Upon Receiving News Of Becoming a Grandfather in May

I recently found out that my husband and I are about to become
grandfathers! WOW!!! I am so excited and I’m thrilled for my son
and daughter-in-law. I am sure that I am going to be an
insufferable “Papa” bragging about my new grandchild and
waiting to hear the latest news on his or her latest first! I am
going to feel devastated being separated by so many miles.
Nathaniel and Doris live in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Rodolfo and I
are in Dallas, Texas. So, visits will be nowhere near as often as I
will want.

It is funny; when I found out this exciting news I was transported
back to when I was newly out of the closet as a gay dad raising my
teenaged son. Eighteen years ago it was pretty much the rule that
most gay dads raising their children had them through a
heterosexual marriage (though in my case it was pretty much

As soon as I admitted to myself I was gay and came out I immersed
myself into the LGBT community and it wasn’t long before I became
an activist and most of my new friends were gay. Yet when it came
to parenting issues, responsibilities and enjoyment I found myself
in a foreign land from most of my gay friends. At least on the
parenting front I had far more in common with my straight friends
and coworkers than I did with my gay friends. That felt very odd

When Nathaniel’s needs conflicted with a volunteer opportunity or
social event in the community, Nathaniel came first (and sometimes
even when there wasn’t a need, just a want on Nathaniel’s and
my part). To quote a saying from some old sci-fi movie, “this did
not compute” with most of my gay friends. They could drop what
they were doing on a moments notice. I could not.

Nathaniel got to know my gay friends and they him and soon they
became and remain part of each other’s lives the way my son had
and remains with my straight friends. As Nathaniel matured, left
for college and became an adult my relationship with him was not as
foreign to my friends, most of whom had met him.

For the past ten years or so I haven’t had that foreign parenting
feeling. Then I found out that Rodolfo and I are about to become
grandpas and BAM its right back again! All my friends are excited
for me and they are congratulating me. Many know Nathaniel and they
are excited for him as well. Yet, they have no idea how I feel, how
I hang on baited breath for positive news from Nathaniel and Doris
about the latest doctor’s appointment and test results on how the
pregnancy is progressing or how the grandparent feeling is quite
different from the parent feeling. It is my straight friends,
family and even just acquaintances that commiserate with me and
give me that all knowing smile of blissful understanding.

Through the work of the Family Equality Council the circle of LGBT
parents and grandparents continues to grow. More people get to
smile. More kids and grandkids get to have parents and grandparents
who have gone the extra mile to have them and appreciate the joys
of raising the next generation.