Eric Rosswood is an LGBT activist, author, and father. In 2011, he released My Uncle’s Wedding, a marriage equality-focused/themed children’s book showcasing a same-sex marriage through the eyes of a child. The book was an Amazon bestseller and went on to receive a proclamation from California State Senator, Mark Leno. His new book, Journey to Same-Sex Parenthood: Firsthand Advice, Tips and Stories from Lesbian and Gay Couples, helps people in the LGBTQ community compare adoption, foster care, surrogacy, assisted reproduction, and co-parenting so that they can make the best decision for expanding their own families.
What motivated you to write a book(s) that is specifically inclusive of LGBTQ families/issues?
For the better part of my writing career, I’ve decided to write about LGBTQ families and issues because I don’t think there are enough books out there that feature families like ours. Someone once told me, “If you can’t find what you’re looking for, write it yourself.” That’s exactly what I did with Journey to Same-Sex Parenthood.”
When my husband and I first came to the decision that we wanted to have children together, we spent almost two years researching the differences between adoption, foster care, and surrogacy. We found tons of technical information out there from the perspective of agencies and professionals, but it was difficult to find
information from the perspective of people who went through the journey themselves. What went well? What went wrong? Now that you’ve been through the journey, is there anything you would have done differently? What advice would you give to others? And I didn’t just want these answers for one parenting path; I wanted answers for all of them so we could compare and decide which would be best for our own family. I couldn’t find a resource like that so I asked people to help me create one. When people started sending me their stories, the number one thing they told me was, “I wish we had something like this when we started.”
What do you personally feel makes a family?
Well, there are many different types of families. There are the families we grow up with, and there are the families we choose. They can be comprised of people of various genders, ages, races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, etc. They may live with each other, or they may not, but I think the one common factor of a healthy family environment is that all parties involved are bonded through love. They’re there for each other through thick and thin. I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s true.
What does “equality” look like to you?
Equality to me is when everyone has equal access and equal opportunity. It means one group of people is not deciding the fate of another group of people. For example, I don’t think it’s fair for a panel comprised of only men to be determining whether or not women should have access to birth control. I think the reason we
struggle with equality is because so many people see it as a win/lose situation. They think they have to lose something in order for another group to gain and as a result, decisions are based on fear; the fear of losing control, the fear of losing power, losing money, property, status, health, etc. One of the ways we can combat fear is through education and familiarization, and books are great tools for achieving this. Will we get there in our lifetime? I don’t think so, but we can at least make it easier for our children to get there.
Whose books do you admire and why?
I love fantasy books, particularly stories with strong female characters. Some examples include Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell, and the Wrinkle in Time series by Madeleine L’Engle. Each of those stories captivated me as a child and transported me to another world. They were important to me while I was in school because they featured characters that were misfits or underdogs, and as a gay kid, I related to that.
What’s coming up next for you?
I plan on writing more books that showcase diversity. In the meantime, you can catch me April 29 – May 1,
2016 at the Family Weekend in the Midwest event in Madison, Wisconsin. I’ll also be hosting a webinar on April 13 (8-9 p.m. EST) called “Journey to Parenthood – Deciding Which Path is Right for You: Adoption, Foster Care, Surrogacy, Assisted Reproduction, or Co-Parenting.”
You can learn more about Eric Rosswood, his books, and future plans by going to www.ericrosswood.com. You can also follow him on twitter @LGBT_Activist.