What is Pride? As Pride Month is now upon us, we wanted to take a look at pride a little more from the parenting perspective: how can we instill self-pride in our kids – pride for our kids in who they are and in where they come from? We turned to Ariel Foxman, a writer, a journalist and a thinker, to talk about the issue. We hope that our conversation will inspire you.
"I think that what's interesting about being a gay dad, which I don't think straight parents necessarily think about. It's like 'I can be something that my child may not be,'" says Ariel Foxman. "We're Jewish, my child will be raised Jewish. Will he stay Jewish? In practice? I don't know. Will he have the fundamentals of Judaism? Yes, because that's the house he grows up in."
"[my kid] is Hispanic, he will always be Hispanic. I will never be Hispanic but his other father is. So what's our responsibility in terms of understanding his culture, his heritage where he's from, where he's going. My being gay, though, has no bearing on whether or not he will be gay, queer, straight, whatever. So I think there's a little less pressure about that for me in that 'you need to know that all people are the same, everyone is different at the same time and that's ok. You don't have to worry about having to judge one thing verses the other. Everything is ok.'"
It's pretty clear that these little things we consistently do in front of our children add up. "For me, and I know for my husband, it really boils down to not being judgmental as best we can as human beings and respecting everyone as they cross your path," says Ariel.
"I think it's probably easier to say 'take them to museums and read them books and put them in a class and be very, very proud about the things that you are and then be in a household where they don't treat some relatives nicely, talk about people behind their back, they're short with the waiter in the restaurant, these things that insulate people and make them feel better or higher than other people
"It's not necessarily what comes to mind when you think about pride or respect but if a child sees that you consistently treat everybody equally, then having pride in yourself is like a no-brainer."
Gay Dads: Show Up At Pride Parades
A note to all you gay dads and prospective gay dads about Gay Pride parades and events this month: Many of us might be tired of these things. And especially if we live in one of the super gay cities, we may wonder what, really, is the point? But Alex & Yan are here to ask you to go. Show up. Bring the kids. I can promise that no matter where you live, many, many young people (and some not so young) at the Parade will be secretly asking themselves, "Can my life as a gay man be full? Can it be real?" All of you are the very best answers to that question. Go answer them by BEING THERE!
About Our Guest: Ariel Foxman
Ariel Foxman is a content specialist working with a portfolio of lifestyle and direct-to-consumer brands. He is also a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and writes a regular column on gay parenting for Maisonette.He has written for Time magazine, Fortune, New York, and The New York Times, among others, and was editorial director of leading fashion media brands InStyle and StyleWatch. Ariel is a frequent speaker on such topics as careers, fashion, and publishing, and is a lecturer at New York University's Summer Publishing Institute and School of Professional Studies. He's also a board member at GLAAD.
Ariel and his husband Brandon live in New York City with their son, Cielo Rimon Foxman-Cardet.