Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (best original screenplay for Milk) and his husband, British Olympic diver Tom Daley, announced on Valentine's Day that they are expecting their first child. The couple married in May 2017 in Devon, England. They are expecting a boy.
Each took to Twitter to share the announcement:
The news was met with great joy and a combined 200,000 likes on Twitter, but one man had questions about two men raising a child. Black was appearing on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Afternoon Edition. The man, who remained anonymous, wanted to make it clear he didn't have a problem with gay men but he wondered about raising a child without a mother, saying:
I don’t have an issue with gay people, I want to make that clear, But I don't think two blokes can bring a baby up. You need the mother there. The mother’s the one. She's the main thing. They're different than us.
The caller said he had looked after his own infant son for a few months when his partner had to work.
It's so so difficult. It really is difficult.
Black remained composed as he listened to the man and responded in a clear and concise way:
There are all different kinds of families out there in the world, and for many different reasons ― some more tragic than others ― children are raised by single parents all the time. Those children ― I’d like to claim myself as one, who was raised by a single mother for some difficult reasons ― I think I had a very strong mother who raised me incredibly well.
Black then asked — and answered — this question:
Will it be important that our son meet women in his life? Absolutely. That will be there. It would be wrong to deprive a child of that and, frankly, bizarre and probably impossible.
You can listen to the exchange below:
People applauded Black's response:
Don’t assume that heterosexual couples automatically make good parents! They’re just the largest sexual group (today). My stepsister & her wife have 2 beautiful sons & they’re fantastic parents! Any couple who will prioritise their child’s needs over their own is perfect!— Ruth Painter (@iamruthpainter) March 27, 2018
I hazard a guess these guys will be decent enough parents for any child 👍— music is good (@inthetopone) March 27, 2018
You go Dustin. Two loving people who put a child first what ever their gender can raise a baby. I work in education and I'm telling you us heterosexuals have not got it sorted !!!!!!— Julie Troshupa (@JTroshupa) March 27, 2018
Black's answer helped a former skeptic have more understanding:
I have to admit that I've been a surrogacy sceptic. I found this interview very insightful and very informative and am finding myself far more accepting of the idea. Thank you Lance.— Esther (@FallingStar_1) March 28, 2018
Still, not everyone was convinced:
No female influence on child growing up, can't be right?— Paul Drinkwater (@thedrinky) March 27, 2018
If you are gay you can't have children that's not homophobic it is a fact. How can anyone think this is right?— Bob Martin (@BobMart68942217) March 27, 2018
April, a learning architect, offered this perfect response:
One day same sex couples will be able to live their lives without having to justify their rights. It’s unfortunate that today is not that day, but more discussions like this help us get a little closer to that moment. Thanks for sharing your stories when it’s easier to be silent.— Aprill Smith (@aprill1024) March 27, 2018
Congratulations to the dads on the addition to their family!
H/T: Huffington Post