A Special Father’s Day Message: Celebrating Our Black Gay Dads
Whether caring for an ailing parent or catering to their children's needs, Black gay fathers are often the anchor to Black families. Their love, quiet strength, steadfast leadership, and roles as moral teachers and providers are integral to our community. Around our country and the world, Black gay dads are our unsung heroes – doing whatever it takes to care for their family without the recognition they deserve. That is why for Father's Day, NBJC is honoring the sacrifices and contributions Black gay dads make daily.
Did you know that…
- Black gay male couples are more likely to parent than white same-sex male couples. In fact, 32.9 percent of Black male same-sex couples are raising children compared to 6.2 percent of white same-sex couples. (Source)
- Thirty-two (32) percent of children raised by Black male same-sex couples live in poverty, compared to 13 percent of children in Black heterosexual-couple households and 7 percent of children raised by white opposite-sex couples. Despite these challenges, Black gay men continue to care for children in need of a loving and supportive home. (Source)
- Nearly one-third of Black male same-sex couples report a biological child present while only 17 percent of white male same-sex report having a biological child. (Source)
In a timely and poignant piece about fatherhood, LZ Granderson, CNN contributor and NBJC OUT on the Hill 2012 Black LGBT Leadership Summit National Chair, writes:
When my 15-year-old asked if I would go jogging with him, I didn't think anything of it. We've worked out together many times before, and though it's been a while since we went running, I play basketball and tennis every week, so I'm in great shape … for a guy my age.
But something unexpected happened somewhere between me laying him down in his bassinet and me being on the cusp of lying down on the sidewalk I was running on: We got older.
I had seen signs of this "older" before: a gray hair for me, a deeper voice for him. Our socks have become impossible to differentiate, and he has stolen a handful of my ties. But I still get carded at bars, and he still needs me to drive him to school, so I thought I was many moons away from accepting the notion that my little boy was not so little anymore.
Funny — my dream for him is to be better than me, and now, as I hunch over, sucking wind with my hands on my knees and sweat racing down my face, it seems my dream is coming true…
He took off, disappearing out of my sight. That day, I learned the deeper meaning of fatherhood: I may not always be able to go where he goes, but I'll always be there when he makes his way back.
Continue reading "When the Son Surpasses his Father" on CNN.com
It's stories like LZ's and countless other Black gay fathers that keep NBJC on the frontlines advocating on behalf of Black families. It's because of you, Black gay dads, and all the dads that love their LGBT children unconditionally.
We love you. We salute you. Happy Father's Day.
Your Sister in the Struggle,
Sharon J. Lettman-Hicks
Executive Director and CEO