I’m From Harlem, NY.

by Justin Hart

Satellite overhead image of New York State from Google Earth 2022

I remember this day so clearly: My oldest daughter, Isabelle, begged Trevor and I to allow her to have her friends over for dinner and sleep over to celebrate the end of her basketball season. Traditionally, we disallowed visitors from Isabelle’s conservative catholic school for fear that Isabelle and her twin brother would be “outed” and therefore teased or tormented. But if she was ready to come clean to her class mates, who were we to tell her “No”?

The team arrived to our home, sleeping bags in tow. We greeted each parent and introduced ourselves…actually introduced ourselves. We were not brothers, friends, or roommates. We were Isabelle’s Dads. Four of the seven mothers decided not to allow their children to stay in our home. The remaining teammates ran through the house and eventually gathered in the kitchen awaiting the arrival of the evasive pizza delivery man. I have never been so proud of what happened next.

“Isabelle, are both of those guys your dads?” One little girl started in…I rushed from the next room toward the kitchen to diffuse the situation, but Trevor stopped me. He urged me to listen closely, but allow our daughter, who we raised, who we taught, who we loved, to handle the situation in whatever way she thought best.

“That’s disgusting.” One girl commented, “That’s a sin.” said another.

Isabelle responded in a matter-of-fact tone saying, “Some boys kiss boys, and some girls kiss girls…deal with it.”

The conversation was over and no one ever mentioned it as a problem again. Today Isabelle, Garrit, Elsie and Julia are all out and proud children of two gay dads.

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