Gay Dad Life

A Gay Dad Family Spends a Morning With Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister

Last week the Canadian prime minister's office was looking for families to be part of the backdrop for a political statement about our Liberal government's new budget.

I received a last minute request: Would my partner and I be willing to bring our children and take part the following morning?

We quickly agreed to be used. It's not often you get a chance to meet the prime minister!

The day dawned cold and icy but we made the trek halfway across town to a neighborhood community center. We were ushered into a playroom where Justin Trudeau would come to chat with us.

Soon he bounded in, all energetic and photogenic, and introduced himself to the three sets of parents. A phalanx of media cameras clicked away and video cameras recorded.

Well briefed, the Prime Minister said hi to our children by name, sat on a small kid's chair and began to play with them. My kids were both shy at first but soon warmed up to the father of three young children.

After having our photo of our family taken with the Prime Minister on a couch, I did take a moment to say, “We're looking forward to seeing you again at Pride this summer." He demurred and said he doesn't understand the big deal because he attends every year.

While true, it's especially meaningful this year: It will be the first time a Canadian prime minister will attend a Pride celebration.

Prime Minister Trudeau takes questions from media in Toronto

For the Prime Minister's political statement, we dutifully stood behind him and looked on as he talked. We had trouble hearing what he was saying, because his back was to us, and because the parents of all three families were doing our best to keep our children quiet and still.

When the media part was done, Prime Minister Trudeau shook our hands once more and gave out high-fives to the kids, except my daughter decided to use her forehead instead. Justin laughed and went with it.

It was a privilege to have the opportunity to meet our country's leader and to be included. While we had been asked because we're a gay family, there was no specific attention drawn to us. And that's what was so remarkable: we were there to be shown like any other family, to represent everyday Canadians.

The Canadian government is emphasizing a point: making inclusion and diversity both visible and natural. The Liberals are early in their mandate and still have a lot of campaign pledges to fulfill, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his party have made sure that the symbols, tone and outset of his government are promising.

When he became Prime Minister, one of his first actions was to appoint a cabinet that was half female for the first time in our country's history. Why? “Because it's 2015," he responded.

Prime Minister Trudeau giving a high-five to John's son

Some might think it tokenism or a quota, but all of our cabinet ministers are eminently qualified. When I saw the news coverage of the announcement, it truly sunk in for me. All of society can now see itself reflected in the makeup of cabinet, at least along gender lines. My daughter can look at this cabinet and see herself. It's more than words to say she is equal; she can look at the cabinet and know immediately that she is truly considered equal.

It's more than a token or symbol for the Prime Minster to attend Pride. It's important for other Canadians to see him there to understand the message of inclusion and a celebration of diversity. For me, I feel proud and validated when this Prime Minister and the government he is leading recognizes and accepts me as a gay person.

And to be portrayed as an everyday family – I am grateful for the larger message we helped convey: Our families deserve to be included. Our families deserve to be visible. Our families are welcome.

Let me be clear: Gay families deserve to be as ordinary as anyone else's.

Read more of John Hart's blog posts:

"How a Gay Dad Unexpectedly Became a Hockey Dad"

"But, Who are Her Female Role Models?"

"Keeping it Gay"

Show Comments ()
Gay Dad Life

Broadway Performer's Surrogacy Journey Briefly Sidetracked — for One Very 'Wicked' Reason

"Broadway Husbands" Stephen and Bret explain the exciting reasons they had to hit pause on their surrogacy journey — but don't worry, they're back on track!

In the latest video of the Broadway Husbands sharing their path to fatherhood, Stephen and Bret explain their hiatus for the past 4 months. The couple have big news to share including a relocation, a job announcement, and the fact that they're getting ready to restart their journey (which they had to take a brief pause from since September).

Watch their video to find out their latest news.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

Top 10 Reasons You Should Date a Gay Dad

Jay Turner lays out the top 10 reasons you should consider dating a single gay dad

We're gay dads. Many of us were married to women, and for various reasons we eventually found ourselves single and looking for companionship from another man. Life is a little more complicated for us because we have kids. But that shouldn't deter you from seeking a relationship with a gay dad. In fact, there are many reasons why we make better partners than men without children. We are generally more mature, responsible, and emotionally available. We are also better communicators.

Here are the top ten reasons why you should date a gay dad:

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

Karamo Brown Co-Writes Children's Book with Son, Jason

The 'Queer Eye' star and his son named the story on a family mantra: You are Perfectly Designed

When his sons, Jason and Chris, were young, "Queer Eye" Star Karamo Brown repeated the same saying to them: "You are perfectly designed."

That mantra is now a Children's Book, cowritten by Karamo and his 22-year-old son, Jason, who used to come how and "say things like, 'I don't want to be me, I wish I was someone else, I wish I had a different life." As a parent, that "broke my heart," Karamo told Yahoo! Lifestyle. "I would say to him, 'You are blessed and you are perfect just the way you are,' as a reminder that you have been given so much and you should be appreciative and know that you're enough — I know that the world will try to tear you down, but if you can say to yourself, 'I am perfectly designed,' maybe it can quiet out some of those negative messages."

