Our expert says:
Gay, lesbian and bisexual expert
Hi Gay parent,
Thanks for your posting.
I think it is imperative that you have that chat with your ex-wife. Don't frame it as "the children's father is gay" - this is a case of "I am gay". The fact that you're a father is secondary in this conversation. It's about you as a person. You mention that you have a 'fantastic' relationship with your ex-wife - part of a fantastic relationship is about being really honest. Of course you're assuming that your ex-wife doesn't already know that you're gay.
Don't underestimate children - they're often more perceptive than you think. Children are also less judgemental than adults. When children are anxious about a parent being gay it is often about their fear of losing that parent. Be very reassuring, and don't make a huge issue about being gay. Be prepared to answer their questions without being too explicit.
Your wife cannot deny you fair access to your children purely on the grounds of your sexual orientation.
Parenting as a gay couple can be challenging - the family needs to develop a set of roles that aren't based on traditional gender-determined parenting roles, and may need to cope with elements of prejudice. Two gay parenting groups will commence in Cape Town soon - one for men, one for lesbians. Application forms are available on the Triangle Project website (www.triangle.org.za).
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