Do I Have a Daddy?

By: Brandy Black

2 moms and daughter

Recently my daughter asked me if she has a daddy.  I have played this conversation out many times in my head. When she was just a few days old I was already worrying about how I could make sure that she didn’t feel inadequate because she has two moms. I even went to hear a panel of teens with gay parents put on by COLAGE so that I could be ready with all the right answers for the tough questions.  I got pretty depressed at that panel.  Although inspiring to see those sweet, articulate little adults before me telling their stories, it pained me to hear that not the other kids but the parents ostracized some of them. They explained that most kids in school these days don’t really see the issue but that some of the old-school parents aren’t so thrilled.  Do they think their children are going to catch gay from a kid who has homosexual parents? I have never really understood why anyone would follow that logic.  My parents are straight. My wife’s parents are straight.  Most of my gay friends have straight parents.  I’m pretty sure my daughter will turn out straight.  People are sometimes surprised to hear me say that, as though it’s offensive that I would assume my daughter be anything other than gay.  I don’t care what gender my daughter chooses for her partner, as long as she is happy, taken care of, and loved like no other.  All I could ever hope for is that she feel true love, love that inspires her and dances her through life.  If she is lucky enough to be given that gift, she won’t care what color, creed, gender they are; she will recognize their heart.  It’s funny to me that humans can write these beautiful stories like Romeo and Juliet and we all cry because we understand the desire to love, something that no one teaches you –you feel it, it comes from a place so deep that no one can ever take the feeling away from you –yet when it happens in real life, if it is not understood by many, it is treated like an aberration.

So, when I prepared myself for those words “Do I have a daddy?” to come out of my daughter’s mouth, it wasn’t a shame that broke my heart, but more a fear of lack of support.  I have spent three long years wrapping my head around what it means to be a gay mom, to know that my child will likely face adversity in her lifetime because of who her parents are to each other.  I have learned that my daughter is strong, possibly stronger than I will ever be, and she is proud of her mom and mama and she is loved.  When she asks a question like “Where is my daddy?” she just wants to understand.  She doesn’t need my baggage.  OurIndigochildren are ahead of the game, they will probably teach us a little something about the backwards ways in which we look at things. My daughter is not me and I shouldn’t burden her with my worries that may never come to fruition.

So I said, plain and simple, “You have a mom and a mama.”

and she said

“I don’t have a daddy.”

and I said

“Yep, you’re right.”

That was the end of that conversation.  I know one day the conversation will grow, but for now she is content and so am I.

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Comments

  1. says

    Great answer Brandy and if and when that doesn’t satisfy Sophia you will answer the way you feel and what Sophia can understand. And eventually she will grow up and understand it all.

  2. says

    That is a great answer, Brandy. I’ve replayed the race question over in my head again and again, even though Betty’s not really even talking yet. But from what I understand, it’s not one question/one answer, but a series of questions and answers throughout her lifetime with me. I think you answered the first question very well. Also, take solace in the fact that eventually Sophia will be a tween and won’t care what parents, including hers think, because they’re all so uncool anyway.

  3. says

    Perfect answer! A simple question deserves a simple and honest answer, which is exactly what you provided. Yes, the questions will get tougher. But I’ve learned an interesting thing about this generation of children we are raising. They are being raised with no shame. They do not have that deeply rooted shame that we were raised with. Even with the most accepting of families (whch it seems like you and I are both lucky enough to have), we still possess a tiny of that shame–that taboo–that society has historically placed on gay people. My kids–and your daughter–are being raised without that. When my kids ask questions about the make-up of our family, they do so with the intention of gaining knowledge. It’s just a question they need answered. I answer it honestly and then it’s done. No judgement. No shame. No feeling like our family is less-than. Any “weirdness” I feel about their questions is self-imposed. They see nothing at all weird about our family. It’s amazing. And a testament to the future we are creating. :)

  4. says

    My son and I have had this conversation already several times, and it’s always helped us to just stay focused on the fact that there are all kinds of families and ours just doesn’t have a daddy. Todd Parr’s The Family Book has been great for that, but I also made a book using blurb.com that tells Sam’s Story… with short sentences and big pictures that tell the story of how our family came to be. In the book there is a very special man that helps me have a baby, and some of the details about him are in the book. So at this point Sam knows that he doesn’t have a daddy, and he’s okay with that. As the questions get more and more complicated I plan to use the book I made and the story to explain it all to him. Focusing on what he DOES have also always makes the conversation easier… which is exactly what you did. It sounds like your family is truly blessed to have each other, and as long as your daughter knows that, she can handle any amount of judgment from others.

  5. Brandy says

    Shannon- I couldn’t agree more about the shame that we carry around with us no matter how small and realizing that Sophia doesn’t have the same baggage and shouldn’t, was huge for me.

    Thanks all for the comments!

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