Change the World

Fear and Hate Continue Past the Election and This Gay Dad Doesn't Want to go Back

I am trying very hard to not make this a political statement, because I do firmly believe in the peaceful transition of power and I do firmly believe that we have to live with the election results, no matter the results. And while for me personally, 11/9/16 was a tough day, I did find myself starting to feel some optimistic thoughts even though I didn’t agree with the results. Maybe, just maybe, the anti-establishment positioning could work. Maybe, just maybe, we could see the kind of change that would propel us forward. Maybe, just maybe.


And then at the end of the day, I walked out of my office building and it hit me.

“What’s all that noise?”

That’s when it hit me, at the end of the day. I began to process the sounds I was hearing, as they got clearer and clearer in my ears and in my head and in my heart.

“Love Trumps Hate.”

My eyes welled up, just like they are now as I'm writing about it.

People were marching in protest up Fifth Avenue towards Trump Tower. It was peaceful and calm, but it was loud and dominating. They weren’t protesting the fact that “their” candidate lost, they were protesting hate.

Protesting hate.

For the first time in my life, at age 53, I stepped into the march, and walked about 5 blocks with these protesters. I would have walked longer but I had colleagues waiting for me uptown. I was walking with folks of all ages and all flavors. And I heard them loud and clear.

“Love Trumps Hate.”

They weren’t screaming that Hillary lost, they were screaming because they don’t want hate to win.

I found myself a few hours later, after a business dinner, sharing a cab with a colleague who is in the U.S. for a few months to work on some projects and get to know American business. She’s been planning her time in America for quite some time now, looking forward to living like an American, as she says. But what she said to me in that cab will stick with me for the rest of my life.

“This is not America.”

I had to let that sink in. “This is not the America I wanted to come to. I’m used to this kind of bigotry and sexism and racism in other parts of the world, but I thought that America would be different.”

Wow. Here’s someone who has dreamed of spending time here in the States to experience our way of life because she views it as much more open and accepting…only to have that dream crushed in reality.

The reality that we are fighting hate. Again.

And you know what…she’s right. It’s not about Trump winning the election; it’s about giving hatred a safe harbor. It’s about letting people get away with breaking down others who aren’t exactly like them. It’s about safeguarding an ancient way of life that’s no longer relevant in our culture.

I don’t want to go backwards. I want to live in America.

I am a gay father who raised my now adult children back in those times of bigotry. At the time, I feared that they’d be bullied, I feared that I would lose my job and not be able to support them, and I feared that they could be taken away from me because of who I am.

As a gay father, I lived in fear a lot of the time.

Yes, I feared a lot those days, and I had no choice but to accept that fear and live within it. I learned to thrive despite of it. I had thought we’d come so far since then. But now I fear we may be going backwards. Not because my candidate didn’t win the election and I’m a sore loser. But because I fear we are letting hatred take over.

I don’t want to go backwards. I want to live in America. I want to live in the America that my colleague said she aspired to be a part of. I want that and I want her to have that. I want us all to have that.

I want to be an American in the America that accepts people for who they are and gives them an equal chance at happiness and success. That does not make me a sore loser or a cry baby.

As a father, gay or straight or anything in between, even more importantly, I want my children to have that.

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Change the World

Your Marriage Should Be Gayer, Says the New York Times

In an op-ed for the New York Times, Stephanie Coontz, author of "Marriage: a History," lists the many insights LGBTQ marriages can offer straight ones.

According to a fascinating op-ed in the New York Times this week by Stephanie Coontz, author of "Marriage: a History," turns out the people convinced marriage equality — legal across the United States for five years now — would usher in the complete breakdown of civil society should be more worried about the health of their own marriages.

In the article, Coontz details the results of research that followed 756 "midlife" straight marriages, and 378 gay marriages, and found same-sex couples reporting the lowest levels of physiological distress — with male gay couples reporting the lowest. The reason for this, the author said, is pretty simple — misogyny. The idea that men and women should strive for parity in a relationship is still a fairly new idea, Coontz said, and traditional gender roles are still pervasive. Gay couples, meanwhile, are free from such presumptions, which often results in happier, healthier relationships.

The most interesting findings in the research relate to parenting. While gender norms tend to be even more emphasized among straight people once they have children, with the bulk of the childrearing falling to mothers, same-sex couples — once again freed from the stereotypes of the male/female divide — parent more equitably. As the author notes, "A 2015 survey found that almost half of dual-earner, same-sex couples shared laundry duties, compared with just under a third of different-sex couples. And a whopping 74 percent of same-sex couples shared routine child care, compared with only 38 percent of straight couples."

When it comes to time spent with children, men in straight marriages spent the least amount of time and the lowest proportion of "nonwork" time, with their children — while men in same-sex marriages spent just as much time with their children as women in a straight relationship. "The result?" Coontz writes, "Children living with same-sex parents experienced, on average, three and a half hours of parenting time per day, compared with two and a half for children living with a heterosexual couple."

Straight fathers devote the least amount of time — about 55 minutes a day — on their children, which includes things like physical needs, reading, playing, and homework. Gay mothers spent an additional 18 minutes each and straight mothers an additional 23 minutes. Gay fathers spent the most time with their children, the study found, an average of an additional 28 minutes a day.

Taken together, straight couples spend an average of 2 hours and 14 minutes on their children. Lesbian moms spend an additional 13 minutes, while gay men spend 33 more minutes than straight couples.

