Telling your story can be intimidating, but it might just change someone else’s life.
Eight years ago, I decided to tell the story of how my husband and I adopted our son Jackson. Growing up, I never saw families like mine. I wanted to make others know happily ever after is possible, regardless of who they love. When I began, I wondered just how hard could it be? I’ve always had a good memory and have a piece of paper from New York University that says I’m a trained writer. So why the heck not?
Finding a title like PopDaddy was easy enough. My husband Ken is papa and I’m daddy, and our son Jackson would often mix up our names. Eventually he decided to combine the two together.
Ken — an activist — started pestering me about PopDaddy as he felt our story would remove some of the fear people had about gay men parenting. If they could see how ordinary we were, how similar our lives were to their own, then perhaps their hearts would open and they would see us as allies instead of enemies? For me, storytelling is a powerful way to overcome differences. It’s important for LGBT+ people to tell our stories. It’s easy to hate in the abstract, but helping others see us as beautiful humans is just as important; just like them.
The book was published in March and people all over the world have reached out to thank me for telling our story.
My favourite feedback went something like, ‘I was a little skeptical to read a book about two gay men adopting a baby. Being a 55-year-old Christian woman, I wondered if the book would be a tad too much for me. But I must say, I’m extremely grateful I read this book!’
From skeptical to grateful; that’s the power of storytelling and love.
PopDaddy is available from £8.98 via amazon.co.uk, @kmanford, @jeffreyroach, @popdaddypress, popdaddy.com