Fun

We Asked Gay Dads (And Their Kids) What They’re Thankful For This Father’s Day

A version of this post originally appeared on BuzzFeed

1."We are thankful for our beautiful daughter who came into our lives and showed us the meaning of unconditional love."


Nick and Chris Padien-Hill, with their daughter Ari from Chicago, Illinois


What are you thankful for this Father's Day?

Nick: I'm thankful for my family and friends. I am thankful for our beautiful daughter who came into our lives and showed us the meaning of unconditional love.

Chris: I'm incredibly thankful for our perfect little daughter who came into our lives this year and showed us all the blessings that come along with parenthood. I'm also grateful for the amazing support our friends/family have given us. I also feel very blessed to have such an amazing dad in my life who has always supported me through all my ups and downs…he has shown me what unconditional love looks like and seeing his eyes light up when he holds his granddaughter completely melts my heart.

What is your favorite thing about being a dad?

Nick: Knowing that I'm responsible for my daughter's health and happiness and being there to help her along the way as she uncovers all that this world has to offer.

Chris: Family has always been such an important thing to me, and my favorite thing about being a new dad is being able to soak up all the many milestones that occur in the first year and start forming our own little family traditions. I love that when my daughter sees my face in the morning she lets out the most contagious smile, and Nick will tell you I get entirely too much joy out of picking out her outfits!

What do you want people to know about your family?

Nick: We are a fun, caring, loving spontaneous family. We love just like any other family. We have ups and downs just like any other family but continue to love each other through it all.

Chris: I would just want people to know that although we may not be your typical family, we are held together with love and laughter. We are very loyal and there to support each other through the good days, bad days, and everything in between.

2. "Thankful for being a married gay couple and being legally blessed to be able to be a Father and to share our lives with our two beautiful daughters is the greatest joy for us this year."

Daniel and Victor Gonzalez-Baltazar, with their daughters Olivia and Omarie, from Victorville, California


What are you thankful for this Father's Day?

Daniel and Victor: We are most thankful for this Father's Day, Firstly that our eldest is old enough to say "Happy Father's Day". Being a married gay couple and being legally blessed to be able to be a Father and to share our lives with our two beautiful daughters is the greatest joy for us this year.

What is your favorite thing about being a dad?

Daniel and Victor: One of our favorite things about being dads is being able to hold our daughters, watching them grow , seeing the excitement in their little faces when we get home from long days work and feeling like superheroes for them.

What do you want people to know about your family?

Daniel and Victor: We want everyone to know that we are just an ordinary little family that is unique in our own special way.

3. "We're very thankful that we have to opportunity to be fathers at all. Growing up in conservative communities, neither of us thought being dads was ever a dream we'd see fulfilled."

Ryan (Tata) and Marcin (Daddy) Zielinski, with their son Liam, from Houston, Texas


What are you thankful for this Father's Day?

Ryan and Marcin: We're very thankful that we have to opportunity to be fathers at all. Growing up in conservative communities, neither of us thought being dads was ever a dream we'd see fulfilled. We think often of the men and women who came before us who fought for our right to live the life we do and we are so grateful for their perseverance, determination, and sacrifice that helped to make our dream a reality.

What is your favorite thing about being a dad?

Ryan: It's picking Liam up from school and seeing his eyes light up as he spots me and comes running across the room to wrap his little arms around my legs in a tight hug. All of the stress from work and the tiredness from the day melt away in that moment. It's magical.

Marcin: My favorite thing about being a dad is seeing the world through the eyes of Liam. Every new park, each new activity we try out, every new city we visit is a new adventure and a new opportunity to explore and to learn.

What do you want people to know about your family?

Ryan and Marcin: Despite being a family with two dads, we're a pretty typical Houston family and I think some people may find that surprising. We try to teach Liam kindness and compassion, we worry about the best schools, we research the healthiest recipes, and we fill up our calendars with play dates and special children's activities around our city. Our lives revolve around raising our son to be the best version of himself he can be.

What's your favorite thing about having two dads?

Liam: Playing!

4. "The process to become a father is so difficult that you cherish your title."

Andrew Gubany with his kids, Dianna and Owen from La Habra, California


What are you thankful for this Father's Day?

