By Frank Lowe
Originally published on Advocate.com February 14 2014 1:13 PM ET
This week I decided to do something different in light of recent events. This question is from @Bdifferent4U:
As our kids approach school-age parties that may be hosted at our house, I wonder, do I need to address that my kids have two moms on the party invite? I do not want any parent feeling misled. Would they not have dropped their kids off if they knew my kids have two moms? I frankly don’t want any kid to have to experience that. And if I address it, how do I do that? “Cake and ice cream will be served at this two-mom household” seems kind of silly. The whole thing makes me mad and sad at the same time. In the end, all I want is for my kids to be surrounded by acceptance on their birthdays, not awkwardness.
I will first respond to this question and then have fun with a different situation that has arisen.
The safe answer here is to essentially meet or know all of the parents first. That way there are no mysteries, and if anyone has any prejudice, it would already be revealed. I agree that there potentially is a situation here and absolutely agree that kids should not be involved in any way. One possible solution is to send out invitations that incorporate a family picture. Therefore it’s blatantly obvious to anyone who has eyes. If you really want to go for it, take a picture revolving around the theme (if any) of the party. Another idea, depending on whether or not your names are androgynous, you could always write “Kathy, Linda, and (child) invite you to celebrate (child’s) birthday.” In other words, be subtle about it if it is unknown territory. Also, be sure to write “RSV.P only if attending” — that way you're making it easy to quietly decline. Hopefully once you do that, the following won’t occur.
Two gay parents invited a child to their 7-year-old daughter Sophia’s birthday party. The mother of the child returned the invitation with this written on it:
Tommy will NOT attend. I do not believe in what you do and will not subject my innocent son to your “lifestyle.” I’m so sorry Sophia has to grow up this way. If you have an issue or need to speak to me (phone number).
Here's what I'd like to say to this bigoted mother — keep in mind, it's fantasy, not what I'd do in real life.
Dear (Tommy’s mother):
Boy, 2014 must really fucking suck for you. Being a bigot in these times is becoming increasingly frowned upon, and some might even say homophobes like you are like dinosaurs — soon to be extinct. For the record, this was just a pity invite. Sophia told us Tommy has no friends at school so we thought we would extend an olive branch. And please don’t feel sorry for Sophia. She is growing up in an open-minded, loving home and dresses flawlessly, unlike other schoolmates who appear homeless (hint, hint). Look, I’m sure that scrawling a hateful message on a kid’s birthday invitation was totally OK in your mind, and should you realize you need to seek help, I would be happy to refer you to a good counselor. I’m so sorry Tommy has to grow up this way. I’m also sorry you don’t believe in my “lifestyle,” but I don’t believe in those awful shoes you insist on wearing.
P.S.: The goody bags are fucking fabulous, bitch.
Parents: So have you been in this situation? How do you handle birthdays? How would you have responded to this bigoted mother? Please post your responses in the comments section below.
FRANK LOWE is The Advocate’s parenting writer. Follow Frank on Twitter @GayAtHomeDad and on Instagram at gayathomedad.