My family had the honor of joining President Obama for lunch in the State Dining Room at The White House June 14, 2013 for a Father’s Day Celebration. To say that we were excited would be an understatement. My husband Jeff and I have spent the last seventeen years working hard building our life together. We live in a small town in South Carolina, where we have a very small LGBT community and even fewer LGBT parents. We spent years trying to become fathers before we finally welcomed our daughter Carrigan into the world in 2006. Our dream of becoming fathers came true for a second time when we welcomed our son Braxton just two months ago. The privilege of being parents was enough for us but to have that recognized by The President of The United States in The White House during Father’s Day was over the top! Jeff and I wrote a poem and stenciled it in our daughter’s room before she was born. The poem reads, “Your daddies had a dream, and along came you…you are living proof, our fairytale came true.” We never imagined our reality would be so much better than any fairytale we could have dreamed.
During our lunch of hamburgers, french fries, salad, and watermelon kabobs, President Obama came to welcome us, shook our hands and spoke to us. He asked Carrigan about school, swimming and summer plans then asked to hold Braxton. He complimented Braxton’s little tie and vest while the press corp took hundreds of photos. Our little man was so cute with the President and many of their photos were in the national news. What an honor to be there and to be so warmly welcomed by the President and his amazing White House staff. A day like this for our family a few years ago would have seemed impossible. Yet it is now a wonderful reality and historic memory.
Family Equality Council has been working tirelessly to build bridges for our families. We are so fortunate to be a family to have crossed many of those bridges. Not too many years ago I would have never dreamed that the American President would recognize an LGBT family like ours during a holiday as steeped in American history as Father’s Day. To have our families be welcomed and acknowledged is a pretty big deal; one our family will always treasure.