Harold David on living in a same-sex family.
THE AUSTRALIAN FASHION PHOTOGRAPHER BECAME A DAD TO TWIN BOYS VIA AN INDIAN SURROGATE. NOW, AS HIS SONS TURN FIVE, HE OPENS UP ABOUT RAISING CHILDREN IN A SAME-SEX FAMILY
Ialways thought I’d be a dad. How I went about that was a bit more complicated than the back of a Chevy. I arranged a surrogate through an agency in India and had my sons, Franklin and Henry, in 2012. I did it as a single father and then I met my partner Andy, a performer and teacher, nine months later. Now he’s a father, too.
When I first met Andy I was with my kids and he didn’t see me, he just saw them. It was so immediate. He loved them straight away. I struggled a bit with sharing the boys in the beginning, but the more I got to know Andy, I felt really at ease with the whole situation. Now, I am grateful to have someone to share those responsibilities with.
We’re your run-of-the-mill, normal family. Life is non-stop. I’ve always been a good multi-tasker and those skills have been essential in raising twins. Between Andy and myself we’ve managed to get it all done, but there is never a day that goes by where I don’t sweat.
We have never had a negative experience as a same-sex family. We did a road trip through Texas, which is very right-wing Republican, last year and everyone was lovely. One day we were strolling with the kids through Marfa, Texas; we were trying to find a good coffee shop, which isn’t easy in the US. I was at the end of my tether when a pick-up truck parked right in front of us. An old cowboy got out, and the first thing he said was, “Where’s the mama?” I thought, “Oh no, here we go.” Andy said, “There’s no mama – we’re two dads.” And the cowboy said, “Looks like you’re doing a good job,” and walked off.
Gay rights have come so far but we’ve got a way to go for equality, and with the current US political climate it feels like it’s stalled and about to go backwards. I’m worried for not only my family, but all of us.
I wanted to be a part of Westfield’s new Family campaign because it’s such
an eclectic mix of people. I think it’s important for businesses to show the diversity of families in Australia and how we all really live. The campaign is pretty profound.
Being a dad is relentless, but I say that with a big smile on my face. Going into it, I didn’t know what “hard” was, but I don’t think I really knew what “love” was either. Life is much more full.