Sunday, May 15, 2011

On Being a Gay Parent.

Like Father, Like Son
In eight days I will be a gay parent for three years. Looking back it is interesting to compare my expectations and how things actually turned out. The biggest surprise was just how much of a non-issue it all was.

We weren't the first gay parents via surrogacy, let alone via adoption. We weren't even part of the first or second waves. But we were fairly early while it was still "cool". Over the last couple of years gay parents are everywhere, both in real life and fiction. It seems that every other TV show nowadays features a gay parented family in one form or another (Brothers & Sisters, Glee and Modern Family being the most famous).

When we decided to become parents I got a bit excited for lots of different reasons. One thing my husband and I immediately agreed on was that we could no longer cut corners. We are gay, we are proud and that is it. No more lying, hiding and feeling guilty about it. Having a child meant that I had to stand tall and I prepared myself for a fight that never arrived.

I know it has been only three years and there is potential hassle in the future, but believe it or not: up until now we have suffered exactly zero discrimination, abuse and harassment with the exception of one American immigration nobhead who insisted we should come through as two separate families with two different immigration cards as the USA doesn't recognize gay families. Big fat whatever. There were a couple of simple misunderstandings when people assumed I was married to the mother of my child. But no actual obstacles anywhere, no intentional grief.

The doctors office, Blake's nursery, swimming class, local park, neighbours, my family, my friends... No one raised an eyebrow anywhere. Not one bad word. I am not under the illusion that the world is perfect and gays and their families are accepted everywhere, but at least I managed to find huge pockets of sanity and acceptance in England, Israel, Canada and the US.

My blog has been going since 2005 and I expected a shift in focus once my son was born, but I figured I would be chronicling my battles against ignorance and bigotry on the way to TV interviews and book deals (not to mention a movie about my life starring myself opposite Daniel Craig as my husband). Since I encountered no aggression about my gay dad status I instead found myself writing about everyday parenting stuff which was both somewhat disappointing and amazing.

I arrived late to the party. A quick search showed that there are already plenty of gay parents blogging away.  Blake isn't the one-in-a-billion freak of nature I was worried he would become. He already knows in real life a whole bunch of children with gay parents.

It does not mean I can't contribute to the cause in my own little way. Even though my blog is not the most visited I still get a decent amount of traffic and can spread the good word. My webcomic Fabtastic about a gay-parented family fills another void. So I can happily do my part to contribute. But at the end of the day I am just another gay dad with a blog.

And isn't that wonderful?

Poor Leo has a lot on his mind.


The Queen Father said...

I only want to say one thing: Telepathy. Read my latest post and you'll understand why.
I love the way you think.

Jeff and Kevin said...

You may not know, but you are an example of normalcy. I've been stalking your blog for a few years actually. We hope to have a normal (if boring - I so hope) family such as yours soon.

Mark said...

Sorry, I just thought I'd give you what you expected in the first place. Plus, that really spiced up your Blog, right? You're welcome!
And like you, I never once got one bit of hate mail or negative comment on my site while others claim to get tons. What am I doing wrong? Honestly, I couldn't be a gayer parent if I tried.
Anyway, I am very happy to have found you as I made my Blog public last year. I really appreciate your wit and I just wish that you would post more.
Your Friend, m.

Mickey said...

Marco, you know what they say. Gay minds think alike.

Kevin, boring is the new awesome. I aspire to make my life as boring as possible. Had enough excitement to last me a lifetime.

Mark, who are you calling a fag, homo?! Consider the favour returned. :-D

Dawn said...

Great blog! I appeciate your honesty in sense of humor on gay parenting. Eventually my wife and I will become parents too!