My Real-Life Leading Man

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You know those guys in the movies that are impossibly good-looking and ridiculously charming. They’re typically tall, have solid jawlines, v-shaped physiques and are impeccably dressed. They usually have the sexiest job in the world, like an architect or editorial photographer. They always know just what to say to make you swoon. And no matter how bad your day is going, a quick flash of their megawatt smile makes everything okay. Can you picture him? Good. Now forget him. You’re never gonna get this guy. Because he doesn’t exist. He’s just the figment of some lonely screenwriter’s imagination. Trust me, I’ve been that screenwriter.

The truth is, they don’t make movies about the “real” good guys. The slow and steady dudes that stick around when the going gets tough. The ones who may have hairy ears and might still wear their stretched-out boxer shorts from the early aughts. But take my word for it; this is the kind of guy you should be fantasizing about. Because he’s the one that’ll have your back for life. I learned that when I met my guy, Alex, fifteen years ago.

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Right off the bat I knew Al was the one for me. He wasn’t the kind of guy you date; he was the kind of guy you marry. And I thank God every day that I did. He walked into a coffee shop on Melrose Avenue in baggy cargo pants and neon-colored New Balance sneakers. I found his normalness attractive. His disregard for impressing me is what impressed me the most. Within five minutes of meeting we said we wanted children at exactly the same time, which was uncommon back then and so damn refreshing.

In the coming months I’d learn firsthand the type of guy Al is. Like when he stayed with me all night at the hospital when I had a debilitating migraine… and kept my parents updated throughout the night even though he hadn’t officially met them yet. Like when we got lost during an epic hike in Hawaii and he took off one of his sneakers and gave it to me when my toes bled through my two-sizes-too-small Nikes. Like when we made lasagna together, he’d let me have the crunchy burnt parts even though it was his favorite too. And like when we’d split dessert, and he’d always give me the bigger half.

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While I always loved and appreciated Al, it wasn’t until our son Max was born that I understood the profound impact he’d have on my life. Watching him become a father and interact so naturally with Max was like watching Whitney open her mouth to sing for the very first time on the Merv Griffin show — both were doing what they were born to do.

And now, with our almost ten-year-old boy getting ready for 4th grade, Al’s still showing me the kind of man he is. He’s willing to temporarily take on the bulk of family expenses to allow me to leave my 20-year career in advertising to pursue my passion and follow my dream of going back to grad school to study to become a psychotherapist. Alex wants me to be happy and fulfilled. He believes in me enough to sacrifice our dual-income lifestyle. He understands my desire to help the LGBTQ community as they navigate the uncharted waters of starting families, to offer the guidance and support we wish we had during our son’s adoption process. He understands the importance of empowering people to achieve their full potential — not just mine, but others, too.

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WARNING TO READER: The remainder of this article is about to get mushy-AF. So feel free to walk away now and resume your IG trolling.

Thank you, huzzie.

Thanks for being my friend. Thanks for being patient with me. Thanks for making me laugh. Thanks for believing in me. Thanks for your generosity. Thanks for giving me a family. Thanks for liking the same movies and TV shows as me (except for Drag Race and 90210 reruns). Thanks for allowing us to sleep on flannel sheets even though they make you hot and cranky. Thanks for letting me fall asleep watching The Golden Girls. Thanks for tolerating my singing. Thanks for allowing me to publish an article that acknowledges your hairy ears. Thanks for doing most of the cooking. Thanks for doing all the yardwork. Thanks for being a homebody like me. Thanks for being a morning person because Lord knows I’m not. Thanks for being good with money. Thanks for always talking me down from the ledge. Thanks for being a great role model to Max. Thanks for choosing me as your guy. Thanks for loving me more than I ever thought I could be loved. Thank you for giving me the great love story I’ve always dreamed of. Thanks for being my real-life leading man.

And thank you for showing me that happy endings are possible.

That reminds me, have massage places reopened yet?

To help find your path to fatherhood through gay adoption, surrogacy or foster care check out the GWK Academy.

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