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15 June 2023

I am your (god)father

— My Story

(If you read this title in a Darth Vader voice, you get extra brownie points from us!)

This Sunday is Father’s Day and we are standing by with all the bells and whistles to show the dads in our lives just how loved and appreciated they are. 

This year, however, we also want to acknowledge all those who step in to take over that ‘dad role’ from time to time. Uncles, coaches, teachers… and godfathers!

In this blogpost we highlight the special and unique role of the godfather. And we got two for the price of one!  We interviewed godparents Leroux Botha and Handrie Basson about their role as authentic (and super-cool) godparents.

 "When our best friends asked us to be the godparents to their two kids, a boy and a girl, we were thrilled at the prospect of helping raise two uniquely strong-willed individuals to grow into the best versions of themselves and rightfully take up their own space in this world. And, oh gosh, our two god-children couldn’t be more different in personality and outlook. It constantly amazes us that these two teenagers - literally chalk and cheese - were baked in the same oven with the same ingredients!
We are also humbled and grateful to be their godfathers because being asked to participate in this wonderful journey means to us that our friends and their kids respect and love us unconditionally for who we are - something that isn’t always simply a given for the LGBTQAI+ community.

What does being a godparent even mean?

Being a godparent is a beautiful role of guidance and support. It means being the honorary aunties or uncles who are there to shower our godchildren with love, encouragement, and laughter. We get to be their role models, their confidants, and their biggest cheerleaders on this incredible journey called life.

What is the most rewarding thing about it?

Oh, the rewards of being godparents are simply priceless! The most incredible feeling is witnessing these extraordinary young individuals grow into their authentic selves, knowing that we played a part in their journey. Seeing their faces light up with pride when they achieve something great or knowing that they can always count on us for love and support - these moments make our hearts swell with overwhelming joy. And, in tougher times, when we can provide a safe space of love and understanding, to see how their resilience and confidence grow when tackling life’s curve balls.

What part is tricky?

Well, being godparents as a male gay couple does come with its unique challenges. Sometimes, we face societal misconceptions or biases that might question our ability to fulfil this role. However, we choose to rise above those obstacles with love and unwavering support. We focus on creating a safe and accepting space for our godchildren, where they can embrace their own identities and understand that love knows no bounds.

What do you get to do that the parents can’t?

Ah, the perks of being the ‘cool’ godparents! 

We are lucky that our godchildren have permission from their parents to discuss issues with us without us having to share the details with them.  So we get juicy, inside info! Jokes aside, it is special to be trusted with this responsibility and has highlighted to us how valuable such a safe space can be for children. We are honoured to be that place for them.

So we bring a fresh perspective and unique experiences to our godchildren’s lives. We get to introduce them to diverse cultures, ideas, and perspectives, expanding their horizons and helping them become open-minded individuals. Whether it’s sharing stories from our own journey or just providing this safe space to discuss topics they may hesitate to approach with their parents, we offer an additional layer of understanding and guidance.

We can also help to tackle tricky situations between them and their parents. Let’s face it, teenagers and their moms and dads don’t always see eye to eye. When they don’t speak the same language (or don’t want to listen to each other!), we try using our godfather-translator superpower to make meaningful conversations possible.  

What do you want your legacy or your lasting contribution/influence to be on them?

Our ultimate legacy as godparents is to inspire our godchildren to embrace their authentic selves and live fearlessly. We want them to know that love comes in all forms, and that their sexual orientation, gender identity or societal norms should never limit their dreams or ambitions. We aim to instil in them the values of acceptance, compassion and resilience, creating a lasting impact that will shape their lives and the lives of those around them.

What have you learned about yourselves as a result of this role?

Being godparents has been a journey of self-discovery for us as a gay couple. It has reaffirmed our belief in the power of love and family, regardless of how it is defined. We have learned that our unique perspectives and experiences have the potential to create a safe haven for our godchildren, where they can grow and flourish. It has shown us the true meaning of unconditional love and the strength that comes from embracing our authentic selves and owning it!

As gay godparents, we embrace this role with open hearts and a commitment to showing and spreading love and acceptance. We celebrate the joy of being godparents, breaking stereotypes along the way. We are so grateful that we, too, can experience the all-consuming love a parent has for their child. Love knows no boundaries, and our godchildren will always have two doting godfathers in their corner, ready to support them every step of the way!"

"And the best part? We know that they have our backs too."