The New Normal

Greg White reflects on the choices he’s made as a gay man, including the choice not to become a father.

It takes a bold move to convince masses of humanity to accept a different way of life. We can always ask ourselves, WWJD?

Love and acceptance are ancient ideas, expressed by heroes through brave acts, and in poems, art, and song. Although John Lennon wasn’t killed for what he believed in, he left us with a permanent wish, Let It Be. That anthem would have been the perfect background music to play during the ultimate sacrifice for one’s beliefs, the crucifixion of Jesus.

Last week Chris Kluwe came out strongly in support of gay marriage. Sure he had some stones thrown at him by the masses, but some of his fans are gay, and they quietly and proudly waved a little rainbow flag in the privacy of their own homes.  Both gays and straights were shocked to hear such a vehement defense of this lifestyle. His move sent Middle America agooglin’ lustful cockmonster, and it might help them realize that everyone has the right to love whoever they want.

When I was in my breeding prime, the doors that I needed to walk through were closed, and I wasn’t brave enough to grab an ax and chop my way in.

Most men have thought about sex with another man. Like right now. But everyone doesn’t act on it, thankfully. That would take the special right out of it. I love Prada, but I don’t want the whole world to wear it.  Eww.

In a brave move, television stations in Utah banned the new show, The New Normal, before it even aired. The show centers around a gay couple’s surrogated-guide to parenthood.  America’s bigotry is played by Ellen Barkin, who slurs “Just let me know if you’re pregnant, I’d like to send a congratulations card to Satan.”  She is telling us what to hate. She is telling you it’s okay to love me.

I always thought that I would be a father. When I was in my breeding prime, the doors that I needed to walk through were closed, and I wasn’t brave enough to grab an ax and chop my way in. As I grew up, I met plenty of shameful “late in life ” or “mistake” babies.  As the rules of society soften, I now watch my gay friends share their amazing lives with their children, whether biological or adopted.  To purposefully bring a life into this world is, thankfully, the new normal.

This societal shift that now allows same sex parenting, brought on by bold moves has moved in an ironically obtuse line to my own life. The man I am is not dependent on reproducing children. I went a different direction and am not less of a man because I don’t have children. My biological clock ticked quietly inside, and I found happiness from loving five amazing nieces. Sure, when they were sticky I just handed them back to their parents.  But at one’s wedding last month, her mother whispered to me, “It took all of us, didn’t it?”  That one moment was amazing recognition that my time as “merely an uncle” has more than satisfied my paternal instincts and I don’t have to pay for anyone’s college.

I am grateful for the heroes of Stonewall, and know that their public act of defiance allows me to be more free. I walk tall everywhere I go, and feel free and confident to go anywhere. But, if I were to find myself in a bad neighborhood, I would try to blend in a bit, look less obviously rob-able, out of my desire to not get killed. The same with my homosexuality—if I need to tone it down for a situation to make others (including myself) comfortable, that’s not a sacrifice, that’s survival. I don’t need to jump on a cross: that’s very B.C. behavior in a P.C world.

I am gay, but I am also left-handed, a good cook, and a former US Marine. I joined the Marine Corps because I wanted to, and had a terrific experience. I didn’t tell, but no one asked, unless it was for a date. Am I more of a man because I was a Marine? Well, I am not less I can assure you that.

Oscar Wilde said Youth is wasted on the young.  Beware of mass generalizations; he didn’t say all the young. There are plenty of heroes, and always room for more. I can’t wait to see what’ s next.

 

Read more Gay Pride stories on The Good Life.

Gay couple holding hands image courtesy of Shutterstock

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About Greg White

Author, blogger, television writer, world traveler, and inveterate bon vivant Greg White is also a former sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, now battling it out on the blogosphere at http://www.eatgregeat.com and http://www.gogreggo.com.

Greg has just finished his soon-to-be-published memoir about his Marine Corps boot camp experience. He served six years in the Marines. Truly a glutton, he also completed Officer Candidate School over the course of two summers---thus relishing the joys of basic training three times.

Greg has a voracious appetite for life and regularly contributes here and to The Huffington Post.

Follow him on Twitter  and Facebook

Comments

  1. Wendy Miller says:

    Open and honest!

  2. great point of view. As a member of the National Guard, a Chistian. a Husband, (to a woman) a father and a guy that likes guys…. its good to see there are other sane people talking about this topic.

  3. wellokaythen says:

    One great thing about same-sex couples adopting children, really about anyone adopting children, is that there are no “oopsie” babies. You can’t adopt a baby on accident. You don’t wind up with an adopted child because someone forgot to take a pill or because you didn’t think pregnancy could happen from one-time sex in a tub tub. You don’t get drunk and wind up with a surrogate or IVF treaments. The people who want to adopt really have to want to raise children. None of them are stuck with children on accident.

    Unlike the half of all pregnancies in the U.S. today which are unplanned. [!!!]

    I wonder if gay men today feel even more pressure to be dads than straight men do. What few gay male couples there are on TV and in movies always seem to have children, except for the outrageously immature caricatured ones who party 24/7. A grown-up, responsible gay man who doesn’t want children? Practically invisible in our culture, partly because anyone who chooses to be childfree is still practically invisible.

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