By Thomas Whitfield
It’s becoming more common for openly LGBTQ people to have kids. For straight people, assumptions are often made about children, like having them or not. For some gay men, having them or not could be a deal breaker.
I’ve been with my partner for almost five years and only recently did we start talking about kids. It’s always been a dream of mine to have a couple kids, but we’ve never discussed it. I assumed he wanted them too, but he doesn’t—like, not even a little bit. Now I feel like I have to pick between either staying with him or having kids in the future. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do or how I’m supposed to decide. – Male, Gay, 33
This is a sticky situation, and it sounds like you both have some tough choices to make. If he isn’t willing to have kids with you, then your choice is to either stay in the relationship and not have kids, or leave the relationship and have kids. It doesn’t seem like you were trying to hide or avoid that you want children, but often people in relationships do avoid certain topics for fear of rocking the boat. Did you have inclinations that he didn’t want children earlier? I’m curious to know if you’ve told your partner why it’s important to you and how much having children means to you. I’m not necessarily in favor of ultimatums, but if you’re going to leave the relationship to have kids, that’s something he should know. If you decide to leave, make sure you’re very clear with future partners about what you want for your future from the beginning.
My mother has always been supportive of me; she even came to NYC one year for Pride. I’d absolutely call her one of my best friends, but last week I told her that my bf and I are planning to have a kid, and things didn’t go well. She told me that she loves me, but simply doesn’t think we should raise a child together. I was shocked; it was so unexpected. I don’t even know how to talk to her about it or what to say. I’m so blindsided and didn’t know she felt this way about gay men. – Male, Gay, 29
I’m sorry to hear that your mother isn’t being supportive, especially when it’s someone who has been there for you in the past. You said she responded that she “doesn’t think we should raise a child together.” Were those her exact words? Or did she bring up your sexuality? The reason I ask is because saying “you two shouldn’t” is very different from saying “two men shouldn’t.” It sounds like there is more of a conversation here that needs to be had between the two of you. It might be difficult, but I think you should try have a very open discussion with her about it, and let her know that it hurt your feelings. It’s possible that she has very real concerns—not about your sexuality—that maybe you haven’t considered.