When my daughters visit, they deposit little pieces of themselves all over our apartment: bras on the back of the bathroom door, empty glasses in the sink, and pretzels on the floor. When they leave, things go missing, like my heart.
Two toddlers anxious to hop in their parents' bed. Two parents trying not to start the day any earlier than necessary. It's a struggle repeated every day across the country, except that the two parents in question are both men, the babies born via an egg donor and surrogate mother.
There's something about Pride that never fully resonated with me, but now that I'm in a certain place in my life and a father, my pride is much subtler, but much more powerful than I ever could have expected.
Being a parent who is LGBT has pushed all my identities out of the closet. If I want my kids to be proud of their family -- two dads, one Catholic, one Jewish, both gay -- then I realized I had to rid myself of any shame or embarrassment I felt about my own family.
I cannot tell you how many times in any given week I end up stuck between a grownup concept and a kid who wants an explanation that he can understand. How do you explain the difference between family love and romantic love to a kindergartener?
While we have welcomed the law on marriage for same-sex couples, we were chastened by the huge turnout in France against marriage equality, and puzzled and saddened at how extending equal rights could motivate people to take to the streets against families like ours.
Many of the states with the highest percentages of same-sex couples raising children are those with the most anti-gay laws. Thus, lesbian and gay parents living in these areas encounter legal obstacles in building and protecting their families, which contributes to a sense of legal vulnerability.
Blogging for LGBT Families Day sits almost exactly between Mother's Day and Father's Day, honoring both parenting titles but recognizing that not all families fit neatly into those two observances. There's a big spectrum out there.
As gay parents, if we were expecting to run into some sort of epic struggle against discrimination and prejudice, we found nothing of the sort. For the most part, other parents are too busy trying to cope with the same basic problems that you are to argue about differences of family structure.
That is exactly what author Amber Lee Parker and illustrator Hannah Segura have done with the release of their children's book God Made Dad and Mom. The colorful picture book seems pleasant, but the point of the story clearly is to deride LGBT families.
My mother may continue to cringe at the word "queer," but I invite you to consider the idea that queerness can be a pretty good thing. In the broad sense of the word, every person who has ever gone against social norms and values in order to improve them is queer.
Let's say that a child is born to a same-sex married couple (or registered domestic partnership or civil union). What do you think happens if that same couple later moved to a jurisdiction that fails to recognize their relationship?
Though Kathy and I have been building a life together for 22 years, we cannot marry in our home state -- the state where I was born, and where I serve in Houston's highest office. Texas, like 40 other states, does not allow same-sex couples to marry.
When our oldest son yelled these words across the family room to his younger brother, my partner Lori and I stopped in our tracks. Gabe had asked our youngest Olivia if she wanted "her daddy" and Nick had taken it upon himself to set him straight, so to speak.
With Mothers Day 2013 approaching, the California-based nonprofit Forward Together has created a series of ecards that reflect the diversity of motherhood and parenting, a gesture that traditional Mother's Day cards have woefully ignored. Check out a slideshow of the beautiful cards.