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 ()
Gay Dad Life

A Gay Dad Wonders: What Will the 'Roaring Twenties' Bring?

Jim Joseph says he's looking forward to "moving forward in 2020" and in the decade to come!

The Roaring Twenties are upon us, and with the new decade comes great anticipation.

I remember as a kid that whenever a new decade came, it felt like "out with the old and in with the new." It seemed like pop culture and the way of doing things suddenly shifted. Witness 1979 into 1980 and the dawn of a new era in music, fashion, entertainment, and culture. Same with 1989 into 1990. Bam!

As I got older and started my own journey of growth, I started tracking decades by the milestones I had hit during each of the ten-year increments.

Keep reading...
Gay Dad Life

Gay Dads Tell Us Their Parenting Goals for 2020

Some are hoping to expand their families — others are hoping to keep the members they already have alive!

We asked our community on Instagram what their parenting goals were for 2020. Here are some of their responses.

Keep reading...
Gay Dad Life

10 Ways Gay Dads Inspired Us in 2019

No two gay parents have the same family creation story, but they still have one thing in common — they inspire us.

Every week, we bring you the stories of gay men and their families. While no two of these stories are the same, one thing they have in common is this — they inspire us. Check out 10 (out of the MANY!) ways gay dads moved us in 2019!

Keep reading...
News

Indiana Court Says Couples Using Sperm Donors​ Can Both Be Listed on Birth Certificate — But Ruling Excludes Male Couples

The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in the case, a major victory for LGBTQ parents — but the Attorney General may appeal to the Supreme Court.

On Friday, a US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling from a lower court that said that both parents in a same-sex relationship are entitled to be listed on the birth certificate — previously, the state of Indiana had required the non-biological parent within a same-sex relationship using assisted reproductive technologies to adopt their child after the birth in order to get her or his name listed on the birth certificate, a lengthy and expensive process not required of straight couples in the same situation.

It's a double standard LGBTQ parents have long been subjected to in many states across the country. So this represent a major win. As reported by CNN, this ruling "takes a lot of weight off" the shoulders of LGBTQ parents, said Karen Celestino-Horseman, a lawyer representing one of the couples in the case. "They've been living as families and wondering if this was going to tear them apart."

The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals deliberated the case, according to CNN, for more than two and a half years, which is one of the longest in the court's history.

However, because all the plaintiffs in the case involved female same-sex couples using sperm donors, the ruling left open the similar question of parenting rights with respect to male couples. Indiana's Attorney General, moreover, may also appeal the case to the Supreme Court.

We'll be following the case closely and be sure to keep you up to date. For more on this recent decision, read CNN's article here.

Personal Essays by Gay Dads

As a Gay Dad, What's the Impact of Letting My Son Perform Drag?

Michael Duncan was excited when his 10-year-old son asked if he could perform in drag for charity — but he also felt fear and anxiety.

As LGBT parents, we have all lived through some sort of trauma in our lives. For many it is the rejection of our family, being bullied, or abuse. We learn to be vigilant of our surroundings and often are very cautious of who we trust. As adults, we start to become watchful of how much we share and we look for "red flags" around every corner.

So, what effect does this have on our children? Does it unintentionally cause us to be more jaded with our interactions involving others? For some the answer may be a resounding "no." But as we look deeper into the situation, we often find that through survival our interactions with others have changed and we may not even realize exactly how much we are projecting on those around us.

Keep reading...
Diary of a Newly Out Gay Dad

A Gay Chiropractor Explains Why He Came Out to His Patients

After Cameron Call, a chiropractor, came out to his family this past year, he knew he had one more step to take — he had to come out to his patients

Fear is an interesting thing. It motivates when it shouldn't, shows at inconvenient times, and is the author of stories that do nothing but hold us back. I would argue though, too, that fear has some good qualities. I believe it helps us to feel. And I think it can be a great teacher as we learn to recognize and face it.

For years fear prevented me from embracing my truth and accepting a large part of who I am. I know I am not alone in that regard. But for so long my fear convinced me that I was. Fear is what kept me from ever telling my parents or anyone growing up that I am gay. Fear mingled with strong religious teachings, embraced at a young age, which led me to believe that I could cure myself of my attractions to the same gender. And fear is a part of what kept me in my marriage to a woman for over ten years.

Keep reading...
Personal Essays by Gay Dads

A Gay Dad Gains Clarity After a Health Scare

A recent health scare helped give Erik Alexander clarity.

Sometimes fear can cripple the mind and hinder ones judgement. Having children of my own, I have come to grips with accepting the things I cannot change and learned to take action when there is no other choice. When it comes to my own personal health, the future and well being of my family gives me all the clarity I need to make the right decision about any kind of health scare.

This episode is dedicated to all the parents out there that are going through or have gone through similar situations.

Keep reading...

Fatherhood, the gay way

Get the latest from Gays With Kids delivered to your inbox!

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse