It’s natural for gay parents to feel discomfort about their assimilation into the straight world. While you existed in your gay ghetto, straight people were the enemy. You despised, envied, feared, and longed to be them. You defended yourself against your deep feelings of inferiority by telling yourself you had no interest in their boring, monochromatic lives. “I am living on the edge,” you told yourself. “I am a minority fighting for survival. I have important life and death issues to think about.” These issues included:
•How to survive the Bush-Cheney years
•Domestic Partnership rights
•The continuing debate over “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
•Should you move to Canada or Massachusetts?
•Does Ted Haggard deserve your sympathy as a gay person?
•What if Mark Foley had been a Democrat? Thank God for small favors.
•What do the Scientologists have on Tom Cruise?
•When are Ellen and Portia going to break up since all Hollywood relationships do?
Now that you’re living among your “enemies,” it’s hard to reconcile your old sense of alienation with your new feelings of camaraderie. You’re a little ashamed to admit it, but the fire has burned out of those “life and death issues” and you would now much rather be discussing:
•The relative merits of Maclaren, Bugaboo, and Peg Perego strollers
•Public versus private school education
•Whether or not to allow television on school night
•Your video game policies
•Early versus late bedtimes
•Strategies for teaching the birds and the bees
•How much homework your children will get in second, third, and fourth grade
•The statistics on concussions among youth soccer players as a result of headers
•How to find a babysitter
•How to terminate a babysitter
•How to survive a babysitter defection
•What to do about alcoholic school administrators and teachers who should have retired before your children were forced to endure them
You haven’t lost your gay identity. You’ve lost your identity period—like every other parent, gay or straight. But you should be comforted by this. It means you’re taking your new role in life seriously.
© 2008 by Carrie Smith. All rights reserved.