Gay Dad Life

As You Start Kindergarten… A Letter To My Boys

Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be. - Shel Silverstein


I have been drafting this letter in my head for few weeks now and have had so many thoughts and emotions whirling around inside my brain. As I sit alone on Georgica beach in the town of East Hampton, looking out onto the crashing waves and periodically hearing the voices of young boys and girls playing under the sun, I can't but help reflect on the past five and a half years - the years that have quickly passed, shaping and guiding our family. Why the emotions you ask? It's only a few weeks away from my boys starting kindergarten. This may not seem so monumental and hopefully there are many more incredible milestones to be had, but I am a firm believer that these younger years are the most formidable. So here it goes. My letter to both of them, as even though they are identical twin boys, they certainly have their own personalities with different strengths and weakness.

Boys -

Andy and I, every day, are amazed and truly feel blessed that in this day and age, we can all experience what it means to form, build and strengthen a family – however the loving partnership is made. It's (bleep!) hard work, the hardest thing we have ever done - but we would not have it any other way. And through this process of you growing up, the goals and the wants, the desires and materialistic crap is constantly changing and evolving, but what doesn't change is the love, respect, and admiration we have for the both of you. All the other stuff is meaningless and the happiest we find ourselves is during the simplest of times together, where ever that may be. So, you ask: what is important? What truly matters? The answer is just like the famous poem, everything you need to know about life, you learn in kindergarten. Well, it's now your turn to learn and I hope we have set the stage for the performance.

But when I truly think: what do I, Daddy, want you to get from kindergarten? I realize that I want you to learn to love to learn. When I went to school, I felt as if I was taught to memorize, complete the task, and move onto the next one. And when you do that, the system is broken. There is no yearning. There is no enjoyment out of the actual process. It is always about getting to the next level. Well, I can tell you now the levels are bullshit; they are made up and fake because who's really to say what your levels are? One size does not fit all. The idea is to learn to love the process. Stop and enjoy each stage of both education and life. Approach it with questions, with curiosity, and with yearning for more, but most importantly with a smile. Both of you have such amazing, heart-felt smiles and have exciting times ahead of you. Believe me: you are truly ready.

To Sebastian - try and slow your brain down a bit, you are too smart and you process way too much. Take a deep breath and really focus, really listen and engage with what is being asked of you and the task at hand. Take guidance and accept that you are going to be asked to accomplish some difficult problems and it's okay to fail, it's ok to ask questions or for help, but it's not okay to say "I can't". I despise that phrase. Yes, you can and yes, you will, but you have to take the teacher's and the administrator's help and advice and learn from their skill set to make them your own. Everyone is here to help - they are not obstacles - and everyone wants to see you succeed, but you must want it. You have to work at it. You should fail and pick yourself up again. And it's ok. Because every night and every morning both Papa and I will be there to make you whole again.

To Phoenix - keep asking those amazing and progressive questions. You are just like your Papa - he's always asking questions and searching for answers on YouTube and soon you'll be doing the same. Your mind processes life in such a different way. Harness and embrace that and bring it fully to your classroom. Just remember: you must be kind. You have to be a team player and really come out of your "Star Wars dark side" persona and cross over to the Jedi's. You are such a happy person inside and I would love for you to continue forming your individual and group skill set. The world we live in is with people, especially in this big city. I was so individualized in my education that it's just now that I am learning how to be a team player. It is through Papa that I am grateful for this personal change, but you have the opportunity to accomplish this now. Use your time wisely. It is only set up for your success.

And now that I am the only person crying on the beach, let me conclude by saying that I hope you take my advice to heart, but why would you? You're both five. But if you don't take any of it, just have fun. Life is so short and so precious that I want each and every day to be an enjoyment. I know you both will succeed and I know we will continue to have ups and downs with each new adventure, but our love and support will be unwavering forever – and it seems to be strengthening with each and every breath. So, thank you. Thank you for showing Papa and I the beauty of life. Good luck.

Family hug,

Daddy and Papa

Dr. Evan Goldstein is the founder and CEO of Bespoke Surgical – a first of its kind health practice that specializes in gay men's sexual wellness and offers an integrated, unique and unified approach to patient care.

