My Post About The Thing That Happened That I’d Rather Not Talk About

baby polar bear, cute bear, cute polar bear

Enjoy this picture. After the last few days, you’ve earned it.

I don’t want to write about what happened. I don’t want to think about what happened. For the last few days, I’ve done everything I can to avoid reading about what happened. I just can’t bear it — as a parent, as a (usually) proud American, as a human being. I don’t want to hear the details or see the pictures or listen to eyewitness accounts. I just can’t bear it.

But I can’t ignore it either.

A few weeks ago, there was a horrific incident in Manhattan where a nanny — well, I won’t rehash the details, you know the case. I was so wrecked by that I almost wrote a post on the subject, but then I just couldn’t. That would mean thinking about what had happened some more.

I haven’t forgotten about that incident, though, and I won’t forget about this new incident either. And there will be another incident, we all know there will, where someone who desperately needed help does something horrible to someone innocent, and all we can do is hope that it won’t affect us or anyone we care about, that we’ll be able to go on living our lives and hugging our own kids and saying, “Isn’t it horrible what happened to those people?”

But every time I go on Facebook, I see friends arguing about the causes of this latest incident — I won’t dwell on the specifics. I don’t need to type them out, and you don’t need to read them. Every time I see someone else writing about it, though, all I can think is, “Good! Argue. Debate. Keep talking about this. Tweet it, pin it, tumbl it, whatever. Do everything you can to work through this for yourself and to keep the subject alive.”

So fine, here’s my post. You may not want to read anything else on this subject, and if so, I don’t blame you. Go back and look at the baby polar bear at the top of this post. You’ve earned it. I’m just going to go ahead with my little rant, though, for my own benefit. I hope you don’t mind.

First of all, debate is good, but let’s just not get bogged down in the debate over what we should be debating. Guns, mental health, media coverage? Yes, yes and yes. Let’s look at them all. Now.

Here’s my philosophy on guns: Before you let a gun into your home, picture the worst-case scenario of what might happen with that gun, on purpose or by accident. Now take whatever precautions you need to take to ensure that horrible thing doesn’t occur — locks, double locks, a hundred locks or, if necessary, not buying the gun in the first place. Unless you’re willing to take gun ownership that seriously, you’re probably not qualified to own a gun.

We need to stop indulging people who think guns are toys, that there’s something cool or fun about seeing how many people a gun could kill, how fast… just hypothetically, y’know. That it’s just awesome to have the latest, most lethal killing machine hanging on your wall as some kind of trophy. Again, consider the worst-case scenario of what that gun might be used for… because we’ve seen the worst-case scenario occur over and over.

That’s why the “arm the teachers” argument falls flat. Think about all the things that could go wrong if we put more guns in schools. Trust me, the worst-case scenario will happen, a lot. Also, I had some crazy teachers growing up. Enough said.

I don’t understand the mind of someone who would commit a mass murder, and I’m not sure anyone truly does, but we should be doing everything we can to figure it out. No one should pick up a gun and start firing randomly because we were too heartless or too lazy or too cheap to help them.

Some people think the killers are just seeking fame. I always doubted that argument myself. If I ever wanted to be famous, I would audition for America’s Got Talent (and surely find myself in a montage of people who most assuredly don’t got talent). But let’s assume there are people who would commit these kinds of acts just to get their names in the news. Let’s say that at least some of the killers want to be as notorious as, you know, that guy and the other guy and those two nutjobs from that state.

It’s certainly possible. For a while, people thought the way to get attention was to send someone powder through the mail — either anthrax or, in some cases, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Anthrax. When the media hype died down, so did those kinds of attacks. Maybe we can do the same thing with gun violence. It’s worth a shot. (No pun intended.)

So how do we keep the bad guys from gaining any level of notoriety? Well, here’s my modest proposal: Instead of blasting the perpetrator’s name everywhere, we refer to them like we do hurricanes, from a predetermined alphabetized list of antiquated, almost absurd-sounding first names.

We’ll call this guy Almonzo. The next one will be Bartleby.

You want to make a name for yourself? Go right ahead. Just be warned that name is going to be Clementine.

Sure, the person’s given name will still get out — and it probably should, to some extent, so we can study these people, interview their families and help prevent the next Dudley, Jasper or Phineas. But for the large majority of us who’d rather not make a psychotic into a celebrity, we can just call them Hubert or whatever we’re up to alphabetically at that point.

It’s a starting point. Let’s do that and see how it works out. Meanwhile, we’ll keep working on reducing unnecessarily overpowered weapons and helping the mentally ill.

I don’t want to think anymore about what happened last Friday, and you probably don’t either, so let’s make a pact that for now, we won’t shut up about it. Let’s make it a priority to do whatever we can, so won’t ever have to wonder what name comes next after Zelda.

Thanks for Sharing!

