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.

54 comments on “The 250 Commenters You Meet as a Gay Dad

  1. This is my first comment. I want to say thanks for letting us know the work and value a gay dad is all about. I’m from Costa Rica. I never considered to be a dad. But reading your blog has made me think of being one someday. I have a nephew and I’m loving being his uncle, so I believe I will be a nice dad someday. Thanks!

  2. Jerry, yours is one of only two blogs that I follow, the other being my daughter’s, because I find most blogs exeedingly boring. May I say, yours is the bright spot in my day. You keep blogging, and I’ll keep reading.

    • Yay! There are lots of other good blogs out there, but as long as you’re reading mine, I won’t press you to go looking for them. Hope your daughter and I continue to entertain you. 🙂

  3. I bow to the greatness of your diplomacy! Not only do you seem to be a father others might want to emulate, you are a great writer, and more gracious to some folks – (and I read every one of the comments – you KNOW who you are) – than I could ever hope to be. I’m not a father, but with 10 rescued dogs, my partner and I have our own little “Modern Family” thing going on. Awesome blog! I’m a new fan!

    • Thanks, Ronan. And, coming from a guy who takes care of two terrible two-sters all day, let me say that 10 dogs sounds like a HELL of a lot of work. My hat’s off to you. You’re a tougher man than I. 🙂

  4. Ohmuhgod I love you and your blog. I’ve always had a soft spot for gay men. I have 3 in my extended family and they are the only people in the world who make me think I’m absolutely stunning even if I’m sick with snot hanging out of my nose. They’re my favorite family members, though some of the older ones dont quite grasp it (old school Italian). Is there a sign up sheet to be your BFF I’d like to put my name down kthanks.

  5. When it comes to parenting,I am not sure if it is any different with gay parents than straight parents. You still have to change diapers, pack lunches, go to teacher parent conference, take your kid to an emergency room when he falls off the fence, so what is the fuss?
    Everybody judges everybody on something – weight, spelling, accent, sexual orientation, bumpers…you name it.
    As long as you are a responsible (relatively ;-)) parent, why should anybody care? Definitely do not expect anybody to cut you any slack 🙂

    P.S. Be nice to me, I have subscribed to your blog 🙂

    • Am I getting a reputation for not being nice? Let’s fix that right now, because I love my commenters, even the kooks, of which you are definitely not one. I don’t ask for any slack and yes, I do all the things all parents do, which is why I love my life so much.

      As for the emergency room comment, you must have some high fences where you live. Please be careful. 🙂

  6. Hey there 🙂 I’m new to your blog too and I love it. We’re interracial, me german-him ecuadorian-raised in the US. We know that kind of behavior from our own families. It’s sad, but hey, as long as you love your family and as long as you’re happy, who cares? Just keep swimmin’ 🙂

  7. Other gay dads are just the bee’s knees. Pro surrogates, sinners, sin, and nice people who say nice things. Keep up the good work.

  8. I’m guessing I’m in the “International readers” category, because I’m from Norway! I commented that I would have loved to meet you guys, but since I can’t I’m sooo glad I found your blog! It’s so interesting to hear what it’s like to be gay dads over there, I wonder how it will be to be gay mums over here 😉 Yeah yeah, anyway – I’ve subscribed you’re blog, I think I love you! (hope you can consider me as a new BFF as well 🙂 haha)

  9. I too fall under the international category ( I live in Sweden). I think what your doing is very interesting, It’s really nice to get your personal story about how society reacts you. I know I will personally think of my own reactions (whenever I meet a gay dad), and see where along the 5 types I fall under 🙂

  10. Oh halleluja..and pass the hypocritical plate! Don’t ya just love the the Judgment calls…….not very christian like ..I’d say…

    What people tend to forget about people raising children is…..It’s the hardest job on the planet …with out pay, and unconditional Love is a key factor…along with a few time-outs….

    Now ,ignore the catty-corner and just raise those beautiful twins……

    spread the humor:charlywalker.wordpress.com

  11. I just wanted to say that I’m a gay man who would love to have kids one day, and reading your blog is truly inspiring. The kinds of people we’d meet along the way with children, and how to protect our children from certain aspects of the world, are things that I’m worried about. Hearing your experiences and seeing how willing you are to put it all out there really help. I think it would be tougher for me to deal with comments such as you have (hypocrisy, love the sinner hate the sin, surrogacy=slavery), but the way you have handled it is truly commendable.

    • Thanks, Phillip. I’m so glad my blog is inspiring you. Trust me, once you have kids, you’ll do anything to protect them from the kooks out there. All the negative comments don’t really bother me. It’s just a matter of surrounding yourself with supportive people. Then when your kids do encounter those kinds of attitudes – which they inevitably will – they won’t take them seriously. Best of luck becoming a dad. If you’re already concerned about protecting your kids, I’m sure you’ll be a great one!

  12. So glad you were Freshly Pressed, so that you can educate a lot of people who are ignorant of your lifestyle! And you do it with wonderful style and humor, no less. Keep it up!

