A few weeks ago, I was contacted by a producer of NBC’s Today about a segment the show was doing on stay-at-home dads. His boyfriend is a fan of mine from Twitter (follow me here!) and he had suggested me to be featured alongside other stay-at-home dads. I didn’t get too many details, but was thrilled nonetheless. He scheduled a date to film my family and me for a day – he wanted the feeling to be “a day in the life of.” So I immediately began to panic, realizing my house would be on national television and started to get things in order for his arrival.
A couple of weeks went by, and he came up to Connecticut from New York City to capture what went on in our household. I purposely didn’t schedule anything too exciting or far-fetched so it wouldn’t look staged. The day was normal for me – taking little man to school, hitting the gym and grocery store, picking little man up with his best friend, going for yogurt … you get the idea. It was mundane, everyday life kind of stuff. I asked the producer if any of the other three dads being featured were gay, and he told me no, I would be the only one. Yikes. No pressure to represent or anything.
The segment turned out beautifully, and more importantly, possibly set a precedent. Check it out for yourself here:
Now, what did you notice about the segment? Or rather, what did you notice was missing from the segment? How about the word gay? It wasn’t mentioned once. When I tweeted the video, someone replied to me: “Is it just me or is this revolutionary?” And after thinking about it, I decided it absolutely was. Here was a national news program airing a segment about stay-at-home dads, and they didn’t make a big deal about featuring a gay dad. There was no distinction made. I revealed I was gay in one very important sentence, but it came off very nonchalant. This is a big deal. My whole reason for wanting to become a visible gay parent is to prove to everyone that we’re all just the same – parents. Today did it neatly for me, in a matter of five minutes. Apparently no one called or emailed and said anything negative after the segment, so essentially we pulled a fast one on America. That, or people saw it and just didn’t care. Either way, that’s also a big deal. Hopefully this is the start of a new kind of acceptance. I’ve always said that having kids quiets the homophobes, but the proof is clearly in the pudding.