Lessons from a sit-in

August 30, 2013 in On Being a Gay Parent by Brett Webb-Mitchell

Almost hidden from the public behind a main stair case in the large James E. Shepard Library at North Carolina Central University in Durham, N.C., is what remains from Durham’s F. W. Woolworth lunch counter.

The second generation of LGBTQ parenting

August 2, 2013 in On Being a Gay Parent by Brett Webb-Mitchell

In the last two days, I’ve received phone calls from three different casting agents who are “looking for LGBT parents with a unique parenting style. We are starting a new reality-show cable series.

The Big Mo

July 5, 2013 in On Being a Gay Parent by Brett Webb-Mitchell

I am writing this column on Thursday, June 20, 2013. I was going to write about the Supreme Court of the U.S. coming down on the side of justice in terms of throwing both California’s Prop 8 and DOMA to the dustbin of history.

“Forward, Together, Not One Step Back!” Moral Mondays and North Carolina’s LGBTQ Community

June 7, 2013 in On Being a Gay Parent by Brett Webb-Mitchell

“Freedom, freedom, freedom in the morning, freedom in the evening,” sang the impromptu chorus of women and men outside of the golden doors of the North Carolina House of Representatives in Raleigh’s Legislative Building for three Mondays in a row.

Hope in faiths

May 10, 2013 in On Being a Gay Parent by Brett Webb-Mitchell

My “Religions and the World” class at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) — an historically black/college university (HBCU) — has drawn to another close at semester’s end.

I once was lost, but now I’m found

April 12, 2013 in On Being a Gay Parent by Brett Webb-Mitchell

In my time as a Presbyterian pastor, I’ve been to my share of tent revivals and homecoming gatherings. This evening’s rally for marriage equality is the homecoming I hoped to find one day.

Taxes and death

March 15, 2013 in On Being a Gay Parent by Brett Webb-Mitchell

“Things as certain as death and taxes, can be more firmly believed” wrote the 18th century writer Daniel Dafoe. This truthful statement comes to mind once a year like clockwork during February when I file my federal and state taxes.

The D.C.-N.C. Connection

February 15, 2013 in On Being a Gay Parent by Brett Webb-Mitchell

What do North Carolina lesbian and gay couples do when the laws of the state make adopting a child by both people in a same-sex relationship nearly impossible?

Educating North Carolinians

January 18, 2013 in On Being a Gay Parent by Brett Webb-Mitchell

One of the adages I’ve passed on to generations of students I have taught since 1989 is this: All education is continuing education.

Happy Holidays

December 22, 2012 in On Being a Gay Parent by Brett Webb-Mitchell

Whether one is celebrating Hanukkah or Christmas in the United States, there is one image that is front and center: the family. On Facebook, friends who celebrate Hanukkah downloaded several images of their children with their respective grandparents around a lighted menorah.

North Carolina: The last state that amended its constitution with the purpose of outlawing marriage equality and institutionalized hate

November 24, 2012 in On Being a Gay Parent by Brett Webb-Mitchell

I woke up on Wednesday morning, Nov. 7, 2012, almost leaping out of bed with a big smile on my face, because I knew who was going to be president for the next four years. It is President Barak Obama, the nominee I volunteered for during the last two months.

Perfectly normal

October 27, 2012 in On Being a Gay Parent by Brett Webb-Mitchell

“Gay and Lesbian Parents are Perfectly Average,” screamed the headline on salon.com. In an article by Katie McDonough, the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry (another social scientific study) reported that “’high-risk’ children adopted from foster care do just as well when matched with gay, lesbian, or straight parents.”

White water parenting

September 29, 2012 in On Being a Gay Parent by Brett Webb-Mitchell

With my life-preserver vest snuggly snapped onto my torso and my helmet or “brain bucket” firmly on my head, my partner Dean and daughter Adrianne climbed into the yellow whitewater inflated raft on a cool September afternoon.

The new norm

September 1, 2012 in On Being a Gay Parent by Brett Webb-Mitchell

I sat across the table from my former-student-and-now-friend Michael and his boyfriend Jiro with a broad smile upon my face as we used chopsticks to pick up the neatly cut sushi roll in Honolulu’s Akasaka Japanese restaurant.

The Lord is my shepherd

August 4, 2012 in On Being a Gay Parent by Brett Webb-Mitchell

One Sunday morning, I received a text from my college-aged son: “I’m coming to your church this morning. What time does worship begin? Can I bring you a cup of coffee?”

Not a J.C. Penney family

July 7, 2012 in On Being a Gay Parent by Brett Webb-Mitchell

The adage “A picture is worth a thousand words” bears truth in light of the rush of praise and criticism of J. C. Penney’s Fathers’ Day advertisement. The ad was unforgettable and rather iconic: two dads are caught mid-laughter as they play with their cute, rambunctious children on the clean living room carpeted floor.

North Carolina vs. Mississippi?

June 9, 2012 in On Being a Gay Parent by Brett Webb-Mitchell

After the vote on Amendment One was held and passed by the citizens of North Carolina, Governor Beverly Perdue spoke out about what we, as a state, looked like to the rest of the nation: “People around the country are watching the state and are confused…North Carolina was a progressive and a forward thinking state that stood up for civil rights…we look like Mississippi” (May 11, 2012).

Teaching voting

May 12, 2012 in On Being a Gay Parent by Brett Webb-Mitchell

I was riding in the back seat of my parents’ white Buick Le Sabre, as my mom pulled into the large fairgrounds in New Jersey, leaving my dad at a rally for Lyndon B. Johnson for president. In 1964 I was nine years old and to this day I remember the tension in the car between my parents riding in the front seat of the car.

Project Hate

April 14, 2012 in On Being a Gay Parent by Brett Webb-Mitchell

In an article posted on the “Independent Gay Forum,” Walter Olson — a gay dad — dug through the latest “dump” of information gathered by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). What was discovered in this dump was one of the strategies that NOM used in stirring up hate toward LGBTQ people.

T-shirt power

March 17, 2012 in On Being a Gay Parent by Brett Webb-Mitchell

Best to admit it up front: I collect T-shirts. I don’t mean shirts by local retailers that have the name of a store emblazoned on them, in which the buyer actually pays to be a billboard advertisement for the company they just bought the shirt from.