  13. I have a question that’s pretty much irrelevant to either of your posts, both of which that I’ve read I loved:

    How do you pronounce your surname – mah-oh-knee or ma-hu-knee.

    That’s just random curiousity for you!

  14. And don’t forget, god hates Red Lobster!
    “And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:
    They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.
    Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.”

    Seriously, though, you rock my world. You have a beautiful family, and I would love to add myself to your ever increasing BFF list!!

    You stay awesome, sir.

  15. So. I have been reading for a little while, and thinking about commenting, and now I am going to comment on the post about comments. I have 3 things to say:

    1. Way to go!
    2. If you met me on the street (you wouldn’t, I live in the midwest) you would take me for a jaded ally. This is because I am shy, and I also try not to pry into others lives, and also you know, I read your blog, so I wouldn’t want to seem creepy “ohmygod I remember when Sutton got the flower shirt!!!” In fact, I am a gay lady who finds your life fascinating partly because I want to start my own family some day (soon-ish I hope) and it’s nice to see people who are doing it. I particularly liked your post about the m-word, because I’ve had a few people, when they find out I plan to have children, either as a single parent or with a female partner, say “but aren’t you worried about your children not having a positive male role model?!?!!?” And the answer is, you know what, I want them to have positive role models, I am less concerned about the gender of those role models. Also, I bet my kids will meet dudes, it’s not as if I’m going to raise them in a vacuum of only women.
    3. Thankyou a thousand times for reading such a great response to the “love the sinner hate the sin” thing. YES. I’m dealing with this right now as a single person and I can’t imagine what it will feel like to have to protect my CHILDREN from that nonsense.

    I would like to stop being shy and sign up for BFF now, okay?

    • You got it. You’re signed up! And we can totally talk about the flower shirt when we bump into each other. In fact, I finally got Sutton out of the flower shirt today and into a pretty striped pink dress! We’ll see if this is just the start of the next obsession.

      I’m actually very shy in person, too. It’s one of the reasons it’s so hard constantly retelling my life story to strangers. Blogging is easier. I get to tell everyone at once. 🙂

      Good luck starting your family. It’s a great time to be a gay parent. Still not easy to become one, but it’s a wild ride and it’s worth it in the end.

  16. I’m a Christian who is extremely interested in gay culture.
    My biggest goal is to make sure that when conversing with someone who is gay I don’t act like I think they’re going to hell, cause I don’t really have it altogether and I’m extremely positive that I don’t have the right to tell anyone where they’re going when they die. Plus, I just don’t think that because someone is gay they’re automatically going to hell. I think that’s a stupid idea.
    Anyways, back to what I was going to ask you… sheesh I get distracted.
    Do you get offended by people like me who may not agree with how you live, but want to respect and accept you anyways?
    I guess I just have this theory that for the most part most gay people have the same values I do. You seem to. There’s just one thing we probably don’t agree on, so can’t we look past the one thing if neither of us judge the other?

    This whole thing probably didn’t make any sense.
    But thanks for writing your blog. Your kids are the cutest, and you crack me up! Keep doing what you’re doing, cause you’ve got a good thing going.

    • I think you nailed it. All I want – and I would assume most gay people are the same – is to live in mutual respect. You are entitled to your beliefs, even if you do believe that I’m going to Hell. But just because you believe it doesn’t mean you have to tell me that or try to “save” me. Respect that I feel differently and keep your judgment to yourself.

      When people use their religious beliefs to judge me, I do get offended. I don’t like being told, “I think homosexuality is morally wrong, but I love you anyway.” It implies I’m somehow less valuable than they are – and how am I supposed to respond to that? “Yes, maybe I’m evil, but thanks for being so wonderfully accepting.”? If you don’t think you can interact with me without judging me, then I’d prefer we didn’t interact at all. I can get by fine without someone’s half-hearted friendship. I have enough friends who love me fully for who I am.

      I hope that answered your question. Thanks for writing!

      • Hi, Jerry.

        I would love to know what you personally thought of my probably too-long comment that I left, but I assume you didn’t like it because I noticed it was erased (unless I missed something.)

        What I try to do with all friends and strangers, is let them know what I believe and why I believe it. (Doesn’t everybody do that?)

        As a Bible-believing Christian, unlike the girl above, I cannot tell you to keep doing what you’re doing with my conscience clear, anymore than I can tell my straight friends who are sleeping with their significant others and having kids outside of marriage to keep doing what they are doing.

        No one likes being told that decisions they make may not be the best decisions. (including me!)

        And whatever I believe, I am most certainly never going to tell you that you are going to Hell!

        I am not God!

        I think we have misconceptions about what Hell truly is, anyway.

        I just felt compelled to comment on your fresh-pressed post because I wanted to you to hear from someone who can disagree with your choices but still be open to reading about your life and viewpoints and hope that maybe you’ll read about my life and viewpoints, and be willing to talk to me more and consider what I have to say.

        Isn’t that what everyone wants?
        To have their viewpoints considered?

        In considering your viewpoint, I disagree with it, and you are free to disagree with mine.

