Doubly gay Father’s Day for Leander, with 2 dads
“TO INFINITY and beyond” is how Leander Gordon-Smit, 9, describes his love for his two gay dads.
Excited about Father’s Day, he plans to show them just how much he appreciates and loves them.
The chirpy youngster was adopted by a Cape Town couple, Oscar Smit and Hilton Gordon, when he was just six months old. Leander promises to spoil his parents – he calls them “papa” and “daddy” – by making breakfast, taking them out to lunch and then go for a bit of bowling in the afternoon.
Gordon says Leander threatens to spoil then each year. “But when Father’s Day comes around he wants to know what time his breakfast will be served in bed.”
Gordon is a teacher and Smit an education training and development practitioner.
The couple, who have been together for more than 20 years, tied the knot in July two years ago. They adopted Leander in 2001 after seeing an adoption advert in a newspaper.
Smit said they went through rigorous processes. “The day we brought him home was one of our happiest days.”
This week a US study done by the Rockway Institute at the Califor nia School of Professional Psychology released a report on gay male partners who have children. The results were published in the latest issue of the Journal of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transsexual Family Studies.
It found that these fathers were more likely to scale back their careers to care for their children. These fathers also reported that their self-esteem and their closeness with their extended families increased after becoming parents. In most respects, life changes resulting from parenthood were very much like those experienced by heterosexual couples – closer relations with co-workers, a transition away from single friends toward other couples (straight and gay) with children, and less time for sleep, exercise, and hobbies.
Life certainly did change when Leander came into their lives, and because they lived in Nelspruit on the Lowveld they had no support structure.
Smit said: “Leander knows he is adopted and that he has two gay dads. He sees us just as a family. We just wanted to give a child a loving home. Once on the playground one of his peers asked him where his mother was. He replied that he didn’t have one but had two dads who would be getting married soon.
“There are so many moments when we laugh out loud at the things he comes up with. Like he once told someone that he has three dads, a biological one and the two of us. Other days he says he has four, counting his godfather.”
Gordon said some people in Nelspruit were very critical. “They would walk up to us in a shopping centre and ask how we could do this or ask where the child’s mother was. There is no recipe for what makes good or parents. We’ve learnt along the way. Oscar has put his career on hold to dedicate more time to Leander, who has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.”
They have decided to move back to Cape Town, in search of a more tolerant society.
The two dads say they did not mind how they spent Fathers Day. “It’s just the joy of being together,” said Smit.