I tend to listen to music while doing anything on my computer. Whether I am studying, playing video games, doing some paperwork, or in the case of the last six months I would be working, I would always have my earphones plugged in, acting as a bridge between my mind and the world of music, may it be my Spotify playlists or my YouTube mixes. The music has the ability of helping me focus more and analyse things in a quicker way. As weird as it sounds, I manage to simultaneously work, focus on the music and even sing along.
Last week, I was playing a mix on YouTube, which results in the occasional ad when transitioning from one song to the next. My reflex would usually be to skip and go back to listening to the songs I initially asked for. Not this time. I actually stopped what I was doing and focused on the advertised song that had come up.
The song was called Boys In The Street and was being interpreted by former Britain’s Got Talent sensation Calum Scott. The original song was written and performed by Scottish singer Greg Holden in 2015. The song talks about a father coming to terms with his son’s homosexuality. A process that takes throughout the father’s entire lifetime until he eventually accepts his son for who he is.
What surprised me even more about this song, aside from the accuracy in the lyrics of how this type of story is usually narrated as well as the simplicity of the music behind it, is the fact that Holden is actually a heterosexual. His objective was not to self-promote nor was it to claim that he knows the struggles and tensions that arise from these situations.
The song got me thinking until today. On different levels, in a world that is evolving quickly and trying to keep up with the pace of accepting of what is different, it might be understandable that some parents would first react that way at receiving such news from their child. The generational gap in terms of knowledge, values and norms is important and therefore it may take them time to fully grasp what is happening, let alone accept it. Some parents learn to eventually accept it, some at a faster rate than others.
However, the thing that bothers me on that matter is the idea of perceiving your child as anything less of a human being. At the end of the day, it is not the first thing parents and children will have diverging views on, and it surely will not be the last. The divergence can come in different forms: political, economic, social, religious, sexual, and so on.
Eventually, you may disagree with your parents (or with your child if it is the other way around), but that does not mean that you care any less for each other. Sometimes, there are things that we are unable to know or understand, but maybe it means that we do not always have to. You still love each other and will still support each other through it all, even if you disagree. This is what a family is truly all about.
It is never easy to accept what is different to us, but this is how we learn to move on as a human species and to live together. We start winning such fights when people who are negatively affected by the current status quo join forces with those who are. May it be racism, sexism, homophobia, and others.
If you relate in any way to Greg Holden’s song, I cannot claim to understand what you are going through as I have never been there myself.
However, I want you to know that you are allowed to love anyone you want, as long as it is done in a respectful way to the two of you and that it makes both of you happy.
I am not a father yet, but thanks to people like you who have come forward, I feel able to be a good source of support if/when my child would ever trust me enough to let me in.
“Every child deserves home and love. Period.”
– Dave Thomas