How and Why I Am Outspoken
By Ella Robinson – From The Family Equality Council Website – June 19, 2012
I have had a very public and unusual opportunity to speak up in support of my gay Dads: we all went on the Today show together. It was after Dad was elected the 9thEpiscopal Bishop of New Hampshire and I accompanied him, and his then partner (now husband) Mark to chat with Matt Lauer. I was there to dispel the misconceptions that he “abandoned his wife and kids to shack up with a gay lover” as certain newspaper headlines had proclaimed throughout his Bishop Election process. Truth was, my sister and I couldn’t have gotten rid of him if we tried! He has been such a devoted and committed father to us from the day we were born, through the divorce, childhood into adolescents and now as adults. By becoming the first openly gay Bishop, our little family was thrown into the spotlight in a major way, and I couldn’t have been more proud.
That is the ‘Bishop’ side of the story though. I like sharing the Dad side – the side of the story that focuses on the overwhelming love I felt growing up with Dad and Mark, way before any Bishop talk occurred. Their relationship, which started when I was 7 years old, was such an important example of what a loving, committed relationship should look like that I never thought to question it. I never knew to be embarrassed if someone looked at our family differently, or to worry if my friend coming to my Dad’s with me for the weekend would be uncomfortable. I just knew we’d have fun, watch The Golden Girls and play some board games (competitively). I credit Dad and Mark for giving me the tools to know how to talk about having gay parents when I was out in the world, and doing their part to make it easier for me whenever they could. I look back now in awe that at a very young age, I had such confidence in the love and strength of my family to not let anyone tell me differently.
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