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Column: The perils of family planning

The Gay Agenda: Life and times of a modern gay man.

J.R. Hensley

J.R. Hensley

J.R. Hensley, Reporter

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Apparently my previous attempt to write an article about having kids was too dry and matter-of-fact, or so my husband tells me.

What came about was a piece discussing the options available to same-sex couples for expanding a family, but it sounded more like a, “how-to” than a comedic opinion piece.

It pains me to admit that he was right, but…

The fact of the matter is when it comes to gays having kids it is a very black and white approach. It’s something that involves long discussions, paper work, and background checks. Unless one of us spontaneously produces a uterus, this is our only route.

There is no color or pizazz that makes it humorous, more often than not is filled with horror and heartache. It’s that reality that fills me with so much anxiety that I have been dragging my feet in starting the process. Well, that and it has been a long journey to get my husband on board.

He says I’m making it up but I vividly remember him telling me we could one day adopt. This of course was after I had told him my dream to have a family. Typically, in the early days of a budding romance one will say anything to keep it going. I said I liked country music and driving around aimlessly, lies will be told.

For most of the 13 years we’ve been together, his opinion had been a firm, “no.” I was annoyed and frustrated, but once I actually listened to him I understood why.

My preferred route to parenthood was to use a surrogate, but he said that there is nothing more selfish than wanting to have kids “naturally” as a gay couple.

There are so many kids out there that have been neglected, abused or abandoned, that need supportive and loving families. The only way to make it not self-centered is to do it for the betterment of another.

Damn him and his valid arguments.

However, even though I came around to his way of thinking he had one remaining hang-up, we have to move.

For him to be comfortable with raising kids we have to leave this community before our potential child reaches school age. This is to avoid the awkward parent teacher conferences or the inevitable moment our daughter is left to explain that she has two daddies to a classmate.

He just isn’t as comfortable as I am.

There is no other way to look at it, we live in a community that will more than likely ostracize our child.

Yes, every kid will be teased. I know first-hand. You don’t grow up loving nerdy, gay stuff and not expect to be humiliated by your peers. But moving means we lose the biggest and best thing for a child: family.

It really does take a village and it is the people we surround ourselves with and the family involved that develop and nurture a child. My husband even admits that his fondest memories are those of family get-togethers.

Reluctantly I have agreed, but selfishly because it fits into my ultimate plan of transferring to San Francisco State.

Now I just have to take the leap of starting the process.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Column: The perils of family planning”

  1. Shelby Hale on September 21st, 2016 11:45 am

    Josh I just love you and Charlie and I want what’s best for your family. I hate it that our community is so stuck in the mentality that being gay is a disease or something to be feared and worried about. I think it’s hard to believe that so many people here still feel this way because when we surround ourselves with like minded people we forget that the majority is stuck. I would love nothing more than you guys being able to raise your children around your friends and family but we understand the valid fears and unfortunate harsh reality you must face. COME ON BAKERSFIELD!!! WE CAN DO BETTER THAN DRIVING OUT PERFECTLY NORMAL HARDWORKING FAMILIES JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE DIFFERENT!!

    [Reply]

  2. Anonymous on September 21st, 2016 9:47 pm

    I guess I will have to keep i5 hot just like Charlie and I did when Jacob was a baby. It is such a long drive. I am still open to a tiny house in your yard. Lol. You will need a nanny.

    [Reply]

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Column: The perils of family planning