Tuesday, May 13, 2014

That Damn Gay Kiss! by DADsquared's Henry Amador

This photo of our family was used in a campaign about a year ago which highlighted the the gay kiss.
The photo campaign used the phrase "Your parents kiss in public and so do mine."

Seems pretty simple right?
Some may wonder why the need?
What's the big deal?

Well lets fast forward a year to this, soon to be infamous, photo and ask the same questions.

Not so simple anymore is it?
With all the real historical and social implications of the first openly gay athlete being drafted into the NFL,
what topped all the headlines was THE KISS!

It's time to take a look at why the gay, man with man, kiss is such a difficult hurdle to jump.
Why do so many Americans still feel the need to bury their heads in the sand and act as if they should be "protected" from witnessing this simple, natural and loving gesture?

As I write this article there are legal cases being heard and filed in nearly every state in this country fighting bans and legislation that make this kiss so much more than just a show of emotion.
This kiss is a sign of victory, it is a declaration of existence regardless of the cost.
The cost, my dear friends, has been astronomical.
The fight to exist openly and honestly has cost lives and I do not just mean historically, I mean now, as you read this.

There are lands that kill people for these types of declarations.
The exact types of simple shows of affection that our heterosexual brothers and sisters take for granted and exhibit without thought, without calculation and without fear.
Whenever and however they choose.

My husband and I live in a conservative state.
I travel monthly on business and on each of my returns he and my son pick me up at the airport.
As my boy runs to me each month I snatch him up in a big bundle of love and hugs and always kiss my husband, on the lips, they are my world and a week away is difficult.

I  emphazise on the lips because there are times when I have to take pause for a brief second just before that kiss to be sure that we are safe, to be sure that my son will not have to be witness to his family facing something ugly because of that kiss.

My pause is not imagined, it s based on facts and realities that plague the LGBTQ community daily.
I would not be a good father if I was not knowledgable of these things and conversly I would not be a good father if I allowed those fears to stop me from expressing my love and showing my son that love is meant to be expressed.

Do you see the irony?

Kissing my husband, Michael kissing his boyfriend, given the right opportunity and the right witnesses can cause such an uproar, create such fear and controversy, yet our right to engage in this kiss is as natural and undeniable as the air we breathe it is as subtle and inate in us as it is in every living being, including in those that find it the most horrific.

I have no choice but to flow forward.
My family and I are riding high on the road to equality and must continue to be ourselves.
We must continue to show our love for the sake of our child and for the sake of our relationship.
We must continue to express our love whether it be in the form of a hug, the holding of hands or a kiss.
We must continue to share our love, not simply in the safety of our home but especially outside of it where we will change minds and hearts by simply being seen, felt and understood.

One day someone will say to our son "I love how open and comfortable you are expressing love and affection,"
and he will reply, "Thanks, I get that from my dads."

Henry Amador is a husband, father, writer and life coach.
Henry founded DADsquared where he continues to provide love, support and resources to gay fathers and those on the road to fatherhood.
He lives in North Carolina with his happy tribe and hopes to grow old on the family farm with rolling hills, many children, grandchildren and a strong internet connection.