The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

The New York Times & Young Black Experience: My Media Week

It’s only Monday, and it’s been an unusual week, in a very good way. Suddenly, I’m in the media. I wasn’t looking for it, and certainly wasn’t expecting it, but two opportunities to write and talk about being a gay dad came my way in the last couple of weeks. And since, as a general rule, I almost never turn down an opportunity to be a voice for LGBT parents and families, I happily said yes to both. 

So, this week, I have an interview appearing in YBE, a brand new magazine about the “young black experience,” published out of Atlanta. I’m also one of the featured debaters in the New York Times’ most recent “Room For Debate” online discussion —”What Are Fathers For?”

YBE

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YBE publisher Eric Foster contacted me a few weeks ago, after coming across my open letter Ebony Magazine, about the absence of black gay fathers in their 2007 feature, “The New Black Father.” I’ve since learned that Ebony has sort of corrected its omission in the six years since I wrote that open letter, by including black, gay fathers in its “The Coolest Black Family i America” series.

I don’t’ necessarily take any credit for Ebony move towards inclusiveness, but I think it’s a reflection of how much has changed and is changing for black LGBT folks and our families in our communities. (Not to mention that JET magazine profiled a black gay couple in its weddings feature, for the first time.) So many things are changing. The election day victories for marriage equality were made sweeter by the news that Black and Latino voters played a major role in Maryland’s marriage equality victory, and polls showing that Blacks have grown more tolerant of gays.

Some people credit President Obama’s “evolution” with these seemingly sudden changes, but as I told Eric during out interview, these change didn’t happen overnight, and certainly didn’t happen solely because of President Obama’s support. We, as black LGBT people and families, have been on this journey for a long time, and have we have brought our families, churches, and communities along with us. 

Check out the newest issue of YBE, and my interview with Eric for more. 

NYT

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Last week, I got an email from someone with the New York Times, who reached me via The Bilerico Project. I’d been watching the unfolding brouhaha over the recent news that moms are the primary breadwinners in nearly half of American households. I was somewhat bemused that so many people caught a case of the vapors from this news, rather than celebrating that things have changed enough so that women can be breadwinners, and jumping on the chance to reconsider policies that aren’t working for working parents of either gender. I was amused to see female conservative commentators like Greta Van Susteren and Megyn Kelly tear in to their male colleagues, after the guys morphed into cavemen.

In the middle of all this, we’re back to discussing the importance of fathers, and the New York Times asked me to address that notion that “children do better with a mother and a father. So I did, and my basic point is that children do better when they are raised by adults who are loving, compassionate, responsible, dependable, and committed to the children’s well-being. That’s not male or female, gay or straight. That’s just parenting. 

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