One of the more compelling arguments made in favor of the faulty father-son relationship as a cause for homosexuality was made by famed gay novelist Andrew Holleran in his Forward to the book “The Man I Might Become: Gay Men Write About Their Fathers:”
“Many men, straight and gay, wish they’d been closer to their fathers. To this day when I see in public a man and his son talking, or holding hands as they walk down the street, I linger on the sight. Once, in a restaurant, I watched a boy sit down in the next booth with his father and a group of friends. Tired from an afternoon of fishing, the boy proceeded to rest his head against his father’s shoulder, and then the father rested his head on top of his son’s, so that the two of them were folded like chimpanzees that had just groomed each other. I could scarcely contain myself. The image of this father and son expressing their affection, their trust, their intimacy, in so unself-conscious a way, it was astounding to me – it seemed so what I was never able to do with my own.”
Holleran’s first novel “Dancer from the Dance” (1978) is now considered a classic in gay literature. Often dark, and not as celebratory of the gay lifestyle as would be expected by a homosexual author, Holleran’s books often deal with the isolation and desperation inherent in the lifestyle; and, like his near contemporary Randy Shilts, he is not an ideologue; in fact, what Holleran said in a 1996 interview, concerning the often shifting and transitory alliances within gay relationships –speaks directly to the major revision that took place in gay intellectual circles: away from a few lone voices who wanted to earnestly explore the often obvious dysfunction in modern homosexuality, especially after the horror of the AIDS epidemic, to a fascist dictatorship of marriage equality promotion that mercilessly put forward a single-voiced talking-point which ignored honest critiques, even within the ranks, from those who sometimes found the lifestyle wanting; Holleran commented: “…there’s a large middle group with gay men sincerely looking for another person or mate. It works once or twice for a while and then doesn’t work any longer and they end up aging with friends in the hope they fall in love again. Then there’s a small fraction of gay men who seem to be serially monogamous who will probably always have a lover, but that group is far outnumbered by the second group. Two male egos together are very tough. Men are just not raised to cowtow to other men.”

What Holleran may be inadvertently describing is a repeated truism in gay culture; one that I found over and over again: a desire for camaraderie and love, with its roots in childhood and a still unsatisfied hunger for the father, in homosexuality – this becomes perverted into the purely sexual; thus starts a quest for a sustained sort of father-son bonding through sex that never seems to fully or lastingly materialize; everything becomes the substitute for the other, with the replacement never actually filling in the missing gaps; as Holleran points out – this inability to solve this dilemma solidly resides with the incompatibility of two men – resulting in the clash of too much testosterone and not any balance afforded by the feminine; well-known lesbian iconoclastic author Camille Paglia got it right: “Male sexuality is inherently manic-depressive. Estrogen tranquilizes, but androgen agitates.” In the heterosexual, a run-away male libertine, for instance Hugh Hefner, results in a manic playboy – switching partners in an ever more frantic desire to experience all possible sensual pleasures. While some men find this the ideal fantasy, Hefner once bragged: to being “involved with maybe eleven out of twelve months worth of Playmates” during some of these years; women, from Barbi Benton to Holly Madison across-the-board found it lacking and tiresome and rather quickly moved on to more stability. In the gay world, you find this phenomenon, because of the total absence of women, has gone berserk. When you combine that element with the fact that many gay men are pathologically looking for a father figure in their next lover – hence, the sexual drive becomes not only a physiological need, but a fundamental psychological one, the conditions are tragically primed for self-destruction. In my own life, I saw this habitually, with myself and friends who longed for masculine perfection in others, but were solely unable to attain anything near it on our own. They were always looking, and continually coming up short. It was heartbreaking to watch, and awful to be a part of. In my era, the young ones oftentimes died still searching for “daddy;” the lucky and the older, as Holleran pointed out, eventually semi-checked out and hoped for healing on the edges of gay life. Yet, there is always an emptiness left behind in the heart; something unresolved: Larry Kramer, the Gloria Steinem meets Ayatollah Khomeini of gay liberation, probably described the enduring hell, even in the purported safety and optimism of so-called monogamous relationships, of the broken-boy syndrome at its most hopeless, ugly and visceral form; from his book “Faggots” – “…every faggot couple I know is deep into friendship and deep into f**king with everyone else but each other and any minute any bump appears in their commitment to infinitesimally obstruct their view, out they zip like petulant kids to suck someone else’s lollipop…why do faggots have to f**k so f**king much?!…it’s as if we have nothing else to do…all we do it live in our Ghetto and dance and drug and f**k.”

Even Richard Isay, a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and gay-rights advocate, whom “The New York Times” gave this headline to his obituary: “Dr. Richard Isay, Who Fought Illness Tag for Gays,” had to admit that “The majority of gay men, unlike heterosexual men who come for treatment, report that their fathers were distant during their childhood and that they lacked any attachment to them. Reports vary from ‘my father was never around, he was too busy with his job,’ to ‘he was victimized by my mother, who was always the boss in the family,’ to that of the abusive, unapproachable father.”*

*Taken from “Being Homosexual: Gay Men and Their Development.”