The Allure of Junk
You don't just sound like a loser, babycakes. If you get hooked on heroin you are a big fat stupid selfish loser. Heroin sucks. Aside from the fact that it can turn you into a liar and a thief, ruin your health, destroy your self-respect, tear your family apart, cost you that good job, apartment, and nice boyfriend, and maybe even put you in jail, it can really screw up your life. I tried it once and wasn't impressed--it made me want to scratch and vomit, and--in contrast to the many ninth-grade lunch hours I had been eager to devote to the art of cigarette smoking--I never found time to try it again. And don't try whining that there's nothing better to take. There's no law that says you have to take anything, and with your admittedly addiction-prone personality you'd be better off staying away from any substance more mind-altering than Tang. But don't just take my word for it. Rent Gus Van Sant's Drugstore Cowboy and read Linda Yablonsky's The Story of Junk. Then locate the nearest Narcotics Anonymous meeting and go. Then take the money you save not buying smack and buy yourself a long trip away from this "friend."
I love my life as a gay man, but I know that I will never truly be happy without children. It's funny--usually women say that, but it's in my heart. I don't have a partner and don't make a lot of money yet. So the question is, How do I take action on my dream of not adopting--not that there's anything wrong with that--but actually having a kid with a woman, either a lesbian or a straight woman? How should I start?
Dear Daddy W:
Neither heterosexuality nor wealth is a requirement or guarantee of being a good father. If it were, hospital emergency rooms would see a lot fewer battered kids. Some of the best-loved kids I know are the adoptees of gay couples who really wanted them and worked hard to get them. And look at all the kids whose mothers and/or fathers had them before, or in disregard of, knowing they were gay. No one escapes childhood unscathed; as the hetero community hasn't done such a bang-up job of protecting the "nuclear" family, why should they be the only ones given the chance to wreak havoc on the minds of our young? I strongly encourage gay folks who want kids to adopt; there are so many unwanted babies. But if you want to see what miracle your own genes will produce, there are options. A surrogate mother would carry your (artificially inseminated) baby and deliver it to you at birth. She would not act as the child's mother; the pleasure of child-rearing would be all yours. This is expensive--up to $40,000--and is generally arranged through agencies for married couples.
On the other hand, there's a multitude of women out there who can't sleep at night for the overloud ticking of their biological clocks. Women who, for any number of reasons, haven't found or don't want husbands, but who crave babies as much as you do. Someone in that crowd just may be your very own Princess Perfect. Try personal ads, setting out as clearly as you can exactly what you're looking for and exactly what you're offering (nonsexual marriage, live-together parenting, visitation rights, financial support, etc.). I'd start in the gay press. There's less to explain upfront. Then work into the more literate straight publications. And talk to your friends--you never know who knows whom.
For some people having kids is easy; raising them never is. Those sweet, precious bundles of gurgling joy are voracious little need machines; all that cuteness is a fiendishly clever disguise. They need shoes, and clothes, and food, and books, and cars, and college, and parents get dumber as kids get older. And then it seems like children's only real job is to grow up and break their parents' hearts. But if it's what you really want, don't give up. A well-loved child is the best hope we have for the future.
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