When it comes to being proud, I’ve always thought in terms of my own accomplishments or those of others. For example, I’m proud to have graduated from college and completed grad school. I’m proud my dad served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. I’m proud that I won my age division in the last 5K I ran. Those are all events that I – or the person of whom I am proud – had some sort of control.
However, when it comes to attributes I possess over which I have no control, I’ve always been more weary to declare my pride. I am not proud, after all, to be a brunette or right-handed. I just am. Since being gay is as much a natural part of me as are my hair color and my dominant hand, why would I be proud of that? With that logic, why be proud to be a gay dad?
As I thought about it, an important difference dawned on me. Sure, being gay is a natural, genetic part of me – and I couldn’t be any other kind of dad – but it’s also full of accomplishments that I’ve made only because I’m gay.
Therefore PRIDE is:
- Being traditional — It always cracks me up to hear some right-wing politician, religious leader or moral crusader talk about the assault on traditional families by gay and lesbian parents. Sure we’re a two-dad family, but that’s where our uniqueness ends. We do homework, schlep kids to sport practices and eat Sunday dinners at the grandparents just like all the other parents out there.
- Screwing with the arguments against equality — I’ve never understood why those opposed to marriage equality would base their arguments made to state legislatures and various courts on the well being of children. (If marriage is about kids, then why are our straight, childless best friends still married after nearly 25 years?) Sorry to mess up the logic, but our kids are happy, healthy and well adjusted.
- Raising a son who calls it like it is — Recently the parents of one of Gus’s friends refused to let their kid come to our house based on their religious beliefs. Gus deemed their decision, “Just plain stupid.”
- Having friends who agree with Gus — The number of people who proactively told us that they found the decision of those other parents outrageous was amazing. The words of support from our Mormon friends reminded me that the bigots are the lunatic fringe exception.
- Raising another son who calls it like it is — Hearing something referred to as “gay,” Niko corrected, “Gay is when two men get married to each other because they’re in love.”
- Having an accepting, embracing extended family — There is nothing that fills me with pride more than how incredibly accepting and loving my big fat Greek family is. Hell, my cousin Yvonne readily admits Kelly’s her favorite relative!
Of course, being gay has also afforded me some of those more tangible, accomplishment-based reasons to be proud. I am, for example, proud (and grateful) for the opportunity to share my experiences of raising kids in a two-dad family, and to offer some insights to other LGBT parents and families, through this column and my blog (Christopher-whosyourdaddy.blogspot.com). And I am beyond proud (and humbled) that QSaltLake readers honored me with a 2015 Fabby Award for Best Columnist. Thank you!
It ends up that being gay and being a gay dad are two of my greatest accomplishments. And I take a lot of pride in that.