Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Terence Has Two Fathers

Things are different in the Netherlands. (We knew that.)

Here's a clip from what looks to be the Dutch version of "America's Most Talented Kid" (De Begaafdste Tiener in Holland?) in which young Terence and a chorus of teens and pre-teens sing about his banally normal family life -- Terence and his "two real fathers."

I dare anyone to watch this without smiling and simultaneously holding back tears.



As the person who posted this video to YouTube says about Terence: "He likes them alot and he sings a song about them."

Note, too, that with same-sex marriage legal in the Netherlands, Terence does not live in some legal limbo with no certainty about who has responsibility for his well-being. There's no question about who can make educational or medical decisions for him, or who will take care of him if one of his parents passes away in an untimely manner. Terence recognizes tacitly this even if he sings mostly about homely things, like how his fathers are "sometimes cool and sometimes strict" and how the three of them "watch soaps on TV."

"Twee Vaders" -- sounds like any typical family, no?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Twee Vaders" -- Luke and Darth?

Tim said...

"Deedle-dee deet dee dee" ...

Bill Garnett said...

Rick,

I lived in the Netherlands for 2 1/2 years, and I experienced firsthand from neighbors, friends, and my associations throughout the country, the tolerance and acceptance of gay and lesbians as equals.

And as a gay person, I felt for the first time in my life that I didn't have to hide my sexual orientation, that I could come and go with the assurance that not only was I tolerated for who I was, but that I was accepted for who I am.

I remember just moving into my apartment and being invited by a neighbor to a dinner party with her family. She told me I was to bring a friend if I wished. I stuttered that I had a boyfriend, and she laughed at me, for being so shy at mentioning it. I soon realized that the Dutch didn’t have the Puritanical hang-ups so common in America.

And on returning back to Virginia I feel I am in some repressive country I don't recognize or feel comfortable in. The video is an authentic portrayal, and I wonder at all the unadopted orphans, who too could have the experience of loving caring parents, if it weren't for bigoted homophobes in our country who won’t allow carefully screened gays to be adopting parents -- and in the face of all the scientific and medical conclusions that show no harm whatsoever to these children compared to children adopted by heterosexual parents. Shame on these homophobes, these self proclaimed Christians.

By the way, the local PBS station is working on a documentary of gay parents in Virginia and I’m looking forward to see how it received.

Nicola said...

I must say I cried watching this. I live in the US and we have a lot to learn in the so called "land of the free". Thanks

Anonymous said...

Jacek: well, if you think that US is an repressive contry, try to leave in Poland, then you will see what it means to be repressed. It is mostly about lack of tolerance and acceptance I am just a normal guy who wants to have a normal live :(
BTW - I also had some tears in my eyes although I tried to stay cool :)

Anonymous said...

(Jacek again) I should say: try to live (instead of "leave"). Sorry for this :)

Judith said...

hi there,

Just an note from the Netherlands: Terrence is probably not really the son of two fathers, but the idea for the song did come from a kid: all the ideas for songs in Kinderen voor Kinderen always come from kids and are then turned into a song by one of ourwell known lyricists here. see the wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinderen_voor_Kinderen

it IS a good song and it IS so that the dutch generally arent that stressed about what who thinks and feels for which gender. its HOW you act towards people that matters most and if you're not being very nice or something its still alas so that people will try and use your sexuality, ethnicity or where you worship as reasons to not like you: its just that if people are nice to eachother, that doesnt matter indeed.

hmmz, I need to practise my English more, sorry folks :)

Judith,

Utrecht, the Netherlands