Show Comments ()
Gay Dad Life

How Canada's 'Gay Dollar' Helped This Gay Man Reflect on His Biggest Regret—Not Having Kids

Canada unveiled a 'gay dollar' coin earlier this year, helping Gregory Walters reflect on the progress the LGBTQ community has made—and his decision to forgo having children children

Earlier this year, Canada unveiled a rainbow-stripped coin dollar to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the country's decision to decriminalize homosexuality. With the coins now firmly in circulation, Gregory Walters, who lives in Vancouver, wrote a moving essay for the Globe and Mail, expressing joy for how far Canada has come on the issue of gay rights, but how the coin is also a symbolic representation of the "greatest regret" of his life—his decision not to adopt children.

Gregory writes that he had hoped to adopt a child ever since his early career working with persons with developmental disabilities. "Several children I worked with were wards of the State of Texas," he wrote. "Their parents having relinquished all rights either owing to egregious acts of abuse or a lack of desire to raise someone with so many needs. There were days when I felt, 'If I could just take you home and raise you.' I knew there was a need for adopting persons with special needs but my own internalized homophobia got in the way yet again. Despite what is probably my own gift in working with children, I never felt worthy enough to be a parent. I always felt that if I were a gay dad it would create more of a liability for the child."

Gregory decision to forgo having children, he says, is his "greatest regret." While he takes responsibility for some of this decision, he also adds: "society's view of homosexuals and its opinions regarding gay adoptions also played a major part."

To critics of Canada's coin, some of who have said its a cheap political pander to the LGBTQ community, Gregory concludes with this thought:

"I don't care if the indulged majority who never had to question marriage or raising children or being secure in a job may feel the coin is frivolous. The coin isn't for them in the first place. It's an acknowledgment for those of us who repressed our true selves and felt oppressed. It is for gays who never lived to see rights and protections enshrined in law. It is for younger LGBTQ people to learn more about how far we've come and to gain a deeper sense of gay pride. For these reasons, the coin has value so much greater than any monetary designation. The coin represents both empowerment and normalization."

Read Gregory's full essay here.

Gay Dad Life

8 Pics of Ricky Martin Being an Adorable Dad Because Why Not?

Here's some pics of Ricky Martin being an adorable dad because we've ALL had a long week and deserve this don't we??

Earlier this year, in January 2019, superstar Ricky Martin and his husband Jwan Yosef shared a post via Instagram announcing that they'd welcomed a baby girl named Lucia into their family. With twin 9-year-old sons in the house as well, Ricky and Jwan now have a very full casa. Fortunately, the dads are giving us a little glimpse into their chaotic but fun-filled home lives via Instagram. We rounded up 8 of our fav recent parenting pics by the popstar because we've all had long weeks and we deserve this don't we??

Enjoy!

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

17 T.V. Shows Featuring Gay Dad Characters

Gay dads are all the rage on the small screen these days... here are 17 shows that prominently feature gay dad characters!

The 2019-2020 TV season will soon be upon us! In recent years, gay dad characters have been all the rage... will we see more representation this fall? We sure hope so! But in the meantime, we'll be content reviewing this list of 17 shows that have (somewhat) prominently featured gay dad characters!

Also we KNOW we're missing some, so drop us a line in the comments to tell us what we should add!

1. Grace & Frankie

In this Netflix original series, Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston play gay dads who come out to their wives and children well past their primes. Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda play the ex-wives, rounding out the star-studded cast. Now in its fourth season, the show has been well received and sheds an interesting light on the complications involved with fathers who come out later in life.

Entertainment

How Fatherhood Has Impacted Tom Daley's Diving Career for the Better

British diver Tom Daley, and new-ish gay dad, is looking to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in South Korea.

British diver Tom Daley is currently in the running to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in South Korea, his fourth if he competes, at the young age of just 26.

But he also has another concern that most young gay men his age couldn't fathom—fatherhood. He and his husband, filmmaker Dustin Lance Black, recently welcomed Robbie Ray via surrogacy in June 2018.

In an interview with the Independent, Daley explained how fatherhood has changed his routine and training, which he says is often for the better.

