Editor’s Note: I’m so, so, SO excited to introduce Steve Garcia to our readers. I met Steve in 2009 when I was performing in a community theatre production. We became instant friends. Ten years later – and so many curve balls of life thrown into our paths – I’m so thankful that he and his husband Blake are not only still two of my best friends, but our FAMILY and an instrumental part of my life. They are the Godfathers to my boys and the absolute best guncles in the entire world. I hope that you are lucky enough to have a Steve & Blake in your life. It’s just the best.
The Joys of Being a Guncle
By Steve Garcia
I am a child of the 60’s and 70’s.
That means I grew up with iconic images of fatherhood from The Courtship of Eddie’s Father to The Brady Bunch. Even more important was the ultimate example of what being a father is…my own dad! I dreamed as a little boy of one day emulating those strong men who worked hard to raise their families without ever raising their voices. Of always having the right words to say to make everything alright for their children.
My idyllic fantasy took a sharp turn when I realized as early as the 5th grade that I liked boys more than girls. In fact, I can remember one of my fixations was of raising a family with my friend Brady. Nowadays, that seems like a simple plan, but it was unheard of in 1972! I spent several years after that trying to suppress my true feelings in order to achieve that perfect family I had always imagined. I even went as far as proposing to the woman I wanted to be the mother to my children.
However, I realized that, while I could play the part publicly, I would never be able to continue it for my entire life. And I certainly didn’t want kids wrapped up in that mess when it all fell apart!
I moved on to be my own true self and was so much happier than when I was living the lie.
But for me that picture of the ideal family still included a husband and wife and 2-4 kids. (Never doubt the power of situation comedies!)
I tried to put the idea of children out of my head.
I finally found the perfect partner when I reached 40 years old. Pretty early in our relationship, we discussed the possibility of having children…well…I discussed, he said no.
But his arguments were solid: we were older and both of us had become too involved in work and volunteer projects to be able to provide for them. And don’t forget the allure of the DINK (Double Income No Kids); we’d be able to travel the world!
Despite that, there was still a nagging tug for kids.
That’s when I discovered the new term “Guncle”…short for “Gay Uncle.”
Both of my sisters had started to raise their own children and invited both Blake and me to be extremely involved in their lives. Suddenly, I was shopping for baby clothes, trying to plan play dates, and adding soccer games to my calendar! Quite a task when you have six nieces and nephews.
I became so good at Guncling that I started to reach beyond blood relatives to my best friends. To date, Blake and I consider ourselves Guncles to five other children in addition to my sisters’ kids, and were even tapped to be godfathers to two of the boys!
This has been a perfect
symbiotic relationship for everyone involved.
Think of it: while we get the thrill of helping to raise kids, the parents get outside help from people who are generally open-minded, have great compassion, and who have the time and resources to devote to their children. The kids get adults who are good listeners, who know how to have fun, and who don’t have to be disciplinarians.
If you don’t have Guncles in your family right now, GO GET ONE!!! Surely you have a brother, cousin, best friend who is dying to be included in your child’s life. You will open up so many possibilities for yourselves, your children, and some men who have so much love to share.
Gotta run now. I’ve got to buy some birthday presents for some of my nieces and nephews.
(BTW, National Guncles Day is the second Sunday in August…August 11, to be exact.)
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