Gay Parents | News | Travel

Max Mutchnick on Gay Parenting and Patience

There's a sweet piece by Will and Grace creator Max Mutchnick (below, right) about travel, parenting, and patience in the Huffington Post:

Mutchnik "I stood shoeless in front of the metal detector. Rose was in my arms. Her mouth open just a tiny bit and her eyes as wide as they've ever been in her hundred and thirty five days of life. Behind me was my husband. He held Evan...'Step through.' ...The TSA guard said it like he was talking to a prisoner. I did as I was told. My husband followed. He held a baby in one arm and four business class tickets in the other. The guard looked at the tickets, then looked at us, then looked at the tickets...A moment of silence. Rage started to well up inside of me in anticipation of the next question this giant with a badge was going to ask me. How was this man going to insult my family? In what way would he make me explain my difference? This is what he said: 'Where did you get them?'"

Where Did You Get Them? [huffington post]
(image via back story)

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  1. "Where did you get them?" ???

    Posted by: Cj | Feb 19, 2009 7:09:58 PM

  2. Macy's! They were on sale!

    Posted by: JR | Feb 19, 2009 7:53:12 PM

  3. They got them from where Babies come from. The Storks brought them, everyone knows that.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Feb 19, 2009 8:03:32 PM

  4. More evidence that the UltraGays use their babies as the newest accessory.
    All the kids are doing it.
    Cashmere baby sweaters. Taking the kids long distance to the grandparents country club.
    Seems like just last year the public was criticizing the celebrit moms for their cashmere receiving blankets.

    Lots of showing off in this artilce. Esp in a time when many are having to do with less and even more doing without.
    Little sincerity. Little gratitude.

    But hey, All the kids with kids are doing it.

    Posted by: Rolph | Feb 19, 2009 8:30:02 PM

  5. I'm certainly don't think I'm an "UltraGay", though to be honest I'm not sure since I don't know what the hell an UltraGay is but I am a gay husband and father and I can say that I completely related to Mutchnick's story. I've had the same airport experience more than once, only the "Giants" in my stories weren't nearly so benign.

    You do realize that he was telling the story in a humorous way right? I think you mistake his sense of humor for a lack of sincerity and gratitude.

    I'm not sure who these UltraGays your talking about are but I doubt any of them are any more or less sincere or gracious than their straight counterparts.

    Posted by: Zeke | Feb 19, 2009 9:06:55 PM

  6. Ew. I wouldn't mind if this guy weren't so oppressively type. Gah, kids--I hate 'em. But good for those gays who have 'em, huh? Real sports, those guys and gals.

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 19, 2009 9:22:03 PM

  7. Zeke, it's really doesn't matter what an ultragay is. All you need to know is that Rolph isn't one, and he's bitter about those that are.

    Posted by: Kyle | Feb 19, 2009 9:33:50 PM

  8. Rolph, your reading comprehension skills are sorely lacking. Did you even finish the article?

    Posted by: Paul R | Feb 19, 2009 9:50:52 PM

  9. I was watching one of my partner's softball games (on a gay league) two summers ago. There was a guy there also watching his partner play. He had brought their son too (who was about 4 years old at the time). The child is mixed, and both of the dads are white.

    This imbecile sitting near us asked, "What country did you go to to get him?"

    Without skipping a beat the guy coldly replied, "New Jersey."

    I couldn't help myself. I laughed hysterically.

    Posted by: RP | Feb 19, 2009 11:03:15 PM

  10. Yes, it's an amusing story.
    Yes, it seems well intentioned.
    But the financial lifestyle depicted was certainly alien to my experience.

    Posted by: WSG | Feb 19, 2009 11:22:15 PM

  11. I guess I'm an Ultragay, cuz I gotta say from the comments I expected the article to be full of references to eating caviar while bathing in champagne on a private jet. The fact that the producer of Will and Grace flew business class hardly seemed extravagant or "showing off" to me.

    Posted by: Brian | Feb 20, 2009 1:47:29 AM

  12. "We're trying so hard to fit in."

