Gay Dad Life

This Gay Dad Felt Invincible. Then, He Turned 40

"I feel like the day I turned 40," said gay dad David Blacker, "my body suddenly started falling apart."

I passed the mirror as I was about to take a shower this morning. And I saw something shiny. What in the world is that… a kernel of silver glitter from Max's art project? I got closer to the mirror to investigate.

OMG.

IT. WAS. NOT. GLITTER.

It was my first gray hair.

No, not the first gray hair on my head — that happened years ago.

It was worse. Must worse.

It was my first gray hair… down there.

I know. I was as shocked as you are.


When I turned 40 a few weeks ago people asked, "do you feel any different?" And I'd smile it off with a joke about 40 being the new 30, but the truth is, I do feel different. And not in the way I expected.

I thought 40 would mean I could slow down a bit and be less obsessed with my career and more focused on my role as Dad. I fantasized about my 40s being my best decade yet. Where I'm wiser…. more established and somewhat more financially sound. You know, settled, content, and more comfortable in my own skin. But my body didn't get the memo.

I feel like the day I turned 40, my body suddenly started falling apart.

I now hear all kinds of weird cracks when I get on the floor to play Hot Wheels with Max. And when I read him books at bedtime I now have to hold small print at arm's length to be able to see the words. Hair is starting to grow in weird places. Eating one hamburger makes me look like I'm four months pregnant (apparently my metabolism is slower than the Special Counsel's investigation). The bags under my eyes have become way more pronounced — I'm starting to look like Michael Cohen. And then there's the unending upper back pain from years of bad posture. It never bothered me before, but damn, it bothers me now. What is happening to me? And is it normal?

I read online that after puberty, 40s is the time you see the most changes in your body." I barely recovered from puberty, and now I have to deal with this? I feel like being picked last in gym class all over again, only this time, instead of Mike Fishman making fun of me it's my family doctor. "No more red meat. No more ice cream. No more pasta." No more reason to go on! So if you need me, I'll be up in the tree pecking on birdseed.

Even Max has picked up on my insta-aging. "Dada, you're fat." "Dada your hair is silver." "Dada, can I have 18 more Oreos?" Why does he get to eat whatever he wants and stay a size 8? Life's not fair!

And then there's my arch nemesis at Max's elementary school drop off. Another Dad who's literally the most fit and fabulous-looking man alive. Every morning, he's there to remind me what good genes — not to mention, good jeans — are supposed to look like. He's my age. But he doesn't seem to be suffering the same fate. Not an ounce of body fat. Perfectly chiseled body and face. And hair that does exactly what he wants it to, without looking like he's done anything at all. Worst of all — he's impossibly nice, witty and warm. Fuck him, with his perfectness. P.S. We have a play date scheduled for this weekend. Price check on Spanx, aisle one.

So what's the point of this article? What does all this mean? Is it just a forum for me to angrily vent? No. It's a warning to myself. Because if I write it down and release it to the public, it'll feel more real. If I want to grow old and healthy with my husband and son, now's the time for me to rethink my priorities. For starters, turning 40 means being more of a disciplined and health-conscious eater now than I was when I was younger (you, know 39).

It means being more grateful. I have to work on becoming more aware of all the good that's in my life… and less envious of others (I'm talking to you, kid-drop-off-dad). I've got to learn to appreciate all that I have, because there are a lot of people that would switch places with me in a heartbeat. Speaking of, how fantastic would it be to switch lives, just for one day, with that super hot Queer Eye chef. I mean, wow. I digress.

And lastly, I have to learn not to ignore my body's warning signs. I had gotten to the point where I thought I was invincible. And that proved to be untrue when I had my recent physical. The #1 killer of men in their 40s is heart disease. My doctor literally said to me, "just because you're a size 32 on the outside doesn't mean things are looking good on the inside." #buzzkill

Here's the thing, turning 40 doesn't mean the fun stuff has to stop, but it does mean paying attention, seeing a doctor for nagging or unusual symptoms and taking advantage of important health screenings. Cholesterol, blood sugar and pressure, are the most important ones for guys our age. A low-fat diet along with regular exercise — 30 to 40 minutes three to five times a week — goes a long way toward keeping these problems at bay. And if not, I seriously give up.

I leave you with a few words of wisdom from Brad Pitt. "I loved turning 40. Your face kind of goes, and your body's not quite the same, but you've earned it. You've earned things falling apart."

Bitch, please. Brad has no idea what it's like to be average and 40.

Show Comments ()
Personal Essays by Gay Dads

Just Like Dad: Ways My Kids and I Are Alike

Joseph Sadusky recounts the ways he and his adopted sons are cut from the same cloth.

Editor's Note: This is the third in a series of excerpts from Joseph Sadusky's new book, Magic Lessons: Celebratory and Cautionary Tales about Life as a (Single, Gay, Transracially Adoptive) Dad. The book contains many stories about my life as a dad, as well as lessons learned, and we're excited to share several excerpts from the the book over the course of the next few months. Read previous installments here!

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

10 of Our Most Popular Posts Featuring Single Gay Dads

Happy Single Parent's Day! To celebrate, we rounded up some of our most popular articles featuring single gay dads.

