A Gay Dad’s Valentine to His Sons

ImageThe other day, my friend John linked me onto a tweet from a gentleman in Utah.  The man was Paul Mero, president of the Sutherland Institute, a conservative think tank.  Mr. Mero’s organization had just submitted an amicus brief in the pending same sex marriage case in Utah, one of which, he is very proud.  “A brilliant articulation of the state interest in marriage.  Can’t wait for the plantiffs’ non-response,” were his exact words.

Glutton for punishment that I am, I had to search this “brilliant articulation” out.  I found it on their website.  It was a seven point treatise that pulled numerous unrelated facts together, associated them with ideas they had nothing to do with, and laid out arguments often in complete contradiction.  The biggest eye-roller was that the attempt to bring marriage equality to Utah was to turn marriage from a “child-centric” institution to a “consensual-adult” institution.  The argument was so passionate, I had to wonder if the last opposite sex couple for whose wedding I officiated would suddenly annul.  Ron and Rita are both in their late 50s and would find the idea that they were now to be “child centric” a little disruptive to say the least.  I also wondered if the protest that marriage was falling into the pit of “consensualness” was putting a stake in the ground to return to arranged marriages.

In any case, the brief’s later argument contradicted the beginning premise by worrying that if marriage were to be made legal for same sex couples, it would inspire us to have lots of children, and that would be bad.  At least it came around to almost admitting that we too might be “child-centric” in our family formations after all.

The “proof” it cites in claiming that having same sex parents is detrimental was an old and discredited source:  the Regnerus study.    This is the study that surveyed thousands of families (none in person) and included two, only two, lesbian couples, in its data.  It included zero gay father lead same sex households.  None.  It did not stop its exclusion of any true LGBT family research from drawing conclusions about us however, and those fallacious conclusions have made their way into almost every anti-gay legal brief in the US, and into the government state houses of LGBT oppressive nations around the world. 

We are approaching Valentine’s Day.  Rather than submit logic here on why heterosexual couples are as likely to enjoy consensual relationships with each other, and how same sex couples can be as strongly “child centric”,  I decided to go ahead and commemorate the day by BEING child-centric instead.  I hope you consent.  Mr. Mero is submitting an amicus brief, I am submitting a valentine.

Here is my Valentine.  It is not to my partner Jim, whom I adore.  He will get his own valentine this weekend.  It is to my sons for whom I live and for whom I would die.  Jason and Jesse, both eleven years old, were adopted as babies from the foster care system.   They were each born to drug addicted birth parents and put in life threatening circumstances.  I am the only dad either have ever known.

Dear Jesse and Jason,

Hi guys!  It is Valentine’s day and tonight you spent the evening writing out your cards and putting together little gifts for all your school mates.  I thrill over the joy and generosity you exhibit in wanting to make sure each person is touched, and that everyone of them knows you care.   

My sweet boys, this is my valentine back to you.

You have transformed me.  I knew who I really was destined to be the minute I looked into each of your eyes.  I thought I knew before then, but I did not know completely.  In those two instances, I looked deep and heard my soul mutter, “Hi there, I’m your Dad.”  The incredible thing is, that each of you looked back with a gleam that said, “Yes, you are.”

I thought when I was young that I wanted to win an Academy Award someday.  (You know, that’s the show where I take over the TV for the night…) Watching you grow, and become the young men you have, has been the greatest honor of my life.  Lights, camera….no cinematic action, just one heck of a lot of pride.

I also thought, when I was young, that I wanted to be a super hero.  (I know you guys have thought about being ones too!).  Here is a secret for you.  You made me into one.  When you were little, you gave me the power to heal owwies with a single kiss.  You each would fall down and cry, and then run into my arms and with just one of my cuddles and a single kiss (sometimes to the owwie itself), waala!  It was miraculously healed.  The tears dried up and in less than a minute, you were back to your happy self.  You also gave me the power of incredible magnetic force—as soon as I walked into your pre-school room, your little bodies came flying at me at an incredible speed and force that it almost always knocked me down.  You gave me the power to overcome all adversities against all things yucky.  Somehow, someway, I no longer wretched at poopie diapers, vomit covered t-shirts (mine) or spiders, the later of which I was the designated hit man against.

(I will let you know as you enter your teen years that I have developed a keen x-ray vision and ability to hear through walls.  You have been officially warned.)

There are people in this world who believe that people cannot love as deeply as we do unless the kids were made by the Dad.  Jesse, you got this reaction recently when classmates made faces to you after you told them you have two dads.   They were wrong and I hope you never let their mistaken ideas get to you.  They just don’t know us.

