Gay couples feel pressure to have kids

NYT:

For some couples, it is another welcome sign of their increasing inclusion in the American mainstream. But for others, who hear the persistent questions at the office, dinner parties and family get-togethers, the matter can be far more complicated.

Many gay men had resigned themselves to the idea that they would never be accepted by society as loving parents and assumed they would never have children. They grieved that loss and moved on, even as other gay men and lesbians fully embraced childless lives. So the questions can unearth bittersweet feelings and cause deep divisions within a couple over whether to have children at all, now that parenting among same-sex couples is becoming more common.

Okay, these next two paragraphs made me laugh:

But some gay men who have no plans to have children view the shift as something of a mixed blessing. On one hand, they welcome the sense of inclusion that comes with always being asked about children. On the other hand, they are always being asked about children.

Rudolph Chandler, 57, and George Walker, 43, who married in 2010, thought long and hard before they decided against having children. They say they greatly admire their friends who are parents. But these days, they are asked so often about their child-rearing plans that they roll their eyes oh-so-subtly when it comes up. “It’s irritating, tiring,” said Mr. Chandler, a health economist.

Welcome to equality. We all got pestered by mom and grandma about when we were going to get married, and once folks get married, then they get pestered about having kids.

I will say that I suspect the issue is more complicated for some gay people because, as the article notes, a lot of us grew up “accepting” that we’d never find love, and we most certainly would never get married or have kids.  The fact that that’s changed, that the impossible has become possible, is a big leap with a lot of baggage for some people.

Then again, we wouldn’t be the first people to have issues with family, including whether to start our own.  This is all part and parcel of the equality package.  Straight couples’ headaches are now ours.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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