Monday, May 20, 2013

Meet the DADsquared Bloggers























Henry and his husband live in Florida, where they were one of the first gay couples to adopt after the state’s infamous ban on gay adoption was struck down. Now he’s paving whole new roads of awareness by becoming a voice for gay fathers everywhere.
He writes for DADsquaredIt's Conceivable NowGay Parenting Magazine and ErgoBaby






















Alison Aucoin is the happy single (not co-parenting) lesbian mom of a 5½ year-old daughter she adopted from Ethiopia. She runs her own consulting firm that provides organizational development, fundraising, and grant writing services to non-profit organizations around the country
and also writes for The Nervous Breakdown.






















"Who am I? That’s simple. I am a gay parent that’s treated like a second class
citizen and I am done taking it. 
Every day I am in the battlefields, in my kid’s school, PTA meetings, swim team, birthday parties with
other parents and I am forcing people to meet me.
Every day I stand right next to them and even if it’s just in my mind, I say “ Look at me will you! I am a gay man, right in front of you. 
I have a partner of 8 years and a 6r old boy. 
My kid is in your kid’s class and will be for the next 11 years. 
I am not going away so now would be as good a time as any to accept me and everything that comes with me."
Joe also blogs at 1 regular joe























Dara Fisher. A 33 year old Mother of 3 amazing children with her Prince Charming Keith.  
They live right outside of Palm Springs, California. Dara has degrees in Anthropology, Liberal Arts, and Business Administration.  
She works full time in the Hospitality Industry and attends college classes in pursuit of her MBA when she's not busy being Super Mom.   
She spend her spare time crocheting, quilting, and making a mess with pretty much anything she can get my hands into.  She is a huge Doctor Whofan and  can't eat while watching The Walking Dead. 
Oh and she also happens to be the daughter of gay parents and the Mother of a child with Asbergers  Syndrome and ADHD

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Table for Three Please, by Joey Spinelli















Do you know who Zach Wahls is?  
He is a 21yr old heterosexual man who is an activist for the LGBT community.  He is a standout in today’s fight for our equality because of how different his situation is.  He was raised by two moms and is fighting for our rights.  
Does this sound odd?  
Inspiring?  
Normal?  
He's not a politician coming out of the closet.  He’s not a sports star telling his life story after his career is washed up.  He’s not even an entertainer who needs a career boost.  He’s an everyday man who just happens to have been raised by a lesbian couple.  This used to be an anomaly.   But, you had better get used to it.  He will be paving the way for our kids.

I just had a conversation last night with someone who said, “Remember when gays only had dogs?  Now they all have kids.”  He was talking about living in New York City and when we would walk down the street at any time and see gay men or women walking their dogs.  You would go to someone’s house and there was inevitably a Jack Russell terrorist somewhere in the house.  Even a few years ago, you couldn’t throw a 6 inch heel very far in NY without hitting some gay person who was carrying around a photo of their Shiba Inu.   As gay men and women, we used to be content with pets enriching our lives.  We used to act as if they were enough for us.  As if that were all we were allowed in our gay lives.  
I still wonder what caused the shift.  Was it that more gay men and women are now settling down with partners and want to go the next step together?  Or, was it the generation of gay people that came out in the 90’s, and later, that are now just wanting more than the previous generation was ever “permitted” to have.  Either way, when you walk down the streets of NY today, those same gay couples are now pushing strollers, changing their kids diaper on those fold out changing tables that are now in every men’s room, or they are having dinner at some trendy city restaurant.  We need a table for 3 please, and do you have a gluten free, vegetarian kids menu?   If you don’t believe this, all you have to do is look at the entertainment industry.  10 years ago, if people even admitted they were gay, they never had children in the mix.  Today, you cant get past one issue of People Magazine (not that I read that stuff) without seeing a picture of Neil Patrick Harris and family, Ricky Martin and family, Jillian Michaels and her family and lately, Dan Bucatinsky and his family.  The great part about all of this is, their kids and partners are absolutely beautiful.  Stunning images of what a non-tradition family looks like yet very safe and inviting to read about wonder about and ask questions about. 

I myself am a dad of a wonderful child and I have a partner of almost 9 years.  When I told my gay friends that I would be a dad, they were horrified (to be fair, it was almost 10 years ago).  Many of them said “don’t do it, your life will change.” “When will you have time to go out to the bars?” My favorite one was “It’s a really big mistake”.  I remember one in particular that was actually so worried that he had me thinking twice about it.  Of course, that same friend wound up being a fantastic G’uncle and did a complete 180 once my son was born.   But the interesting part of this experience was that it wasn’t just straight people that didn’t see us as families.  It was gay men and women that were also put off by other people’s kids.  I know that when I saw a stroller in front of me on a street, I just got annoyed, as If I secretly programmed myself to despise other people’s kids because I would never be able to understand the experience personally since I was gay.  Here I am, 10 years later and I am a dad with a very smart and loving 1st grader who my partner and I adore.  Ill admit, we do have a Miniature Schnauzer.  
Don’t Hate!

