Gay Dad Life

Post Father's Day, One Gay Dad is Sick of All the Celebrating

One gay dad asks: are parents so insecure that they devised a holiday for their children to honor and celebrate them?

Do we really need a holiday to celebrate parents, especially one that is divided along gender lines? Mother's Day and Father's Day surely were not invented by children. Are parents so insecure that they devised a holiday for their children to honor and celebrate them? Is there something so different between a mother and father that they each need their own day? Aren't we beyond this?


I ask these questions as a father, along with my husband, to our 7-year old daughter. The week of Mother's Day is complicated for us. The other 51 weeks of the year are fine but when our child is confronted with having to make cards and gifts her 'mom' in public school, she is faced with having to make public her personal, private life. When Father's Day comes around, my child's private life is forced public again and she is burdened with having to do twice the amount of work because she has two fathers.
Mother's Day and Father's Day celebrate families that have both a mother and a father. The mother and father should be living and present. The child should also have a good relationship with the parent in order to celebrate them. Take a moment to consider how a child with a dead mother might feel on Mother's Day. Or how a child with an abusive father feels when they have to make a card telling him how much they love and appreciate him. Or a child that does not live with their parents and is in foster care. Heterosexual, cisgender, two-parent families are celebrated every day and everywhere, through books, television, ads, religion, doctors, teachers so forth. Children that do not fit normative ideals are challenged daily – a day that reinforces their difference is simply cruel.

If people want to celebrate these holidays, do so outside of school and public institutions. Children should feel supported by their teachers, not singled out. They shouldn't have to accommodate the parameters of a school project because their personal life doesn't fit. When our daughter started public school, we did some research about how gay and lesbian parents deal with Mother's Day and Father's Day. One popular remedy was to have the child create a card for someone in their lives that is a mother or father. So, in the past, we suggested our daughter make a card for her grandmother or aunt in an effort to protect her and provide a sense of belonging. However, our tricks are not working as she gets older and smarter. We've realized that band-aid solutions are confusing and not productive for anyone. In fact, they only teach her to be complacent and reinforce a system that excludes her family.

Mother's Day and Father's Day reinforce gender binaries by virtue of being separate days. In order to differentiate the two holidays, we are offered products that symbolize gender stereotypes such as flowers, jewelry, and spa treatments for moms (home, adornment, passivity) and ties, tools and barbecues for dads (work, productivity, activity). As gay fathers, we constantly subvert stereotypes associated with 'mothering' and 'fathering' – we know these terms are not exclusive of one another and don't rest with a particular gender. We perform every role and our children are well aware that parenting is about love and care and not about acts typically associated with female or male, mother or father. So, why should we support days that reinforce gendered ideas about parenting that are detrimental to our families?

There would be no harm if Mother's Day and Father's Day disappeared. Children would continue to love their caregivers, if warranted, and show their love in meaningful ways including through words, hugs, and kisses. Eliminating Mother's Day and Father's Day would open up new, nuanced and creative ways to celebrate a multitude of family relations. It is exciting to imagine the possibilities.

So, fuck Mother's Day and Father's Day and don't substitute them with Parent's Day. I don't need reassurance that my daughter loves me and respects our relationship at the cost of another child's pain. We don't have to fit in, we don't have to apologize, and we don't have to support a system that is oppressive to us and many people. We have an opportunity to reject these days, not only for our own interests but also for others.

Show Comments ()
Gay Dad Life

Broadway Performer's Surrogacy Journey Briefly Sidetracked — for One Very 'Wicked' Reason

"Broadway Husbands" Stephen and Bret explain the exciting reasons they had to hit pause on their surrogacy journey — but don't worry, they're back on track!

In the latest video of the Broadway Husbands sharing their path to fatherhood, Stephen and Bret explain their hiatus for the past 4 months. The couple have big news to share including a relocation, a job announcement, and the fact that they're getting ready to restart their journey (which they had to take a brief pause from since September).

Watch their video to find out their latest news.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

Top 10 Reasons You Should Date a Gay Dad

Jay Turner lays out the top 10 reasons you should consider dating a single gay dad

We're gay dads. Many of us were married to women, and for various reasons we eventually found ourselves single and looking for companionship from another man. Life is a little more complicated for us because we have kids. But that shouldn't deter you from seeking a relationship with a gay dad. In fact, there are many reasons why we make better partners than men without children. We are generally more mature, responsible, and emotionally available. We are also better communicators.

Here are the top ten reasons why you should date a gay dad:

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

Karamo Brown Co-Writes Children's Book with Son, Jason

The 'Queer Eye' star and his son named the story on a family mantra: You are Perfectly Designed

When his sons, Jason and Chris, were young, "Queer Eye" Star Karamo Brown repeated the same saying to them: "You are perfectly designed."

