There were a few things I did to ensure my daughters' success, and only some of them were specific to being gay. Some of them are things that any parent should consider:
- I talked to teachers and daycare providers about my sexual orientation.
- I didn't make any part of my life a "gay agenda." I just lived as my authentic self.
- I hung out with the other kids' parents at school, not making a big deal about my sexual preference, but not hiding it either.
- I acted like a parent who had gone through a divorce, because that's who I was. And I strove to make it more about my kids than about me.
Now, 12 years later, through numerous holidays, birthday parties, school events, and even in the midst of federal recognition of equal rights for same-sex couples, it's all paid off. My daughters are both academic wonders. They have cool friends. They have sleepovers. We are just like any other family; there are moments of drama, and moments of healing. And at the end of each and every day, we go to bed and we wake up to face new days, just being who we are. We are two gay dads and two open-minded, well-rounded, beautiful daughters who've had the unique opportunity to live outside the societal bubble of what a family is "supposed" to be.
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No matter how you're raised, you'll still go through milestones like entering high school or college, just like my two beautiful daughters will at the end of this summer. They are happy, healthy, normal teens moving through life, enjoying the ins and outs of teen drama, and not the least bit affected by the fact that they have two dads and a mom. All that matters is that they're loved. After all, love is love!
Rick Clemons, The Coming Out Coach
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