Jake Abhau, a father from North Carolina, was stunned when his 13 y.o. son Jon came out. He didn’t turn his back to the boy. Instead, the man strengthened his fatherly love and shared his experience with other dads by creating a supportive community.
Dragon Dads fight to prevent teen suicide because of the rejection by society. They also strive to provide support and education to other fathers who want to show love and support for their LGBTQ children.
You shouldn’t feel alone because of the way you are loving your kid
The first reaction Jake and his wife Meg had to their son’s coming out was a shock. The parents feared they would immediately become outsiders in the community. Back then Jake couldn’t even imagine that one day he would be taking part in gay pride parades.
Still, the teen was determined to come out to everyone. “I don’t care I am gay. God knows it”, Jake Abhau recollects Jon’s words. At that moment the father realized he needed to be true to himself and defend his inherent right to love his son.
However, the Abhaus couldn’t speak openly with their peers about their son’s sexual identity because of a stereotyped mindset in their social circle. That left the family feeling isolated and unwelcome.
“You shouldn’t feel alone because of the way you are loving your kid”, Jake says.
Meg was the first to take a step. She created a group for moms of LGBTQ kids that she called Mama Dragons in January 2014. The women organized meetings to share their experience, participate in gay pride marches together with their kids and offer psychological assistance for the newly accepted.
Jake followed his wife’s example in November of the same year. He knew dads needed a lot of support, too, but they were a bit different from moms. Fathers needed a place to go to feel accepted in a non-judging atmosphere.
Thus a private community of fathers of LGBTQ children came into being. Called Dragon Dads, it hanged no labels and was free from any types of stereotypes.
Thanks to Dragon Dads fathers of LGBTQ kids have soulmates to talk to and discuss even simple issues such as their kids’ hobbies, pastime activities and first dates. The men share their feelings and experience of communicating with kids as well as social obstacles they face.
And, most importantly, men learn be the kind of dads that they have always wanted to be, Jake told WHY NOTS.
The community consisted of five dads at first. Today they are 125 courageous non-silent strongmen who want to stop confusion, hatred and prejudice existing in our world.
Featured image: Dragon Dads/Facebook