24-year-old partners/parents Kordale and Kaleb (god, please don’t let their kids have K names) have been getting strong reactions in response to photos and videos the pair have been posting of themselves and their 3 kids to their Facebook page and Instagram account. Some of the comments have been effusively positive:
[Y]ou gentlemen have such a beautiful family! thank you for having the courage to post about your lives like this.. i hope that some day, for those folks who are still living with their eyes closed or for the folks who are still too fearful and feel like they need to hide in the shadows, that this will no longer be something that is viewed as unique.. love the ink too!
And some have been negative because some people are hateful, vitriolic monsters:
Dats some sick shit. God ain’t created men to be wit men. Im outraged that you would say something like dat sir/maam whatever the fuck u wanna be. A man that thinks he a woman only in his mind is a fucked up individual. Yall da fuckin each other and yall shitty dick as down low niggas passing diseases to women cuz u mad u got infected but what u think gon happen if you stick yo dick in a shit sack? You mf`s need to be on a planet by yourselves and blow dat bitch up! We don’t have to accept dat shit bc you made a choice to be gay. I respect your wishes but i dont like it or condone it. What i dont like is the ones who act str8 and having sex with both sex and the whole time they really want another man. Smh.
Yeah, people can be ugly. It’s predictable.
Here’s why this is important: The benefit to having pictures and video of this family online isn’t so that everyone can gawk at how novel and strange they are, or feel surprised at how much they’re “just like a normal family”. That’s what you say when you watch the social behaviors of animals on TV, so it’s pretty degrading and entirely missing the point to attribute those feelings of shock to seeing a family with same-sex parents. The idea is to display the boring, beautiful daily lives of same-sex parents and their kids in an effort to normalize it to the point where we stop mentally differentiating between “gay families” and “normal families”, getting instead to a place where the idea of “normal families” includes gay parents, straight parents, single parents, trans parents, etc. Because these are normal families.
And that’s what’s wonderful and generous about what Kordele and Kaleb are doing. Their family isn’t all that unique from most other families (other than the fact that they are two 24-year-olds with three kids. That’s a terrifying prospect to me, a 27-year-old with a 32-year-old partner and just one kid. Tip of the hat, gentlemen.) The reason people are having such a profoundly positive response to this family’s online presence (other than the fact that they’re all super fucking cute, and people just like looking at cute people doing cute things) is that the more common it becomes for people to see normal gay couples doing normal ass shit with their normal kids, the more humanized, relatable, and real these kinds of families become to people who may not know a lot of gay couples and their families in real life.
Why does this matter? Because it demystifies what “gay families” are like (spoiler: pretty much like any other family), helps do away with horrific myths and stereotypes about same-sex parents, black dads, young parents, and young black men in general. It’s not that Kordele and Kaleb are unique among these groups that makes their online presence important – it’s that they aren’t unique. It’s that they are actually representative of a lot of people who are continuously subject to totally unfair and untrue assumptions about them based on their age, gender, sexual orientation, or race.
In fact, the powerful response this family has gotten is proof that these stereotypes exist – if society wasn’t force-fed a different idea of what young black men and gay people are like, there would be nothing shocking about these photos. We are blown away by the relatable normalcy of this family because we’ve been sold on their Otherness. What these guys are doing is a kind public service. It’s an education. And, again, it’s really, really adorable.