Thursday, September 8, 2011

Two from my new gig at Huffington Post

How to Guarantee Your Children Won't be Teased. (Hint: Don't have any)

Of all the reasons I've heard from people who oppose same-sex parenting, perhaps the most oft-repeated concern is that having gay or lesbian caregivers sets up a lifetime of trauma for the child who will endure teasing about the comparative oddity of her family. As one person recently asked, "Did you ever think about the needs of the child?"

This is an interesting logic and, I suppose, at least premised on a fair understanding of the nature of children: kids can indeed be cruel little beasts and any perceived difference or weakness is ripe for mockery. Where the claim falls short is the implied message that the only people who deserve to parent are those who can guarantee that their children will not be mocked.

I hate to break it to you, but those people don't exist.

Read the rest HERE.

Do Ask, I'll Tell: Gay Dads at Back-to-School Time

The Hello Kitty backpack is ready, as are the Justin Bieber notebook and the shiny purple pencil box freshly larded with Ticonderoga #2s. All that's left now is to pack the first lunch and saddle up for the first day of school drop-off, knowing that our simple presence will provide an education of its own. As the only two-dad family in an elementary school with almost 500 kids, we become the default face of same-sex parenting for some of the children and their caregivers. And that's OK -- when we filled out paperwork to adopt six years ago, we literally signed up for this.

Last year, soon after Kindergarten started, my husband and I eagerly attended Parent Night together. Anyone at this event had no trouble figuring out the relationship between the dude in the leather jacket and the guy in the foofy scarf. But once the semester was well underway, it was rare for anyone to see both dads at once. My husband did all the drop-offs and most pick-ups, while I was the one volunteering in the classroom and organizing after school play dates for my daughter. Some of her classmates' parents only ever saw her with him, while others only saw her with me. Not surprisingly, both of us dads got asked about our wives and we both cheerfully referenced our husbands in reply. That linguistic substitution was usually all it took for our fellow Kindergarten parents to adopt our language.

Occasionally, this prompted an outpouring of curiosity. When one mom commented that she hadn't seen me on the playground the day before, I said that my husband usually did pick-up. As if primed, she pounced on the distinction. "How did YOU get to be the wife?"

Read my answer and the rest of the article HERE.