Andrew Solomon's story
Thoughts from Andrew

Father Chapter XII

Social acceptance of people with horizontal identities only so long as they don't produce children who share those identities is an insidious form of prejudice.

The decisions of such people to have children have been the subject of widespread public critique. I decided to have a family myself while I was writing the book, and my decision was influenced by interviewing so many exceptional families in my research for Far from the Tree.

I had come to understand that parental love can rise above all odds, that everyone is ultimately lovable, and that parenting contains a singular intensity that can be—and is for me—almost unaccountably compelling, and joyful even when it is painful.

I started this book in order to forgive my parents and ended it by becoming a parent. Understanding backward liberated me to live forward.

With access to reproductive technologies, we are conjecturing what kind of children will make us happy, and what kind we will make happy. It may be irresponsible…

We may not be ashamed enough of what is authentically reprehensible, but we are likewise increasingly unashamed of what never should have embarrassed…

A wise psychiatrist once said to me, "People want to get better, but they don't want to change." But I would propose that it is only by allowing…

In my wedding toast, I said, "The love that dared not speak its name is now broadcasting." Tammy and Laura and their children came; Oliver served…

Because John was less sure about wanting this child than I professed to be, I had to act as cheerleader for the enterprise. I was full of hopeful infatuation…

From the time George was conceived until that day, I had kept thinking how ironic it would be if, in the midst of writing about exceptional children,…

Most of the parents I interviewed for this book said they would never want other children than the ones they had, which at first seemed surprising given…

Most people expect to have children, and there are susceptibilities attached to that; I had expected not to have children, and the reversal contains stranger…

I espouse reproductive libertarianism because when everyone has the broadest choice, love itself expands. The affection my family have found in one another…

I want more than anything for my children to be happy, and I love them because they are sad, and the erratic project of kneading that sadness into joy…

Children ensnared me the moment I connected fatherhood with loss, but I am not sure I would have noticed that if I hadn't been immersed in this research.…

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