parent opinion

"Do you think your kid is more likely to be gay?" 8 things to stop asking same-sex parents.

I’m a regular parent, just like you.

I change poopy nappies, listen to Baby Shark on repeat, watch Bluey even when my kids aren’t around, and I haven’t slept in two years.

There’s just one thing that sets me apart: I’m married to someone of the same sex.

And because of that very tiny, gay detail… I’ve become an expert at dodging inappropriate questions and avoiding uncomfortable conversations I really don’t want to have. Which got me thinking that maybe it’s time we create a ‘Things You Shouldn’t Say To Same-Sex Parents’ List. You know, a kind of communications bible to make life a little bit more enjoyable for every parent at school drop-off.

Meet Sean, the author of this article! Post continues after video.

Video by Mamamia

1. “So which one of you is the real mum?”

I get what you mean when you ask this question, but please stop using the word “real” when referring to my involvement in my children’s lives. “Biological” is the correct term, and lacking a genetic connection to our children doesn’t make us any less of a parent. In fact, genetics doesn’t mean you change more nappies or settle your baby faster. We’re all “real” the moment we choose to raise a tiny human.

2. “Do you play the role of mum or dad?”

What not to say to gay parents
Image: Giphy

Yeah, this is another big no-no. Just because we’re parents, doesn’t mean we fall into the standard male-female gender roles set by decades of stereotypes.

We come to our relationship with different strengths and weaknesses, and those characteristics shape our parenting styles and the division of labour. We’re both dads and there’s nothing wrong with that. No need to pretend to be something we’re not, right?

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3. “Did you guys use a surrogate or adopt?”

Yikes. It’s probably best that you just avoid these personal questions entirely. If the parent wants to open up to you about the nitty-gritty details of their journey to parenthood, they will. Until then, just enjoy their company.

4. “Who’s the biological father?”

Quite frankly, it’s none of your business.

Listen: The story of how Sean met his husband, Josh. Post continues below.

5. “What do you do on Mother’s Day?”

The very same thing that every single dad (or mum on Father’s Day) has done since the creation of the holidays. We make gifts for the other women in our lives. And we continue to parent.

6. “Do you think your kid is more likely to be gay?”

Hahahahahahaha no. The real question is... why do you guys keep making gay children?

Just kidding. The research is clear: children raised by same-sex parents do not differ from other children in terms of emotional functioning, sexual orientation, behavioural adjustment, gender identity and learning.

7. To lesbian mums: “No wonder she’s so athletic.” And to gay dads: “That’s why her outfit is so fabulous!”

If I could roll my eyes into the back of my head and then telecast that action to every person who’s ever asked those questions, I would. But because I can’t, let me politely say this…

It’s true, parents play a significant role in the development and behaviour of their children. But questions like this are rude. And if you take time to really think about it, you know it’s based on archaic stereotypes.

What not to say to gay parents
We have no time for this. Image: Giphy.

8. “Are you worried that they won’t have a female role model?”

Of course I am. I’m a parent. I worry about everything. But my primary focus is on raising healthy, happy humans who feel loved and supported by the parents they do have. I don’t have time or energy to focus on what they don’t have.

So what can you say to us?

The same things you say to every other couple you meet. And if you’re close with a same-sex couple and really want to learn more about their journey, simply say that: “I’d love to hear more about your journey sometime if you’re comfortable”.

And you know what, I’m pretty sure they will be.

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