Some of those fighting marriage equality want you to believe that there is only one right way to create a family. But families come together in a variety of ways, the best of which is when all the members love each other and deeply desire a lifetime bond. That is what happened in my family.
Recently I sat down with my friend Ryan Nickulas, whom you may remember from The A-List: New York. Ryan and his husband Desmond have started the process of selecting a surrogate, so I felt compelled to delve a little further and get Ryan's take on parenthood.
I invited my dad to Sweden for his 60th birthday. I figured 60 was as good a time as any to start living a fabulously gay life. I wanted to show him the world that existed beyond his everyday Montana and I wanted to make peace with my past.
During a self-congratulatory mental victory lap after a successfully thrown one-year-old birthday party, my mom busted out with a question that hit the room like an anvil/headache/roadside bomb all wrapped up into one.
Two men raising twin boys is, as a friend in California noted, "hella dudes." And Lin and I raising two girls seemed like the artistically shaky yet marketable premise of a situation comedy. Perhaps we'd have one of each? Well, a few days ago we finally discovered the sex of the twins.
We were told that of all the families presented to her, this young mother chose us. She said that the baby would be her Christmas gift to us. And attached to that same email was the ultrasound she had done the day before. All I could do was stare.
The future of our family rests in your hands. You have the power to make it devastatingly difficult. You can make it confusing and convoluted. Or you can do the right thing. Please, Justice Kennedy, please, please, do the right thing.
That candle's lever refused to click into the "off" position. Too cold and tired to fuss with it, I brought it into the house and set it at the center of the breakfast table, where it glowed all night. And then it glowed all day. And then it glowed all week. And then for two weeks.
This week we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the inclusion of our families in this important law. We've worked hard as a community to make sure this protection extends to our lives and our families.
"Who's the real mother?" I have been asked that question many times -- too many times. But this time was different. I was at a doctor's office, and my son was standing next to me and knew exactly what the nurse was asking.
I always figured there were certain hateful statements that my sons would make, especially ones that say I am inadequate. One of the statements I feared was finally delivered, though it did not come as part of a calculated gotcha exchange. It came at the worst possible moment.
While matters of gender and biology may be relevant to making a child, it is parenting that makes a parent. The ability and the desire to love a child unconditionally has nothing to do with one's gender.
Each time a parenting challenge has levied what could have been a knock-out punch to my sanity, I have grabbed that phrase like an oxygen mask and strapped it over my face. And it has worked. It raises that all-important question, "What do I need to learn here?"