Well, it’s time for the least interesting kind of post, the day-after-a-big-post post.  Yesterday was my highest traffic day ever – more than double the old record, in fact.  I know that means very little to anyone but me, but it makes me happy, so I’m saying thanks.

Thanks to everyone who shared on Twitter, Reddit and Facebook.  (I had more Facebook shares yesterday than I have Facebook friends.)  Thanks to Towleroad and AfterElton.  Thanks to everyone who blogged me or shared me in ways I don’t even know about or understand.  As I say all the time, social networking is the #1 way I reach new readers, so if you like something you read here, please spread it around.

Welcome to the new subscribers, followers and Facebook likers.  (For the rest of you, I hope you’ll consider subscribing by entering your email in the right-hand column – or like me on Facebook and/or follow me on Twitter.  The content is slightly different on each platform.)  Note that this blog very recently underwent a name change.  Until last week, it was called “Where Do Gaybies Come From?”, so you may see that name in some places, like on Facebook, but don’t worry.  It’s the same blog.

Also, check out that snazzy new slider at the top of the page.  It’ll direct you to a few of my more popular posts.

Once again, I’m sorry I fell behind in comment replies.  I usually like to respond to everyone individually, so I hope you’ll forgive this blanket reply instead.  I’ve read everything you’ve written – yes, even the criticism, and I’m glad that my blog has provoked some discussion.  Special thanks to those of you who had my back.

FYI the picture above is of Sutton devouring the world’s tiniest ice cream cone last night.  It doesn’t really fit with the theme of this post, because she wouldn’t have shared it for a million dollars.  But I liked it, and every post needs a picture, so there it is.

Welcome, Thank You and Please

English: Chain

Image via Wikipedia

It’s always nice to see my hit count spike when I post something people connect with.  So, first of all, welcome to all the new visitors who’ve been coming to this blog.  I hope you’ll stay and check out some of my other stuff.  The best place to start is on one of the pages linked above — Best O’Blog (for my favorite posts from this blog) or Other Writing (for pieces published on other sites).  You might also want to check out the About Me page for some background about the site and me in particular.

Because so many new people have been coming, I owe a big thank you to my regular visitors, who have obviously been kicking some serious tushie (that’s right – “tushie” – it’s a family blog) getting the word out.  I don’t always see who’s sharing my posts on Twitter and Facebook or I’d thank you all individually (and if we’re not FB friends, I probably didn’t see your share at all).  However, I do see how many people are sharing, and it’s more than just the friends I’m quietly bribing to link me, so I know some of you are doing it because you actually like my posts.  Wow.

That being said, to the rest of you, I ask you to please join in and help spread the word.  If you see something here that you find interesting/funny/informative/infuriating, please click the links at the end of each post that let you share the post easily on Facebook and Twitter.  If you’re on Digg, Reddit StumbleUpon or some other site so hip I haven’t even heard of it yet, then link me there, too.  (Reddit has been particularly kind to me lately.)  Link me on your own blog, if you have one.  Send out an email to your friends who you think might appreciate this blog.  Most of my readers have found me through referrals from their social networks, so I really rely on that word of mouth to help my readership grow.

Please also like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter and subscribe to the blog by providing your email in the right column where it says “Follow Blog Via Email”.  (You’ll only get emails about new blog posts, no spam.)

And most of all, comment!  I love hearing from readers, especially if they have nice things to say (but even sometimes if they don’t), and it helps me understand what people like and dislike about the posts so I can figure out what kind of content works best here.

Sorry for the hard sell.  I promise not to do this too often, but as I’ve said before, I’m trying to get my memoir published, and the more hits and subscribers I get, the more interested publishers become.  I don’t advertise on the site, and I don’t make any money from it, so when people help me bring in more readers, that’s all the payment I ask for.

I’ll be back soon with another regular post… and eventually, that redesign I’ve been teasing.

Thanks again for reading!

The 250 Commenters You Meet as a Gay Dad

I’ve always intended to reply individually to everyone who comments on my blog.  I’m grateful anyone takes the time to read what I write, let alone offer their feedback.  And one of the best things about blogging is getting to interact with readers, whenever I’m lucky enough to have any.

And then… this happened.

I got Freshly Pressed by WordPress, linked on AfterElton  and Towleroad, promoted on Reddit, tweeted on Twitter and shared on Facebook, as well as a lot of people’s own blogs.  The last two days have been astounding, watching my hit count set new records, then break them over again, feeling my phone buzz every 30 seconds or so to alert me to a new email and reading so many wonderful, thoughtful and hilarious comments from people who connected to something I wrote.  It’s the kind of experience a blogger dreams of having.

… every time they post something.

So please keep coming back!

And now let’s go do this for the next lucky blogger.  It sure was fun.

