By Rob Watson

Rob Watson

Rob Watson is Director of Partners and Alliances Communication for Hitachi Data Systems and blogs on evoL = . He has served as the president of the board of directors for Santa Cruz AIDS project and is a dedicated activist for the LGBT community. He was a foster care parent and became the adoptive parent of his two sons. They reside in Northern California.

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All articles by Rob Watson

teen

The real, true story about how parents adopted out their child when he came out as gay

Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Corey did not have an easy life. He was a popular jock guy in high school, but by the age of 15, he had been handed more than his share of abuse. His parents were conservative, religious, on welfare and dabbled in narcotics. His birth father beat Corey at times, and neglected him at others... [ Read more → ]
Fred Phelps

A requiem on the death of Fred Phelps

Thursday, March 20, 2014
Fred Phelps is dead. Many will celebrate, and many will make comments about picketing his funeral in an eye-for-an-eye retaliation. I will not be among them. I do not respect Fred Phelps, nor do I forgive the pain he inflicted, but I value him. I value what he contributed to the struggle for LGBT equality. I am grateful that because of his presence, millions woke up to understand homophobia better and to confront it... [ Read more → ]
valentines-day

A Gay Dad’s Valentine to His Sons

Friday, February 14, 2014
Since today is aching Valentine’s Day, rather than submit logic here on why heterosexual couples are as likely to enjoy consensual relationships with each other, and how same-sex couples can be as strongly “child centric,” I decided to go ahead and commemorate the day by BEING child-centric instead. I hope you consent. Instead of submitting an amicus brief, I am submitting a valentine. Here is my valentine. It is not to my partner Jim, whom I adore. He will get his own valentine this weekend. It is to my sons for whom I live and for whom I would die... [ Read more → ]
Coca-Cola

Thanks Coke for the Super Bowl commercial… but, ‘Is It the Real Thing?’

Monday, February 3, 2014
You have been deservedly under fire for your sponsorship of the Sochi Olympics. Now you have shown great courage in the United States on behalf of diversity. There are those who are cynical that you may be playing both sides and looking for the maximum in financial gain. To use your own branding catch phrase, they are asking, and I am asking, about your support for freedom and diversity: Is it the real thing? Will you blindly fund a regime that would deem your current public outreach as a crime or will you still stand for diversity in a country whose population is not yet open to hearing it? [ Read more → ]
broken-marriage

If equality for same-sex couples harms your straight marriage, it’s your own fault

Monday, January 27, 2014
For years, in thousands of same-sex marriage debates which I have participated, those opposing marriage equality have claimed that if it was made legal, harm would be done to opposite sex marriages. There was nothing about their argument that seemed the least bit logical, so I fought back vehemently with all the rational thought I could muster against, what to me, was a purely irrational concept. I missed something. I should have seen it. It parallels another argument anti-gays have made for years, long before the marriage equality issue was even on the table... [ Read more → ]
messy-baby

A gay dad sounds off on the Utah fasting guy’s latest childish rant

Sunday, January 19, 2014
Trestin Meacham is not a special individual. For the people who share his mindset, he is actually quite typical. He finds a singular way of expressing himself, and for that, he gets notoriety. Because he typifies some of those holding key points of anti-gay frustration, he remains a point of interest for me and others. He is not alone. With an Oklahoma lawmaker calling gay people “human wrongs” and the government of Nigeria terrorizing its LGBT citizens, and dozens of idiotic ramblings from various lawmakers and clergy, Mr. Meacham’s point of view is more common than many of us are comfortable... [ Read more → ]
tantrum

A gay dad’s open letter to the man who refused to eat while gay couples married

Monday, January 6, 2014
These past few years may end up being known as the years of “Conservatives Behaving Badly.” At the end of last year, the Republicans in Congress conducted a massive foot stomping, pout-out and shut down the government because they did not get their way on the previous healthcare bill. In the state of Utah, conservatives were shocked when the justice system intervened on the subject of marriage equality. Now, we have a couple of adult size tantrums playing out publicly... [ Read more → ]
still-believe-cropped

A gay dad’s open letter to his kids: The truth about Santa

Tuesday, December 24, 2013
The miracle of Christmas is not in what we get, and it is not in what we see. It is in what we feel, what we imagine and what we give to create love and happiness. I want you two to never let anyone take that away from you. Your feelings of Christmas, your inspiration on what to do to make others happy and the love we have for each other… those are all invisible, but they are the most real things in the world. I believe in them with all my heart, and I hope you do too. There is only one thing I believe in more, and that is you... [ Read more → ]
Courtesy photo (AP)Rev. Frank Schaefer (right) and his son Tim.