    The most telling line in the whole story.

    Posted by: Sean | Feb 20, 2009 3:02:10 AM

  13. If you are looking for a co-parenting match: this website to find your co-parenting partners (gay, straight, singles, couples...)

    Posted by: erik sof | Feb 20, 2009 3:09:28 AM

  14. Out of the closet... into the woodwork.

    I didn't read the situation as very confrontational... the guard was curious and didn't have the words to ask the question in a polite way. Yes its inconvenient, but you can't blame other people for societies lack of understanding.

    Like it or not boys, you're not normal and you're going to attract attention to yourselves. You can't change that, no matter how much money you have.

    Posted by: Sparky | Feb 20, 2009 4:36:52 AM

  15. Sparky, maybe you're not normal. But my sexuality has nothing to do with how "normal" I am. Perhaps you might want to work on that self-image thing you've got going on. Have fun with that.

    Posted by: D.R.H. | Feb 20, 2009 5:47:40 AM

  16. And Rolph, just because being head barista at Starbucks hasn't afforded you all the luxuries you think you deserve as a bitter old queen doesn't grant you the right to hate on someone who has been fortunate enough to have a bit of success in their lives.
    Since when has wanting to have children and a family been such a bad thing?
    Oh, right, when you're you.

    Posted by: D.R.H. | Feb 20, 2009 5:53:32 AM

  17. I work for an adoption agency - the one at which my husband and I adopted our son (he was 17 at the time - our son, not my husband!). The Executive Director of my agency once said, "The price you pay for adopting a child is to spend the rest of your life educating the rest of the world about adoption."

    People ask questions. Some are thoughtless, some are offensive, some are just plain ignorant. But if adoptive parents - especially LGBT parents - can leave the chip off their shoulders and and turn off their defensive force-fields, they might make a positive difference in someone else's life. Maybe that's the point the author was making. Who knows - maybe the giant security guard is gay, and wants children of his own. Or maybe his brother or friend is gay and doesn't think they can have children. The very fact that he said, "Cool," shows that it was possibly a very positive experience in the end.

    Here are some of the questions we have been asked: Who is the REAL father? (both of us) Who is his mother? (he doesn't have one) Why would you adopt a teenager? (because every child deserves loving parents, and we loved him) Is his sister your daughter? (no, she chose not to be adopted) Is he gay? (HE isn't even clear on his sexual orientation, and really, what does it matter?) Does he know who his parents are? (Of course he does - us)

    Really, if you can get past being defensive or angry, it's kinda funny. And it's actually fun and a challenge entering into a conversation about adoption and finding a way to get that other person to walk away with a better understanding of your family, and of adoption in general.

    Posted by: Rich Buley-Neumar | Feb 20, 2009 7:48:06 AM

  18. Actually, I finished the article, completely understood it, make plenty of money, and think Rolph makes a good point.
    So, STFU you ignorant, sycophantic bitches. Since when is it okay to have children (or even dogs) as accessories? That's how we ended up with so many fucked up people in the world.

    Posted by: shane | Feb 20, 2009 7:59:35 AM

  19. "So back to the responsibility of being a gay father. It turns out the key is the same as it would be if I were a straight father. It's about patience. Showing patience in every way to everyone."

    What the fuck is wrong with you angry, nasty bitches? Is this why we're all so repressed? Save your own self-hatred for the therapist. Two guys went to great lengths to start and raise a family and apparently their only motivation was because they wanted to look cool to other fags? Isn't this what we want? The so called "normal" lifestyle? It's no wonder I have nothing to do with homos.
    I say congrats to them and thank-you for breaking down the barriers of one more person, who, before he met you two, didn't know a family could be made by two dads.
    His response, "Very cool".
    I guess we have more "ignorance" to overcome within our own ranks.
    Yet again...I'm speechless.

