Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Untraditional Familes - Gay Couples and Kids by Dennis Milam Bensie
I am an only child: no brothers or sisters. I have no spouse. I am single, but I am a gay uncle.
How, you ask?
Because gay people get to pick their own families and I was chosen.
My eighteen month old niece’s name is Eileen. I wanted a family, but wasn’t in a position to raise a child on my own. I was looking to donate my sperm to a lesbian couple and met Joy and Stephanie in 2005 through a Yahoo sperm donor site.
We tried to have a baby and it didn’t work out (a long story you can read about in my book ONE GAY AMERICAN).
The women eventually got pregnant using sperm from a sperm bank --on the first insemination-- and had Eileen. I am not biologically related to the baby girl. Neither is one of her mother’s. But I still get to be the “Wacky Uncle” that I wanted to be.
My nephew, Travis, is two years old. I have known his two daddies, JR and Troy-Skott for almost twenty years. They were licensed by the State of Washington to be foster parents and were selected to be Travis’s family. (also featured in ONE GAY AMERICAN).
I don’t know that the way families are created has changed. I think Americans are just discussing it more openly. With the widening support of civil rights for gay people, there is no reason to not talk about it. Because gay people have to create a family for themselves, their enthusiasm is noted. Both sets of my gay parents went to a lot of trouble to get a child to call their own. Gay people don’t accidentally become a mom or dad.
What I see and feel when I spend time with Eileen and Travis is pure love. There isn’t a person on earth who can tell me that those kids are not where they belong.
I was adopted as a baby. When Travis and Eileen get older and start to ask questions about their roots, they can come to me. I will sit them down and tell them with 100% authenticity that they are loved and just because they are not biologically related to one or both of their parents, that makes no difference.
As for having same-sex parents, Critics will be critics. Their parents are as solid as any heterosexual couples. We might just have a country where same-sex marriage is legal everywhere sooner than later. The law is already on Eileen and Travis side where they live.
I wrote my book ONE GAY AMERICAN for these two kids. Since I don’t have children of my own, I will pass my work to them. They are my heirs.
About the Author:
Dennis Milam Bensie grew up in Robinson, Illinois where his interest in the arts began in high school participating in various community theatre productions. Bensie’s first book, Shorn: Toys to Men was nominated for the Stonewall Book Award, sponsored by the American Library Association. It was also a pick in the International gay magazine The Advocate as “One of the Best Overlooked Books of 2011″. The author’s short stories have been published by Bay Laurel, Everyday Fiction, and This Zine Will Change Your Lifeand he has also been a feature contributor for The Good Men Project. One Gay Americanis his second book with Coffeetown Press and it was chosen as a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and the Indie Excellence Book Awards. He was a presenter at the 2013 Saints and Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans. Dennis lives in Seattle with his three dogs.
You can find out more about Dennis Milam Bensie, his memoirs and World of Ink Author/Book Tour at http://tinyurl.com/lhtvxyt
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