January 18, 2022 9:54 pm

“So you are not going to have children?”: The eternal question about fatherhood that now persecutes homosexuals

“Candy, I’m gay,” I told my sister. I’m dating a guy ten years older than he lives in Miami and I’m going there with him.

My sister froze in front of the immense wall of mirrors of our house in San Isidro. She turned her head, looked me in the eye, and the first thing she said was, “So you’re not going to have children?”

I really don’t remember what I answered him. Having or not having children, at 23 years old, was a topic that had never crossed my mind.

Soon after, I went to live in Miami with that guy, a famous Peruvian journalist and writer who had already been married and already had two daughters, ages five and seven. I lied to my parents: “I’m going to work”, I told them, and I left the Sanisidrense bubble to start a new life immersed in the glamour bizarro del star system latino.

The Peruvian journalist Jaime Bayly in the streets of San Isidro, where they met Luis Corbacho

When my boyfriend’s daughters came to Miami on vacation, I was stepmother almost by inertia. We would shop together, I would cook for them, we would watch reality TV marathons and I would only hang out with them every night when he was going to host his live TV show.

In the ten years that I was in a relationship with the Peruvian writer who lived in Miami, the best and worst of my life happened to me: my sister Candy was a mother and she named me godfather to her daughter Cata, and two years later she fell ill with cancer and died , when Cata had just turned four. Shortly before dying, when we all knew there was nothing else to do, Candy grabbed my hand while I was doing my wake-up shift in the sanatorium and said: “Promise me that you will take care of Cata.” A few days later, he left.

Maxi, Candy’s husband, was the best dad in the world. But I and my family had to be when he felt overwhelmed. So, I was mommy from school on children’s birthdays, I knew what it was to do three blocks in line with the car in double file to get Cata out of school, I took her to the pediatrician, I bought all the dresses and princesses every time she touched me I traveled for work and I banged her tantrums as a teenager when I took her shopping for clothes for a party. Cata is always on my radar, until today when she has to choose a university degree and I am still aware of every detail. Is that, perhaps, some kind of fatherhood?

When I was young, about twenty years ago, coming out of the closet was not accompanied by a possibility of surrogacy. When you said you were gay, in the early 2000s, the idea was socially accepted. People told you “I love you just the same”, or “I love you despite”, and our sexual condition was something that had to be confessed, as if it were a crime or a murder. Outside of this, we were generally forgiven.

But not enough to be normal and have children with the person we love. No, not so much.

Luis corbacho
Luis corbacho

Until Ricky Martin came out with his coming out first and his perfect twins later. If Ricky could, we all can. Almost like a decree of universal democratization of fatherhood, all homosexuals in the Western world go, in the space of a few months, to be blessed with the possibility – and the mandate – to have children.

By then I fell in love again, for the second time in my life.

She was about to turn forty and the fabulous single Carrie Bradshaw paradigm of Sex and the City that reigned in the two thousand was extinguished in my little universe, with the irruption of Ricky and his wave of fabulous gays with twins with surrogates to one hundred thousand dollars a combo. My new boyfriend was perfect for the plan: ten years younger than me, a successful diplomat, with money and resources to make all the fatherly move abroad and the firm conviction of starting a family.

The Ricky effect abducted me, and I felt that everyone was aware of my potential fatherhood: “When is the baby by?”, Even my mother’s friends asked me. “Wouldn’t you like to be like Marley or Ricky Martin? Didn’t you see how cute and friendly Mirko is? ”They repeated.

The new obsession was accompanied by strong panic attacks. “I’m going to be able to be a dad,” he told me all the time. “I’m going to start a family, I’m not going to be an old spinster. I’m not going to be Carrie, I don’t want to be a Carrie from Amba. I want to be Ricky Martin ”. The terror of having a life in charge became my worst enemy, though the desire to perfectly fulfill this new mandate created in my foolish mind was stronger. Did he really want to be a father, or was he just letting himself be carried away by circumstances? Every time I went out alone with my younger nephews or held a friend’s baby, I suffered from sudden bouts of anxiety that worsened over time. The children and their screams also began to twitch my nerves in an almost allergic way.

Anyway, I still did not want to miss the wonderful experience of being a father “that changes your life forever.”

Until the Pandemic came. And my diplomatic boyfriend was posted abroad. And the distance made us part definitively. And I began to enjoy a peace and solitude that only forced isolation could allow me. I reconnected with my niece Cata, who is almost a woman, and I realized that my commitment to her is also a kind of fatherhood, and that I do not need the new traditional family formats to feel that I fill all the boxes.

And I wrote a book in which I tell why, actually, I don’t want to be ricky martin.


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