on the phone. Also, let me know if you are just seeking information. Brian
do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers