Daniel Scheffler takes a look at the way ‘gay parenting’ has come of age.
By Daniel Scheffler
As mass culture (read: movies and television) starts tackling various scenarios involving gay parenting, it’s blatant that “gay parenting” is no longer unexpected but so mainstream that its normalcy now makes for dramatic entertainment, even humour, demonstrating that parenting is no different for gays than it is for anyone else. Similar to how it took the film industry 10 years to dole out the proverbial 9/11 films, they gave gaybies some time to adjust into their new roles.
Gaybies in the media
Out this month in the US is the film “Gaybies”, showing two best friends, one gay and one desperate for a baby, having a child together and wanting to go old school on the making of the baby. Then, new TV show “The New Normal” shows how two seemingly-ordinary gay men can have a baby with a hot blonde. Even the not so new “Modern Family” is also helping the cause. All examples leaving Emily Nussbaum, TV writer for The New Yorker, tweeting in delight about the amount of gaybies on TV is increasing rapidly, making you think that “Partners”, currently on DSTV, could have a gayby coming anytime soon.
A conservative like talk show host Bryan Fisher and even gay actor Rupert Everett claimed that children born into gay families are in imminent peril. But with no scientific proof, no studies from polished universities, their razz have been stilled by the clearly successful kids throughout the world, who have stood up for gay parenting. Like the enigmatic Zach Wahls whose viral YouTube clip and successful book (My Two Moms) remind the world that sexual preference has no verified affect on how kids are raised but that violence in the home and substance abuse evidently do.
And so, love is all that actually matters in a home. Ben Summerskill, Chief Exec of LBBT Rights Advocacy Group Stonewall, responded to Rupert Everett, “There is absolutely no evidence that the kids of gay parents suffer in the way they are being brought up or in how they develop”.
The same challenges for same-sex parents
Gay parents can have kids, we understand that now: no matter how high-profile or important. Ever-dapper Tom Ford and his partner Richard Buckley welcomed Alexander John this month and Glee combatant Jane Lynch and her partner adopted three kids earlier this year. This is the era of celebrity endorsements of gay parenting to the highest degree. For example, in Dan Bucatinsky’s new book, “Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight? Confessions Of A Gay Dad”, he takes his life and shows how gay parents have to deal with exactly the same thing straight parents do: potty training and perhaps even losing a family member.
Parenting challenges for gay parents are no different, and study after study cannot disprove this, than for straight parents. The difficulty for gay parents, and this will always remain, is prejudice and discrimination. This is not dissimilar for parents that are interracial. A bigoted intolerance is all that’s needed to stunt the growth of a society. Luckily mainstream media are helping to educate, and hopefully teachers and caregivers are including tolerance in their contemporary syllabi, giving it the attention it deserves.
Do you agree that society is more tolerant of gay parents?