When I was 17, at the therapist desk with my parents, I told them I am gay; I was afraid they wouldn’t accept me, the reaction of my mother was that she was worried “What kind of life a man can have without a wife and children- family is everything”. I was young in the early 90s and more concerned if I would survive the Aids Pandemic (Remember the AIDS pandemic!).
But as the years went by, becoming a father became an issue. I looked at all my straight friends making families and I experienced through them the wonder of bringing life into the world. Not a glimpse into someone’s childhood, nor a beautiful friendship where you grow together but parenthood; the journey in which you take by the hand a little human being and walk with them the path to adulthood, discovering food, life, happiness and also the less beautiful things that this world has to offer. The adventure of being alive.
However, deciding to become a father in your forties while being queer is not an easy decision, nor natural. I was obviously thinking about the population of the world- we need more trees not more humans. But some logical thoughts don’t come together with desires and wishes.
I was clear to myself that I want to do it with a friend and not a partner. The model of love, passion and parenthood never seemed to me like a good combination. A child needs parents that are loving friends and can work together for the child’s best, not a love affair. Well that’s my belief, acknowledging that all models can turn out to be successful or disaster, since there are so many factors.
Still, that was my first decision.
In the last almost 20 years of my life I lived in collectives and decided to build queer communities wherever I go; part of it was to show my mom that families are not necessarily a mother, father and children. Another thing that always inspired me was the phrase ‘it takes a village to bring up a child’ it made so much sense to me. Not having just two models of adults but many that create different kinds of relations with this new person, and also not having the responsibilities fall on just two people. This does not mean that the actual parents are not fully committed and making the decisions, giving the child a solid ground.
There goes another decision: a child living in a community.
And the third decision was acknowledging my weaknesses and the world as it is (believe me that’s the hardest part for me), in my experience living in a community is beautiful but in this post-modern world people move and relations shift faster than you might think. That’s not a point against communities. It’s a point in favor- everything changes and communities as well. At the same time a child needs a solid ground and a clear references. Undoubtedly, I’m a Libra and making decisions and organizing myself is a life challenge, I’m not ready to coordinate parenthood with more than 2 people. So many decisions, so many emotions…
Third decision was made: only two parents.
Two queer people living in a community, bringing up a child together. That’s a beautiful vision – life, on the other way, is never perfect!
Meanwhile, meet Gracia: proud lesbian, a very good friend, and the same vision of parenthood as mine. We did it!
It wasn’t easy, it took years, also because I had fertility problems, but here we are with the most beautiful, sweet and wise baby in the whole world: Itai!!
So how is life you’ll ask me? A mess!
We both have partners that are trying to understand their role in this family, a boyfriend that sees how my libido is directed to cleaning my baby’s last vomit and inventing a whole new song to make him sleep for about 15 minutes, a community that really loves Itai but also likes to sleep 7 hours during the night, an economical crisis – how the hell do I organize a tantra workshop when being far from this perfect creature tears my heart apart and at the same time I feel so much love, but really so much love, I said crazy amount of this love – Intense!!!
When Thomas asked me to write something about this new life, I was skeptical – what’s that got to do with GayLoveSpirit?
We did so much work in our training about our fathers and now I’m one- determined to cherish what I received and fill up what I didn’t.
Unlike motherhood we need to reinvent fatherhood and what I read is so heteronormative and binary (by the way if you know a good book – let me know): what will a queer child need from his father in order to feel free with their sexuality, with their body, a father model that is present, that shows emotions, all of them.
I have been Accompanying men in their sexual path for many years now, and this allows me to understand that my libido is not only sex, I don’t have to perform always. Some periods of time we direct all this energy of creation to other things. No reason to alarm and no need to look for fast solutions. Accepting my sexuality in all its shades.
I was very skeptic at first about bringing the two spirit American first nation identity to Europe but my journey with the amazing Wolf and Thorsten Devastati allowed me to accept my motherhood. I can feel safe to say ‘I wanted to be pregnant’, ‘ I want to breastfeed this child’ (if only I wasn’t so hairy…). Embracing my femininity allowed me to accept my motherhood and not only my fatherhood. I don’t want to be a normal father just gay, I want to embrace who I am: a father, a mother, a caretaker.
Everything is changing by the day, I know nothing and I’ll probably change my mind on some things but Itai is here and there is no plan B and no exit door!
If you really like, I can write from time to time about queer, two spirited fatherhood. I have no clue what will I learn next…
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