Editors' Note: Guest blogger John Squires and his partner Steve have been together for 7 years and are at the stage in their life where having a baby feels...well right. John is documenting their experience in the blog, John and Steve are Having a Baby.
My partner Steve and I are having a baby. Not an easy feat for two gay men. So we decided to develop a network of gay dads through Facebook. We befriended over a hundred gay dads who have gone or are going through the surrogacy and/or adoption process. Fortunately we were embraced with genuine warmth and support by all members we reached out to... all except one.
To protect his identity (and me from a libel suit) let's refer to him as Homo Simpson. This is not far stretched as there is some remarkable physical resemblance there.
Anyway, this was Homo Simpson's email response to my friend request: (Clickety to embiggen all pictures)
Outrage! I couldn't believe it. Hasn't he ever heard of privacy settings? And how dare he suggest I would raise my kids to be homophobic. My first instinct was to avoid this guy, delete his email and block him from ever reaching out to me again. I didn't need people like that in my life.
But I couldn't let it go. Homo Simpson hurt me and he needed to know that.
So I responded with this:
I considered this ordeal finished. I stood up for myself and let him know that it wasn't right what he did. And I washed my hands of it.
The phrase "You Don't Want to Raise Children To Be Homophobic Do You?" kept haunting me. As much as I hated to admit it, I had come to terms with the fact that Homo Simpson had a point. I live my life completely open except to two important people- my father and my Aunt Adele (who is like a second mom to me). My dad is an ex-Master Chief in the Navy and my aunt is so conservative that if I were ever to get a tattoo (even of Jesus!) she would scrape the ink off herself with a Brillo pad. They live in other states and rarely travel so it's easy to keep aspects of my life hidden. But I know this isn't right. I want my child to grow up in a world where none of that "stuff" matters.
So a couple weeks ago I wrote this:
It's funny how something so negative actually inspired me to look deeper at my life and at the greater picture. We get so comfortable in "our routine" that sometimes it's hard to accept judgment especially from an outsider. And even though I still believe that Homo Simpson was harsh and inappropriate in his criticism of privacy on Facebook, I was glad that he said it in the way that he did because it forced me to be truthful to myself.
(If you're curious about the outcome of the letter to my dad, you'll have to read it on our site.)