DEAR ABBY: My friend "Steve" is in his mid-20s and became a father a few months ago. He's happy and excited about it, and he's good with the baby. He has been living with the mother, "Nina," who is a few years older, for a while now. Nina is also a friend of mine, and this is her second child.
My problem is that Steve told me some time before his son was born that he thinks he is gay. He wants to wait until Nina recovers from the pregnancy and finds a job before he tells her. I know he intends on being as big a part of the child's life as possible.
As much as I don't want Nina to be a single mother twice over, it doesn't seem good for her, Steve or the children to stay in a sham relationship. How can he break the news to her in a way that won't jeopardize his chance to be a father to his son? -- CONCERNED IN WEST VIRGINIA
DEAR CONCERNED: This will have to be handled delicately because Nina may be clueless about Steve's sexual orientation. Expect her to be hurt and furious when she gets the news. It was reckless of Steve to have had unprotected sex with Nina under these circumstances.
That said, gay men can be great parents, and the focus should be on successful co-parenting of the child. If Steve were straight and found another woman, or fell out of love with Nina, it would affect the relationship in much the same way as his realization that he is gay. In either of those scenarios, the baby must be raised with love and consistency, whether the parents are coupled or not.
Steve's moral responsibility to his son will last forever. Gay or straight, Steve will always be that child's father. His financial responsibility will last until the boy is no longer a minor. If your friend encounters trouble achieving a workable solution with Nina regarding co-parenting, he should contact lambdalegal.org. Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of LGBT people.