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.
'You don't tell your friends at daycare you have two dads?' 'No!' I had no idea how to respond. Ever since our kids were born, we've tried to help them understand and be proud of the fact that their family looks a bit different than others.
My husband and I are ready to be dads. I've done some writing in the past that talked about our aching "brovaries," as one fellow Gays With Kids writer called them. And in the nine months of gestation that my brain has done since releasing that piece, we have decided to take the plunge.
We figured that as Episcopalians, while we may not be Catholic, we were close enough: same pomp, no pope, less guilt. It surprises some to learn that Kelly and I actually met at church. We still attend regularly. Not regularly enough, as we were soon to find out.
However we respond to these types of questions, from children or adults, whether innocent or malicious, the one thing we need to keep in mind is this: our children are within earshot and this is how they learn to answer the same questions when they are posed to them.
My son is not perfect and he needs me to see it, not ignore it. As much as I want to say, "He's just being a boy" or "He'll grow out of it," I know that's "perfection" raising its damn dirty head again.
Middle school kids can be dramatic, and over-sensitive, but sometimes they get a bad rap. Sometimes what we expect out of them is far less than they are capable of, especially when it comes to empathy and compassion. Sometimes they even outdo the adults around them.