Straight Talk on Gay Dads

Back when I wrote my first gay wedding book, I discovered a unique new tradition among, ironically, heterosexual folks. Many of them, after attending same-sex nuptials and having gay relatives marry, started rethinking their own weddings and the meaning of so many of those normally-not-questioned customs. Now, with so many gay men moving on to the next step and having children, I thought it would be interesting to ask some straight men and women what they’ve learned from their gay family counterparts. Here, some straight answers about gay dads.

“Well, kids of gay parents I know are among the luckiest in the world. Often rescued from dire situations, they are wanted, cherished, and nurtured. The only thing I have against gay male parents are that (so far) none have offered to adopt me! –Maryanne (Teacher), Atlanta, Georgia

“[I think] that my husband is frighteningly gay when it comes to parenting. He and our gay male friends are all besties. I’m the outsider.” –Alanna (Graphic Designer), New York City

“Although I’ve always been in favor of marriage equality, I honestly don’t think I ever realized how much gay men wanted to be parents until I started seeing them have families. I’ll sound like a bigot, but it seemed to make more sense with lesbians. And, yes, I know that’s ridiculous. If you grow up not thinking about it, as I did, and as people of my generation did, it really takes seeing them struggle and work hard and go through what my wife and I did a long time ago to truly understand the need. But now, it’s so common that I pretty much forget about any differences. I know quite a few gay men with young children and sometimes, if they’re having a hard day with their kids, I’ll joke and say, ‘Well, you wanted this.’ It’s only because it has become so acceptable that we can laugh with each other.” —Rick (Actor), Los Angeles

“People who want to foster a committed family, should. Sexual orientation doesn’t predict who is going to be a good parent; they do. In fact, since gay men have to fight harder to just be parents, it means more to them and they do a better job.” –Mary (Realtor), Tinley Park, Chicago, Illinois

“Play dates are a lot more fun with gay parents. The food is better and we have martinis instead of cheap wine or margaritas. I think we enjoy it more than the kids.” –John (“Corporate Worker Bee”), Charlotte, North Carolina

“I’ve learned that, like straight parents, we all worry that we are going to be judged and scrutinized. But gay men more so than heterosexual couples. My children are grown up now, but I know a few gay dads. So many times I want to give advice, in the same way that my mom gave me advice, and my friends gave me advice, and so often I fear that they will take it as judgment. Sometimes, I’m extra cautious in saying anything to a gay dad, which is terrible because I’m thrilled and proud to see gay men living out their dreams. There’s nothing more difficult than raising children, and I hope that, as gay rights progress, it will reduce the competition and judgment among all parents.” —Kelly (At-Home Mom), Long Island, New York

“Sometimes I get frustrated with my kids, and, in a weak moment, wonder if this is the life I was supposed to lead. But then I see my gay friends, newly married, who have waited so long to be parents. And I see the love they shower on their son. I realize how lucky I am to be a parent.” –Cheryl (Charity Fundraiser), Seattle, Washington

“They’re lucky. There’s no breast pump cleaning or getting into trouble when someone wants you to stop opening your blouse in the airport. My wife went through hell.”  --Todd (Voiceover Artist), Dallas, Texas

“I have grandchildren of my own and I have been to a million weddings. Last year I went to my first gay wedding, and the men’s little girl … she’s about six… was part of the ceremony. I have honestly never seen a better-behaved child at a wedding in my lifetime. I knew they must be doing something right.” –Yvonne, Lafayette, California

“What’s to learn? We all just want to love our kids and be the best parents we can be.” —Danielle (Event Planner), Millburn, New Jersey

Posted by David Toussaint

David Toussaint is a published author of DJ: The Dog Who Rescued Me, The Gay Couples Guide to Wedding Planning and TOUSSAINT! Toussaint is also a professional playwright and actor residing in Manhattan.


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