16 APRIL 18, 2003
www.houston voice.com HOUSTON VOICE
out on the bayou
Famed DJ joins ranks of country's gay parents
DJ DADDY, continued from Page 15
the home? Had the cats been vaccinated?
Next came a "Dear Birth Mother" letter: a one-page note to prospective moms
with text and pasted-on photos. After
numerous rewrites, the letter was sent out
to agencies and put on a Web site.
Eight days later, they got their first
contact, a woman in Hawaii. They met her
and it seemed a done deal, but she pulled
out. Knapp suspects that she might have
put the germ of an idea into her own gay
brother to adopt.
How did people in the agency and the
mothers-to-be react to a gay couple? Knapp
says everyone was completely supportive.
"We got e-mails from people saying their
daughter would be such a princess having
two dads," Knapp says. "A woman was so
impressed with us, she offered to donate an
egg" — but not to carry the child to term.
Still, they were devastated. Then, a week
later, a woman in North Carolina e-mailed
them. "We talked to her for three days,"
Knapp recalls. They met in Charlotte,
where they took her to lunch and, wisely it
turns out, gave her dog lots of attention.
The woman was an animal lover who
spoiled her dog. They were accepted as
the parents of her child-to-be.
She was due to give birth on March 1.
But, as babies often do, this one took his
time. On March 9, the day of the Winter
Party, she went into labor. "I had to make
a choice," Knapp says. "I wanted to be
there for the birth of my son."
RATHER THAN A DETRIMENT TO HIS
FATHERhood, the insane hours a DJ
keeps has actually been a godsend. Bell
works a 9-to-5 job at Atlanta Medical
Hospital as a cardio tech, so Knapp stays
at home weekdays. On weekends, while
he's flying to his gigs, Bell becomes Dad.
How are people in the child-free universe of gay clubs reacting to Kriapp's
new status? "If you went into the straight
club world, a lot of people who bartend,
DJ and work the door have kids already,"
he says. "In the gay world, there's an extra
disconect, just because they're not used to
it." DJ Victor Calderone is probably the
best-known example of a dad, but party
promoter Johnny Chisholm is also gay
He hopes that he and Bell will even be
able to step onto the dance floor once in a
while. "I think parents lead by example,"
Knapp says. "They should still live their
lives. I saw my parens socializing in the
community and having lots of friends. We
wouldn't give everything up."
He looks forward to Ryan being old
enough to take him along when Dad spins
at Gay Disney.
For now, Knapp is at the top of his
game, and he has no intention of quitting
the turntables. He does, however, harbor a
fantasy of practicing adoption law to gay
couples in Florida when the legislature
there gets around to amending its laws
banning gay-couple adoption.
Mostly, he hopes to lead by setting an
example. Ryan Belknap's last name, by
the way, reflects Daddy David's mixture
of artistry and practicality: Not wanting
to saddle Ryan with the burden of a
hyphenated surname, the two men
agreed on a hybrid. Since then, Knapp
has been researching "Belknap" and has
found it is the result of the joining of
two clans in Ireland.
f| MORE INFO
In dependant Adoption Center
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