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This Director Says Kids are a 'Status Symbol' for Gay Celebs


Gay celebrity dads Ricky Martin and Anderson Cooper would beg to differ with the director's ridiculous sentiment.

An Israeli film director has said that having children has become a "status symbol" for gay men, reflecting both their wealth and an increased "pressure and expectation" on gay men from the LGBTQ+ community to have children. Yval Hadidi's comments came during an interview with Air Mail.

"Children have in a way become a status symbol among many gay men," Yuval Hadadi said while plugging his new feature film, 15 Years, a movie about the disintegration of an affluent gay couple's relationship when one partner wants to become a father. "They signify a certain level of time, money, and ambition."

Superstar entertainer and Out cover star Ricky Martin talked about life as a gay father in our recent feature. Martin married artist Jwan Yosef in 2017, and the pair now have four children, two of whom Martin initially became the father to as a single parent in 2008. For Martin, having children fulfilled a dream he long thought impossible because of his sexuality.

"Many years I dreamt of being a father, and many, many, many times I went through this grieving process of I am gay, I am a closeted gay man, and I'm not going to be able to be a daddy," Martin said. The process he spoke of was personal, of first trying adoption but because of the difficulties there, going the route of surrogacy. It does not equate to a status symbol like, say, a Birkin.

Anderson Cooper famously became a father earlier this year with the birth of his son Wyatt Morgan Cooper. He shared similar sentiments as Martin, noting how he long thought he'd never know the joys of parenting because he was gay.

"As a gay kid, I never thought it would be possible to have a child, and I'm grateful for all those who have paved the way, and for the doctors and nurses and everyone involved in my son's birth," Cooper wrote on Instagram at the time. The option of surrogacy has changed the outlook for many types of families, queer included. And while it certainly does reflect a certain level of resources in order to obtain, to conflate it as a "status symbol" is ill-fit.

Gay men's surrogacy advocates are calling out Hadidi for his comments.

"No parent, gay or straight, goes into a surrogacy journey, which is often lengthy, emotional and occasionally complex viewing it as buying the latest Rolex, or Bentley," Michael Johnson-Ellis, cofounder of TwoDads UK, told the Daily Mail.

For his part, Hadidi warned of the unintended consequences of this increase in gay parenting.

"There's no question the pressure and expectation for gay men to have children is definitely here," Hadidi observed. "The real question is whether gay men who don't want to have kids will one day be seen as less worthy by the community--will one day be forced into a new kind of closet."

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