The illustrations, by Anoosha Syed, also make a point of displaying families of a variety of races and sexual orientations throughout the book.

Read more about Karamo's fascinating path to becoming a gay dad here, and then check out the video below that delves deeper into the inspiration behind "You Are Perfectly Designed," available on Amazon.

Personal Essays by Gay Dads

How This Dad 'Redesigned' the Holidays After Coming Out of the Closet

Rick Clemons describes how he made the holidays work for him and his family again after coming out of the closet

What I'm about to describe to you, is something I am deeply ashamed of in hindsight. I was a jerk, still in a state of shock and confusion, and "in love" with a handsome Brit I'd only spent less than 24 hours with.

I was standing in the Ontario, California airport watching my wife walk with my two daughters to a different gate than mine. They were headed to my parents in the Napa Valley for Thanksgiving. I was headed to spend my Thanksgiving with the Brit in San Francisco. It was less than one month after I had come out of the closet and I was so caught up in my own freedom and new life that I didn't realize until everything went kaput with the Brit on New Year's Eve, that if I was ever going to manage the holidays with dignity and respect for me, my kids, and their Mom, I was going to have to kick myself in the pants and stop acting like a kid in the candy store when it came to men. Ok, nothing wrong with acting that way since I never got to date guys in high school and college because I was raised to believe – gay no way, was the way. But that's another article all together.

Keep reading... Show less
What to Buy

Shop with a Purpose with Our 2019 Holiday Gift Guide

Want to find amazing gift ideas while *also* supporting LGBTQ-owned and allied businesses? Look no further than our 2019 holiday gift guide!

'Tis the season to show loved ones you care. And what better way to show you care, by also supported our LGBTQ+ community and allies whilst doing it! Shop (LGBTQ+) smart with these great suggestions below.

Keep reading... Show less
Diary of a Newly Out Gay Dad

A Newly Out Gay Dad Feels 'Demoted' After Divorce

Cameron Call showed up to his first family Thanksgiving since coming out and getting a divorce — and struggles to find himself "stuck with the singles."

Cameron Call, who came out in summer 2019, has generously agreed to chronicle his coming out journey for Gays With Kids over the next several months — the highs, lows and everything in between. Read his first article here.

Denial is an interesting thing. It's easy to think you're potentially above it, avoiding it, assume it doesn't apply to you because you'd NEVER do that, or maybe you're just simply avoiding it altogether. After finally coming out, I liked to think that I was done denying anything from now on. But unfortunately that's not the case.

And this fact became very clear to me over Thanksgiving.

Keep reading... Show less

New Report Details the 'Price of Parenthood' for LGBTQ People

A new report by the Family Equality Council takes a deep dive into the current state of cost for becoming a parent as an LGBTQ person

Parenthood is expensive. But parenthood while queer is still prohibitively costly for so many segments of the LGBTQ community interested in pursuing a family, according to a new repot by the Family Equality Council, titled, "Building LGBTQ+ Families: The Price of Parenthood."

Among the more interesting findings was this one: the cost of family planning is relatively similar for all LGBTQ people, regardless of income level. This shows "that the desire to have children exists regardless of financial security," the report's authors conclude.

Research for the report was conducted through an online survey of 500 LGBTQ adults over the age of 18, and was conducted between July 11-18, 2018. For comparison, the survey also included 1,004 adults who did not identify as LGBTQ.

Other interesting findings of the report include:

  • 29% of all LGBTQ+ respondents reported an annual household income under $25,000 compared to 22% of non-LGBTQ+ respondents.
  • 33% of black LGBTQ+ respondents, 32% of female-identified LGBTQ+ respondents, and 31% of trans/gender non-conforming LGBTQ+ respondents reported annual household incomes below $25,000.
  • Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in online surveys and polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to multiple sources of error, including, but not limited to sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, and error associated with question-wording and response options.29% of all LGBTQ+ respondents reported an annual household income under $25,000 compared to 22% of non-LGBTQ+ respondents.
  • 33% of black LGBTQ+ respondents, 32% of female-identified LGBTQ+ respondents, and 31% of trans/gender non-conforming LGBTQ+ respondents reported annual household incomes below $25,000.
  • Regardless of annual household income, 45-53% of LGBTQ+ millennials are planning to become parents for the first time or add another child to their family. Those making less than $25,000 a year are considering becoming parents at very similar rates as those making over $100,000.
  • Data from the Family Building Survey reveals that LGBTQ+ households making over $100,000 annually are considering the full range of paths to parenthood, from surrogacy and private adoption to foster care and IVF. The most popular options under consideration in this income bracket are private adoption (74% are considering), foster care (42%), and IVF or reciprocal IVF (21%). At the other end of the economic spectrum, for LGBTQ+ individuals in households making less than $25,000 annually, the most commonly considered paths to parenthood are intercourse (35% are considering), foster care (30%), and adoption (23%).

Fatherhood, the gay way

Get the latest from Gays With Kids delivered to your inbox!

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse