Michael J. Bobbitt already got his Father’s Day gift this year and he’s excited about it — a Groupon for kayaking.
He and his husband of nearly 20 years, Craig Hanna, are raising their 15-year-old son Sang Christopher Bobbitt Hanna.
Bobbitt says Father’s Day is “great” but says they don’t necessarily note it any differently than any other dads.
“Since we have two dads, we’ve been pretty lax about celebrating it at times,” Bobbitt says. “Maybe because our family has so many other holidays to celebrate like Adoption Day, various Vietnamese holidays and so on. I’m not sure it’s any different than how straight dads celebrate. We have sometimes celebrated Mother’s Day too.”
Bobbitt and his family live in Glen Echo, Md. He works as the artistic director of Adventure Theatre Musical Theater Center that works to cultivate “new generations of artists and life-long audiences by creating memorable theatrical productions and experiences and by providing young people the highest quality training in musical theater and theater.” Its current production “Jumanji” opens this weekend and runs through Aug. 28. Details at adventuretheatre-mtc.org.
Bobbitt is a 43-year-old Washington native who returned to the area in 1996 after a stint in New York City. He enjoys TV, mini-vacations and family time.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
If memory serves, I came out when I was 19. It wasn’t too hard, mostly because my cousin, who was one day younger than me, is a lesbian, so she paved the way. Oddly, the hardest person to tell was my grandmother. I’m not sure why. She reacted fine, but suggested that I should just be a hermit.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
I am mostly impressed by pioneers. People who have a vision for changing the world, making it better and who are willing to be persecuted to carry that vision out. I am really impressed by Dr. Derionne Pollard, president of Montgomery College, and Jeffrey Slavin, mayor of Somerset, Md.
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
I was only a clubber for a very brief period, but I miss Tracks so much!
Describe your dream wedding.
It probably involves a large musical number with a chorus of dancers, me entering from the floor through a cloud of fog (but, first you only see my legs), and real babies with surgically implanted wings. I will not spare any expense to get cherubs! Seriously, I would love a small house party with close friends and family, good food and expressions of love.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
Children and the arts.
What historical outcome would you change?
Slavery! I think the precedent set by slavery gave Americans permission to just be awful to each other for years and we are still feeling the impact. I hope that someday, we’ll become obsessed with each other’s culture and race and want to participate in the customs and traditions and make race something to revere and behold.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
Michael Jackson singing “Billie Jean” at the Motown 25 show. I’m sure everyone answered this question the same.
On what do you insist?
Excellence, honesty, creativity, collaboration and nurturing.
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
I just posted my 10th anniversary season at Adventure Theatre MTC, Adventure’s 65th season.
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
“How Much Can One Person Do?”
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
I’m not sure. I am newly learning that your own health and happiness is crucial to everything else in the world. Not narcissistically, but crucial. So, enjoy the physical world to its fullest!
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
This may sound strange, but empathy for those who have trouble understanding us. Sometimes their hatred comes from an ignorance, discomfort and things that they have been taught.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
I enjoy people too much to be annoyed by stereotypes. Perhaps the only stereotype that annoys me is the LGBT person who gets annoyed by stereotypes.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
Every film musical ever made.
What’s the most overrated social custom?
Perhaps weddings. If people put as much work into their marriages as they do their weddings, I wonder how many happier families we would have.
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
County Executive Ike Leggett gave me an Emerging Leader Award. It was the first big award I got at Adventure and for some reason it validated me profoundly.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
How hard and fun life would be. And, that I would be an artistic director. I think I would have charted my training differently. I always feel like I’m playing catching up to my colleagues.
Why not? It’s perfectly situated — urban, suburban, nearby beaches and mountains, white water, trees, beautiful monuments, substantial arts and culture. It’s a perfect place to live.