Dad Life

Is Your Child a Status Symbol, Social Experiment, or Tool of the Gay Agenda?

There have been accusations that gay parents having children is some horrible social experiment, or that these kids are being indoctrinated into the mythical Gay Agenda. Others have charged that the parents view their children as ‘fashion accessories’ or ‘status symbols’.


That gay men and lesbians might actually have an inner drive to have kids, just like billions of other people, doesn’t seem to cross the minds of many in the anti-gay population. After all, whether one believes in God or nature it’s a given that only one man and one woman can create a child. So wanting a child is directly connected to one’s ability to procreate with-in the confines of a loving, committed, opposite sex relationship, right?

Of course not. Time and time again history has blown apart the assumption that sexual desire, emotional attachment between two individuals, and the ability to procreate are all inextricably linked to wanting children. Heterosexual strangers can conceive a child during one anonymous sexual encounter, so love and commitment aren’t required. And plenty of straight people love to have sex but balk at the idea of having children, so clearly sexual desire is separate from the urge to have children.

Meanwhile there are plenty of heterosexuals who are infertile and agonize over the thought of never having their own biological children. Yet they will willingly adopt and raise children born to others, so the parental urge is independent of biological connections.

If this is all taken for granted among heterosexuals, why would it be difficult to grasp that it’s the same for LGBTs? Considering the often Herculean efforts required for gay couples and individuals to have children, whether biologically or through adoption, it’s absurd to think our kids are viewed as nothing but status symbols. Whether gay or straight, and whether our kids are adopted or ours biologically, we are all raising and loving them the same.

So what is so “socially experimental” about our families? Take away the artificial controversy created by uptight anti-gay forces, and the unnecessary burdens they heap upon us, what is the difference between our families and those of opposite-sex parents?

Nothing of course.

However, for as long as our antagonists insist upon creating drama where there doesn’t need to be, then our families will be different. We need to cope with ridiculous external pressures that heterosexual families don’t have to deal with. For example, I’ve just written almost 500 words defending the existence of my family and the very humanity of individuals like myself. How many parents have to waste their time on such nonsense?

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With everything going on in our country, I think saying that it has been a crazy year is an understatement. It has been emotionally difficult and draining at times for many. This year brought so many new changes that it is hard to wrap our minds around some of them. The daunting feeling of uncertainty looms over our heads as we march forward into this unfamiliar territory led by someone we do not particularly trust.

With that said, one thing will not change- the holidays. For my family, this time of year brings cheer, joy, hope, and optimism for the new year to come.

I have always had one golden rule when it comes to decorating our home for the holidays: the current holiday must pass before decorating for another.

Recently, our two year old, Alli Mae, had started to develop an appreciation for all that Christmas brings. The way she lights up and gets excited when she sees Christmas decorations made me think for the first time in my life, what if I changed things up this year? Decorating earlier will also help attenuate the political frustration that this year brought. That coupled with the amazement that our little girl has for Christmas makes a strong case for decorating for Christmas early. Sure, there are diehard Thanksgiving fans that grumble at the thought of Christmas coming early and I am sure they will give this a healthy eye roll and, if so, that's ok. We are not replacing Thanksgiving... we are enhancing it.

We will most definitely continue to teach our children the meaning of Thanksgiving and to enjoy the symbolic feast that comes along with it. The white pumpkins I usually put out for Thanksgiving really made a statement when I mixed them with the Christmas attire. I was quite surprised and impressed by the final outcome!

These days, one of my primary goals in life is to create an environment for my family that is happy, healthy, and nurturing. I want them to get excited about Christmas, both the true meaning and the atmosphere that it brings. When my children walk into the house, I want them to be transported into a bright, cheerful place that they will always remember. Perhaps it will even inspire the way they celebrate the holidays with their families (and our future grandchildren) in the future. The world can be a harsh, cold and scary place, especially lately it seems. I would be lying if I said I didn't do this for myself, too. I am. For the first time in my life, I am worried for the future of our country. I am terrified of the direction we as Americans are taking and worry it is setting a precedent for what the future will be like for my family. Mass shootings seem to happen monthly now, yet there continues to be a lack of response by Congress to create solutions. Bigotry and racism, masked by patriotism, also plague our society. I know I am speaking of sore subjects, but all of these reasons give me the motivation for welcoming the Christmas season earlier.

I do have faith that in time, competent leaders will emerge and will steer us in a direction that will help fade our fear into the bold and lionhearted society that we are. We as LGBTQ families need to comfort one another. Lets extend our hands to each other. Let this holiday season not be about the "correct" time in which we decorate for Christmas, moreover lets make it about coming together as a community that lifts each other up. Lets protect each other. Lets embrace each other for all the we are, all that we bring and all that we stand for. Let us not be silenced- and pushed into a corner but let us lead by example- while showing our children who their parents are by being respectful and tolerant and warmhearted as we welcome this Christmas season.

Erik and Douglas' two daughters, Ella and Alli Mae, who recently turned 2

May you and your family have the most beautiful and happiest of holidays, regardless of when you choose to welcome Christmas. I pray that 2018 will bring each of you happiness, patience, resilience and with time, we will get there, together!

I would love for you to follow our family's journey on Instagram, Nolapapa.com and like us on Facebook.

Arejay Encinas and his husband Mauricio Camargo wanted to become foster dads so they could help a child find a loving home. The two live in Tucson, Arizona, and were married February 2015. A little less than two years after their wedding, they received a call about a newborn who needed to be fostered. They said yes immediately. In October 2017, the little boy's adoption was finalized. This is the story of two dads and their moving letters to their son Dylan on the day they became a forever family.

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As celebrations sweep across Australia, the LGBTQ community, along with their allies, rejoice in the results of the marriage equality vote. Despite the controversial campaign that surrounded the plebiscite, love won. And won big! An overwhelming 79.5% of the population took part in the survey (12.7 million people), and in every state and territory, the majority voted "yes," with 61.6%.

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