The amazing thing about the website Gays With Kids is that it exists.
It’s also pretty cool that they chose to profile me and Patrick, and our journey from dating to marriage to kids.
The prevailing view when I came out nearly 25 years ago was that being gay meant a death sentence to any dreams of being a parent. Today, there is a vibrant national community of lesbian and gay parents raising children who are biologically theirs, or who, as in the case of Isabella and Jordan, have become a part of a forever family through adoption.
The gay and lesbian parents I know (some of them are my best friends) experience the same joys and challenges as our straight siblings, cousins, colleagues, and friends. We try to balance work and parenting. We sing and laugh and watch TV. We try to squeeze in a lesson or two about being respectful and honest while at the same time doing 42 loads of laundry a week and preparing meals and making beds.
The difference is that at this point in history, we gay folk are parenting on the cusp of normal. Many of us never for a minute thought we would be parents. As I’ve written about in the past, the idea of getting legally married in my lifetime seemed for most of my life like a pipe dream. The idea that we would have access to that portion of the American dream as well as the joy and struggle of having kids seems like an embarrassment of riches.
Unfortunately, some gay and lesbian parents don’t have the full support and love of extended family members. Some live in states and localities where discrimination is overt, or where laws don’t offer protection. Some spend too much time having to worry about how their kids will be treated in school or the doctor’s office or on the playground. Their dream–and mine–is that tomorrow will be better. I have to believe that is true.
Fifteen years ago when we began the process of adoption, there was no online resource like Gays With Kids. Today, there is. Thank goodness for Brian and Ferd, who created this site to inform, reflect, and inspire. Their efforts to keep the site going are a labor of love.
Christopher (& Patrick)