        But don’t call me a Closet Homophobe.

        I am not afraid of gay people anymore than I am afraid of my straight sinning friends.

        I just want you to consider me a straight sinning blog friend, who is still open to conversation with a gay sinning blog friend.

        It is my belief that sinners should be striving TOGETHER in this life for a life free from sinning and for a life in a Heavenly Home with a Heavenly Father where “men do not marry and women are not given in marriage, but they are as angels are in Heaven.”

        I’m pretty sure that no one will care about marriage and family up there, because we will all be worshipping God and we will all be One in Him. John 17.

        It just takes some difficult sacrifices (for both hetero and homosexuals!) here on earth to get there.

      • Hi Leah. Thanks for writing. I haven’t erased any comments, including yours. Maybe you did miss it. I saw it, though. I’ve been reading everyone’s comments.

        I’m glad you feel you’re getting something out of my blog, although I’m not sure exactly what that might be, since you continue to exhibit exactly the kind of behavior I’ve stated that I dread the most. I won’t respond directly to anything you say in your comments because I see no point – and little fun to be had – in the prospect of debating you.

        I think I’ll politely decline your offer to read your blog. Call me closed-minded (or worse) if you want, but I’m just a guy with limited free time who has better things to do.

        Best wishes,
        Jerry

  17. A lot of the comments got cut off on my work computer, so sorry I’m sorry about my confusion!

    What am I getting out of your blog? A different perspective from mine, pure and simple. As many have already stated, you are a good writer!

    I’m not sure what behavior you are seeing in my comments, but I really don’t feel like I’ve said anything offensive other than “I feel like you’re wrong.”

    I guess anytime you say that to someone, they are not going to take it well.

    I did not mean it as a personal attack, I only meant it as an admonition to consider your ways and to consider a different school of thought. My blog is always just a click away if you ever change your mind about perusing it. I write a lot about God and my personal struggles with weight, relationships, family, and faith. I’ll leave you alone now, but I hope you’ll realize that everything I’ve said is straight from my heart. Take care.

    • I think that there is a distinct difference between telling people to “keep doing what they’re doing”, and refraining from telling them that they are doing something you think is wrong constantly. Gay people are very aware that many Christians think what we are doing is wrong, painfully aware of it, and if we were going to change, I don’t think it would be one more Christian telling us that we are sinners.

      We know what you think, we just disagree. I also disagree with many other things in the bible, but when I meet a Christian, I don’t feel compelled to tell them about all of those things.

  18. As someone who missed you when you were “freshly pressed” and found you through a parenting tag while narcissistically checking to see where she herself was showing up under said parenting tag… I’m glad I ran across your blog. 🙂 Looks like I’ve found a new blogger to follow (adding to the very small list of five or six I already follow). And congrats on being freshly pressed. I freakin’ need to get me some of that. LOL

  19. Jerry, I just recently started reading your blog and I love it. I think you’re awesome and your family seems very happy…and that’s what really matters, isn’t it?

  20. “It’s more likely because you’re an a**hole.”
    Amen, brother!
    — I was just going to write the same thing!

    Fact is that here in Italy there are a lot more Christians and a lot more homophobic. Hope it’s gonna change. Also ’cause I’m looking forward being a mommy in the future and I surely don’t want to lose that option if I happen to fall in love with a woman (which is very likely since I am bisexual).

    Ps. may I sign up to be your BFF too? 😀

    • Funny, I always assumed Europe was so much more accepting. Sorry Italy hasn’t gotten with the times yet. Maybe that guy in the pointy hat has something to do with it. Best of luck finding love and mommyhood, and you can totally be my BFF. 🙂

      • Well, that’s true. There is a big part of Europe which is much more accepting. But Italy and a few other countries haven’t gotten with the times at all! Yeah, I think “the guy in the pointy hat” has VERY much to do with it and that’s so not fair.. we’re supposed to be a lay country!

        Thank you very much 🙂

  21. Hi! I read your blog for more than 3 hours, I’ve discovered it today, and it’s the first blog I find truly enjoyable,, and I think the amount of people you managed to gather around this blog speaks for itself,, different people, liking it for different reasons,, I think you and your partner are a strong model for many other gay people who may find it too difficult or evan impossible to build a family, and the happiness and joy and love you talk about your kids show us all that it does pay off,, and I think you give a great inside to straight people on how a different family looks like,, from the inside,, and that, in the end, crossing the differences, it’s pretty much the same joy, and the same struggle as for everybody else raising children and dealing with life, and making a love relationship work,, leaving aside all of that, you have a truly adorable way of writing, fun and easy to read and full of message,,
    I’m glad I discovered your blog and I’ll keep following it,, hope you’ll always have a loving family and you will fully enjoy your parent experience and, who knows,, maybe I will make my girlfriend accept the idea of same sex parents one day,,

    • Thanks for this comment. I kind of want to quote it in my banner – it’s quite an endorsement. 🙂 Glad you liked the page, and keep working on your girlfriend. She had the good taste to choose someone as open-minded as you, so there’s a chance she’ll come around.

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