For a long time, I thought I was one of just a few gays that were raising a kid.  I was an anomaly.  I was unique.   Then, recently during the California Prop 8 case at the Supreme Court, one of the judges said something that changed my view on this.  It was justice Kennedy that said,There are some 40,000 children in California living with same-sex parents, and they want their parents to have full recognition and full status. The voice of those children is important in this case.”  I had to stop for a second and replay that part.  Did he just say 40,000 kids?  Just in California alone?  If that’s the case, then how many kids in big states like NY, IL and FL are being raised by gay parents?  Are we over 100,000 kids nationwide?  I would have to assume we are.  There was a study back in 1995 that did some estimates on this but so much has changed just in the last 10 years.  Hearing this made me realize that I am not unique.  I am not doing something that nobody has done before.  What I am doing is what every other person in America wants to do or is doing,. I am raising a family.  As are many thousands of my gay brothers and sisters throughout America.  We are growing every day in size and as the laws continue to change in the states, the numbers will get much bigger.  That’s when I finally got it.  Yes, the world is changing.  Not because we are fighting to be recognized as gay men and women. Not because we are taking states to court so we can get married.  Not because we want protection from employment discrimination. But, because we are settling down and having children.  We have now adopted the old sayingDo what you want to me, I don’t care, but if you get in the way of my children, then its no more Mr. Nice Guy!” Nothing changes the world faster than multiplying.  We can no longer refer to ourselves as “Non Breeders.”  We are absolutely breeding, just not always in the traditional way.

So, as our children grow up and go forward, what will the world be like in 20 years?  Zack Wahls will have been paving the way for our children a long time by then.  The hundreds of thousands of straight children that are right now being raised by gay parents will be old enough to be influencing the World, working in politics, medicine, sales, science and legal areas.  Our children will be taking on the roadblocks of today and they will be out numbering those destructive forces greatly.  With the younger generation right now caring less about suppressing gay rights and with the next generation having record number of straight kids that are currently being raised by gay parents, we are headed for a very big change in the next decade.  Imagine if the people making laws were made up with a majority of men and women who were either raised by gay couples or who just don’t see gay people as a problem the way the far right sees us.  Imagine our children, leading the way ahead of us, with Mr. Wahls in front of them, all working together for the betterment of all people.  What will we fight for then?  Gay, marriage, gay adoption, gay everything will no longer be an issue that anybody wants to stand against.  They will be subjects of the past.  The future will be our sons, our daughters, working with their young friends to create new sources of energy, new ways to further technology and new advancements in medicine.  Our children will absolutely change the world for the better and I for one will be glad to stop fighting for our rights and get in line behind them.  They will create an amazing place for everyone to live.  The best and most ironic thing about it is that 90 percent of them will be heterosexual (assuming the 1 in 10 theory).  Don’t you just love the irony? I thinks it's quite amazing.

















"Who am I? That’s simple. I am a gay parent that’s treated like a second class
citizen and I am done taking it. 
Every day I am in the battlefields, in my kid’s school, PTA meetings, swim team, birthday parties with
other parents and I am forcing people to meet me.
Every day I stand right next to them and even if it’s just in my mind, I say “ Look at me will you! I am a gay man, right in front of you. 
I have a partner of 8 years and a 6r old boy. 
My kid is in your kid’s class and will be for the next 11 years. 
I am not going away so now would be as good a time as any to accept me and everything that comes with me."
Joe also blogs at 1 regular joe






Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Ties That Bind. by Dara Fisher


















Many years ago I saw the movie Lilo and Stitch and fell in love with it.  
The film is about family. 
Ohana means family and family means nobody gets left behind.  
It is a mantra that I have incorporated into my family and means a lot to us.  
When I was growing up, my family was not only my blood related family members but also our extended family of friends.  My parents’ social group was primarily gays and lesbians.  We all socialized together, spent holidays together, and went on trips together.  Everybody came from different backgrounds yet we all melded into a beautiful familial arrangement.  
As an adult, I have ended up with a similar family which is tight knit and includes my two best friends, Domita and Naisha.
                
Gay marriage translates into my head as gay families.  
Isn’t that the idea behind getting married?  To create a family?  
Families come in all different shapes and sizes.  There are families with children and without children, families that adopt children, families that use IVF and surrogacy, and foster families.  There are so many different types of families that it would be impossible to cover them all, but in the end, we all have the same goal.  
We want to love and be loved.  Gay families are no different.
                
I’ve always believed that if the folks that are so against gay marriage could actually see for themselves how we live, they probably wouldn’t oppose it as much.  
Right now there is this horrible thing on television called reality tv.  I personally think it’s one of the worst things that we as a society have done to ourselves.  These producers go out and find some of the worst examples of human behavior and televise it for the world to see.  
When I spoke with my Dad concerning the decision to write about our family, he was very supportive of the idea.  He liked the fact that I would be presenting our lives honestly and without the stereotypes many associate with the gay community.  
Contrary to popular belief, gay men are not relentless perverts.  The majority of them don’t run around wearing rainbows, throwing glitter, and singing show tunes.  The gay men and lesbian women I grew up with were just people.  
I will say though that you will never see a cleaner or better decorated home than a gay man’s house.  I can also admit that in my next life I want to come back as a gay man’s dog.  My Dad’s dogs scored.  
My Dad never let me eat ice cream for breakfast.  But I digress.  
Each and every relationship in a family is important and special.  The same rules apply to gay families.  We all have unique relationships with each other and because of the difference in how our families are arranged, our relationships are different too.

