Gay Dads: So Many Things to Consider When Thinking About Moving

By: John Jericiau

It was perfect. We had purchased a fourplex in Santa Monica a few years ago. We intended to have my parents move from Northern California to be within a mile of us and help us with our growing family. Things were great for a couple of years, but then my parents felt like the walls were caving in on them and they needed more space. But where could they live affordably with a big yard (for their dog) and extra bedrooms (for family visits) in a warm environment (to sooth the arthritis)? Arizona, of course!

Deciding where to live is a difficult decision. As I said last week, we are toying with the idea of moving. Finances will play a huge part in our decision, but so will the quality of education, the climate, and the proximity to at least a medium-size body of water. Reflecting on my blog this past week, I realized that I have a huge affinity to water, and would not want to be landlocked. This morning I just finished the Alcatraz Challenge in San Francisco (1.5 mile swim followed by a 7 mile running race over the Golden Gate Bridge), finishing 8th overall. I have spent the last two decades not more than a mile from the ocean. I just cannot see that changing. Our current house is a half-mile from the beach, so it would take killer digs to get me to leave.

When my parents left us, I thought briefly that we should follow them and move into a huge mansion of some type in Arizona, but the thought was fleeting. I’m sure there are plenty of happy people in Arizona; I’m just sure that I wouldn’t be one of them.

The decision about Arizona was cemented when I came across this news headline a few days ago:
“Gay Dads Harassed For Months in Arizona.”

It seems as though a gay couple, Felix and Roy, along with their four children, are not welcome in Arizona. For three months they have been mercilessly and cruelly harassed in their town of Gilbert. It started with graffiti, then fires being set outside their home and banging on their windows in the middle of the night. Last but not least their house was broken into and their children’s furniture was destroyed.

To make matters worse, it didn’t seem to me that the neighbors rallied behind them. Who deserves to live in this type of environment? Who would want to? I think no matter where we are, all gay and lesbians, especially those of us who are parents, are on a constant vigil for “bad people” who could harm our family, either with sticks or stones. Much like there is gaydar, there is also intolerdar. There might be some intolerance and ignorance in every town, city or community in America, but to me Arizona has just laid claim to a great percentage of it, and especially Gilbert.

By the way, my parents still live in Arizona. Gilbert, Arizona.

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Comments

  1. says

    Arizona had been off my list for years now as even a place to visit because of their politics and citizens. Of course there are probably nice ones but the state just doesn’t do it for me. My list of states is shrinking where I will even visit because of politics, laws and general insensitivity of it’s people.Congrats on you race results.

  2. Tina Hunter says

    Impressive placing in the Alcatraz challenge John. You were in my neck of the woods as we live in Marin.
    What a horrible experience for that family in Gilbert. What do your parents thinks about what happened? Do you ever visit them?

  3. Shannon Ralph says

    We also toyed for a while with the thought of moving. Not to Arizona, but south, and the same concerns plagued us. It’s sad that we have to consider many of things we do, as gay parents.

    On a side note, Minneapolis is pretty dang fabulous. There is no ocean, but we are the Land of 10,000 Lakes and we have Lake Superior. We are never far from water. :)

  4. Joey says

    AZ would be a big no for me too! Move to the Valley John, it’s better then one thinks :)

  5. John Jericiau says

    @Tina — we have visited a couple of times since they have moved there but it’s a little hot! Our beach community is much more comfortable! My parents are usually running a little behind in reading my blog, so I expect to hear some feedback in the next month! Thanks for reading!

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