That mantra is now a Children's Book, cowritten by Karamo and his 22-year-old son, Jason, who used to come how and "say things like, 'I don't want to be me, I wish I was someone else, I wish I had a different life." As a parent, that "broke my heart," Karamo told Yahoo! Lifestyle. "I would say to him, 'You are blessed and you are perfect just the way you are,' as a reminder that you have been given so much and you should be appreciative and know that you're enough — I know that the world will try to tear you down, but if you can say to yourself, 'I am perfectly designed,' maybe it can quiet out some of those negative messages."

The illustrations, by Anoosha Syed, also make a point of displaying families of a variety of races and sexual orientations throughout the book.

Read more about Karamo's fascinating path to becoming a gay dad here, and then check out the video below that delves deeper into the inspiration behind "You Are Perfectly Designed," available on Amazon.



Diary of a Newly Out Gay Dad

A Newly Out Gay Dad Feels 'Demoted' After Divorce

Cameron Call showed up to his first family Thanksgiving since coming out and getting a divorce — and struggles to find himself "stuck with the singles."

Cameron Call, who came out in summer 2019, has generously agreed to chronicle his coming out journey for Gays With Kids over the next several months — the highs, lows and everything in between. Read his first article here.

Denial is an interesting thing. It's easy to think you're potentially above it, avoiding it, assume it doesn't apply to you because you'd NEVER do that, or maybe you're just simply avoiding it altogether. After finally coming out, I liked to think that I was done denying anything from now on. But unfortunately that's not the case.

And this fact became very clear to me over Thanksgiving.

Keep reading... Show less
Resources

New Report Details the 'Price of Parenthood' for LGBTQ People

A new report by the Family Equality Council takes a deep dive into the current state of cost for becoming a parent as an LGBTQ person

Parenthood is expensive. But parenthood while queer is still prohibitively costly for so many segments of the LGBTQ community interested in pursuing a family, according to a new repot by the Family Equality Council, titled, "Building LGBTQ+ Families: The Price of Parenthood."

Among the more interesting findings was this one: the cost of family planning is relatively similar for all LGBTQ people, regardless of income level. This shows "that the desire to have children exists regardless of financial security," the report's authors conclude.

Research for the report was conducted through an online survey of 500 LGBTQ adults over the age of 18, and was conducted between July 11-18, 2018. For comparison, the survey also included 1,004 adults who did not identify as LGBTQ.

Other interesting findings of the report include:

  • 29% of all LGBTQ+ respondents reported an annual household income under $25,000 compared to 22% of non-LGBTQ+ respondents.
  • 33% of black LGBTQ+ respondents, 32% of female-identified LGBTQ+ respondents, and 31% of trans/gender non-conforming LGBTQ+ respondents reported annual household incomes below $25,000.
  • Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in online surveys and polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to multiple sources of error, including, but not limited to sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, and error associated with question-wording and response options.29% of all LGBTQ+ respondents reported an annual household income under $25,000 compared to 22% of non-LGBTQ+ respondents.
  • 33% of black LGBTQ+ respondents, 32% of female-identified LGBTQ+ respondents, and 31% of trans/gender non-conforming LGBTQ+ respondents reported annual household incomes below $25,000.
  • Regardless of annual household income, 45-53% of LGBTQ+ millennials are planning to become parents for the first time or add another child to their family. Those making less than $25,000 a year are considering becoming parents at very similar rates as those making over $100,000.
  • Data from the Family Building Survey reveals that LGBTQ+ households making over $100,000 annually are considering the full range of paths to parenthood, from surrogacy and private adoption to foster care and IVF. The most popular options under consideration in this income bracket are private adoption (74% are considering), foster care (42%), and IVF or reciprocal IVF (21%). At the other end of the economic spectrum, for LGBTQ+ individuals in households making less than $25,000 annually, the most commonly considered paths to parenthood are intercourse (35% are considering), foster care (30%), and adoption (23%).

What to Buy

A Gift Guide for LGBTQ Inclusive Children's Books

Need some ideas for good LGBTQ-inclusive children's books? Look no further than our gift guide!

Every year we see more books released that feature our families, and we're here for it! We're especially excited for the day when diverse and LGBTQ+ inclusive books are less of "the odd one out" and rather considered part of every kids' everyday literacy.

To help us reach that day, we need to keep supporting our community and allies who write these stories. So here's a list of some of the great books that need to be in your library, and gifts to the other kids in your lives.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Family Stories

These Gay Dads Lost Everything After Hurricane Dorian — Except Hope

The couple, who live in "Hope Town" in the Bahamas, lost everything after suffering a direct hit from Hurricane Dorian this past summer.

Max Bethel-Jones, 52, had traveled to more than 120 countries over the last 30 years working with the United Nations, but had never been to the Bahamas — in 2015, he decided to apply for a private teaching job as a special needs teacher in Freeport on the island of Grand Bahama.

Just weeks after his arrival, he'd get a whole lot more than another pin in his map of visited countries when he attended a social event at Freeport Rugby. "My object was to ogle the local male talent but several women had other ideas," he said. One woman was particularly insistent, he said, but after a couple of drinks she got the hint that he batted for the other rugby team. "She promptly told me there was someone I should meet."

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