You would think by now I'd be used to it. You'd think it would be no big deal by now. I've been doing the "going to college" thing now for five years straight. Four years with my daughter overlapped by three years with my son.
Every Pride, every Carnival for me is living proof there is indeed freedom of expression. However all this freedom comes with responsibility. Kids come with responsibilities and some spaces are simply not age-appropriate for them.
It's a free country, and you are absolutely entitled to be creeped out about whatever you choose to be creeped out about. You are not, however, entitled to use that aversion (a dictionary word for "creeped out") to keep other Americans from the equal protection guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.
Mother's Day has largely been a non-event in our house. It isn't particularly happy or sad. It just is. Our children may not have their mothers in their lives the way many of their friends do or the way they would wish, but they do have two loving, involved and committed parents.
My teenage son came to me and said, "Mom, can we go out to dinner, just the two of us? I have something I need to talk to you about." I agreed, and didn't think much of it. With four kids, when one asks for my undivided attention, I hear it, and really try to honor it.
As a dad, there are moments I'm filled with doubt because my hope is that I'm doing everything I can to give my daughter the best life possible. To me at least, part of giving her the best life means giving her space to grow and be independent, even as a toddler.
First, my children (or anyone's children) should never hear they're lucky someone loves them and cares for them. That should be a given for every child. The fact that it's not a reasonable expectation isn't a matter of luck. It's the failure of adults, pure and simple.
You might think a gay stay-at-home Dad in San Francisco would be surrounded by others in similar situations - I did. But more often that not I was reminded of how rare a species I was - oftentimes I was the only gay dad anywhere.
Whether it's being busted by my son for being on my BlackBerry, or having to run out of the house early in the morning to get to the office, missing my good-morning hugs from the kids, there are always going to be times I feel guilty for not being present.
If I have gay children, I'll love them. I don't mean some token, distant, tolerant love that stays at a safe arm's length. It will be an extravagant, open-hearted, unapologetic, lavish, embarrassing-them-in-the-school cafeteria, kind of love.