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As the child of a single parent, I felt that I had missed out without a dad

I was reared in a one parent family. My father died when I was four and I have no memories of him. My mother raised six children and we were a happy family. I never felt that I had missed out in any way until I was a teenager.

I then became quite friendly with two boys of a neighbouring family. On occasion I was at their home when their father arrived from work. I became immediately aware of a positive qualitative change that descended on the family in his presence. He added some definite value for me. It was not what he did or what he said, rather it appeared to be what he was. I was stunned as a sense of intimacy, of wholeness pervaded the room.

Sometime later I encountered a situation which could have led me to become a gay youth. But on a working holiday in Manchester, a most attractive female colleague directed me away from such a path. I realise that many people have a mixture of male and female characteristics, which depending on circumstances could lead either way. This is why I have never discounted the nurture over nature debate, though I understand how it infuriates gay people.

Many gay people have allowed their sexuality to become their defining characteristic. Some may even become intolerant of opposing views. I feel that this may be happening in the run-in to the same sex marriage referendum. Unfortunately no politicians have demonstrated that children and vulnerable women will not have their rights impaired by the passing of the referendum.

Tony Jordan

Gilford Road

Dublin 4


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