There are certain, undeniable things in my life which make me just naturally glow, especially around Father’s Day. The pride I have for my family definitely takes the top spot of the list.
It seems like each milestone my husband and I have made together, somehow just miraculously appeared in front of us. All the while, we just held each other’s hand and took one leap of faith after another.
Before we knew it, we were 9 years together and buying our first house. Then, 3 months later, the Supreme Court ruled we could legally marry! August of 2020 will be our 14th anniversary together and our 5th wedding anniversary. Three months after our wedding our first daughter was born! To say 2015 was an incredible year for us would be an understatement.
We were living the highly coveted “American dream!” I quickly learned that although we may be living it, not everyone thinks we should be, or deserve to be.
Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. It is partly what makes America so great. However, believing in something is one thing, being rude and hurtful is another.
I had to realize there would be people who didn’t agree with us on some things and unfortunately, sometimes they would come across as very cold.
My husband would often sense my unease when we were out in public places because of the stares from onlookers. He would whisper to me, “It’s ok. Let them watch. This may be the first time they have seen a family with 2 dads before. They may just be curious. “
It often feels like we are the unicorns in the room. I had to learn to embrace who I was. I had to let go of my insecurities. When I was able to do that was when it all clicked.
I strongly feel that as a multiracial, LGBTQ family, especially in the South, it’s important for us and others like us to help light the way for the ones who need hope.
We live in an incredibly divisive time, and right now visibility is critical to help de-stigmatize and normalize same sex families.
I know we love our children just like any other straight family does.
Just like them, we would do anything on Earth for our babies. We do that every single day, regardless of if we are two dads or a mom and a dad.
It is my mission to help broaden the one sided view of the stereotypical American family. We too, are living the American dream. We are the new normal, loving family who teaches our children acceptance of all walks of life and the importance of being kind to one another.
Our place in this world is earned, not owed.
My hope is through my blog, Nolapapa.com, I am able to bury my insecurities, my fears, and my failures for all to read, in hopes to see my weaknesses sprout and transform into self improvement, resilience, and embrace an unapologetic renewal.
My past helped to mold me into who I am today, but who I am tomorrow depends on how I choose to get there, today.
We are the proud fathers of 3 beautiful, multiracial children. Our second daughter is African American and can brighten the room with her smile. She is incredibly sensitive and as her dad, I know it is my job to protect her.
My heart breaks for our fellow African American brothers and sisters of our country. I know if I feel some sort of way about being different, I also know I have no idea how they must feel.
I know not only do I have a duty to protect my daughter, but I also have a responsibility to properly educate her and allow her to embrace her unique heritage.
I understand I will never understand what it is like to be Black in America, but my precious daughter will, every day of her life. I will be there watching it through her eyes, making sure she is heard, loved and supported through it all.
My humble plea to the white and privileged in America is to be more compassionate, understanding, and kind.
I may not know what it is like to be an African American, but I do know what it is like to be a minority. I have found that genuine kindness and compassion goes a long way in my book.
About Erik Alexander
Erik is a stay-at-home ‘papa’ to three beautiful children. He has lived in New Orleans for almost twenty years by way of south Mississippi. He met his husband Douglas in 2006 and have been together for 13 years. They both love New Orleans and have a deep sense of pride to call this eclectic city home. When Erik isn’t running behind a 3 1/2 and 2 year old he enjoys working out, cooking, baking, gardening and tending to our family’s short term rental. He also runs his blog called Nolapapa.com to help give other aspiring parents in the LGBTQ community hope and insight on parenting and personal growth. Erik strongly feels that visibility is crucial for a two dad family as it helps normalize what today’s families can look like.