Saturday, July 02, 2011

London Gay Dads

London is wasted on me. There are so many features of this city that attract people from all over the world, but for me they are just so boring and tedious and even borderline repulsive. One of those things, as I was reminded on Thursday, was the gay scene in Soho.

Over three years after creating the Gay Parents in London Facebook group we finally had a gay dads get-together. Unfortunately the meeting place was The Yard in central London.

As soon as I walked in I had flashbacks to the last time I went out to a pub years ago and remembered why I haven't bothered since. It was a fairly big pub crowded with people standing around and loud music blasting from every corner forcing people to shout directly into each other's ears to be heard. Add to that the fact that I totally don't get the appeal of alcohol and I am left utterly unable to understand why anyone would decide to spend a few hours there.

But to each their own. Obviously the crowd of people was enjoying themselves so who am I to judge, Judy?

I had to pee so I popped into the toilets and was dismayed to find a big fat slob lurking by the sink. You see, I don't really mind it when in an extra posh restuarant you go to the toilets and it's all shiney and sparkly and a man in a suit squirts soap and lotion into your hands, opens and closes the tap for you and hands you a nice folded towel to dry your hands. You tip him, but it's worth it because it makes you feel like a prince. But at The Yard it was the usual smelly pub toilets with a fat slob wearing a dirty t-shirt, squirting cheap soap on my hands and handing me a crumpled paper towel. To make the experience even more fun he then heavily hinted at the tip plate. Here, take a coin, you miserable waste of space and oxygen, why won't you put it in a special fund to save up for training that will help you get an actual job that actually benefits someone.

When I realized The Yard wasn't the type of establishment that serves food I popped out to McDonalds for a quick bite. I know McDonalds isn't the type of establishment that serves food either, but I was famished and not very picky. When I came back I finally bothered looking up the other gay dads.

Much as I don't like pubs in general and the Yard in particular, the group has decided to gather on the open air terrace which was actually not too bad. No loud music and sort-of fresh air (certainly fresher than being stuck in a box with dozens of people where it's likely at least one of them is farting at any given time).

Anyway, the meeting. It was great. It was fun meeting people I knew only from Facebook for years. There were all types of gay dads: via surrogacy, co-parenting with a lesbian couple, previously married to a woman, child abductor and so on. Actually I'm kidding about the last one.

The one thing we all had in common was how much we loved our children and structured our lives around them. While gay parents have it much easier today in terms of society and the law (certainly in big modern cities like London), there is still a lot of unique emotional baggage and it was nice to talk to other dads and see that we share many of the same insecurities, doubts and worries.

One fun moment was when I said something about Blake and one of the dads replied "I know, I read it on your blog." That was a bit out of left field, meeting someone for the first time who has read my blog and has the advantage of knowing a lot more about me than I know about them. Had I known I was meeting fans I would've worn a cocktail dress and brought signed autographs!

I hope to see these people again soon. The problem with previous attempts to meet was trying to please everyone and find a date that works for everybody, which is practically impossible. A couple of weeks ago one of the guys just announced a time and place and that worked. Obviously not everyone could make it, but we finally had a meeting. How frustrating it is that we didn't organize such meetings three years ago and only started now when my time in England is coming to an end.

Still, better later than ever.

I forgot to take any pictures during the
night, so here's a picture of a YoYo.



Mark said...

Ah, the yo-yo. Makes sense to me! With it's ups and its downs. Well, and more ups and downs and ups and downs? Doesn't that sum it all up quite perfectly now.
Gay dads are rare around here. But Lesbians are a'plenty! We have more here than you can shake a stick at. Parents are parents these days and since the laws are, in our case, slowly coming into place, I'm not sure that I see gay dads from any other parents. And that's a good thing. m.

mark d said...

Hi so glad i found this site.Im a gay dad with a ten year old son through gay girls and spend a lot of time with my son.Good to see support is out there M

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