Hollywood heavyweights experience the same frustration [and hope for progress] as the rest of us when it comes to educating the public about parents who happen to be gay.
Creator and Executive Producer of “Will & Grace” – Max Mutchnick – offers a glimpse into an airport experience while traveling with husband and infant twin daughters, Evan and Rose. In a piece for The Huffington Post Max writes:
I stood shoeless in front of the metal detector. Rose was in my arms. Her mouth open just a tiny bit and her eyes as wide as they’ve ever been in her hundred and thirty five days of life. Behind me was my husband. He held Evan.
The TSA guard said it like he was talking to a prisoner. I did as I was told. My husband followed. He held a baby in one arm and four business class tickets in the other. The guard looked at the tickets, then looked at us, then looked at the tickets.
She is. I’m Max, this is Erik and that’s Evan. Rose’s sister.
“Evan’s a girl?”
Yeah. All the kids with kids are doing it.
A moment of silence. Rage started to well up inside of me in anticipation of the next question this giant with a badge was going to ask me. How was this man going to insult my family? In what way would he make me explain my difference?
This is what he said:
“Where did you get them?”
“Where did you get your kids?”
Don’t get me wrong. It’s a hideously offensive question, but implicit in what he was saying was the fact that we were the dads and they were our daughters. Progress! Progress from a moron. But progress nonetheless. I was feeling some love for the TSA Giant.
I made them.
This threw him, but I had his attention. And there in the middle of LAX with a line snaking to the front door of the airport I began to explain Gestational Surrogacy.
There’s a donor. She gives us the eggs. We never meet her. She is not the “mom”.
There is no mom. There’s a surrogate. She’s the oven. (Giants prefer short sentences with small words). My husband and I (the Giant winced) fertilized four eggs. They went inside the surrogate. Two of the eggs took. Fraternal twins were born 8 months and two weeks later. One of them was biologically his. One of them was biologically mine. But they’re both ours, you know?
“You can do that?”
You can, Giant.
He wanted to ask more and I wanted to tell him more. But alas a plane trip was waiting with loving grandparents at the other end.
So back to the responsibility of being a gay father. It turns out the key is the same as it would be if I were a straight father. It’s about patience. Showing patience in every way to everyone. I’m different, but not really.
Max Mutchnick has been honored with an Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series; two People’s Choice Awards (Favorite Comedy); and six Golden Globe nominations (Best Comedy Series) for his work on “Will & Grace”.
Image: The Internet Movie Database