Using the Words “Gay,” “Breastfeeding" and "Catholic" in One Sentence
I recently saw a friend’s Facebook post asking for models for a photo-shoot; a paid gig for babies looking for that extra spending cash. Of course, we’re always looking to share our wonderful Harper’s beauty with any and all, so I replied, and a few days later we had our first paid modeling gig. We later found out the ad would be for the breastfeeding center at a local hospital. The very hospital, in fact, where our Harper was born.
We took a lot of photographs that day. I know, as I’m sure every parent knows, that my baby is photogenic, and I knew whichever image they chose, it would be amazing. Surprisingly, I was shocked to see the final image. Not because my Harper doesn’t look amazing, but because it also included my partner and me. A gay couple on a breastfeeding wall?! And the best part…? My toddler was born at a Catholic hospital. My partner and I, with our daughter, will be featured on the wall of the breastfeeding center of a local Catholic hospital.
I’m a cynical man by nature. I expect the expected. But this surprised me. Will there be a backlash, ramifications for using this image? Again, I expect there to be. But my heart hopes not. After all, my daughter was born at this hospital and the doctors and nurses couldn’t have been kinder to us. Harper was treated like a queen.
I know I shouldn’t have preconceived notions about religion and my relationship, my child. My partner was raised Catholic, and very dedicated to his church. When Harper arrived, he made the tough decision to leave that church and join another because of the stigma our daughter may face simply because of our relationship. It may seem small, but to our family this is huge. Not that our family needs validation, but it puts us on a level playing field in an arena we never thought to be considered equal.
It takes a lot to surprise me these days. After all, I’ve cleaned up milk puke that bore a strong resemblance to cottage cheese. But this wins the day. It wins the month even. Like Harpers first toddle, it’s the baby steps that make the greatest impact.