    Posted by: D.R.H. | Feb 20, 2009 9:05:03 AM

  20. Was it supposed to be funny when Mutchnick wrote about the security guard, "Progress from a moron." Was it equally humorous when Mutchnick explained how he spoke to the security guard in very short sentences so that the guard would understand? I am at a loss as to who is really the moron.

    Posted by: Scott | Feb 20, 2009 9:05:30 AM

  21. We have all had to deal with this sort of thing before (maybe not with children), but have had to explain some aspect of our lives when straight folks would never have to answer these types of questions. But I do wish he had been a little less snarky in the article; his contempt for the airport worker was appalling (when the worker in fact did nothing wrong and was actually sympathetic). He was described as a "moron" and a "giant" who preferred "simple sentences". Come on...if we want respect this is not the way to treat other people.

    Posted by: Jeff | Feb 20, 2009 9:28:22 AM

  22. Whoever thinks that they adopted babies as an 'accessory' is an ass.

    First: if you knew what it took to go through the adoption process, you would understand it isn't something you just do "for looks." Trust me, as someone who has adopted, and now works with people who are trying to adopt.

    Second: Did he mention nannies? Babysitters? Private flights? Appearances? No, he talked about extra clothes, toys, and speaking in silly voices, and grandma and grandpa. They are doting parents, not posers.

    LGBT folks adopt children for the same reason that straight couples adopt or have children: they long to be parents. Just because you may not be interested in having children of your own, do not judge those who are. How dare you question their motives? It's petty, irresponsible, bigoted, and promotes the very stereotypes that we are trying to break down. Aren't we shouting to the world that we are equal, normal, and deserving of everything our straight brothers and sisters get?

    Really, guys - a dose of maturity, please.

    Posted by: Rich Buley-Neumar | Feb 20, 2009 9:41:15 AM

  23. Every time I travel with my 22-month old daughter, I carry: a Declaration of Parentage, a DNA test proving she is my biological child, her birth certificate in which the name of the "mother" is left blank, a "Report of Birth of US Citizen Abroad" in which the mother's name is blank with some dashes marked through the void, and various other documents. This portfolio is intended to help airport and immigration/customs officers in various localities and countries understand what I mean when I respond to the inevitable question "Where is her mother?" I am usually polite, though always uncomfortable with this question. I respond matter-of-factly, "my daughter does not have a mother." This is something that most people in the world do not understand as a possibility. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I realize that these officials are probably concerned about trafficking and kidnapping or custody battles, but it is still unfortunate that I have to present so many documents just because we do not appear in the mold of June and Ward Cleaver. After all, if I traveled with a woman and my daughter we'd just be assumed to be the biological parents and no one would give us the third degree out of a baby-kidnapping or trafficking concern.

    Posted by: Lavi Soloway | Feb 20, 2009 10:05:21 AM

  24. I thought the article was quite touching. I feel nothing but joy for Max and his partner and their little girls. When did we start hating each other so much?

    Can we leave the homo hating to those ignorant bible-beating conservatives, please?

    Posted by: Kurt from Milwaukee | Feb 20, 2009 12:50:51 PM

  25. To all who don't know Max and Erik personally, they are two of the most kind and most generous people I know. They are also two of my very close friends.

    Max has a biting wit about him. And often, people may not 'get it'....but whatever. He is constant laughs.

    But when you see these two with their beautiful daughters, their eyes are filled with such love and care just makes me so happy to see them so happy. Two beautiful people in love with each other and in love with their two beautiful daughters.

    Yes, they have money. A lot. They have worked their asses off for everything they have. So instead of joking about 'cashmere' it would've been better for him to say 'sandpaper'? They are giving these girls the best of everything. Why shouldn't they?

    Whether rich or poor, I would hope people would see past the money stuff and see what this is really about...two loving husbands with two beautiful daughters that they love more than anything else in the world. Just trying to show people that gay dads really are just like every other straight couple with children...making their way to the grandparents who will shower their grandchildren with more love.

    If only there were more of that. Imagine what a beautiful world it would, could and should be.

    Posted by: Larry Sullivan | Feb 20, 2009 5:36:03 PM

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