“When people ask me what it is like to be straight and to have gay parents, I tell them ‘It’s great!’ They love me and support me, and I love them,” teen diving champ Jordan Windle tells Huffington Post. “We are a family.”
Jordan has two dads: 48-year-old Jerry Windle, who adopted Jordan from Cambodia when he was 18 months old, and 31-year-old Andrés Rodriguez.
At 15, Jordan is already an accomplished diver. A three-time junior national champion, as well as a silver and bronze medalist in U.S. National Championships, he practices between 30 and 40 hours per week with the Duke Diving Team at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. He is also on the honor roll at his school.
Jordan’s father, Jerry, who once served in the Navy under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, says he always knew he wanted to be a father.
“I purposely wanted to adopt a toddler versus an infant,” he explains. “As a single father working full-time, it would be difficult raising an infant but, more importantly, my heart’s desire was to provide a forever family to an older child, who would be less likely to be adopted.”
He decided to adopt a child from Cambodia when he learned about thousands of Cambodian children who were orphaned as a result of the Khmer Rouge, a violent communist movement that lasted several years and resulted in the deaths of more than one million people.
Five months after making the initial call, Jerry and Jordan became a family.
Six years ago, their family expanded when Jerry met Andrés Rodriguez. Today, Jordan is the son of two dads. He says being from a same-sex household has never been an issue with his diving peers. Their parents, however, are another story.
In 2012, Jordan and his dads were invited to be grand marshal in the Indianapolis Pride Parade. A pair of diving parents accused the Windles of having an “agenda,” and said they didn’t want their son diving alongside Jordan at the 2012 Olympic Team Trials.
“People in sports have asked me, ‘Do you have an agenda?’” Jerry says. “I tell them, ‘Yes, I do have an agenda. That loving families can raise loving families.’ To me, as well as Andrés, family is everything. As Greg Louganis says, regardless of your sexual orientation, love is love, period.”
Jordan and his dads still participated in the parade and the other boy’s parents ultimately didn’t end up taking any action.
“My greatest hope for Jordan is that he finds happiness throughout his life, and that he has the opportunity to pursue his dreams,” Jerry tells Huffington Post. “If it’s in Jordan’s future to go to the Olympics representing the United States and win a gold medal, that would be amazing. If he could do that and be a good citizen and role model, I feel Andrés and I have done our job.”
Jordan and Jerry recently penned a children’s book together called An Orphan No More… The True Story of a Boy, available at www.thediversclub.com. $5 from every sale will be donated to RaiseAChild.US, a national organization that encourages the LGBT community to build families through fostering and adoption, when the buyer types “RaiseAChild.US” into the “order notes” box.