Willful Grace. Admittedly, I’m not yet a gay dad (though I am
in the process of adopting a greyhound!), but the everyday
challenges of LGBTQ parents are often at the forefront of my work
and my mind. So, I found this post particularly interesting.
I’ve decided to reprint it in it’s entirety below:
Somehow Tony and I have given our four-year-old the impression that
donuts are an intregal part of Catholic liturgy. In the Catholic
mass there’s this pause right after communion where everyone’s
silent and people are either sitting or kneeling in prayer. It’s
And that’s when the kid turns to me and says “We get donuts
And I whisper to him, “One more song. Sit down.”
Then all the other kids look at eachother like they’re saying
“Donuts? Did he just say donuts? That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout!
So this past Sunday, as is my custom, I drive us to the donut shop,
me, Tony, Nick and our friend’s 13-year-old. Now pulling into the
parking space in front of the donut shop, I hit the breaks too
hard, and spilled the kid’s water bottle, so the three of them went
into the donut shop, while I cleaned up the puddle in the back
As I walk into the donut shop, some worried-looking lady about my
age looks me right in the eye and points to Nick, who’s standing in
line with Tony and the 13-year-old and says “Are you adopting
And the question kind of takes me by surprise, because why would
you ask me if my child is adopted, right? We look alike, and most
people just assume he’s my biological child. And why would she say
“Are you adopting him?” (indicating that the adoption is not yet
final) instead of “Is he adopted?”?
But anyway, I answer the lady in the affirmative, and she asks me
where I’m adopting him from, and I tell her the name of the
adoption agency Tony and I used.
Then she says to me “They allow gays to adopt boys?
And that’s when I knew this conversation was not going to a good
place, so I just said “Yes,” and turned away, and as I did the lady
said to no one in particular, “Gays, these two!” and she left.
And I didn’t know to feel glad that she left or disappointed that
she didn’t stick around and ask more questions. I remember Barbara
Jordan (one of my heroes growing up) used to say you should talk to
people about their prejudices, not just walk away from them or
shout them down. But I find that’s not always so easy in practice.