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We Need Boys

by The Next Family June 09, 2011

By: Lex Jacobson

As Devon and I talk more and more about the specifics of raising a child, we realize that we are going to need some really strong male models in our child’s life, especially if we have a boy, though we know it’s also important in a young girl’s life.

We need boys. Lots and lots of different kinds of boys.

Luckily, Devon and I have three brothers and one father between us. My two brothers and Devon’s brother are what most would call very “manly” – all work in some form of construction, two have been semi-pro sports players, and they love their boy toys (trucks, boats, drum sets). Though there is no question that they will be good uncles, I think it is important to ask each of them individually if they would step it up a little bit and take a bit more responsibility and a testosterone-celebrating position in our child’s life.

My father is quirky and a tad effeminate and will be a fabulous person to dress up in a princess dress with, while acknowledging that even boys who like dress-up games can grow into men with wives.

Most of our male friends are gay and artsy, and I think it will be great to have them show our child that anything goes, and that whoever they grow up to be, they will be accepted.

On a more personal note, we need male role models to help us be informed about some big things when it comes to boys. We have a general feeling around circumcision, but I’d like to hear the pros and cons from men themselves. And then on the other side of childhood, we have no idea what goes on in a teenage boy’s brain, and we would like to try to understand so we can be as supportive as possible, while not pretending to know what’s going on for them.

I imagine every kid in a gay household goes through missing a dad, or a mom, at some point in their lives. They aren’t like the other kids. They don’t make Father’s Day cards at school. They won’t get to go away on a boys’ weekend with dad. They don’t get to have their first father-daughter dance.

As a two-mom family, I feel that it is our vital responsibility to get as set up with the best uncles – blood or not – to create a gender balance in our children’s lives, all the while celebrating the diversity that makes us who we are, every day.

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