Gay Dad Life

My "Friend," the Pedophile

Any parent’s worst nightmare, and it hit us like a ton of bricks: someone in our circle of acquaintances admitted to having child pornography on his computers, both at work and at home. We met him and his husband several years ago when they moved to town from another part of Sweden. For a couple of years, we spent some time together, couple’s dinners, boating, we even spent a weekend at their favorite beach in Southern Sweden. Alex and I thought we got along famously, but after that weekend at the beach, something happened and we drifted apart. Seems our preference for a Hilton over a camping site was a decisive factor in their decision to stop seeing us. We were just too different, one of them told me just a couple of months ago.

Now this. As a gay man it’s very disturbing that a gay man turns out to be a pedophile, given some people’s never-ending need to link the two. As a father, it’s troubling to be confronted with images of a pedophile sitting at the same table where I have breakfast and dinner with my husband and son every day. Yes, years have gone between the two, but my artsy novelist brain isn’t capable of making that distinction between the two timelines. And, being the victim of a pedophile myself, this whole affair also brings back memories of a completely different kind, and I can’t avoid to start to think about all the vile things you read from various hate groups out there who keep claiming and preaching that being gay, if not a choice, is the result of sexual abuse as a child, and that all gay men are essentially pedophiles.

For about 0.0034 seconds, my brain considered the possibility. But no, my assailant was an elderly woman in whose care I had been placed to learn the piano, and I have absolutely zero tendencies toward children, the mere thought is about the biggest turn-off imaginable.

Which brings me back to my friend, or former friend really, as I haven’t spoken to him for several years. I would’ve never guessed that he was into kids. Our son wasn’t born yet, but we had foreign exchange students living with us at the time. It really makes you think about how to protect your own children, what we can do to keep them safe.

Well, I have no definitive answers for you, but I for one, and I know that my husband feels the same, we’re going to be very careful in whose care we place our son from now on. This really was a wake-up call. I’m not a hateful or revengeful person and I’m a very trusting guy, but events like these show that when it comes to your kids, it is better to be safe than sorry.

So here are a few tips of what you can do to help keep your kids safe:

  • If you employ a baby sitter, make sure, that he or she comes from a reputable agency. We are using the 14-year-old daughter of our friends and neighbors, but if we’re ever using someone from outside our family circle again, we’re going to make sure to be safe, because I for one don’t want to start to install security cameras around the house.
  • Keep those baby pictures safe. With smart phones it’s so easy to take an adorable shot of your son or daughter taking a bath, and two clicks later, to share it with your family or friends on Facebook or Instagram. I’d advise against doing this. Because you never know how those pictures are going to be used. We have plenty such shots, and I once sent a bathtub shot to our son’s godfather. I managed to stop him last second to post that shot on Facebook. He had absolutely no malicious intent. He was simply proud, but he obviously couldn't vouch for his several hundred friends…
  • Don’t leave your child out of your sight. I know this is a no brainer, but you’d be amazed just how quickly a child can disappear, particularly a child brought up in a safe and loving environment. Our son is so self-secure that he crawls away from us, a couple hundred yards without worrying or looking back for us. The other day I discovered that he can open doors at the tender age of 13 months. Needless to say, our front door is now locked even during the day, not to keep people out, but to make sure he doesn’t crawl out on adventures.
  • In Sweden, in order to work in preschools or daycare you must provide the employer with your criminal record. Convicted pedophiles aren’t allowed to work near children. But what if your record is clean? My friend has had a spotless record to this day… No matter what your country’s legal requirements are, talk about these things with the principal. Learn how they address those issues.
  • I’m sure there are many more things I could put on this list, but in the end, we have to make sure not to lock our kids up in their rooms, just to keep them out of harms way. To be overprotective is not the answer, neither is it conducive to be paranoid. Just use good judgement and common sense in your relationships with people who need to be near your kids.
  • I thought long and hard about even writing this post. I don’t want to scare people, and I know it is a very touchy and sensitive topic. I’ve come to the conclusion that we best deal with these issues out in broad daylight, addressing them head on. It’s not easy, but I think it is the only way.

    Show Comments ()
    Gay Dad Life

    'NolaPapa' Launches YouTube Channel: Story of a Gay Dad

    Check out Erik Alexander's new YouTune Channel: Story of a Gay Dad

    When we first found out that our second daughter was African American I froze. Not because of her race, but because I knew NOTHING about African American hair. So I frantically tried to learn as much as I could while she was a newborn so I was ready to style it when she was a little older.

    I decided to launch our YouTube channel Nolapapa: Story of a Gay Dad to focus on this very topic! Episodes 1-5 will solely be dedicated to learning how to wash, care for and styling African American hair. Afterwards, the content will shift towards personal & family situations, adoption, gay parenting questions and other great content! I'd love your support and become part of our little village as we launch this new project!

    Sending Nola love to each of ya!

    Keep reading... Show less
    Gay Dad Life

    Encouraged by His Son, Single Dad Richard Started Dating Again — and Just Got Married!

    After his 14 year relationship ended, Richard got a gentle push into the dating pool from an unexpected source — his son!

