Father Visibility Stories Online
By: John HoffmanMany Canadians know very little about gay fathers and even less about what might be like to be one. Gay, bisexual, queer and trans men who are fathers are also acutely aware of their invisibility in Canadian society. In fact, one key finding of FIRA's Gay/Bi/Queer Fathers research project led, by Rachel Epstein and Chris Veldhoven, is that GBQ fathers feel extremely invisible and would like to see increased public awareness of their existence and experiences.
In keeping with FIRA's goal to be responsive to the concerns and aspirations of fathers who participated in our research project, the Gay/Bi/Queer research cluster established the Father Visibility Working Group in 2006 to collect stories from gay, bisexual, queer and/or trans fathers stories and post them online.
The result is a very informative and often moving collection of stories from six men which have been archived on the website of the LGBTQ Parenting Connection, a Toronto-based network of agencies and organizations that provide resources, information and support to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer parents, prospective parents and their families.
These stories include those of men who became fathers in the context of heterosexual relationships, men who became parents in the context of gay identify and gay men who are not yet parents.. For example, one stories was submitted by a man who was part of the first openly gay co-resident couple is a small Maritime town back in the 1970's. Others include those of a gay man who fathered a child at the request of a lesbian friend, and gay man who is not yet a father but hopes to adopt a child with his partner. Some stories are accompanied by photos of the men and their families. As a package these stories tell us much about the experiences of non-heterosexual fathers.
Chris Veldhoven, of FIRA's GBQ cluster says the Father Visibility Group is still interested in collecting and posting stories from more interested GBQT fathers. To inquire about submitting a story contact Chris at email@example.com
Click here to read the Father Visibility Stories