I was still hoping to respond to everybody, but at this point, it would take me days, I would run out of interesting things to say and I would use up the time I would’ve been spending working on other posts.

So forgive me if I offer this blanket response instead.  If I didn’t address you directly, I apologize.  Once this craziness dies down, I hope to go back to my policy of replying to everyone.

Until then, I offer these blanket responses to the 8 kinds of people who commented on my post:

1.5ers.  Some supportive people very kindly asked whether there might be a category between #1 (New BFFs) and #2 (Jaded Allies), something more flattering perhaps?  Yes, of course there is, but let me also say there’s nothing wrong with being a #1 or a #2.  Until there are more gay dads in more parts of the world, lots of perfectly well-meaning people will remain self-conscious in their reactions, and that’s why they may act a little silly sometimes.  I’m grateful for any type of support, be it muted or overenthusiastic, so no matter where you fall on the spectrum, you’re cool with me.

Other gay dads.  I was very relieved that my peers, no matter where they lived, seemed to have similar experiences to mine.  A few have met the Moral Crusaders, unfortunately, but mostly, people feel supported even in the most politically conservative places.  I was really hoping this blog would introduce me to other gay dads, so I hope you’ll all come back and visit.

“I totally related to that, even though I’m not gay!” people.  I loved getting these comments, because I never expected my post would resonate so much with interracial couples, single moms, adoptive parents, co-parents, bisexuals, transsexuals, childless gays, wiccans, pagans or anyone who feels a little different.  It made me really happy to hear from all of you, and now that that’s out of the way, can I be your new BFF?

Other nice people.  Lots of people wrote just to say “great post” or to compliment my writing or tell me I made them laugh.  You guys are welcome back any time.  And to my self-described “stalker” who said she’s now following me in every way possible, I think you forgot to “like” me on Facebook.  Please get on it!

International readers.  I have international readers?!  COOOOL!  Thank you so much for sharing your perspectives.  I’m fascinated by how LGBT people are treated throughout the world, and I hope someday, everyone will feel as fulfilled and accepted as I have.

The overwhelming majority fell into those categories, but there were just a couple of others I’d like to address…

People who called me a hypocrite.  How dare I label people?, they demanded.  Aren’t I asking not to be labeled myself?  Um, no.  Not at all.  In fact, I do label myself, as a gay dad.  I did it in the subject line, before I labeled anyone else.  But wait!, someone said.  Is that all there is to me?  Am I just a gay dad?  Why am I “in your face” about that particular part of who I am, when surely there’s so much more to me?  Well, if you think I’m in your face, please back away from your computer.  No, I don’t think “gay dad” says all you need to know about me, or this site would consist only of those two words.  Instead, I have a blog where I write endlessly (and admittedly narcissistically) about myself.  If you want to know more about me than the fact that I’m a gay dad, I encourage you to read to your heart’s content.

“Love the sinners, hate the sin” people.  It’s fine to “love the sinner, hate the sin” if that’s really what you’re doing, but once you tell me that that’s what you’re doing, you’re not doing it anymore.  You’re judging me quite openly, and I find it rude.  If that’s how your god wants you to behave, then swell, you two can high-five each other over it someday.  “Hey, guy who comments on blogs!  Way to go with that gay dude!”  Until then, I’d prefer you do me the favor of becoming a Closet Homophobe.  If you can’t tell me you love me and respect me as a human being without also telling me in the same breath that I’m going to Hell, then please just smile and walk away, thanks.

And before anyone cries “persecution”, I never said or implied that all Christians were homophobic, confrontational or judgmental.  I know tons of wonderful, open-minded people of all faiths, many who’ve even been new BFFs.  If you feel persecuted, it’s not because you’re Christian.  It’s more likely because you’re an a**hole.

The person who considers surrogacy to be the moral equivalent of slavery.  Well, hi, I’m sorry you feel that way, but if you’re curious to know more about surrogacy, you’ve come to the right place.  If you’re interested, I’d recommend this post I wrote on the topic.  It sheds some light on why my partner and I chose that route.  But really, I think you’d be better off talking to our surrogate about her reasons for doing what she did.  Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll unchain her from my cotton gin so you two can hang.

Thanks for reading, everyone.  I’ll be back tomorrow with a regular post.

Thanks, Everyone!

Traffic in Oslo (E18 Bjørvika)

Image via Wikipedia

I know blog traffic is only interesting to the blogger, so I’ll make this quick.  Where Do Gaybies Come From had a huge day yesterday.  HUGE.  Over 11,000 hits.  And today looks to be another big day, thanks to Towleroad, AfterElton, Think Progress, Reddit and plenty of others.  So I want to thank everyone who linked to my 5 People You Meet as a Gay Dad post.

Even more amazing, I had over 1,000 hits from Facebook, which means a lot of you are sharing my blog with your friends.  I can’t tell you how much that means to me and how much that’s helped me find new readers. Thank you!

