On April 21, we received a message from gay dad named Brandon via Instagram. Brandon shared with us that his youngest son had been bullied at school for having two dads. The fact that our kids encounter this type of bullying (or any!) breaks our heart but these circumstances also provide us dads with some teachable moments. And how Brandon dealt with the situation was not only impressive, but it also warmed our hearts.
Read Brandon's message below, and from all of us here at Gays With Kids, thank you, Brandon.
"I want you guys to know something. Several weeks ago, Benny (our 6-year-old) started acting out. Small things that may have made him shed a few tears before, now made him throw these angry, rage-filled tantrums. He would scream and toss about and say awful horrible things about himself.
After a couple of weeks, we finally pieced together that there had been an incident at school where a girl on the playground wouldn't let him play "mom and dad" because his dads were both boys, and that was "gross".
We live in Orlando. There is a huge gay presence here, but our boys are the only ones on their school, at their summer camp, and on their soccer team with two dads. Our 8-year-old son is confident and outspoken, and is doing a great job educating his peers when it comes up, but our little guy is much more sensitive and introverted.
When little Benny finally came to us and asked us if "boys marrying boys is weird," the first thing I did was grab my phone and open the Gays With Kids Instagram account. The boys huddled over my phone as I scrolled from one couple to the next, showing them families from all over the world who were like us. It wasn't an instant fix for him of course, but it helped open him up to more dialogue about what was really going on and how it affected him.
We were able to partner with the school to have children's books added to their library that showcase diverse families (their first addition is "And Tango Makes Three," based on the real-life boy penguins in the Central Park Zoo who coupled up and raised a baby girl penguin together), and the school guidance counselor will be visiting classrooms to read them.
He's getting better, and clearly feeling more confident.
Like I said, @gays_with_kids wasn't an instant fix, but I think it was an integral part of normalizing his unique family in his little mind. So thank you for that."