"It has changed my life completely in all of the best ways possible," Daley said. "It has changed my perspective, the way I think about things. [My son] is the most important thing in my life, everything I do is for him, everything I think about he is at the forefront of everything."

With respect to his diving career, Daley continued, "if you have a bad day at training, or a good day, you are grounded immediately when you get home through the door because you are having cuddles or you are having to change a dirty nappy. It is the first time that I have been able to leave diving at the diving board and not think about what I need to the next day in the pool."

Whatever the challenges he faces while training, he said, "I can leave it there because you don't have time to think about diving when you are looking after a kid under one."

The strategy seems to be working in Daley's favor. He recently enjoyed his most successful FINA Diving World Series ever this past Spring in Canada, winning 12 medals across five events. And barring any major catastrophe, he is overwhelmingly expected to qualify for South Korea 2020.

And we can't wait to cheer the young dad on!

Change the World

One Gay Dad's Fight Against Hate in Superior, Nebraska

Brian Splater is refusing to let homophobic and transphobic elected officials in his town go unchecked

Millie B. Photography

Guest post written by Brian Splater

No one ever should feel they will have a very lonely and secluded life as a child. But that is something me and many other gay kids believe as they are growing up.

The truth of the matter is there are people who will try everything in their power to have our rights go back in time instead of forward. It is very disheartening when these people are elected officials, or they are people who use their place of employment to spread their disgust and hate.

Keep reading... Show less
Politics

America's First Gay Dad Governor Heads Into the Lion's Den

Colorado Governor Jared Polis recently became the first elected Democrat to speak at the annual Western Conservative Summit in Denver

Last Friday, American's first gay dad Governor, Jared Polis, became the first elected Democrat to speak at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, where he urged the Republican crowd to help him build a "Colorado for all."

"While we should never gloss over the things that divide us, there is a lot more that unites us," Polis said. "When we close ourselves off from discussion or debate, and we reject the possibility of hearing and understanding other perspectives, it threatens the fabric of our democracy."

If he was hoping for a Kumbaya moment, he didn't exactly get it. As he was called to the stage, he was greeted with a smattering of applause—while others booed and shouted for a "recall" of the Governor.

"It was almost unbearable for me to sit there to listen to his talk," Abby Johnson, one of the event's attendees, told the Denver Post. "And I'm going to tell you why. He kept talking about equality for all persons, yet we live in a society where 60 million innocent human beings have been slaughtered in the name of choice. Where is their justice? Where is their equal rights?"

Polis was also criticized from his left flank for attending the same event that refuses to let the Log Cabin Republicans, a group of gay GOP members, participate—and that featured Donald Trump Jr. as a speaker the same day. "To me it feels like vanity," Katie Farnan, a staffer with progressive group Indivisible, told the Denver Post. "He can go and be a hip Democratic governor who isn't afraid to go into GOP sanctuary. Or maybe it's recall insurance. But unless he was there to hold them accountable for their support for fascist and racist policies, what's the point?"

In response to the criticism from both sides of the political aisle, Polis told the Colorado Sun: "I think it's very important that Coloradans of different ideologies, different races, different geographies, different orientations and gender identities all really celebrate that we're all part of what makes Colorado great."

The event is hosted each year by Colorado Christian University to bring together conservatives from around the state, and the larger West.

What do you think, dads? Was Polis's decision to speak at the event a savvy political move or mere pandering?

Entertainment

Hate Group Boycotts 'Toy Story' for Featuring Lesbian Moms—Hilarity Ensues on Twitter

"One Million Moms" announced a boycott of the latest Toy Story movie for *very briefly* featuring lesbian moms. Twitter's response was swift and hilarious.

One Million Moms, which is affiliated with the anti-LGBTQ American Family Association, recently called for a boycott of Toy Story 4 for (very, very briefly) featuring (interracial!) lesbian moms in the animated film. The angry, hateful moms affiliated with this group must have watched the film VERY closely because you could easily blink and miss the moment that apparently "blindsided" viewers.

The Internet reacted with a collective facepalm to the ridiculous boycott. Here are some of our favorite hilarious Twitter reactions to the hateful group:

Keep reading... Show less

Fatherhood, the gay way

Get the latest from Gays With Kids delivered to your inbox!

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse