For the past 10-1/2 years, you’ve heard what I think about being a gay dad. I thought it may be interesting to hear from another gay dad – the one I’m married to. So, I interviewed Kelly about what fatherhood has been like for him.
Why did you want to become a dad in the first place?
I thought it would be an amazing experience for us to share together. I had seen my brother’s house full of kids and grandkids, and I knew how close you are with your family, so I thought it would be fulfilling and challenging and rewarding all at the same time. And I thought we would be good parents.
Boy, were you wrong!
OK, I thought I’d be a good parent. You’d be the crazy one.
I can be a lot to deal with…
Stop. What do you think each of us as parents offers the boys?
I think I’m calmer when things with the boys don’t go exactly as planned. You’re more emotional. But that’s good too because it lets them know it’s OK to have and express their feelings. I also think I’m way more patient than you are.
How do you think being gay has influenced what type of dad you are?
I think that since we had to work hard to become dads, we’re more dedicated to parenthood and more invested. I also think that as gay men, we’re more compassionate and understanding. We both grew up in a far less tolerant time for gay people, so I think that’s made us kinder. I don’t think we have as many preconceived expectations of our kids like a lot of straight people do.
What advice would you give other gay couples thinking about becoming parents or who already are?
For those who already have kids, believe in yourself. You’re probably doing a far better job than you’re giving yourself credit for. To those who are thinking about becoming parents, think really long and hard about it. Parenthood is honestly the most rewarding and satisfying thing you’ll ever do, but it turns your life completely upside down.
What advice would you give me to be a better parent?
Just relax and enjoy it.
That’s what he said.
Seriously? Are you 11 today? It really doesn’t matter if the boys become successful professionals or not. It’s not a reflection of us as parents. What’s important is that they grow up to be decent, kind, respectful adults. And they are. That’s what’s important.
How has being parents changed our relationship?
Well, this September we’ve been dads for exactly half of our life together. It’s meant that we’ve had to make some serious decisions based on their needs and not on what we necessarily want – like moving to Utah. It’s meant not doing a lot of stuff that I know you especially would have wanted to, like trips and parties. But I also think it’s strengthened our relationship. We’ve become closer, more of a team, since the boys came along.
I think it’s funny that all we fight about are the kids and parking spots.
I’ve been driving a lot longer than you have, I know what I’m doing. We fight about the kids because, like I said earlier, we’re so committed to trying to be good, decent parents. And that’s not always easy, especially now that the boys are teenagers. You have a crazy, over-emotional response to every little thing…
And I have the completely opposite reaction. So, we balance each other out.
Thank you, Kelly.
Can I go now?