On Being A Gay Dad

gay parenting, ebook, lgbtAs 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.



  • @Diall68

    If you were able to give them emotional support as well as being protective, that IS cool! I’m straight, my parents were, but unfortunately, I was the only one of their three children who was bullied and they really did not know how to deal with it, their only advice was “ignore it and it will go away”, which is a lovely idea if it worked, but sometimes it does not, so I was left with questions, no answers and believing well into adulthood that there must be something seriously wrong with me that these things happened to me with no one to help me through it. I was always alone, so, I may not know you, but even by being there for your kids, when you may not understand or know what to do, to encourage them that they are okay, no matter what judgements they may come across in life, to me, that is very cool!

    Happy Father’s Day!

  • No, I’m sure they think it’s “cool” because they would have a parent who understands their struggle/emotions/future way of life. Any gay child growing up today would want a gay parent, no matter how progressive or accepting your straight parent is, they will never understand you. It’s like being adopted by a white family if you’re black/latino/asian.. Nothing wrong with good people, but there are some things that the majority doesn’t understand about a minority’s struggle, and this includes Gays/Lesbians etc.

    Even a woman being raised by a single father might feel this way.