Before I dive into my first column
Published Thursday, 07-Oct-2010 in issue 1189
I want to thank all my Facebook friends who contributed to the name of what I hope will become a very popular weekly feature column in The G&L Times. I needed all the help I could get. I’m a show producer, not a writer. One of the performers in my touring show “iL CiRCo” came up with the name: “Mary Has A Little Man”. I always thought Chris was cute, amazingly talented and has an Adonis of a body, but he’s a total smart ass (I don’t say “Smart-aleck” anymore as it has completely different connotations in my life which I will discuss in further detail later). I do appreciate Chris’ wit and humor… I just can’t see myself as “Mary”, you know? Other names that made it to the top were: “Meet the Parent”, “Raising Alek”, “Torch Song Fatherhood”.
My runner up title:
The Courtship of Alek’s Father. That one is very dear to me as I loved that series growing up. I loved the relationship between the rather 70’s looking but very datable Bill Bixby and that adorable little boy he had (who grew up to be in a punk rock band, smashing our image of the precious little child of the 70’s that he was).
To be honest, I think it was from that series that I always knew that I wanted to be a father…
Never would I imagine what the past five years of my life, a terrific doctor, egg donor, attorney, and surrogate would bring. Aleksandr Sevastian Trego was lovingly carried for 9 months for me by a woman who is truly the definition of God’s angel on earth, Shantel Zadrozny. Born on February 28, 2006, my little “Eddie” has been a blessing to such a degree that it’s impossible to understand until you’re in the midst of it. I am eternally grateful to Shantel and I wish her the many blessings in life that she has given to me. Oh, and as far as the rather exotic sounding and spelling of my son’s name, it’s really not an exercise in flamboyance.
My father, Boris Trego, was from Russia…
It was in his honor that I used not only a traditional Russian name, but the traditional Russian spelling of the name.
What do you think of when you hear the name “Alexandr Sevastian Trego”?
Nearly everyone in our lives, from friends of mine at his birth, to the teachers in his school right now say “that’s a very strong name.” I hope so. He’s a very “strong” child (which isn’t always a good thing) and an extremely intelligent and talented child (google “Alek Trego” on youtube.com to see an example as he ad-libbed a scene from Wicked when he was 2 in front of a non-suspecting video camera).
I guess the concept of doing this column was born at a very historic day in our movement’s history: August 4, 2010, the “Day of Decision” that made Proposition 8 illegal. I think we all thought to ourselves that day “OK, clearly, there is a God”. Outside the Center after the march, there were crowds of people. Strangers hugging strangers. Friends holding each other with tears streaming down their eyes. I even got a marriage proposal from a stranger on Grindr that night! Celebration in the streets. I will never forget the euphoric feeling. Then my dear friend Randy Carmichael said to me “Here Sam, give Alek my rainbow flag”. It was at that moment that “the picture” was taken. Like any proud father, I posted that photo on Facebook. After about 50 comments left, I noticed a trend that people were saying that this needs to be the national icon of our community’s pride… that this photo captured the euphoria that we were all feeling. It wasn’t long before different papers around the country started asking me if they could use the photo. I was proud to lend my boy’s face to the cause and that’s when The G&L Times called. The photo appeared in the August 12th publication, with the feature story “The Day of Decision 2010”. Response to that photo was huge, and the publication shortly asked to do a feature story on my son and I.
“Sam and Alek Trego… San Diego Activists”
It was featured in the publication a week later and I’m thrilled that the response to that article was great enough that the publication realized the importance of this topic, and the audience that it holds.
I think it’s an incredibly important topic I know judging from the many questions I’ve gotten in the community after the article ran, that there’s a longing to connect to other gay parents, and a longing for those who are not parents to know more. More about the process:
More about what it’s like, how it changes your life, etc. If I had such connections, I might not have waited until I was 45 before I had my first child. So it’s with that spirit that I hope to develop a community within a community here with this weekly column. A place where we can all come to get information, to open dialogue, get questions answered, have a few laughs, and perhaps meet each other and one day have a few “play dates” together.
When they asked me to write this: my first reaction was “great… one more thing to do. That’s JUST what I need”. My second reaction was “I HAVE to do this… this is JUST what our community needs.”
Be part of this conversation with me, won’t you? I’ll be letting you know what that website is and specifically how you can be part of this column in the coming weeks, but for now, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me know your thoughts on the column, any ideas you would like for me to discuss, and any thoughts you have on parenting. I look forward to hearing from you.