I want to welcome all the new people who subscribed, liked this blog on Facebook and added me to their readers.  I hope you’ll poke around a bit and find some stuff you enjoy here.

Thanks also to the commenters.  One of the reasons I started this blog was to connect with other gay dads, and it was amazing to hear some of their stories and responses to my piece.  I hope all of you will come back and keep me posted on your families – maybe even start blogs of your own.

A few people wrote to say they were offended by my caricature of the “Moral Crusader” in the post, so I want to apologize for that.  It was never my intention to generalize about Latinos, and I was surprised anyone saw it that way.  So I’m sorry to anyone who was offended.  I’ve taken that cartoon down.  For the record, Latinos have been as kind and accepting of my family as anyone else.

One final note.  I’m planning a title and design change of this blog in the next few weeks.  It may look a bit different, but I want to assure everyone that the content won’t change.  I still plan to focus on a funnyish look at my life as a gay dad of twins.  I’m glad this blog has connected with so many people, and I hope it will continue to in the future.  Thanks for reading!

Modern Family Vs My Family

I have a post called “Modern Family vs. My Family” on AfterElton today.  Check it out and let me know what you think.

And welcome to any new readers referred by AfterElton.  I hope you like the blog.  If so, please consider subscribing, liking the blog on Facebook or just leaving me a comment below.  Thanks!

5 Easy and Awesome Ways You Can Help Me Spread the Word About This Blog

Here’s the deal. I’m not doing this to make money. I won’t be putting any ads on this site or asking for donations or anything like that. I’m doing this because I enjoy writing about myself and my life…

… OK, you caught me… and to promote the book I’m writing.

It’s a memoir, a funnyish look at the wacky, unpredictable path Drew and I took to parenthood. It may or may not end up being called Where Do Gaybies Come From? I have an awesome literary agent, and I’m hoping to have a manuscript she can shop around by next spring. It’s a lot of work, but it’s also the most gratifying and fun thing I’ve ever written.

But here’s the thing. Unless you’re someone big and important, like Snooki, it’s hard to get publishers to notice you. All they know of you is what they can find online. The best way to get published is to build up an online following. Twitter, Facebook, blog hits. They really look at those things.

So it’s not just out of pure narcissism that I’m asking you, if you like my blog, to help spread the word. You don’t even have to do much. As many of the following things as you’re comfortable doing, I would be extremely grateful for.

1. Like the Where Do Gaybies Come From? page on Facebook, if you haven’t already.  There’s a button right here on this page.  Over there, at the top right corner.  See it?  Please click it.  Then you’ll hear about new posts in your Facebook timeline.  There, that was easy, right?

2. Follow my Twitter account, Why Jerry Why.  (90% fresh snark, 10% blog promotion!)

Free twitter badge
Image via Wikipedia

 

3. Comment on my posts.  I’ll read everything anyone writes, I’ll try to respond, and other people will be more likely to join in the conversation when they see your comments.

4. If you read something here you really like, please share it on Facebook.  If it makes you laugh or you think your friends will appreciate it, then pass it on.  This is the easiest and most effective way for me to get exposed to new people.  If you haven’t seen something here yet that you like enough to share, then just you wait. Your favorite post will be coming soon.

5. Subscribe to the blog by entering your email address under where it says “Follow Blog Via Email”.  You won’t get spammed, I promise.  You will just be notified automatically via email every time I post something new here.

Many of you probably know more about the internet than I do, so if you’re on other social networking sites, then feel free to +1 me or Digg me or whatever, too.  Go for it.

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate everyone coming here and checking the site out, and if that’s all you feel comfortable doing, then I thank you for that.   Believe me, I feel as awkward writing this post as you might feel reading it.  Just consider it like an NPR pledge drive, only nothing costs you money and I’m not giving out tote bags.

 

Where Do New Readers Come From? (AfterElton)

I want to thank AfterElton for their shout out today – and thanks to everyone who clicked over from there to check this site out.  It’s been a blast to watch those site stats ballooning all morning, and I hope you’ll all keep coming back.

For you newbies, here’s a quick overview of what Where Do Gaybies Come From is all about.  I’m a happily partnered (unmarried — f*** you, Prop 8 ) gay dad to the world’s most awesome 2-year-old twins.  My boyfriend and I had them with the help of a surrogate and an egg donor (his sister).  We have a unique and wonderful family, and I feel like the luckiest guy in the world.

I write about our lives, about the crazy series of events that enabled us to become dads, about being gay, plus general parenthood issues and the world of a stay-at-home dad, with special attention paid to the fun and funny stuff.

If you like what you see, please leave a comment, share me on Facebook, bookmark me, add me to your reader, subscribe to this blog in the sidebar and/or follow me on Twitter.

Thanks!