Com­mu­nitylov­ing east en­ders

Thornhill Post - - Currents -

The par­ents: BJ Barone & Frank Nel­son, TDSB high school teach­ers & blog­gers Home: Semi-de­tached home in the up­per Beaches

Kids: Milo, three

What unique ad­van­tages do city kids have?

Frank: I think for us, for a di­verse gay fam­ily, I think the most di­ver­sity per square mile is here in Toronto. There are a lot of fam­i­lies that look like ours in our com­mu­nity.

How en­gaged are you in your com­mu­nity?

We’re so in­volved in our com­mu­nity. Hav­ing a smaller house, all the kids on the street play to­gether, and we’re lucky enough to live across the street from the school. We play movies on the back of our fence. One of the perks of be­ing a teacher is they lend us the pro­jec­tors for the sum­mer.

How is your ac­cess to health care?

Milo’s had a few health scares. We con­stantly talk about how lucky we are to live in a city like Toronto, which has an amaz­ing hos­pi­tal like Sick­Kids. Milo had surgery when he was four weeks old, and they took very good care of him and us.

Do you have any safety con­cerns stem­ming from city life?

It’s a ques­tion after a shoot­ing in a school, and it’s hard not to re­flect on safety in big­ger cities. We had a neigh­bour­hood kid one night last win­ter write “f**k LGBT” on our car. I don’t know if it’s only be­ing city-bound, but you feel un­safe — and you worry more about safety — when you have a child. We prob­a­bly should have more of those talks, but we’ve been more wor­ried about him run­ning across the street and other things — those have been huge safety con­cerns.

What has it been like shar­ing your jour­ney as a gay fam­ily on your blog?

BJ: After our birth photo went vi­ral, we de­cided to start the blog, Fam­ily is About Love. We wanted more vis­i­bil­ity for gay fam­i­lies out there. We have the same prob­lems and is­sues as straight fam­i­lies in terms of dis­ci­plin­ing and how much iPad time Milo gets.… We’re dif­fer­ent, but we’re the same.

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