Senior Vice President & Chief Experience Officer
“Being a father was something I did not contemplate growing up as a gay man. So, becoming a parent, and forming a family with my partner, Jim, has been a profound and special gift. Our family was also formed through adoption, which is its own special and challenging journey. But under it all there is a feeling of deep gratitude and enormous responsibility. Our son, Joshua, is a wondrous blessing to us.
When I became a father, my view of the world and of the future changed. Everything became about our son. How could we prepare him for the future? How could we help him grow and become his full self? And what could we do to ensure the world he would live in would be better than the one we have grown up in?
Being Joshua’s father has also opened my eyes to new and difficult realities. I would like to think I have always been committed to diversity, inclusion and belonging. But I feel that at a whole new level now. Our son is a beautiful black boy. We all know the challenges people of color and especially black men face in the world. We now live in two worlds in a sense: the white one and the black one. And it’s painful — especially now. However, I look at this as a true gift — a chance to be Joshua’s dad, and a chance to truly see into the lives, challenges, and realities of others. It’s made Jim and I more committed than ever to equality, justice, and peace. It’s made us allies of communities outside our own.
We want our son to know that his life matters and that, during this time, we fought for him and for all people who are marginalized in any way. I hope he will see that we stood for him and for others like him. I also hope he remembers how we responded to these crises; that we acted to help, rather than retreated into isolation. I hope remembering this, he does the same when his moment comes.
Being a dad brings me joy every day — even when it’s hard. Seeing my son’s face each morning, reading with him, exploring the city we love, passing on our values, teaching him things our parents and grandparents taught me — all these things are the best and most important things I’ve ever had the privilege to do. “Dad” will always be the best and most important title I have ever had!”