Paolo Maranan is a celebrity makeup artist. He's also a father, and he happens to be gay. While that might sound like an odd combination, he definitely pulls it off.
Unlike straight parents, Paolo and his ex-partner had to go through surrogacy to bear a child. Marco, their seven-year-old son, took around three years of trying before he was conceived.
"People are always surprised [when they find out], especially with how young I was when I had my son," says the makeup artist. "I also have to deal with the stereotypical assumption that I can’t procreate since my partner is of the same sex."
That said, he prefers to take the comments with a grain of salt. "At first, I responded very comically. I tell them I bore my son for nine months and had a C-section, so now I can’t wear a two-piece bikini. They laugh, and then I tell them my real story."
Paolo chooses not to stay mum about the surrogacy for a special reason, too. "I [tell my story] to help break the stereotype, and prove that people like us can be great parents and rear a very good child as much as straight parents can."
And despite being separated from Marco's other dad, the two continue to work together as co-parents. If anything, the makeup artist's only difficulty in parenting comes from his erratic schedule, which surely those in the same field can relate to. "Since I mostly work on weekends, I can’t take my son out on weekdays because he has school. So I adapt a really good time management plan [to make it] work. When I see him, I [try to] have merienda time with him for an hour or two just to have quality time with him."
"Being a great parent has nothing to do with your gender. It comes from the heart," he concludes. "When you see your child for the first time, your life will irreversibly be turned around."