50 comments on “The Life of a Gay Dad, In Pictures (#1)

  1. Ugh. Sometimes I wonder if it’s pure stupidity, or just being totally naive, but then I think, who, in 2012, hasn’t heard of kids with two dads or two moms? Seriously.

    • I think it’s a combination of cluelessness and laziness that keeps people from updating these forms. Maybe it’s also because gay parents are too complacent about it. I mean, it’s not the biggest deal in the world, but I consider my crossouts a gentle form of protest.

  2. Exactly what we’ve been doing for years. Our school district’s forms have finally changed to list Parent/Caregiver #1 and Parent/Caregiver #2. What a charge I get out of seeing the change. It’s a small thing but anything that erases the lines that get built up by heteronormative society makes me smile.

    • That’s awesome – and so nice to hear. My kids’ preschool also had Mother and Father blanks on their application form. I crossed out Mother there, too. Maybe they’ll change it, too.

  3. We do the same thing! And if someone asks where his mother is, I have a rotating list of awkward answers I go through: she’s in rehab, she’s in prison for murdering a woman with (insert woman’s hair color here), she died in circus accident, she’s working on her political career – and then I mouth “it’s Sarah Palin”, she’s shooting a porno. It’s fun.

  4. Times are changing. It’s time to update the forms as well. I would continue to cross out “Mother” and fix the form every time you get it. It should send a message to their administrative staff. A subtle, but true messages. Families don’t quite fit that mold anymore and why risk missing out on valuable information?

    • Oh, I always do this when a form has a slot for “mother”. I don’t need to raise a fuss over something like this, especially when I just want to enroll my kids in a swim class (as in this case), but I think my method makes the point well enough.

  5. Maybe it should just have one line and say Parent(s)/Caregiver(s) Name(s). There are plenty of other situations where there is not a mother and a father, including gay parents, single parents, even aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc that have taken in children.

    Good post!

    • Good idea, but in our case, since I’m the stay-home dad, they’re both me. Probably better not to write #1 and #2 at all, and just leave it at “father” and “father”.

      • Personally? I hate forms… I too was a stay at home mom ( still am) although I hate that term too, because I was never home, especially in NYC we were out all the time;
        As far as Forms go..here’s a tid- bit I learned from a lawyer friend when your kids start going on field trips and you have to sign waivers about the schools not being liable for accidents & death . I would write this in tiny print; ” I will not waive my right to negligent supervision”.
        Most the time it looks like a continuation of their last paragraph and they never see it or question it. Only once, on a rafting trip they caught my scribble and made me scratch it or the trip was cancelled….

        You are a Great Parent, just keep telling yourself that, and your kids are very lucky to have you…keep telling Them that…LOL..

  6. Besides changing the forms for children with two dads or moms, there are also tons of kids who are taken care of Aunts, Uncles, Grandpas, or Grandmas. The family dynamic isn’t “picture perfect” like it used to be. There are more non-traditional families than traditional ones now. The non has become the norm.

  7. I HAD to come back and recomment. I just returned from registering Ally for kindergarten and to my happy surprise, the form listed “Parent #1” and “Parent #2”! So, yes, while registering my oldest for kindergarten I was thinking of you…but I was so much more pleased with my school because of that one little thing.

    • That’s great news! I suspect we’ll see more inclusive forms… and soon enough a right-wing backlash. That’s when we’ll really know we’re getting through to people. πŸ™‚

  8. As a teacher I have made note that all of our forms just say “Parent or Guardian”. Most students in my class are not with a biological mother and father so it makes more sense for all types of families

  9. I agree with everyone else on listing “Guardian”. One of my friends is the legal guardian of his sister because both his parents died two years ago. Forms that say guardian instead of parent are much more pleasant to fill out for him. I also plan on fostering children in the future and I think I would like to have my non-traditional family recognized on the form as well.

  10. this is like the book Asha’s Moms where the little girl could not go on a field trip until both her “parents” (which HAD to be a mom and dad) signed the form. The teacher I work with read this to our class leading up to the Day of Pink and it was an amazing discussion starter. Many of the kids had not heard of families with same-sex parents; they were curious and couldn’t understand why anyone thought it was a big deal. (One student mentioned that you needed a sperm and an egg to make a baby and he wanted to get to the bottom of how that might have happened in this situation. That had the possibility of completely derailing the conversation around how families are just about people who love and care for each other.)

    • Thanks for the recommendation. I hadn’t heard of that book. I talked to my kids’ preschool about our family before I signed them up. I wanted to make sure they’d be respectful of us – not just in situations like this but also just explaining us to the other kids. I don’t want some conservative other parent raising a stink.

  11. I have a similar gripe about those stupid forms, not that they have a mother and father line, but that some places REQUIRE you to put a father down… I’ve tried explaining that my daughter does not have a father to put down as he is not an active participant in her life, but they still insist… sometimes it frustrates me and sometimes I get more creative and put down people like Elmo, or Mr. Bean… but honestly, How can people be so insensitive?

    • I’m stunned to hear that you’ve had to deal with that, and I think “Elmo” is the right answer. πŸ™‚

      It’s kind of like people who ask us, “Yeah, but who’s the mother?” after we’ve explained that our kids have two dads. It’s rude and thoughtless, a sign that they just don’t accept our family. Yes, a woman contributed to their DNA, but she’s not their mother. If a doctor needs to know their background for medical reasons, I’m happy to go into it. Nobody else needs to hear about it.

      • Exactly! Just because they were around for conception or birth doesn’t make them a part of your family. Doesn’t make them the mother or father. That just makes them generous with their DNA. No one ever stops to think about what its like to be a single mom or dad, but it’s pretty challenging. Not as difficult as your life is, but as my daughter told me months ago “It takes very special people to be gay, they have to be strong, and kind, and brave” She’s pretty smart for a squirt… lol

      • Sounds like you have an amazing daughter – and I beg to differ about who has it tougher, you or me. Single parents get all the credit in the world in my book. It’s hard enough to do this with a partner. I can’t imagine how hard it is to do it alone. πŸ™‚

  12. Pingback: Happy Other’s Day! | Mommy Man

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