    In 2014, Richard Rothman's relationship of 15 years ended, leaving him understandably reluctant to jump back into the world of dating as a single gay dad. But after spending one too many Friday nights at home, he got a gentle nudge from somebody unexpected —his teenaged son, Jonathan.

    "Dad," Jonathan said. "Would you just get out of the house and go on a date already?" (You may remember wise-beyond-his-years Jonathan from this post that went viral of a tattoo he got commemorating his adoption day.)

    On his son's encouragement, Richard started dipping a tentative toe back into the dating pool. In 2015, he met Kevin thanks to mutual friends that introduced them via social media. It took four months before Richard introduced Kevin to his son, who was a Sophomore in high school at the time.

    On New Year's Eve in 2017, Kevin proposed while the couple was vacationing in Palm Springs. The city has an outdoor festival every year, he explained, which the couple attended. The band Plain White T's happened to be performing their hit "Hey There Delilah" as Kevin got down on one knee and proposed. "Now whenever I hear that song it brings back memories of that night," Richard said.

    Richard and Kevin married on March 30, 2019 back at the scene of the crime — in Palm Springs, at the Frederick Loewe Estate. Jonathan was Richard's best man, and also walked him down the aisle (awwww.....). Kevin's brother Bobby served as his best man.

    "As so many wonderful moments continue to happen for us in Palm Springs, we now own a home there in addition to our primary residence in Bentonville, Arkansas," said Richard.

    Check out video from the couple's special day below!

    And Jonathan is now an E4 Master-at-Arms in the US Navy.

    Gay Uncles

    Gay Uncles are an Essential Part of This Gay Dad Family's Village

    It takes a village to raise a child, and this village includes many gay uncles

    In November last year, Ottawa-based husbands Matt Ottaviani and Rej Gareau (whose story we shared in July) became first-time dads through surrogacy. They were overjoyed to welcome their daughter Andy and become a family of three.

    But as many of us know, raising a child isn't always just about the nuclear family. The African proverb "it takes a village to raise a child" is a commonly repeated phrase, and rings very true for many families. Matt and Rej are no different, and when they shared their story last month, one thing jumped out to us: the important role Andy's guncles play in her and her dads' lives.

    In honor of Gay Uncles Day today, we reached out to Andy's many guncles to learn first-hand how their relationship with the family affects their lives. Here's what they had to say.

    Keep reading... Show less
    Gay Dad Photo Essays

    Pics of the Moment Before and After Gay Men Become Dads

    Dig through your phones — what was the last pic taken of you BEFORE you became a dad?

    We all have THAT photo: the one taken moments after we become fathers for the first time. For some of us, we're doing "skin to skin" in a delivery room. For others, we're standing proudly alongside our newly adopted child and judge in a courtroom. However or wherever it happens, though, we make sure to snap a picture of it.

    But what about that last photo BEFORE you first became a dad? What does that image look like, we wondered? Well, we asked our Instagram community to dig through through phones and find out. Some of us are enjoying a last carefree meal or glass of wine, others of us are captured nervously contemplating our futures. Whatever it is, we've decided these BEFORE pictures are just as meaningful.

    Enjoy some of our favorites! Want to play along? Dig through your phones and send us your pics to!

    Keep reading... Show less

    Gay Dad in Sundance's 'Brittany Runs a Marathon' is Relatable AF

    Sundance hit "Brittany Runs a Marathon" stars a gay dad trying to get in shape.

    Who would make for the best marathon training partner for an overweight, overly boozed 27-year-old woman? A gay dad, of course!

    The pairing, for any gay man who has been subjected to impossible beauty standards (not unlike... literally all women?) makes a bit too much sense after watching the new Sundance film, "Brittany Runs a Marathon," starring SNL writer Jillian Bell (as the 27-year-old) and Micah Stock as the (somewhat *ahem* older) gay dad.

    Based on a true story, the film follows Brittany, an overweight and over-boozed 20-something, trying to clean up her act by training for the New York City marathon — while doing so, she meets Seth (the gay dad), and the two begin to train together, along with Brittany's neighbor Catherine. Each has their own motivation for running: getting one's live together, recovering from a messy divorce, or an attempt to impress one's athletic son. (Which is the gay dad? Guess you'll have to watch to find out!)

    We won't give too much more away, apart from saying that the trio — based off of actual people and events — really works. It's the feel good film you're waiting to see.

    Expert Advice

    Your 15 Most Common Questions About Adoption, Answered by an Expert

    We asked our Instagram community for their biggest questions about adoption. Then asked Molly Rampe Thomas of Choice Network to answer them.

    As part of our new "Ask an Expert" series on Instagram, our community of dads and dads-to-be sent us their questions on adoption in the United States. Molly Rampe Thomas, founder of Choice Network, answered them.

    Keep reading... Show less

    'Life Is Amazing': Congrats to Gay Dads Whose Families Recently Grew!

    Help us congratulate gay dads on their recent births and adoptions last month!

    Wishing all of these gay dads whose families expanded in the last month or so a lifetime of happiness! Congrats to everyone in our community on their recent births and adoptions!

    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