B-Man leans forward and whispers in my ear, "When we were writing '-ay' words on our spelling boards today, someone wrote 'gay' and circled it as their favorite word. But someone else said 'gay' was a bad word. But it isn't, right?"
It's taken more than three decades for families like mine to be recognized. Thirty years ago, I was at an age where I was pretty certain that I was gay, but at the time, I never could have predicted that I would one day be among 3 million parents in our country who are LGBT.
Typically, part of the experience of being "in the closet" for any length of time is a fear of losing or becoming estranged from family. But it can also involve a fear of not having a family of one's own in the future too. This was one of my biggest concerns growing up gay.
"Are you a gay parent?" asked the stranger. Without a second's thought, I responded, "Yes! My 8-year-old son is gay." It wasn't until later that I realized that that wasn't what he was asking. He was asking whether I am a gay person who has kids. But that experience made me think about another.
"You can't let them adopt. They're a bad influence and, you know, the kids will turn out just like them." An otherwise progressive and educated person I know once said that. "Them," in that statement, meant LGBT people.
There are so many people and organizations in the world who regularly proclaim LGBT families to be less than. The natural reaction to that hatred is our own proclamations that we are PERFECT! Our kids are PERFECT! Our family's PERFECTION puts your straight mediocrity to shame!