By Frank Lowe
Originally published on Advocate.com April 18 2014 11:16 AM ET
After I posted my last article, “The Vacation From Hell,” some of the comments I received were scathing and hostile and directed toward children. When I reviewed them, I noticed something they all had in common – which is they were all made by gay men. What the hell is with the bitterness? Do they think that because they’re gay, they’re entitled to a life full of partying and vacations and never having to deal with children? That’s clinically insane. I dare just one of them to say something to my face. Here is a list of places that these gay men don’t want to see children, ever:
- public transportation
- sporting events
So basically, if you’re a kid, the message is that these gay men want you to stay the fuck at home. One of them suggested to fully sedate children in public, so I suppose that is another option. If you’re a parent, you better abide by these rules or else. I would love to see what these people would have turned out like if they were never allowed to go to any of these places when they were kids. My guess is even more socially inept than they already appear to be. But where is all of this hostility coming from? Why the hell do they insist on glaring at poor parents who have a screaming child on a plane, rather than putting on some noise-canceling headphones and tuning them out? I have a theory.
In my own life, I rarely encounter anyone who has issues with me and my partner being gay parents. We are both in our 30s, so are still relatively young. The only time I sense some tension is when we encounter older gay men. Now, I’m not talking about all older gay men, I’m just saying that when we do sense bitterness, it is almost 100 percent of the time from an older gay man. I’m just going to come out with it — I think there is some jealousy involved. These are men that are 20 or more years older than us and didn’t necessarily have the option to have children when they were younger. These are men who could have had the same dreams I did about starting a family and then realized when they hit the right age that they could not or perhaps should not. These are men who feel rejection. The whole thing is sad. I find myself trying to find some light in their eyes, but there is just nothing there. Instead of them trying to make my kid laugh or looking the other way if he throws a fit, they glare. It’s pathetic. Kids are not a nuisance, they are our future. Jealousy is a wasted emotion.
Perhaps they just have short fuses and have no tolerance for kids. Still, the solution would be to find creative responses that will make everyone happy. For example:
- airplanes: noise-canceling headphones
- restaurants: go at a later time, when kids are asleep
- public transportation: come on, we’re all fucked
- hotels/resorts: research more — find adult-exclusive places
- theaters: avoid kids’ movies (duh)
- supermarkets: go when they’re in school
- malls: don’t ever go to a mall in the first place
- sporting events: get drunk and zone out
The saddest thing is that these are men who have clearly forgotten their own childhood or, even worse, had a bad one. Someone needs to tell them that one of the most beautiful things in life is when someone finds redemption. Maybe they should all be forced to watch The Royal Tenenbaums and see the transformation that crude, selfish Royal went through. It was perfect. He went from hating children to finding his own inner child. In the meantime, keep your hateful stares away from me, for you will only be greeted with an equally hateful stare, and I will always win.
FRANK LOWE is The Advocate’s parenting writer. Follow Frank on Twitter @GayAtHomeDad and on Instagram at gayathomedad.