Friday, April 11, 2008

Dodgeball - advice to dads in Atlanta

Dear Evolved Moms: My husband and I are looking at a few new areas in Atlanta to move to so our kids have access to a better school system. As gay dads what are some ways we can feel out the neighborhood and know if its welcoming to us? Pop and Papa (dads of 4 boys!)

Dear Pop and Papa,

to be honest
life as gay parents
is like dodge ball in 4th grade
you walk out onto the field
if you are chosen first
you know
your peers think you
are cool and unique
and will have your back
If you are chosen last
with hesitation
with fear and regret
you are about to get nailed
from all sides

My advice
walk out on the filed
hold hands
walk though the school
smile and be very
open and out
be who you truly are
If folks come to you
look you in the eyes
say appropriate things
you are on the A team
no worries
and can rest and visist and be social
in most any backyard in that neighborhood
as well as the PTA
and know support is with you.
If you feel eyes on you
notice discomfort
secret whispers
a shift in the air
kickball at 9:00!
I know life is not this simple
But finding a safe home really is
Unless you are willing to educate everyday
and worry
then find a place when you can just be at peace
and be one family in the community
not one different family
or one novel family (even though I know you are special!)
We live in the burbs - horse country!
but we really tested it out first
we walked to town
played with our African American kids at the playground
asked questions
Are there bigots here?
Sure, they are everywhere - that's life
but here they are polite and keep their comments to them selves
Difference exists and always will
but you deserve peace
as do your boys
Pick a town where you know
you can all go to the ice cream shop
holding hands
or to the 4th of July parade as a family
and just look at the floats
not looking over your shoulder
every moment
for the impending sting of the ball

Good luck!

Evolved Mom - Stacey

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