By Frank Lowe
Originally published on Advocate.com June 18 2014 7:39 AM ET
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.
FRANK LOWE is The Advocate’s parenting writer. Follow Frank on Twitter @GayAtHomeDad and on Instagram at gayathomedad.