Last week, Dustin Lance Black and Tom Daley shared the news that they are expecting their first baby together.
The couple told their fans with a cute Instagram picture of themselves on Valentine’s Day, which saw them hold up a scan of their unborn baby.
While the majority of their followers were full of support and congratulations, the announcement shone a spotlight on the ugly reality that in some corners of the press, LGBTQ people are still not seen as equal.
Right-wing columnist Richard Littlejohn took the opportunity to spread his bigoted views in a shocking opinion piece in the Daily Mail.
Joking that someone should “pass [him] the sick bag” after seeing a photo of their ultrasound scan on social media, the controversy-peddling author labelled the news a ‘publicity stunt’ and suggested the child won’t really be their baby.
“Here we have two men drawing attention to the fact that ‘they’ are having a baby,” he wrote.
“But where’s the mum, the possessor of the womb which features in this photograph? She appears to have been written out of the script entirely. We are not told her identity, where she lives… she is merely the anonymous incubator.
“No one is suggesting that homosexual couples can’t make excellent parents. But nor is everyone comfortable with the trend towards treating women as mere breeding machines and babies as commodities.”
Littlejohn’s comments rightly caused outrage, and many big organisations pulled their advertising from the Daily Mail, including Center Parcs, Quorn and the Southbank Centre.
As for the parents-to-be themselves, Dustin Lance Black too to Instagram over the weekend to address the negative reaction their good news.
“My reaction to others’ hate, bigotry and misinformation will not include anger or hate,” he wrote, alongside a throwback picture of himself and Tom on honeymoon in Hawaii last year.
“For me, the path forward is lit with curiosity, listening, correcting the record when possible, and as best I can, leading with an example of strength and love.”
Dustin Lance Black covered Gay Times for our January 2018 issue earlier this year, and spoke about the time he first met the man who would become his future husband.
“I met him in the United States and I think he’s more well known there now than he was,” he revealed.
“And so I didn’t know, I wasn’t aware, that he was beloved in the way that he is here. I mean I found him really charming and lovely and, obviously, fell madly in love with him right from the beginning.
“But I had no idea that so many people in his home country were also in love with him. It wasn’t until I came to visit here many months later that I realised.”
He added: “We went out for a dinner and there were paparazzi trailing him and people coming up to him asking for pictures.
“At this point I’ve made films with Leonardo DiCaprio and Sean Penn and James Franco. I’ve been around some very well known people in public and I had never seen that.
“Someone might come up and ask Leonardo DiCaprio for an autograph or a photo, but there was a different level of intimacy with how Tom was approached which I found so cute.
“There is this sense that he’s the nation’s son. And I said, ‘Boy, that’s incredibly intimate and really sweet. Don’t take that for granted.’ And I don’t think he does, so I don’t find it intimidating, I find it really sweet for the most part.”
Speaking further about their relationship, Dustin added: “We’ve been together now almost five years and I’m still discovering new things about him and I feel really lucky about that.
“There’s a constant renewal to our relationship and I’ve never experienced anything like it. It’s really exciting. I mean, we’re certainly not two perfect people.
“We have fights. Although when we fight, we just get very, very quiet. And then we know we’re in trouble, one or the other! We’re certainly not doing it for public approval.”
Tom and Dustin first got engaged back in October 2015, before tying the knot during a ceremony in front of family and friends last May.