“Titanium metal!” my son exclaimed. “Like a fast robot police sports car!”
“Pink!” my daughter excitedly squealed.
“And what do you think?” I asked my husband, as we were shopping for our new car. “You need to like the color, too.”
A salesperson in the showroom, overhearing our conversation, inquired, “Why does your brother need to like the color of the car you’re buying?”
Since coming out over 20 years ago, I’ve realized that coming out is not a one and done thing.
But now, as a gay dad, with a husband and two kids, coming out happens pretty much on a weekly, if not, daily, basis.
This September, my son started playing hockey, and I’m the assistant coach.
During our coaches meeting, many of the coaches in the room mentioned that we hadn’t received an email, inviting use to fill out one of the forms we were reviewing.
“Your wives probably filled it out, without you knowing!”
Yet, the reality is, I am a proud gay dad, whose family looks a bit different than the majority of families where we live.
Earlier this year, my husband I and were out walking with our kids, and new neighbors came up to introduce themselves.
After a bit of small talk, they then asked, “So… what’s going on here… Full House? — guys raising kids together?”
“Well, kind of, but in this case, we’re husbands,” we replied.
Me: “Yes… husbands.”
Them: “Oh… you’re a same-sex couple! Honey — we have a same-sex couple on our new street!”
I know not every coming out moment is funny and not every coming out moment garners a positive reaction.
I also know that barriers still exist for so many LGBTQ individuals, and that some people still feel that they have to hide this part of their identity.
Personally, I’m inspired by those who have “come out” before me — who were visible on the first National Coming Out Day, 27 years ago, when it wasn’t easy to be heard.
Twenty years ago, the hardest words to ever come out of my mouth were, “I’m gay” — and unfortunately, the reactions weren’t as positive or as humorous as the reactions I get now.
For so many youth the reactions still aren’t favorable.
In fact, it’s estimated that 25-40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ.
It’s one of the reasons why I want to live my life so transparent and so visible.
I know that I don’t have to come out in those every day moments but I do feel a responsibility to be visible and to be out.
I want to be a role model for those who aspire to be out, but don’t think they can.
I want to change perception of what families look like, and inspire those who think that by coming out, they have to give up their dream of being a parent.
I want to help LGBTQ youth so that they feel they can live their authentic lives.
One of the best notes I have ever received about one of my blog posts, was from a mother, whose son was having a hard time coming out. He was afraid of being rejected and he thought that by coming out, he would have to give up his dream of being a dad. After reading my post, her son had the courage to come out and to live his authentic life. This woman’s letter was so heartfelt, and showed me how important it is to be visible — because you never know who is going to be helped by your story.
I recognize how fortunate I am. I can be a dad to two incredible kids, a husband, a professional in business world, an assistant hockey coach, a blogger — and an out, gay man.
No one bats an eye or treats me differently when they find out that, no, I actually don’t have a wife. That tall, handsome, man I live with, he’s my husband and papa to our kids — and I love him dearly.
Oh… and the choice of color we selected for the car?
While there was a part of me who really wanted to choose pink… driving a fast robot police sports car is cool, too. Plus, it looks pretty awesome parked in our driveway beside the even cooler mini-van.