Change the World

A Gay Dad's Message from the Heart to his Facebook Friends

A Facebook message from the heart by gay dad Michael Anderson as he reflects on the outcome of the election and what it may mean for his family and loved ones.

Bear with me. Here’s my only political post for the year: To my friends who voted for Trump, I get it. Really, honestly I do. I’m all about change and flushing our stagnant government system. It needs it.

Unfortunately, and as I’m sure you know, many groups of Americans feel there are serious consequences for them with this particular president-elect and his vice president-elect. It’s easy to get caught up in our lives and our problems and not worry about the lives of people who don’t seem relatable to us. We are all guilty of this. I am guilty of this.

But I am from one of these concerned groups, and you know me. You might even like me. And I’m always impressed when people from my past who I’ve made the mistake of assuming they wouldn’t be accepting make even the simplest of gestures by “liking” a photo of my family on Facebook. It’s meaningful. You see that my family is just like yours or the other families in your life.

We have our ups and downs like you do and make tough choices so that we can give our kid the best life possible. My life with my family is more than what 14-year-old me could have ever hoped for and it’s amazing to feel supported. There is also security in knowing that we are married in the eyes of the law and that the government sees our kid’s adoption and our family as protected and legitimate.

But I suddenly don’t feel secure anymore. Vice president-elect Pence has an extensive anti-gay record from supporting gay conversion therapy on kids that literally includes trying to (but failing to) electro-shock the gay out, to signing legislation in his state in 2013 to jail any same-sex couple who attempted to get a marriage certificate. All of the progress that we have made that gives my family a sense of belonging and security is very likely to be erased.

But worse than that for me is this: I’ve always known that there are plenty of crazy people out there who would hurt me just for who I am, or hurt my family for who we are, but I have always felt this sense of protection, that there is this greater good around us, and a government that in the end would protect me even in the days when they didn’t agree with me.

But suddenly that is gone. I’m scared that there are people out there who feel empowered because our president-elect has not distanced himself from the KKK and other hate groups. Without condemnation comes permission, and I honestly don’t feel like government under this administration would do much to protect me. I’m scared for the future. I’m scared for me, I’m scared for my family, and more than anything I’m scared for my multiracial daughter who isn’t old enough yet to understand that people are out there who will hurt her or demean her simply for the color of her skin or because she is female.

I love my country and I want us all to come together and make the most of this new direction for our nation, but I’m counting on you when it gets rough. I want you to think about me and my family and how it affects other people like us when our rights and protections get taken away. And my real hope is that we can all think beyond the bubbles we live in and about every group in our country that is frightened, including so many who have so much more reason to be worried than I do.

People aren’t whining about losing; they are deeply mourning the loss of hope that they too can feel included and be happy in America, the land of the free.

Thanks for hearing me out.

Editor's note: Gay dads, please read After the Election: Where Do We Go From Here? to learn how you can help make a difference now!

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Today is National Coming Out Day, and as we celebrate, we're sharing six coming out stories from dads in our community. Their personal stories are heartwarming, relatable, and empowering. Happy Coming Out Day, and remember, live your truth!

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Change the World

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Happy National Coming Out Day! To celebrate, we've rounded up some of our recent stories about gay men with kids coming out to live their most authentic lives.

Happy National Coming Out Day! To celebrate, we've rounded up some of our best articles of gay dads coming out to live their authentic lives.

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#6. Republican Utah Lawmaker, and Dad of Two, Comes Out as Gay in Moving Video

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#7. How Coming Out Helped This Gay Man Find the Strength to Be a Dad

Steven Kerr shares the moment he came out to his ex-girlfriend. "From that moment on," he writes, "my strength and purpose have grown." Read the article here.

#8. Ed Smart, Father of Kidnapping Victim Elizabeth Smart, Comes Out as Gay

In coming his coming out letter, Ed Smart, a Mormon, condemned the church for their "ridicule, shunning, rejection and outright humiliation" of LGBTQ individuals. Read the article here.

#9. The Best Part of Coming Out, Says This Gay Dad, Is Being an Out and Proud Role Model for His Daughter

"I couldn't face myself in the mirror and think that I could be a good dad and role model for my child when I was lying to myself every moment of every day," said Nate Wormington of his decision to come out. Read the article here.

#10. These Gay Dads Via Previous Marriages Have Adopted a Motto Since Coming Out and Finding Each Other: "United We Stand"

Vincent and Richard both had children in previous marriages with women; together, with their ex-wives, they are helping raise seven beautiful kids. Read the article here.

Change the World

Single Gay Man Adopts Girl Passed Over by 20 Previous Families

Luca Trapanese, a gay dad from Naples, Italy, adopted a baby with Down syndrome who had been rejected twenty times previously

Luca Trapanese, a single 41-year-old gay man from Naples, Italy, had always wanted to become a dad. But in Italy, it was only legal for married heterosexual couples to adopt until 2017. Even then, he was told that he'd only be able to adopt a "hard to place" child, with mental or physical challenges.

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And that's how Alba, a little girl with Down syndrome, came into his life. Abandoned at birth, she had been passed over by 20 separate families before Luca was approached about providing her a home. Luca, who has worked and volunteered with people with disabilities from a young age, readily agreed.

"I'm proud to be her father," Luca said. "Alba was never a second option because she had a disability. I wanted her to be my daughter."

Listen to the entire interview here.

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Scrolling through my social media feeds, reading all the posts about National Coming Out Day reminds me just how valuable it is for us to share our stories and be as open, vulnerable and authentic as possible. Warning: this article is about to get real AF, so now might be a good time to switch back to the Face-Aging app that gives Russia all your personal data.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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