One factor, the author notes, that can help explain this difference is this: gay parents rarely end up with an unintended or unwanted child, whereas a full 45% percent of pregnancies in straight relationships in 2011 (the last year data is available) were unintended, and 18% were unwanted.

But right. Gay people shouldn't be parents.

Change the World

Uber Driver Accuses Gay Dads of Child Trafficking

An Uber driver in San Diego reportedly accused two gay dads of child trafficking because their child "didn't have a mother."

[An update on this story as of February 17, 2020: Uber Support has still yet to respond to James Moed and his multiple requests from further comment. The driver who falsely accused the gay dads of kidnaping their own child, in fact, continues to "drive around with a "Pro Diamond" status with a 4.93 rating," James said in a recent Tweet.]

On January 29 of this year, James Moed took an Uber with his husband, and their newborn son, to the Marriott Marina hotel in the San Diego area. As their newborn son cried in the backseat of the car, the family's driver offered this piece of helpful advice:

The baby just needs his mother.

Any queer dad has been through this scenario a million times — the dreaded "Where's the Mommy?" question. But even when the dads explained that their son had two fathers, not a mother, the driver "didn't back down," Moed said via Twitter.

Little did the couple realize just how perplexed the driver actually was. At 1:30am in the morning, the couple was greeted by a loud knock on their hotel door. Officers from the Port of San Diego Harbor Police Department were on the other side, demanding to see the couple's identification — and their son's.


"It turns out the Uber driver who had taken us to the hotel had called the cops – accusing us of child trafficking? Endangerment?" Moed wrote on Twitter. Though the situation was quickly resolved, the couple was nonetheless — and understandably — "freaked out."

"What if we hadn't had his passport?" Moed wrote. "Where can my queer family travel safely?"

The couple took their complaints to Uber. In response — they were refunded $10. "Keep your $10," Moed wrote. "We want proof you keep your LGBTQ riders safe."

After Pink News requested further comment from Uber, the company gave the following canned response:

"As soon as we learned of this incident we launched an investigation. Our Community Guidelines make clear that we do not tolerate discrimination."

The dads, however, are keeping up the fights, demanding evidence of some sort of LGBTQ sensitivity training their drivers must undergo. We'll keep you posted as we learn more.

Politics

New Report Finds Paid Family Leave Rising Among Top Employers

PL+US report has found paid family and medical leave policies more popular than ever among nation's top employers

PL+US, an organization that advocates for paid family leave policies for all families, released a report that showed paid family and medical leave policies gaining steam among the nation's top employers. In a first, the non-profit expanded its research this year to examine the largest employment sectors in the country to help show what policies look like for workers in different sectors.

Among the report's main findings:

Keep reading...
Surrogacy for Gay Men

Dads Talk About Surrogacy Process in New Video for Northwest Surrogacy Center

The Northwest Surrogacy Center interviewed some of their gay dad clients for a video to celebrate their 25th anniversary of creating families through surrogacy!

Last year, Northwest Surrogacy Center celebrated 25 years of helping parents realize their dreams. And they celebrated in style by inviting the families they've worked with over the past two and a half decades to join them!

At the party, they took the opportunity to film queer dads and dads-to-be, asking them a couple of questions: how did it feel holding your baby for the first time, and tell us about your relationship with your surrogate.

Watch the video below and get ready for the water works!

Keep reading...
Surrogacy for Gay Men

Campaign to Legalize Surrogacy in New York Heats Up with Competing Bills

Two competing bills — one backed by Governor Andrew Cuomo and another by Senator Liz Krueger with stricter provisions — are aiming to legalize surrogacy in New York.

Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York is once again attempting to legalize commercial surrogacy in the state, which is still just one of three states in the country to forbid the practice.

"This antiquated law is repugnant to our values and we must repeal it once and for all and enact the nation's strongest protections for surrogates and parents choosing to take part in the surrogacy process," Governor Cuomo said in a statement in announcing a broader effort called Love Makes a Family. "This year we must pass gestational surrogacy and expedite the second parent adoption process to complete marriage and family equality."

Keep reading...
Gay Dad Photo Essays

How Single Dads Are Celebrating Valentine's Day This Year

Valentine's Day is not just for lovers! We caught up with 8 single gay dads to see how they plan to celebrate Valentine's Day with this year.

Valentine's Day is not just for lovers; it's also a day to celebrate our loved ones. And that's exactly what these single dads are doing.

Within our community, GWK has a large group of admirable, active, and awesome (!) single dads and we want to honor them! On Valentine's Day, they and their kids celebrate their family unit in the sweetest possible ways. We asked the dads to share these moments with us, and, where possible, one of the most heartwarming things they've experienced with their kids on Valentine's Day to date.

Hear their stories below.

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Gay Dad Photo Essays

11 Gay Couples Share Secrets to Their Long-Term Relationships This Valentine's Day

This Valentine's Day, we spoke with 11 gay dad couples who've been together for almost a decade or longer to learn what's made their relationships last

You're the peanut butter to my jelly, the gin to my tonic, the strawberries to my cream, the Mr. to my Mr.!

Happy Valentine's Day folks! We're excited to celebrate this day of lurrrrvvve by featuring a few dads in our community who've been together for almost a decade or more! And they're ready to share their secrets to a successful relationship and parenting partnership.

Keep reading...

Fatherhood, the gay way

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