Road trip conversations

  • Taboos
    "It’s got more to do with the way I interact with people and my lack of confidence. The things I do and the way I’ve learnt to interact with people are in a female way.” More…
  • Doing the mileage
    “Establishing my gay identity is an issue no matter whether I have a partner or not. It’s not that I feel like I need to establish it. I don’t make a concerted effort to tell people. Straight people don’t do that either." More…
  • Coming out as a father
    If I held onto my conservative and traditional beliefs about homosexuality, that placed me in a dilemma, that of loving my son but ignoring or rejecting his way of life. More…
  • Coming out from religion
    Not until I looked at my beliefs more objectively did I realize the extent to which my own religion had influenced me, including my unquestioned rejection of homosexuality. More…

A complicated love

"What happens when a father hears that his son is gay and begins to confront his own demons about homosexuality? What happens when the father and the son go on a road trip, each with his own agenda, and they place an audio recorder on the dash of the van?

A Complicated Love is the result of those conversations - tense, tearful, painful and cathartic. It’s about the fears, taboos and judgments that the author had, as he was eventually compelled to come out on behalf of his son - authentically, from religion and as a parent."

Our road trip took us through Nova Scotia and Cape Breton, Canada.
We talked for five days.

A Complicated Love - Dene Rossouw - Buy the book on AmazonSynopsis from the book – "A Complicated Love is a true story about a straight father and a gay son and lessons from their road trip. It packs an emotional punch as father and son share their poignant journey of discovery – each man ultimately learning that by letting go of old baggage they open their hearts and minds to accept each other. At its core is the enduring message of love in its purest form." ~ Tracey Wimperly - Principal at Walk the Talk Communcations

When I heard that my son Jared was gay, we began to trade emails and three years later, Jared came to Canada and we went on a road trip through rural Nova Scotia.

During our discussions, I realized I had missed the opportunity to sense and respond to the unique challenges that Jared was facing within himself as he was growing up. Sadly, I had been aware of what he was going through. I kept asking myself the question, if I had been there for him as he worked through and came to understand his sexual orientation, would things have turned out differently? Would our relationship be better now?

So what did I learn? One of the life lessons I learnt is that for me to understand and reach into Jared’s experience, I had to earn the right to speak into his life. Because love of self is always a prerequisite for love of others, earning that right evoked a tough choice for me. Ultimately, I would have to look at my own life, understand my own assumptions about homosexuality before attempting to understand his lifestyle. ~ Dene Rossouw