The G-List Society wishes all the men who are fathers a Happy Father’s Day today. In celebration of the holiday, I want to salute four sets of fathers who have set the finest examples in the Black gay community for as achievers in their own rights and as out and proud fathers who make no secrets in talking about their joys of fatherhood.
I asked rapper/activist Tim’m West, singer/activist Anthony Antoine, Gentlemen’s Ball producers/relationship experts Gee & Juan Session-Smalls and Big Boy Pride/Big Brothaz Network organizers Tony & Tavon Brown to briefly share what fatherhood means to them as Black gay men and also impart wisdom onto gay and lesbian couple who are expecting or pursuing parenthood.
Get to know the fatherly side of our outstanding peers below.
How do you describe the joy of fatherhood?
Fatherhood has been the single most defining measure of my manhood. Being dad to a daughter has been gauge of my compassion, empathy and ability to understand my male privilege and to work as an ally to ensure women achieve more equity. Shannon thrives as an artist, on her own terms, not because of any example I’ve set, but because I’ve always encouraged her to be her own person and to be her best. If anything, I am often concerned that she is too tough on herself, but perhaps that’s something she has picked up from me. Though far from a perfect dad, I’m a better man because I always strive to ensure she is proud of me.
What words of advice would you give to gay sand lesbians who are expecting or contemplating parenthood?
I believe that given the obstacles members of the LGBTQ community face, not so much in being parents, by adoption or birth, but by dismantling some of the myths and concerns that we’d be less capable parents than heterosexuals. If anything, great thought and consideration comes into play as a queer parent. This manifests, as much as anything, in my own thoughts about who I choose to partner with. I have to ask myself: Is this someone I would be proud to introduce to my daughter? What reflection on my character does it offer, if with someone who doesn’t honor, value, respect, and love me? In my conversations with Shannon about her own choices in loving, we provide a valuable reflection of what family should mean. We’re not a traditional family. We are a strong family.