P.A.R.C. Mag Issue #8 - Page 28

P.A.R.C. Mag: With all of the things going through your mind, how was your family? Were they supportive of your son? Did they feed into some of the negative feelings that you had?

Eddie: "My family was always supportive, even when I wasn't. They didn't feed any of the negative feelings I had. My mother, who after reading the book, which everyone has fallen in love with, set the perfect example of what it truly is to love unconditionally. I used to NOT want them to be so supportive and accepting. It's not that my family was promoting his "gayness" but they weren't getting angry and mad like I was when he did or said something that triggered my 'gaydar' alert."

P.A.R.C. Mag: What lessons did you feel necessary to teach your son after this whole ordeal? How are you able to come to terms with everything?

Eddie: "It's not so much about what was necessary for me to teach my son, it's what my son taught me about myself and what it really means to be a father. I wouldn't label it as an ordeal, it's called life. I came to terms with everything when I began, to be honest with the type of person I wanted to be. My son always knew who he was and lived his truth. There was never a question about it, I loved my son. When you love someone you accept who they are regardless of their sexual orientation."

P.A.R.C. Mag: How did your son feel about you writing a book on this situation? What was his initial reaction when you told him you were writing a book?

Eddie: "He was supportive from the beginning and he knew how important a book on this topic is. Homosexual teenagers have the highest suicide rate and I'm sure a father's rejection plays a role in that. I used to hear how proud he was knowing his father loved and accepted who he is, gay and all. So many of his friends don't have support from their fathers and don't even have contact with them, that's sad. We hoped that our story could help mend those relationships the way it did ours."

P.A.R.C. Mag: What was the purpose of your book "VOICE FOR THE SILENT FATHERS"? Do you feel that it was cathartic for you to relieve some of the stress of what you were going through?

Eddie: "The purpose was to let other fathers know that they're not alone and that there's nothing wrong with loving and accepting a child in the LGBTQ community. Writing definitely helped us both heal old wounds. I would send Drew every chapter for his approval and he didn't turn any of them down. Some of those chapters brought him to tears because he felt that I hated him. At times while writing, I would tear up and have to stop, run to the phone to call him and apologize for not handling situations better. I was the parent, his father, his hero and he was just a young kid. No matter how messed up I was, he looked to me for answers to something I didn't have to understand and didn't want to understand. So in the process of writing, a lot of healing was taking place. He ended up understanding why I acted in certain ways and did a lot of stupid things. He knows it wasn't because I hated him. I was just scared, lost, and confused, myself. We now have a healthy father-son relationship and the book helped to facilitate making that happen, which is why it's already a success for us."

P.A.R.C. Mag: Did you want this book to be more of a guidebook for other parents dealing with the same situation? What advice would you give to parents who has a child that may have come out?

Eddie: "It's a book that helps, but to call it a guidebook would be a stretch. It's more of a "what not to do" because I just know I could have and should have done better as a father. But I felt so alone because I never met a father that accepted having a gay son and although I had all the support of my mother and sister...they are women and I needed to talk to a father that understood my confusion, my inner struggle from a man's point of view, one man who knows what I'm dealing with."

"That's what "VOICE FOR THE SILENT FATHERS" is because I've dealt with just about every experience you could imagine being the father of the gayest son on this planet. My advice to other parents who have kids that come out about their sexuality is to practice unconditional love, acceptance, and support. Admit to your child that you don't have all the answers and can't relate to what it is to be gay, but it doesn't matter because the love will never change. And show appreciation that your child trusts you