It Takes A Village… Sometimes

DSCF1574-1 Above: Rainy Sunday night in the Pratuwan (watergate) area.  Central World Plaza is on the left, Gaysorn on the right.  Looking north toward Khlong San Saeb and Thanon Phetchaburi.

Sunday evening instead of joining me for the screening of the Battleship Potemkin, Tawn met up with his friends for what might be described as an engagement party.  Sa, one of his friends, is getting married to her long-time boyfriend this December and she needed to distribute the official invitations.  This was reason enough for a dinner.

Over dinner, Tawn mentioned to his friends – he told me later that this was probably way premature – that he and I had been discussing the idea of raising children.  Now, point of clarification for my readers: Tawn and I have just been discussing the idea and the point of making any decisions would still be a few years away, but as we’ve been discussing buying a house and other longer-term arrangements, the discussion of a family came as part of the package.

The reaction of Tawn’s friends was uniformly negative and non-supportive: gay, straight, married and unmarried, each of his friends dismissed the idea out of hand.  Most of them raised the concern that children raised by gay people would face unnecessary teasing and discrimination and wondered why we would want to “subject” a child to that.

Tawn’s gay friends responded more along the lines of their continued disbelief that a gay man would actually want to settle down into a monogamous relationship.  But they’re shallow, so that response didn’t surprise me.

The most measured response, ironically, came from the husband of Tawn’s only friend in the group who is married.  He said that he could see us adopting because, given a choice between an orphanage and having gay parents, a child would ultimately rationalize that they were better off with gay parents than no parents at all.  This coming from a man who left his wife and two young children to marry his mistress.  I get his rationale, but am not sure he would serve as evidence that straight parents provide any better stability or environment for their children.

Anyhow, Tawn came home pretty disappointed, having expected more from his friends. 

Initially, I shared his disappointment.  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it is hard to expect people to be any more enlightened than the society in which they are raised and live – at least initially.  If we do eventually decide to raise children, through natural means (birth mother, artificial insemination, etc.) and/or adoption, there will be a long path of educating our friends, family, and others about the issues at hand.

I’ve always taken it on faith that my friends and family would be supportive of us starting our own family, but given the reaction of Tawn’s friends, maybe that faith is unfounded. 

Of course, the whole question of us raising children is a big “if”… there’s a few dozen high hurdles to overcome from adoption laws to different citizenship and immigration rights for the parents.  Just purchasing a home will be a necessary first step.  We can see where it goes from there.

Side note – when I run my spell check on Xanga, “gay” keeps coming up as misspelled.  What, are they nuts?

Below left: Morning sun streams into the living room on one of only about three days when the light hits a narrow corner of a nearby office building and is reflected in.  This will repeat again in about six months.  Below right: Erawan Shrine, often mistakenly called the “Four-Faced Buddha” in front of the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel. 

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7 thoughts on “It Takes A Village… Sometimes

  1. It appears the remodeling work on Central World Plaza is taking shape finally!!I think buying a home together would be a good start~~but have to consult anattorney for sure~~

  2. I am absolutley possitive you and Tawn would raise awesome kids! Your intelegence and sensitivity would make you both great parents. I can’t believe in this day and age that there are still people out there who think a “family” is a mom, dad, kid. Look around!  A marriage between a man and a woman is no guarantee of a “happy” family. Keep thinking about it. Don’t dismiss it!

  3. It really is sad when you realize just how shallow some of your friends could be. I can almost identify with Tawn, having left behind many friends in Manila. Even though its a totally different story, I have a close friend who says they will definitely not consider adoption if all their IVF treatments fail in the end. Makes you wonder what their thinking behind having children really is. Everytime I read your blog or catch up with you and what’s going on in your life, I am continuedly impressed and in awe of the strength and patience you must have or have developed through the years having to deal with people who are and never will be able to accept your way of life.

  4. hmm.. I always thought Thailand was very tolerant of diversity… have you seen that movie… beautiful boxer? It’s a pretty good movie. Well anyway, I kinda like my mohawk now haha. Being bald isn’t bad, I go bald all the time. Btw, do you know any muay thai fighters? I really want to train in muay thai!

  5. great photos! yeah, i do think thailand is more tolerant than most societies i know; but the diversity includes a lot of old fashioned perspectives as well, and i think we should give them the freedom to remain in their worldview;still, i think thailand is a safer place for gay parents and kids than the usa.

  6. I like your first photos! I have tried to take pics of hotels and stuff but one really must experience it than take pics of it to share how great they may be!!Anyway i’m going to post more pics on my site and put some short-liner explanations of my trip!

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