Just in the nick of time, I’ve learned that today, June 2, is the 2008 Blogging for LGBT Families Day. So here I go.
My family has evolved into a nice gay-straight alliance. My kids, both straight, have always been supportive, and dealt with their own coming-out issues beautifully. They had to come out as the children of a gay man, which wasn’t always easy. But they did, and have stood up against homophobic remarks. My daughter has been relentless since she was in elementary school about insisting that any kid who used “gay” as a slur knew that he or she would face her wrath.
They also had to come out to me as straight, but I was accepting. We can’t all have the gift. I only did a little of “are you sure?” and “have you tried going out with a guy [or girl]?” In all honesty, I would have preferred to have at least one of my kids be gay; I wanted to give someone the kind of accepting parenting I didn’t get when I was young. Eventually a surrogate gay son, an exchange student, came into my life, and that’s been something special.
My ex-wife was always more accepting of my same-sex attraction than I was, and our divorce was amicable and we remain great friends. Everyone thought we were crazy to get married, and we were–the marriage didn’t last. I was pretty “out” before I met her, yet loved her so much, and loved the idea of a traditional family so much, that we thought we could make it work. Yet out of it came these two incredible kids, who are healthy, smart, talented, accomplished and very giving people. My ex-wife and I work extremely well as co-parents, live close to each other, and remain best friends. So maybe we did make it work after all, just a bit differently than expected.
My father used to be the most homophobic person I know, but at some point he totally flipped and became very accepting and even supports same-sex marriage. My mother found it hard to accept when I was in college and she found out I was gay, but she became accepting pretty quickly.
I’m a gay man, I’m a good father, and my kids are great. They are the best thing in my life. And I love that being gay is a non-issue with them, with my parents, and my extended family and friends.
The thing that’s important in a family is love and support and commitment to each other. LGBT familes have that as much as any other, sometimes even more, because the commitments are made so consciously and so often in the face of social pressure.