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This is the english translation of my first italian interview. The interviewer, Mr. Cristiano Camera, is an italian journalist and a proud father himself.
"Our children, like yours, are pioneers. They are shaping the future of society."
These are the words, full of optimism, that I read in the blog ‘The Queenfather’. Who is The Queenfather? He is an Italian full-time dad who lives in London. He is married to another man with whom he has an 18 moths old son born through surrogacy.
Marco, that's his name, struck me for the great clarity and confidence that become apparent when he talks about fatherhood and homosexuality:
"Is there is a limit to the love and enthusiasm towards our children - he says - dictated by the sex of the parent? Is being a loving father no longer enough? Where are the boundaries between what a father should do and what a mother should do? Isn’t being a parent just…. being a parent?”
These are questions that I have been asking myself ever since I myself became a father, questions that Marco was able to answer in a concise and clear manner. So I contacted him to know him a bit better and he told me a little of his life: he is 35 years old and has been with the same person, married six years ago, for ten years.
Their son Gabriel was born a year and a half ago in California by means of surrogate motherhood.
"I became a full time dad - he says - since our son was born, but I used to work European Visual Director for a famous Italian fashion house. I organized events, trunk shows and press events. "
"If there is a distinction, do you feel more like a mother or a father?", I ask, wanting to understand if he referred himself to a parental model in particular.
"Sorry, but please allow me to laugh (ah ah ah). Your question does not mean much. What does it mean ‘to feel more like a mother or a father’? I am a parent, like everyone else. I mean, ok, I'm a man, so yes, ideally I would fit better into the schematic of the father, but this remains as a simplistic definition, considering the social and cultural profile this figure enjoys, especially in Italy. Let's say that I am ... a modern dad. Or a dad who works hard. A dad who cooks, washes, irons, scrapes himself out of bed three thousand times during the night to cuddle the baby who’s going through the nightmare of teething; a father who spends his days playing on the floor, or at the park for a walk with his baby. A father who cares, gets excited and anxious. A father who loves. All in all, I’m not very different from you I suppose. In retrospect, I think your question is dictated by the stereotypes about which I often talk (and gossip ...) in my blog: mom at home being a housewife and bring up children, dad at work and therefore naturally more detached from the everyday adventure which is the family, although he is very devoted to his role of 'provider'. In any case, ww all have our job within the couple and the family. It 's a team effort. "
"Do you socialise with other gay and lesbian parents, with your son? Or heterosexual parents?"
"Living in the UK, we are fortunate to be surrounded by an extremely heterogeneous society in all respects. In our circle of friends we have several gay couples with children, heterosexual couples, interracial and single-parent families. The view that we offer to our son will grant him an overview of the family as a social entity, and expose a reality which is very different from the Italian one. Here in the UK each family unit has its validity, its rights and its place in civil society. Regardless of the gender or number of parents present. "
"Maybe now it's early - given that your son is still very small - but how will you explain to him the presence of the mother (woman) in other families?"
"As I said above, it will be explained that in some families there is a mother or a father only, or two parents of 'different colors' or are adoptive families. The main difference is that our son will grow up knowing he is not the only person in the world with two same-sex parents. This knowledge helps to solve many problems and to put the concept of normality within a situation sometimes perceived as 'abnormal' from the outside. I remember very well how important it was for me to be consistent with the social standard (at least before the rebellion of adolescence, when I was doing everything to be different from others ...). The fact is that the social standard here in UK does not really exist, at least not in the same form it is perceived in Italy. Luckily. "
"What do you wish for your child and how do you think society will evolve with the emerging new figures of homosexual parents?"
"I hope he will grow up with the courage to be himself, without compromises and be loved, happy and fulfilled. I hope to teach him how to be a person full of compassion for others and depth of thought, a member of society that can make a difference. How will society evolve? Well, I do not really know. It is certain, however, that the reality of gay families is helping all the other 'non traditional' families to emerge from the shadow and claim the same respect and the same rights enjoyed by the others. I hope we will all come to see that there is much to be learnt from others and from those who live in situations different from our own. Prejudices chop off everybody’s legs. Society does not change by itself, it changes because there are elements within that lead the change. We all, as parents, have the opportunity to change society through our children, by teaching them tolerance, respect and the value of healthy principles, beyond all dogmas prefabricated by religion. Love and respect your fellow man, not because it was preached by Jesus or Mohammed or the Papa Smurf, but because it’s just right, humane and beautiful"
But the most beautiful things on his son and his relationship with him, Marco writes them in his website:
"A child like ours, born out of hope, can only be a gift to a society so ridden with egoism" .
"As a man, a father and a homosexual, I know I'm doing the best I can and I know that what my son shows me every day it’s constant proof that I'm doing great!"
"I'm trying to be a good parent, a loving and caring father, a role model for my son, an inspiration and an educator. I am giving my son the love that was given to me by my parents. "