To the Bishop judging the minister who officiated his gay son’s wedding…

Sunday, December 1, 2013
In 1990, I fell in love. I met a beautiful man named Paul who shared my values, my heart and my soul. We quickly knew that we intended to spend the rest of our lives together. We were not looking for legal protection or rights, and the public conversation about same sex marriage and marriage equality really had not even begun. We just sought to solemnize our relationship into s spiritual marriage. My parents had been on their own journey accepting my sexual orientation, and they had evolved to the point that they felt comfortable approaching the minister of their church that they had supported significantly for years... [ Read more → ]
Dan and Mike's wedding.

Finally, the day for those who have been married in their hearts a very long time

Sunday, October 20, 2013
Weddings come in a lot of flavors. Many are planned, sometimes long before a potential mate is even in the picture. Some come about at the last minute. Some of the opposite sex variety come about because improper birth control was used and the couple “has to.” Then there are some special ones that occur when marriage equality is finally attained: the weddings of people who have been married in their hearts for a very long time, but only now can be legally and socially recognized. These kind of weddings will take place in New Jersey this week. Long term couples becoming legally, publicly married and acknowledged. It is about time. [ Read more → ]
coming-out-pride

Nine things NOT to do when you come out of the closet

Friday, October 11, 2013
National Coming Out Day is an important day not only for those who make the move and come out, but also for everyone else to be aware of the process. It is the process where an individual becomes more honest about who they are, even at the risk of public or private scorn and ridicule. The substance of “coming out” is truth. On the individual level, by telling the truth about myself, I know I gained a fuller anchor in my own life... [ Read more → ]
Joe-Bell-cropped

A gay dad mourns the loss of Joe Bell, killed in the line of duty of being a dad

Thursday, October 10, 2013
“Making headway, one step at a time.” This was the last communication from Joe Bell on his epic quest to walk across the United States and do everything within his power to end bullying, intolerance and suicide. His journey was not the result of an idealistic publicity stunt. It was a mission... [ Read more → ]
A North Carolina church promotes a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage with the message of marriage as between one man, one woman and God.

Christian principles not the motivator for the gutless who mask bigotry as ‘religious freedom’

Sunday, September 8, 2013
Standing up for Christian principles in general is obviously not the motivator for denying marriage equality to gays and lesbians ... taking a stance against LGBT people is. Even with the most outlandishly anti-gay interpretation of the Bible, not one Bible verse implies that it is wrong to provide services for two people standing up to articulate their love and promises toward each other. Not one. In fact, there are many references that support doing so: the commandment to love one’s neighbor as one’s self; the commitment and love declared by David and Jonathan; the golden rule... [ Read more → ]
Lefteris Pitarakis, AP Gay rights activists protested in London on Saturday, brandishing doctored images of Russian President Vladimir Putin as they called for a boycott of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi over the country's anti-gay laws.

A gay dad’s open letter to the IOC: Move the damned Olympics already

Thursday, August 15, 2013
Two masters of the art come face to face and battle wits, brawn, and skill to win their meet and emerge victorious. While that could be a description of an instance at the Olympic Games, it is really an observation of the game of chicken being played out now between Russia and the International Olympic Committee. Who will blink first and cave into the other’s will? On the one side you have the Russians with team leader Putin. Their goal is clear. They want it all. They want to oppress LGBT people into nonexistence, and have the rest of the world complacently back off as they do so... [ Read more → ]
LGBT activists in a recent protest of Russia's anti-gay laws.

How do we stop a modern-day Adolf Hitler?

Sunday, July 28, 2013
We’ve all heard the quotes, right? There are reports of Russia beating up LGBT people — bad — and enacting percussion around them, stripping them of rights and sending them to detention camps. Now the Olympic Games are scheduled to take place in Russia next winter. What to do, what to do? Boycott the games? Boycott vodka? [ Read more → ]
gay-family

New studies: It’s not about gay parents, it’s whether a family is happy

Monday, July 15, 2013
My family, more by happenstance than by design, falls into the characteristics described in studies for healthy families. My sons were planned for years before they arrived. They have never been cared for by a parent who was disgruntled about the role in which he had to undertake and who resented the duties he was called upon to perform. Our home has always been vibrant and vital. Depression is not a factor. We did not need a study to tell us to be this way. None of the LGBT familes I know, and that number ranges in the dozens, have had to be told to be affirming... [ Read more → ]
gay-marriage-holding-hands

