Despite our fears and worries as we went through the approval process, and later on when we were matched, we’ve never really had a negative reaction to being gay parents. Neither had Robbie for having gay dads. However, this has changed. A new boy joined Robbie’s school this year. He’s a troubled boy who’s been kicked out of just about every other school in the area. Robbie told us the other day that this boy’s been saying that Robbie must be gay because he’s got gay parents. A couple of other boys have apparently started doing it too, following the example of this other boy.
We had a chat with the parents of one of the other boys. They’ve become friends of ours since Robbie joined school and I had to delicately approach the matter with them. They were great and didn’t take it the wrong way. They were mortified when they heard what their son had been saying and soon had a chat with him and made it very clear that he’s not to say that again.
Robbie has struggled with it though. He wasn’t able to tell us for some time, and it only came out in the middle of one of his outbursts, when he was making a point about how horrible his life is and how us being his parents only makes things worse. He said he never wanted gay dads and he hates that we adopted him. He hates being different, and just wants to be “normal”.
Research into gay and lesbian parenting has shown that our kids are likely to be bullied because of having gay parents. They aren’t any more likely to be bullied, it’s just that that’s the things that bullies will pick on. So our job as gay parents is to prepare Robbie for it and make sure he knows how to deal with it. Boys his age just want to fit in, so we understand where he’s coming from. If it wasn’t because he had gay dads there’d be another reason for other boys to pick on him. In fact we know that he’s been teased before, and the nasty boy in his class accused him of making up his adoption story and that it was a lie that he didn’t have a mum and dad. We explained to Robbie that he isn’t like everyone else. Yes, having two dads is different, but being adopted is also different. And being left-handed. And many other things. We also explained that one of the reasons he was placed with two men was because his social workers thought he might find it difficult to form a relationship with a new mum because of the horrible things his own birth mother did to him. Of course, Robbie’s not mature enough to understand much of this. He just wants to be like like everyone else.
We did however come up with a strategy if he ever gets told that he must be gay because he has gay dads: if someone does, he will reply that that boy must be half boy / half girl, seeing as he has a mum and a dad. Same logic! Robbie liked this, and was glad to have something that he can fall back on.