Did you know March 21st is Single Parents Day? Well now you do, and you should mark the occasion by checking out our round up of some of our most popular articles featuring single gay dads!

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

What's Life Like as a Single Gay Dad? These Guys Sound Off

We checked in with some of the single gay dads in our community to see what life is like while parenting solo

March 21st is Single Parents Day! To celebrate, we checked in with some single gay men in our community to sound off on what life is like while parenting solo — the good, the challening and everything in between.

Keep reading... Show less
Politics

Gestational Surrogacy Legalized in New York State

The Child-Parent Security Act, which legalizes commercial surrogacy in New York State, was included in the 2020 New York State Budget signed by Governor Cuomo

Yesterday, a years-long battle about the state of compensated gestational surrogacy came to an end in New York when the Governor signed into a law the Child-Parent Security Act in the 2020 as part of the state budget.

The effort stalled last year after opponents, including several Democrats, successfully argued that the bill didn't go far enough to protect women who serve as surrogates — even though it included a surrogate "bill of rights," the first of its kind in the country, aimed at ensuring protections.

"Millions of New Yorkers need assistance building their families — people struggling with infertility, cancer survivors impacted by treatment, and members of the LGBTQ+ community," the Family Equality Council said in a statement about the victory. "For many, surrogacy is a critically important option. For others, it is the only option. Passage of the Child-Parent Security Act is a massive step forward in providing paths to parenthood for New Yorkers who use reproductive technology, and creates a 'surrogate's bill of rights' that will set a new standard for protecting surrogates nationwide."

Opponents, led by Senator Liz Krueger, had once again attempted to torpedo legalization efforts this year by introducing a second bill that would legalize surrogacy in New York, but also make it the most restrictive state in the country to do so. "A bill that complicates the legal proceedings for the parents and potentially allows them to lose their genetic child is truly unfortunate," said Sam Hyde, President of Circle Surrogacy, referencing to the bill's 8-day waiting period. He also took issue with the bills underlying assumptions about why women decide to serve as a surrogate. The added restrictions imply that "they're entering into these arrangements without full forethought and consideration of the intended parents that they're partnering with," he said.

The bill was sponsored by State Senator Brad Hoylman, an out gay man who became a father via surrogacy, and Assemblymember Amy Paulin, who has been public with her experiences with infertility.

"My husband and I had our two daughters through surrogacy," Holyman told Gay City News. "But we had to travel 3,000 miles away to California in order to do it. As a gay dad, I'm thrilled parents like us and people struggling with infertility will finally have the chance to create their own families through surrogacy here in New York."

"This law will [give intended parents] the opportunity to have a family in New York and not travel around the country, incurring exorbitant costs simply because they want to be parents," Paulin said for her part. It will "bring New York law in line with the needs of modern families."


Expert Advice

4 Tips for Single Gay Dads Raising Daughters

Here are some ways to create a safe space for your daughter to discover who she is, with you by her side.

There's nothing quite like father-daughter relationships, and when it comes to single dads, your little girl likely holds a very special place in your heart. From the moment she's born, it's as if you can see every moment of her life in front of you, from her first steps to walking her down the aisle at her wedding. You'll be the first man she'll know and talk to, and you'll be her biggest example of what a loving man looks like. She'll come to you for advice on how to navigate challenges, be independent, treat others and grow into herself.

Your relationship with your daughter may be shaped by your personal history, whether you've been through a difficult divorce or breakup, you've transitioned out of a straight relationship, or you made the courageous decision to pursue surrogacy on your own. Whatever your situation is, studies have shown that children with involved fathers excel more in school and have fewer behavioral issues in adolescence.

Keep reading... Show less
Change the World

After Suffering a Violent Homophobic Attack, This Gay Dad Turned to Advocacy

After Rene suffered a brutal homophobic attack that left him hospitalized, he and his family have turned to advocacy to heal

Guest post written by Rene and Nejc

We are Rene (35) and Nejc (29) and we come from Slovenia, Europe. I was an avid athlete, a Judoist, but now I am an LGBT activist and Nejc is a writer, who published a gay autobiography called Prepovedano. He was also a participant in a reality show in Slovenia (Bar) and he is an LGBT activist too. Nejc and I met by a mere coincidence on Facebook, and already after the first phone call we realized that we are made for each other. Nejc and I have been together as couple almost one year. We think we have been joined by some energy, as we have both experienced a lot of bad things with previous relationships and now we wish to create and shape our common path.

Keep reading... Show less
Personal Essays by Gay Dads

How to Survive a Midlife Crisis (A Guide for Gay Dads)

Turns out David Blacker is, in fact, experiencing a midlife crisis — according to the very official results of a Buzzfeed quiz

Today I took one of those Buzzfeed-like quizzes to determine whether or not I am having a midlife crisis. I know what you're thinking. How can 29 be considered mid-life? God bless you, but I'm actually 35. Fine, 41. The Buzzfeed results — granted, we're not talking a true clinical assessment here — implied that I am, in fact, showing symptoms of a midlife crisis. But instead of shopping for a new sports car, I'm looking around for something else.

Problem is, I don't quite know what that is yet.

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