PUBLIC LIVES, PRIVATE THOUGHTS: my recent mistake of sharing too much.
So earlier today, I posted something on Facebook, to test the waters and just see what public perception would be about the rather “outside the box” idea I had. You see, my partner and I want a child. Without going into details of the why’s and how’s, we have talked about it being mine genetically and that we would want to go through a surrogacy, artificial insemination and egg donor scenario. The catch??? THE PRICETAG! In the United States, the start to finish (birth) process can cost upwards of $100,000! Unfortunately that is cost prohibitive for us, so I started to think about other ways to fund it, and given my public life ways we could do something beneficial for others as we went through the process.
So I took my genius idea and posed it as question on Facebook to my 5,000 “friends” to see if I was cray-cray or on to something that could be miraculous. Here’s basically what I posted:
“Would it be odd to do a fundraising campaign (IE crowd funding or what not) to raise money so that we could afford to produce a child through science with surrogacy, AI and egg donation and as an added benefit produce a documentary of what a gay couple goes through during the process?”
Never have I lost faith in people as quickly as I did when I started reading some of the responses. Many of the folks took the chance to jump on their own bandwagon or agenda rather than answering the question posed. A bunch said it was irresponsible to spend that much money for a baby. Many said more insulting and hurtful comments. You see, I had broken RULE #1 of living a public life!
RULE #1 NEVER SHARE THINGS IN WHICH YOU ARE EMOTIONALLY INVESTED.
I put something very personal out there. Something that I have been wanting for a long time, and ASSUMED that folks would take it at face value, get the seriousness of the question and respond appropriately. OOPS. I blew that one. As I read the comments and “opinions” expressed, some were very positive, some neutral, some thought it was weird and a significant HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ORIGINAL QUESTION, but railed on me for not thinking the same way the responders did. Here is a list of the “clarifications” I did in a follow up post, in response to most of the off topic, offensive or just bitter comments:
The question had nothing to do with the pros and cons of adoption.
The question had nothing to do with my motivations for wanting my own genetic child.
The question had nothing to do with whether a child needs a male and female influence to grow up properly.
The question did not say we were going to put a baby on camera 24/7.
The question did not say anything about promoting a brand.
The question did not have anything to do with a reality show pitch.
It was at this moment, in tears, I realized that even with all the positive lessons and messages of hope and love I have tried to express (in addition to my usual jokes and sexual innuendo and nude pics), the majority of folks out there didn’t really give a shit past hearing their own thoughts. I had posed a basic question of “is it odd or not” and “would a documentary be beneficial?” and I got a ton of soap box vomit in return.
So I took a moment to relax… Calmed down a bit… Talked to my partner about it… and responded to the comments I felt had the most impact or the most ignorance and hate attached:
To those of you who bastardized my question to make angry comments about self-promotion I say this… YOU OBVIOUSLY HAVE NO IDEA WHO I AM, and haven’t taken a bit of time to find out before responding. The folks on here that followed me for any length of time know that inside, I aspire to be a role model, a positive influence on the universe and a catalyst for good. To bitterly attempt to claim I’m asking about a child for selfish, self-promoting reasons, a reality show or fame is both asinine and ignorant.
To those of you promoting adoption I say this… YES! Adoption is a wonderful thing, and we need more folks who are willing to take children in to their homes. I challenge each of you to go out and follow through on your own suggestion when it’s appropriate in your life. I have investigated and am still exploring the options of adoption, but given my career history, I am NOT considered a good candidate (how many adoption agencies do you know that would consider adult film star as a viable career for a parent?). I appreciate your passion for adoption, but due to societal perceptions, I’m not allowed.
To those who said wanting my own genetic child is all about my ego or selfish… My motivations are none of your business. Would you turn to every straight couple that has had a child and call them selfish for wanting to bring life into the world? I would hope not. Don’t do it to me either.
To those who shared personal information about their child rearing experiences, life as an adopted child or surrogacy process… Thank you for sharing. While it wasn’t the original intent of the question to get into that vein of conversation, I appreciated reading them. Please continue to share your stories with all who will listen, as it gives others something to compare to, look up to or at least not feel isolated about when they know others go through the same things.
To those who suggested I find a lesbian or woman willing to carry a baby for me… I searched off and on for someone for 10 years. If you know where this large group of women just aching to have children and give them to gay men to raise are, let me know.
Needless to say I lost a few Facebook “friends” and blocked a bunch too. I realized that I was basing my expectations for the general population on my observations of my close circle of friends and family, adjusting it a bit to be more “realistic” but still had on a pair of very rose colored glasses when it came to how folks were going to react to a private revelation from a public character. Live and learn.