Is not different than your straight marriage. It is just as miserable as any 21 year marriage in America, and just as joyful. And that is why I started the blog.
We met, we fell in love, we moved in together. Both of us wanted nothing more than to become parents, so we spent 10 years working towards that goal. My spouse went to law school and began that career. I worked as a fundraiser and paid off our bills. And we moved to a 2 bedroom apartment in a rent stabilized community n Manhattan, that was a process that was quick in NYC terms, it only took 5 years. We knew we could not raise a child in our studio apartment.
And we looked at all options, like any heterosexual couple that could not procreate by themselves, would have looked at. We decided to try the adoption route. We were very lucky, after less than a year, we brought our baby boy home from Arizona. I was in the room with the birth mom when he was born, she told the hospital we would be adopting him, they then chose to immediately treated us as his parents. Just like a straight couple.
We both had jobs so we choose a local daycare for our son. By the time that was over I had lost my job so I became a stay at home dad. It was clear that my son needed a stay at home parent, luckily we were able to pull that off financially. It meant not saving for a house, but after school programs for my son would not have worked. I will always be grateful for this time with my son.
So, I became the equivalent of the “mom.” Some folks take umbridge at that, but the bottom line is, I began to do everything but earn the money.
What is this everything that I do? I make sure the family gets fed, I make sure the house is cleaned (sometimes), and I make sure our son does his homework. That is our exciting “gay” life. It is the same as a straight family. Exactly the same: fights about money, fights about sex (or the lack thereof), and fights about how to raise the child. Again, this is why I started the blog, I wanted people who have no familiarity with gay people, except for what they see on TV, to be able to read about us, a normal, boring, American family.
It becomes sad when folks listen to the nonsense and hate spewed on TV. That is why I am an avid fan of Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show.” In reaction to the end of the Defense of Marriage Act, some TV folks were saying that gay marriage is not the way marriage is “supposed” to be. The wonderful John Oliver of the Daily Show (filling in for the summer) pointed out that King Solomon had 500 wives and 300 concubines. Is that what marriage is supposed to be? One has to be careful when they are listening to the idiots of the media who want to tell Americans that marriage has always been between 1 man and 1 woman. The truth is, historically, marriage has never been static, it has always been evolving and changing, exactly as it has done this week.
Back to us. Here is our typical day. We wake up. My spouse goes to work. I prepare my son for a day of school, or currently camp. I have to pack his book bag (daily homework and books), or his camp bag (swim suits, swim shirts, towels), and provide him with a lunch. While they are out I food shop for the day/week. I plan dinner. I do go to the gym every day for health reasons, and not because all gay men have gorgeous gym bodies. I am 240 pounds, no gorgeous gym body here (OK, but I am kind of handsome in an older Jewishy kind of way).
During the school year I pick my son up at 2:40 p.m. and take him to either Hebrew School, drum practice, or the playground. And you know I love the playground, all the moms want to gossip with the gay dad! That’s the stereotypical attention I am looking for! Then we go home and do homework for an hour. Only after homework, and if he has behaved, is he allowed to watch TV. No electronics are allowed during the week, that means video/computer games. What a mean, strict gay dad I am!
The the spouse comes home and we eat dinner. I ask “How was your day?” and he grunts. Ring a bell anyone? Did you know that sort of behavior occurs in gay marriages too? The he reads the paper on the couch while my son finishes his TV time, just like a straight dad, and we start our evening routine of shit, shower, and teeth brushing. Too graphic? Well, sometimes gays get vulgar!
Then we have some snuggle time in front of the TV in our bedroom. My son pretty much demands this snuggle time, he is an affectionate kid and likes to be held by by me, the primary caregiver. This is important to me as I felt a lack of human contact growing up, not that anyone is to blame, that is just what I recall, and I want to do it different with my child. Then I put him to bed, and that requires me to stay in his room until he falls asleep. I am thrilled to still be needed by him, I understand that may change when he becomes a teenager. I want to enjoy it while he still lets me! And I indoctrinate him for the future by saying things like, you can always tell me anything no matter what, never be afraid to talk to your parents, and then I remind him how I have stood up for him at his school. Is it gay of me to try to market the good work I have done for him so he always knows his dad supported him? So he may remember, when he hits those horrible teenage years, that he is not alone, he is supported?
The I return to the bedroom and put the other dad to sleep. Yes, my job is not over until that is done. Instead of Johnny Carson, we watch Will & Grace. Not because that show might have changed the course of how Americans feel about gay people, but because it is easy humor to relate to and drift off into sleep, just like the straights!
So, what do you think? Did you miss the exciting disco lifestyle that you read we are supposed to be living? We dance at family weddings and Bar Mitzvahs and Communions. That’s the extent of it.
Oh wait, I forgot to tell you about our weekend escapades! We might spend the day at the Bronx Zoo! Or, we might be able to cajole our son into walking 2 miles to Chinatown so we can enjoy the soup dumplings at Joe’s Shanghai! Cause the Gay Parade is only once a year!
Or, if it is Sunday, we head to Staten Island to visit the Italian side of the family. We eat Sunday dinner with my in-laws; my son has 6 first cousins out there, and many, many second cousins. They all know Paul has 2 dads, and therefore, they have 2 uncles from Paul’s family. And no one cares. Because it is about family, nothing else.
If you read that last paragraph carefully you may deduce that I have an Italian-American mother-in-law. I cannot say anything further than that (cause you have already seen that part of my life on the show, “Everybody Loves Raymond”) except to say that she treats me like she would treat someone married to her first born: I can’t do anything right!
So, to all the crazies who say legal gay marriage will kill religion and America, I say you are wrong, and my family is proof of that. A religious education is important to us, and since I am in the role that is traditional referred to as the mom, my son takes my religion and goes to Hebrew School. To those in our government who say that gay marriage may lead to marriage to animals, I ask, when did they plan on making animals US citizens? To those who say marriage is about procreation, I say you lie. You lie because if it was about procreation, you would not allow single women to have babies, or straight people who could not bear children, the right to get married. Sounds ridiculous? Welcome to America.
Lastly, there is always talk that gay marriage will ruin straight marriage. Again, that is the biggest lie of all. My marriage does not negatively affect anyone, anywhere. If anything it strengthens the institution of marriage. No one has been able to find proof otherwise.
The real enemy of marriage is divorce. But our clergy and politicians never talk about that, us “gays” are a much easier target.
Happy Gay Pride!
And here we are in action, working together to solve a problem! Like a real family!