Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Gay Fathers of Toronto

In anticipation for our son's birth, I created a Facebook group for gay parents in London. With London being such a supposedly gay friendly place I expected to be flooded with new members. As of today there are only 22 members, most of them are lesbian couples with a few people who wish to become parents and those who had their children before coming out of the closet. For all I know there are no people in our situation in the group yet, a married gay couple who conceived a child using in vitro fertilization. While I'm happy to associate with any type of gay parent, it'll be nice to know people more like us. We have met only one couple so far, entirely by chance, at the clinic where our son was conceived.

Last Thursday we attended a meeting held by GFT: Gay Fathers of Toronto. It is surprising and disappointing that there's no similar organization in London. London seems to be very gay friendly when it comes to "the scene", but not so much when it comes to gay families. But that's a subject for another post.

From the website we knew more or less what to expect from the meeting. Most of the men that night (if not everyone but us) became fathers the "normal" way and only came out of the closet later. It turns out that Blake was the first baby to attend the meetings so we made a bit of local history. We tried attending since we got to Toronto, but ended up missing it again and again for various reasons. We made quite an entrance with the stroller and Blake was quite well behaved throughout the meeting as long as one of us kept moving his stroller back and forth.

I exchanged looks with my husband. We both initially thought the same thing: what are we doing here? This is not what we wanted. But as the evening went on we found ourselves joining the discussion passionately, sharing experiences from our growth during the last decade. Many of the men there were quite closeted and we had to fight the urge to grab them by the hand and pull them out of the closet. I know it's not an easy process for most people and it certainly wasn't for me all these many years ago when I was certain I'll only come out of the closet once my mother passed away.

As a teenager I was very scared and couldn't imagine my future, it was all just a blank. And here I am thirty years old, married and a parent. I have this urge to outreach other young homosexuals and show them that being gay doesn't mean they can't have a family or be happy. After the meeting on Thursday I realized that age has nothing to do with it. Homosexuals of all ages need to have that message drilled into their heads.

I really think we had a positive impact on those people and we'll be happily attending any other meetings that will be held before we return to London next month.



Tasida said...

Well written article.

Hasnat said...

its good to hear that there are people trying to get together and support each other in London. I hope I get the courage and strength to overcome my fear and join. I am eternally grateful that you wonderful people don't give up on us. Thank you.

John Gott said...

I had the same surprise when I started looking for a local support group in the London area. Oh well, of to TO for another meeting with GFT tonight!
I'll have to read some of your other postings now that I found this blog.