COMING OUT… AGAIN AND AGAIN
You will often find me bustling around town with my kids. Be it the grocery store, the dojo, at the soccer pitch, the coffee shop, or at the playground… I actually like spending time with my boys (most of the time!). And since my latest hangouts are usually surrounded by other parent-and-child squads, there is often small talk among the baggy-eyed, caffeine hooked, gaggle of parents. Topics tend to orbit around the weather, the kids, food… and sometimes the innocent bystander will ask “So what does your wife do?”
More often than not, I just want to blend in with the rest of them, watch my kid play and sip my already cold coffee. It’s very tempting to just tell a white lie and keep the conversation light and flowing… but the educator and social justice fighter in me forces my brain to – once again – come out and say “There is no wife. I’m gay” While images of rainbow flags and pink triangles bombard my latest victim, it takes a few seconds for them to re-frame their mind. And just like that, the conversation quickly gets personal. Are your kids adopted? Do the kids keep in touch with the donor? Do they call her mom? Who’s sperm did you use? Are you guys married?
A while back, when Norm and I decided to kick start our family, I knew this was going to throw us into the lime light a bit. I mean, we are part of the pioneering gay men who decided to leave their glitter and leather behind for a “normal” public life of suburban homes, manicured lawns, and raising kids. Throw into the mix that we wanted to have genetically related children and suddenly we add modern science, surrogacy, and assisted reproduction to our story line. Add a dash of heartache, conflict, and touching baby births and you have your latest binge-watch-worthy Netflix drama series! Yes, it’s an interesting tale, but aside from the joy I get from telling our family origins story, I also see it as a bit of my responsibility to share it.