Pigeon Holes

Do you ever find that without you doing much you have been placed in a pigeon hole? Judgements are made and those opinions stick with you. You are effectively the short, fat, old, ginger, gay, black … guy

Well, when I identified as ‘gay’ (because I am so, not a choice then) I was OK to find my pigeon hole was with gay men, lesbians and bisexual men and women. It worked, we all were attracted to someone of the same gender (at least sometimes in the case of bisexuals).

True, I rapidly discovered it wasn’t that simple. You see, I was not a stereotypical gay man. No, a stereotypical gay man was gay first and foremost. Everyone had to know they were out and proud, they were not monogamous, they were often rude and opinionated and, well, I wasn’t. I also discovered that actually, quite a lot of lesbians really don’t like men at all be they gay or heterosexual and, as for the bisexuals, well, no one ever quite knew where they were with them.

But, basically, I was part of the LGB ‘community’. Community is actually a really bad word, it totally isn’t! It’s full of cliques, and this group, that group, tops, bottoms, versatiles, leather queens, twinks … of it so goes on!

But, if someone (clearly not thinking much) wants to put me in the LGB pigeon hole, then OK.

Except now it isn’t OK!

Imagine you are in your lovely Catholic support group and then you discover, it’s no longer the Catholic support group but rather, the multi-faith support group! I mean, a radical departure right. Now imagine it is the black and multi-faith support group, wow, suddenly it feels like it’s not your group any more right?

So, imagine, if you will, how I felt when I’d just got used to this LGB thing when suddenly I was now in the same pigoen hole as trans and heaven knows what other gender issue groups there are.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone is entitled to their own unique community but, what do trans people have in common with LGB? One is about sexuality and the other about gender and, news flash, these are not the same thing.

I therefore disconnect myself, I have left the pigeon loft and am a community of one

(unless other gays choose to join me).

Are single dads treated differently to mums?

I would argue that absolutely this is the case!

  • Mothers who genuinely believe only they are uniquely capable of raising children
  • Women who have been surrounded by women dealing with women their entire career who just do not really understand why a man is trying to raise children
  • Women who feel men are heroes for doing what every parent should do regardless of gender
  • Organisations which are mainly female dominated such as education, health, social care and so on who instinctiverly look for the Mrs to write to or telephone and then, when they cannot find her, wonder if the ‘father’ perhaps needs some parenting support because, it won’t come naturally to him.

Yes, those above groups are the main offenders but, let’s not forget the:

  • Men who feel the place of a woman is in the home, doing the cooking, cleaning and raising the kids, after all, Mums’ gone to Iceland.
  • Mothercare because, only mothers need to buy nappies
  • Mother and toddler groups, yes, they still exist
  • Netmums. Isn’t it strange as that is seen as a group of mums just being mums whereas a male group trying to do the same thing would be seen as political.
  • The assumption that men are potential abusers whereas, ‘mothers’ could never do such a thing.
  • Those who feel on a mother can truly ‘get it’.
  • Only a mother can comfort a screaming child

Yes, I have experienced all of the above. I’d like to say only once or rarely. I’d like to say that in 2024 it doesn’t happen but, yes it does. The assumption is still there that really, they’d all rather be dealing with their mother. That any claims of inappropriate behaviour or risk a father might mention about the mother if not taken seriously as ‘obviously’ he has an agenda.

Then there is this widely held belief, held as much by men as men, that men are just not cut out for it, they just are wired wrong. Lazy arsed me go along with it because, frankly, that means the mother changes the nappies and, women persist in the belief to maintain their central role.

Above ar the top 8 searches for ‘parent uk’ on Google

Reassuring that the first is actually a man every other one is either a man, woman and child or just a woman and child.

That’s an absolute random snapshot, nothing scientific.

Do you understand that in many cultures, many of which now form part of multicultural Britain, genuinely believe there is something wrong if a male is parenting on his own, To do so much mean that there was a mother but, she has obviously and sadly died and even then, the role would be expected to be done by the nearest female surviving relative.

Go to a parent and child swimming session at the local pool, men are stared at as though they are a threat.

Look, if you think I am wrong, leave a comment and say why, insults and crap will be ignored by well researched real world comments are welcome.

An emotional time (but I’ll get over it)

Me & Dad at his care home
Dad has been gone for some time now and, despite that we didn’t really get along I am missing him. 
Christmas was difficult as was New Year, both as he had been here the year before and the year before that and we had a good time.
Wednesday 15th is the day his flat is sold. It is the last tangible link to him. He never actually lived there, though that was the intention. His dementia suddenly got very bad and unmanageable at home just weeks before the completion of the sale so we instead got tenants in and used the rental income to part pay the care home fees.
It was a very nice care home, Dad wasn’t happy there but then, Dad wouldn’t have been happy anywhere, that was Dad. 
My feelings right now and all over the place and I have been feeling quite down, it’s like the final goodbye.
I don’t know if you feel like this but somehow I feel different now that both my parents have gone. Sure, part of it is my feeling that it’s my turn next, that generational position in the family, I could do without that but mainly it is that my connection with a huge chunk of my past that perhaps even I don’t remember properly has gone. Not that Dad, bless him, could have been much help on that front over the last years, he barely knew who anyone was. I think he knew he could trust me at the end (last July) but not really sure who he thought I was yet … there were some days when he proudly introduced me as his son … another sign that the dementia was in control as this is something he would never have done when he was healthy!

Dad’s little memoriam area at our place

His mind managed to resurrect many long since dead relatives, I went along with him mostly except when it was obvious he knew that something wasn’t right. It really isn’t fair to remind someone that a person they cared about has gone. Pleasantly he had forgotten that my mum had gone and often used to ask how she was and if I could ask her to visit at some point. He said he thought that somehow he had upset her but couldn’t remember what he had done. That’s really quite sad.

I am confident we made the right choice not to have a traditional funeral. The family is so fractured with so many strong views that we didn’t feel the need to go through that. Both Essex and Northampton did there own thing locally for what felt right for us. Thankfully me and my sister were and are in agreement on how things were handled. We had been through a complicated enough funeral when our mum died with two funeral receptions arranged by different factions of the family. This time we had to get it right as we were not going to get another try at it.
For both of us I feel that the sale of the flat was the final closure for us. It is 6 months after he passed but selling was a little trying!

I am very glad he got to meet Dennis a few times in his final years and they got along, that made me really happy. Of course, everyone gets along with Dennis!
End of an era and I guess 87 isn’t too bad … had he only not left mentally many years earlier.