My Dad was with Terri for most of my life.  
All I can ever remember is Dad and Terri being together.  
To say that I loved Terri would be undercutting it.  I absolutely adored my Terri.  Even though I was biologically my Dad’s, Terri always loved and treated me as if I were his very own.  
When I was a kid, my Dad didn’t know quite what to do with me.  Even being a gay man didn’t help when it came to raising a daughter.  Dad found a lot of the issues that came up with me too awkward and frankly, I felt weird going to Dad with some of my more feminine situations.  Terri on the other hand was excellent at dealing with the day to day trauma’s that were bestowed upon me and I appreciated being able to have someone there for me.  
When I was first going through puberty, my Mom asked my Dad to take me shopping for bras.  
That had to have been one of the worst conversations that ever happened between my parents.  
I don’t know what the discussion was but I do know that Terri was the one who took me to the mall to get said undergarments.  
Terri was the more feminine one between him and Dad, though I can tell you from firsthand experience, he certainly wasn’t one to mess with.  (I’ll explain more about that when I discuss the bullying issue later on!) 
               
My Dad and Terri split up in 2000.  

Neither of them had the heart to tell me when it happened because I was nine months pregnant with my oldest son.  The day I found out that they had split up was pretty bad.  My son was about two weeks old when my Dad called to tell me that my Grandma had passed away.  After I handed the phone back to my Mom, I went into the bedroom to pick up my little boy and I was listening to my parents’ conversation.  I knew something was up because my Mom was speaking a hushed tone and that was never a good thing.  My Mom was the one who told me that my Dads had split up after two decades together and to make matters worse, Terri had tested positive for HIV.  
To this day I don’t know the details of how Terri contracted HIV and honestly, I don’t care.  
My Dad is still HIV negative and Terri’s HIV status made no difference in our relationship anyhow. 
                
Terri’s HIV diagnosis put a lot of things in perspective.  I had seen what HIV/AIDS did to the gay community and knowing that the virus was in Terri made my heart hurt.  
Terri was scared of dying of AIDS.  He told me once that he could handle dying but that he didn’t want to suffer through the end stages of AIDS.  The cocktails that he took to treat the HIV would make him really sick and there were a couple of times when we thought we were going to lose him.  
My Dad and Terri remained best friends after their split.  I never understood why they split up since they ended up living together for a years after and were pretty much at each constantly at each other's sides.  

Even when Dad met and fell in love with Richard, Dad and Terri were still tied to each other.  
I always thought it was so amazing how Richard was totally okay with Dad and Terri’s relationship.  
Richard understood that Terri was our family and we don’t leave family behind.  

Two years ago, we lost Terri.  He went to sleep and never woke up.



My Terri

                














When Dad called me to tell that my Terri was gone, I was driving down the highway taking my children to McDonalds.  He had me pull over before telling me but it didn’t lighten the blow in any way. 
I managed to get home before the reality of Terri’s loss hit me but when it did, it was agony.  
It was the same pain in my chest I had when my Mom passed away in 2006.  

As I sit here writing this blog, thinking about Terri being gone brings back the same pain I had that day.  Terri’s death dealt a hard blow through our family.  
My husband, who had always been cool with my gay parents, seemed to truly understand the depth of our family relationships for the first time.  
He knew that we were a family and lived as such but sometimes I think he didn't consider us a real family because we weren't like the family he grew up in.  
For years my husband had seen our family but never took us seriously.  
I honestly think seeing the pain that losing Terri put me through helped him to understand us better.
                
This past Thanksgiving, my Dad, Richard, Ken, Clarence, my husband, and myself were all standing outside after dinner talking about Terri.  Even though Terri is gone, we still speak of him lovingly and feel his absence when we are all together.  We were laughing as we told stories about Terri storming my school to deal with a bully, the Halloween I walked right past him in drag to ask my Dad where Terri was and all the other great stories about Terri.  

Gay families are based on the same love as every other family.  
We fight, we laugh, we screw with each other, and we love each other.  
If more families like us were on television, we might find that the gay marriage opposition would dissolve.  It’s hard to hate someone who is just like you.















Dara Fisher. A 33 year old Mother of 3 amazing children with her Prince Charming Keith.  
They live right outside of Palm Springs, California. Dara has degrees in Anthropology, Liberal Arts, and Business Administration.  
She works full time in the Hospitality Industry and attends college classes in pursuit of her MBA when she's not busy being Super Mom.   
She spend her spare time crocheting, quilting, and making a mess with pretty much anything she can get my hands into.  She is a huge Doctor Whofan and  can't eat while watching The Walking Dead. 
Oh and she also happens to be the daughter of gay parents and the Mother of a child with Asbergers  Syndrome and ADHD