Read: But wait . . . did he just call me ‘Daddy?

I never really got the ‘Daddy’ thing. I generally dated guys who were of a similar age to me while looking to older black gay men as potential mentors; gathering hints as to how to navigate growing up in a racist, hetero-sexist, unequal city. Looking for clues as to how my life might be in the future. It had simply never occurred to me that older men could be sexy, or potential partners. Duh!

Imagine, my surprise when a potential beau told me that he’s ‘into older guys’. I registered his declaration of daddy desire with a shrug and a near-automatic, ‘each-to-their-own’ dismissal. Typically slow on the uptake when it comes to affairs of the heart, it took a while for the penny to drop – he was talking about me! I’m the ‘older guy’ he’s into! When did that happen? I’d somehow become someone else’s daddy figure without noticing. How careless. What do I know about being the older guy? Do I need a licence for that role, is there a training course? Can I opt out or is ‘daddy’ the way it’s going to be from now on? Now over 40, have I missed out on finding a daddy figure of my own?

I’m not yet sure I like the ‘daddy’ tag and remain conflicted about the implications – is this a part of growing up that no one told me about? I stopped wanting to be a grown up the minute I turned 25, perhaps its time I faced facts and embraced the benefits and vicissitudes of my age.

The ‘daddy and son’ trope fills pages of the porn sites, but then so does so-called ‘thug porn’ so you’ll understand if I decide not to take porn as a trustworthy guide to healthy relationships. In a time when as many as 60% of black and mixed heritage children are growing up with lone parents (90% of whom are women) there are likely to be some implications for our relationships with fathers, men and each other. In a space in which there are so few opportunities for black gay men from different generations to meet and share (no, Grindr doesn’t count!) it is unsurprising that the we haven’t talked enough about our daddy issues. So we thought it an ideal time for BlackoutUK to share our thoughts about our relationships with fathers, ‘daddies and sons’, parenting, growing older, and intergenerational connections.

Check out the ‘Daddy Issues’ section of the site and join the conversation – otherwise you risk your ‘daddiness’ sneaking up on you like mine did.


RBbyAjamu

Rob Berkeley