Sometimes I am afraid that one day, someone is going to tell my children they have gay dads and they are going to look at them with blank stares for they will not understand what it means.
Not that we hide ourselves from the children…but they get exposed to so little of gay culture because we ourselves are immersed so little in it.
Certainly, I do make a point of trying to spend my dollar in gay owned and/or gay friendly establishments but oftentimes, the activities of life with children don’t afford me that opportunity. It’s not like there is a gay owned after-school program, or a gay owned private school, etc. Thus, often times our choices end up looking no different from other parents.
When it comes to dining and hanging out, we do make an effort to frequent gay friendly neighborhoods partly because of the food, partly because of the atmosphere and partly because it is important for me to allow the children to see others that in some way look similar to themselves. That is also the reason why we live in the city and are members of a local gay parenting group.
Recently however, I was torn with the gay pride parade. I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity for the kids to see the parade and to see a group of people that are gay. Also, given the SCOTUS decision I thought it would be a great celebration and I could use the parade to help start the conversation around marriage equality with the boys.
I thought about attending the parade a lot. I asked a few friends what they thought of the idea. My friends without children thought it was a great idea. The ones with children…well they weren’t so certain. My chief concern is that I know from experience, that a lot of things happen at the parade…things I am not certain their young eyes need to see. Things I am not certain my old eyes need to see! I have attended Pride Parades in all of the major cities in the US and I know for certain that in some instances, there are groups and individuals that walk past that even shock me. So what to do.
In the end, I decided we would stay home in part because the Pride Parade in Chicago has such a bad reputation for being dangerous, unorganized and violent as the day progresses. While I wanted to allow the children to see what it means to be gay and to celebrate, I decided that it was ultimately my responsibility to keep them safe and out of harms way; and so this year we passed.
But was I taking the easy way out?