Smearing the Queer Dad

Smearing the Queer Dad

Two weeks ago, a Reddit user by the name of goldenboy219 submitted a photo that depicted a man wearing a T-shirt that read, “I Heart My Gay Dads.” (Shameless plug: the newly launched Gays With Kids product line for gay dads is way cuter.)

At first, the photo seems like nothing more than a touching display of affection between a gay father and his straight son — Just your daily dose of Internet “aww” on par with interspecies animal romances or twin babies who develop a secret language.

But then you’re likely to notice the photo’s caption: “I complimented this guy for his shirt,’ it reads. “He thanked me and told me he got it because it makes his dad mad.”

Why, you might wonder, would a gay dad be upset by his son proclaiming his support on a T-shirt? Well, it might be because the man’s not gay at all.

According to Gay Star News, who reached out to goldenboy2191 — whose real name is Jimmie Berguin — after his photo generated over 1,500 comments and counting and landed on the site’s front page —the man in the photo intentionally wears the T-shirt whenever he visits his straight father at work to “make all his dad’s co-workers laugh.”

You would be right to point out that some random straight man belittling our families somewhere in the annals of Reddit’s “hive mind” is the very least of the issues affecting the LGBTQ community — you hopefully have better things to do than to troll the internet looking for things to be offended about.

So allow me to be “triggered” on your behalf. What, exactly, is so funny about this “joke”? Is it the part where this man’s father is “mad” about being inferred to be a gay dad, like this misconception is so alarming that is should rightly provoke anger? Or that his father’s co-workers find the idea of a gay father so unbelievably outlandish they find it laughable?

Don’t get me wrong; we gays can take a joke. (Heard the one about the homosexual dentist? I’ll let you google it.) But we’ve been taking these jokes from straight men since the creation of the schoolyard bully. And while no queers were smeared in this man’s prank of his father, it is also just another childish example of a straight man using a gay man’s identity for his own amusement.

For what it’s worth, Berguin, the original poster of the photo, says he doesn’t suspect any malicious intent on the part of the son. He saw the situation, in fact, as an example of the “great relationship” that exits between the father and son; “pranks” such as these, he says, are just “one of the ways they bond.”

Well, that’s sweet. Still, it’s a wonder that two grown heterosexual men can’t find other ways to bond with one another without making gay fathers the butt of their joke; seems pretty gay if you think about it.

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