What they don’t understand is, I did make you.  And you made me.  None of us would be who we are without the others.  We pro-created each other.  There are people who believe that if we don’t share the same DNA we cannot have the bond that we do.  They are wrong.  I don’t cherish my DNA.  I cherish you.  More than anything, you rock my world.

When people attack families like ours, it does make me angry at times.  I too get hurt over the ignorance they display.  I feel wounded for the people who suffer at the hands of their opinions.  I feel helpless sometimes that I can affect a change.  I need to be reminded myself of what I just told you:  they don’t know us. 

I get reminded when something happens as it did tonight when I came to bed.  On my pillow was an item more powerful than homophobia and self-righteousness put together.  In the creases of the bed linens was something that makes me invincible.  It was a slightly wrinkled, cut out white paper heart with these words scrawled on it:                       

                “I Love You Daddy”


With that, you restored my super powers once again.  I am ready to take on the world, and I hope you are too.  You both have all my heart, all my soul.  You are my Heaven and Earth.  Happy Valentine’s Day.




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About robw77

A single gay dad who cares. His story can be read here: http://www.imagaysingleparent.com/2013/02/02/rob/ and here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/31/rob-watson-gay-family_n_4689661.html
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21 Responses to A Gay Dad’s Valentine to His Sons

  1. georgiakevin says:

    What a beautiful letter!

  2. Wonderful, wonderful note.

  3. Dr. Rex says:

    Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    “A Gay Dad’s Valentine to His Sons” …. real love!!

  4. Ron Horne says:

    Growing up as a child how I wished for a father like you. Mine never expressed love or affection outwardly. I know he loved all of us but just wasn’t able to show it. I think now that had I had the support and affection you show your boys I would have been a much more secure adult. I am old now, in my 60’s but only in recent years come to under stand that the love shown early in life will make a child a wonderful and loving teacher in the future. Wishing You and Your Family A Very Happy Valentines Day! May God Bless Your Home!

  5. Pingback: Saying Goodbye to My Dad & Father’s Day as I Have Known It « FreedHearts

  6. Pingback: Saying Good-bye to My Dad and Fathers Day as I Have Known It | evoL =

  7. Your letter to your boys was beautiful, sentimental, courageous and filled with words of parental love – just what a Dad’s valentine card should be. You are blessed to have them, and they are blessed to have a loving, caring, cherishing father like you.

  8. jmundstuk says:

    These are beautiful, tender sentiments. I wonder, though, whether we pay enough attention to the effects of our words on our children, and whether we are addressing them in language that is appropriate to their age. Sometimes in our love, we may overstep the essential boundary between adult and child that could make it more difficult for a child to find their own way as they slowly separate from their parent. Thanks for writing your blog.

  9. jmundstuk says:

    The emotions are powerful and moving. However, I wonder if we give enough attention to the effect our words have on our children, who are, well, children. Personally, I feel that in some cases we adults cross a boundary and talk to our children as equals or as more developed than they are. For some of us, the expression of sentiment satisfies us greatly, but does it help/nurtuer our kids?

  10. I look forward to the day when I, too, am able to be a father. Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us.

  11. sir, you have brought me to tears…god bless you and your boys.

  12. praw27 says:

    You Have two very lucky boys…and you are a lucky father…in every sense of the word!!!

  13. rachelderham says:

    Beautifully written. Love love love. Aren’t sons wonderful.

  14. Rob, so lovely. It’s amazing how our children can make us feel simultaneously so vulnerable AND invincible. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your family!

  15. Ben in oakland says:

    I went and read the crap that Sutherland had on its website. I couldn’t resist writing:

    Mr. Mero,

    Please keep making the arguments you are making against gay marriage. They are so devoid of facts, logic, and experience, one can only applaud you for coming up with them.

    If you would like to me to tear them apart for you, I’ll be more than happy to do so. I will give you one small taste of what I can do for you. You said, “We argued that ordered liberty requires a free society to cherish and champion the natural family with marriage as its cornerstone.” Since no one is proposing either to outlaw heterosexual marriage or the natural family—aside from that pesky 40-50% divorce rate, and the 40% of our children who are born out of wedlock, which merely compromise them, but don’t actually outlaw them—everything that follows is nonsense.

    If you’d like to know where else you make no sense, please let me know. Otherwise, please carry on. With you on our side, I know we’re going to win.

  16. Paul Mero is a pompous ass hat. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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