An open letter to all my friends who did not live to see this day…

Sunday, June 30, 2013
This is an open letter that will never see the inside of a mailbox. It is a letter from my heart, being sent to hearts that no longer beat. They are now in the space of the spirit, but I think of them just as I would if they were still beating on the other side of town. The fight for equality that culminated with an enormous milestone this last Wednesday at the U.S. Supreme Court has been waged for a long, long time... [ Read more → ]
Kaitlyn HuntFamily photo, provided

A note to the parents seeking to devastate their 15 year-old daughter and her 18 year-old girlfriend

Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Here are the facts: Teens have hormones and they are being sexual in some fashion, and in a big way. According to an ABC poll in 2006, “In terms of their own activity, 63 percent of 13- to 17-year-olds say they’ve kissed romantically, rising to 73 percent of those 15 and up. Forty-four percent report sexual touching; among older teens, it’s 55 percent. Nineteen percent of all teens, and 27 percent of older teens, say they’ve had oral sex. As many have had sexual intercourse. “ Birds do it, bees do it, and there is a fifty-fifty chance your kids are doing it, too. [ Read more → ]
Jason

My first day as a dad

Sunday, June 16, 2013
The nurse brought my new son over in a blanket and I held him softly on my chest. I look into his eyes and we connected. He was home, I was home. This was right. Deep in my heart, I knew this child was, and would be, my son forever. He would be named Jason. Loving, protecting, and defending him would be my life’s calling. [ Read more → ]
handicap

Is homosexuality a ‘handicap?’

Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Red colored my vision the other day as I was packing a box of old papers in preparation for their move. The files I had to go through seemed endless. As I neared the bottom of one stack, I came across a beaten brown manila folder that stopped me dead. It was labeled “Rob’s homosexuality.” This was certainly a subject for discussion that my parents and I have had for over thirty years now. I was not aware, however, that it had warranted its own special file... [ Read more → ]
God-made-dad-and-mom

A gay dad sounds off about fundamentalists who target kids

Tuesday, May 28, 2013
As a parent, my job one is the protection and care of my children. It is my job to be vigilant over their self-worth, to keep them physically safe, to show them how to be moral and productive citizens, and to empower their spiritual growth. It is a duty that I take very seriously. It is distressing when total strangers launch an attack against all those things specifically targeting my kids. That is exactly what author Amber Lee Parker and illustrator Hannah Segura have done with the release of their children’s book “God Made Dad & Mom.” [ Read more → ]
despair

Homophobia’s cruel Mothers Day

Sunday, May 19, 2013
I can not help but be in awe of the horrible force that homophobia still exerts in our world. It is the force that inspires a mob to destroy a teenage girl, it is the power that drives a family to abandon a daughter at a time when she needs them most, and, worst of all, it is a hatred that through its destruction can turn the brightest, most unconditional love a human being can experience in on itself and into a dark and evil grief that devours every iota of life... [ Read more → ]
mothers-day

A Mother’s Day Card to all LGBT parents

Sunday, May 12, 2013
On Mother’s Day mornings, my son, Jesse, leads the way in bringing me breakfast in bed with flowers. He got the idea on his own three years ago at the age of seven. “You do everything their mothers do,” he explained at the time. “This is your day, too.” So with that, I would like to send you an open Mother’s Day Card for all LGBT parents, including gay, bisexual, and transgender dads. I offer this up as a Father’s Day Card for all lesbian, bisexual, and transgender moms, as well... [ Read more → ]
Mike Huckabee

A gay dad’s challenge to ‘anti-gay rhetoric hoop shooter, Mike Huckabee’

Saturday, May 4, 2013
I have a confession to make. As much as I loathe clichés and generalizations, there is one that I live up to with incredible gusto. I typify the gay guy who doesn’t do sports. Not even a little bit. From the pains of never getting picked for teams in PE to the days of racking up huge Trivial Pursuit momentum only to be demolished by the final Orange pie question (for those too young for the original Trivial Pursuit, that was the “sports” category), I am the ultimate sports nerd... [ Read more → ]
dancer-300

My lovely transgender friend, struggling to survive in Nigeria

Saturday, April 27, 2013
I have a lovely friend. She is a transgender woman who lives in Nigeria. Her dream, at present denied her, is to be a professional dancer and actress. In her heart and in her spirit, she is both. As I think about her, I imagine the words and music from the song “Mirror and the Music” from the show A Chorus Line encompassing her as she goes to sleep each night... [ Read more → ]
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