As I explore twitter and other mediums I get some interesting comments and questions about being a gay parent. The irony is that I was doing it long before it got headlines and rallies for rights, or before it was “cool”. My children are grown, in college and have solid careers ahead. (And, because the question is often unspoken but asked, they are both straight).
I honestly don’t understand the “cool” which has notably come from gay teens that I’ve spoken to. I guess the assumption there is that things would be different in their own households if they had a gay parent. As if somehow having gay parent meant that they wouldn’t get grounded or get their backside whupped for extreme stupidity, or get nagged about getting chores and homework done. I DO understand the rejection from a straight parent though, all too well, so I can empathize even as I chuckle at being ‘cool’ suddenly at this stage of my life.
But for me, I was simply a father, a single dad. There was nothing extraordinary about our life. Times were different and I shielded them from the bigotry and hatred that they would receive through no fault of their own. I made no qualms about it then and don’t now, simply because I was one of those parents likely to stomp the shit out of you if I perceived you as a threat to my children. Still am, I guess.
One of my fondest memories was watching The Birdcage with them. We all laughed at the extremes, and of course, I and my witty commentary made sure as we watched it that they understood: “See, it could be worse.”
All I got back was, “Oh dad.”
Maybe I was a bit cool? Dunno.