Sunday, June 21, 2009

Georgia's Mundo Hispánico features gay dads on Father's Day

Today is Father's Day in the United States and, as usual, most media have been doing special features on dads and their families.

A few have featured stories that have a gay angle. Take, for example, "Kids to meet gay dads partner on Father's Day" (Associated Press) or "Father's Day in a house with lesbian moms" (New Jersey Star-Ledger).

What is rare is to see Spanish language media do the same, which brings me to Mundo Hispánico, and an article they ran on Thursday titled "Fathers against wind and tide: Not everyone celebrates Father's Day in the same way".

In the article, Mundo Hispánico profiles three Mexican immigrant fathers who live in Georgia: Augustín Cruz (above, right), who was forced to raise his two children on his own after his wife was murdered during a robbery; Pedro (above, middle), who hasn't seen his daughter in more than 11 years, but has always managed to send her money to Mexico; and Martín Guillermo Balbuena (above, left), who fathered three children during a previous 13-year marriage to a woman, but now is partnered to a man.

Balbuena (pictured at right with his partner, Michael, and his children Nathaniel, Alexis Arturo and Vanessa) says that he felt extreme pressure to marry a woman based on life-long taunts from people calling him a 'fag'. He also hoped that marrying a woman would en years of confusion over his sexual attraction to men.

"For 13 years, I kept my wife under a lie and, when I decided to tell her my real sexuality, she became upset and could not accept it", said Balbuena, "We decided to separate and, when I suggested that the best thing would be for her to return to Mexico with the children, she said no, that she did not want our children to grow far away from their father."

Eventually, Balbuena also came out to his children and says that, for a while, it was rough waters - specially with his oldest son - but that he now enjoys a great relationship with his ex-wife and all his children. So much so, that the oldest son now lives with him and his partner, Michael.

All three children have also bought Father's Day gifts for both Martín and Michael in the last couple of years and have come to consider Michael as a second daddy.

"I feel very fortunate," says Balbuena, "I have always believed that one builds one's future and today I have what I have always wanted to have, I have the children and family I always wanted to have".

"I want people to see that being gay doesn't mean that I am a depraved individual who will abuse his children," he ads, "I want to teach them that as a gay man I can also raise them and can teach them good moral values".

So, tonight, on Father's Day, congratulations to all fathers out there and congratulations to Augustín and Michael in Georgia, for speaking truth to power, and putting their lives as examples.

1 comment:

ReggieH said...

What a great story!