Andrew: I'm so thankful that I'm a father. The process to become one is so difficult that you cherish your title. My kids are happy, healthy and spoiled rotten. We share our dreams and we have become each others dreams. for that, I am truly thankful that this is my family.

What is your favorite thing about being a dad?

Andrew: There are so many favorites, but the first thing that comes to mind is LOVE. I have constant love. Hugs, kisses, cuddles, I loved yous. In one single day even when life is throwing me challenges, I have these two little kids that love me as much as I love them.

What do you want people to know about your family?

Andrew: That we are just like every other family. We are a hard working, middle class family with everyday struggles. We have our ups and downs. The kids fight as much as they laugh. The schedules are insanity and the we work very hard for the future. We are learning to embrace all the great moments each day has to offer so we don't miss anything. I am a very goal focused person. I'm always thinking and planning for our future. Some days I'm not sure if I am saving for the kids college funds or for therapy. I feel that's normal. We are equipped to thrive and as a father, I'm teaching them how to be faithful, to have courage, to understand and know the importance of our family and to grow into destiny so that not one of our gifts are wasted.

What's your favorite thing about your dad?

Dianna: Daddy Dates are my favorite time with daddy and when he cooks.

Owen: Cuddling with my daddy and playing in the pool

5. "Since the journey to fatherhood was not easy one, we appreciate being dads more than ever. We are thankful to live in a world where being two dads is possible and accepted."

Eli and Ido Bendet-Taicher, with their daughters Milo and Demi from New York, N.Y.


What are you thankful for this Father's Day?

Eli and Ido: Since the journey to fatherhood was not easy one, we appreciate being dads more than ever. We are thankful to live in a world where being two dads is possible and accepted. We are thankful to have family and friend who love and support us no matter what, making us feel that our family is no different than any other.

What is your favorite thing about being a dad?

Eli and Ido: Our favorite thing about being a dad is learning new things about ourselves every day through our girls. We re-live our childhood with every new thing our girls discover which makes us have a new perspective on how to enjoy the simple things in life.

What do you want people to know about your family?

Eli and Ido: Our family is just like any other family with the twist of two dads. We are both the mom and the dad in the family and we are both equally involved in our daughters day-to-day and upbringing. Our daughters feel proud and lucky to have two dads.

What's your favorite thing about having two dads?

Milo: I am lucky to have two dads because 2 dads is better than one! I am unique and special to have two dads. Even my best friend told me she wants to have 2 dads too.

6. "Father's Day is meaningful to us because we live in a place that allows us to be dads to a wonderful two-year-old without fear of discrimination or hate."

Ryan Saavedra (Daddy) and Ryan Sia (Papa), with their son Enzo from Toronto, ON


What are you thankful for this Father's Day?

Ryan (Papa) and Ryan (Daddy): Father's Day is meaningful to us because we live in a place that allows us to be dads to a wonderful two-year old without fear of discrimination or hate. Being surrounded by friends, family and a great support system is truly what makes us very thankful this Father's Day.

What is your favorite thing about being a dad?

Ryan (Daddy): Reading Enzo a book and singing his favorite lullaby just before bedtime!

Ryan (Papa): Trying out different recipes for french toast during breakfast on Saturdays!

What do you want people to know about your family?

Ryan and Ryan: Ryan and I are originally from the Philippines and we come from families that have been able to balance tradition and open-mindedness. We draw a lot of inspiration from our individual backgrounds but at the end of the day we just want a safe and loving home for Enzo and the opportunity to raise him with the same values that we grew up with. It's very easy to label our family as non-traditional but we really are not too different from everyone else.

What's your favorite thing about having two dads?

Enzo: We only managed to get a "roar" from Enzo because of his fixation with dinosaurs lately so we'll have to pass on this question :)

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I'm not a monster. Yes, I saw the wagons carrying lovely toddler children waiving their flags and eating their graham crackers. The children were plentiful wearing their Pride family shirts, bejeweled in rainbow. The weather was perfect and the crowds were as prideful as ever. But my husband and I had a day where we didn't have to worry about someone else, not on the constant lookout for the next available bathroom or calming emotions because we could buy one unicorn costume and not every unicorn costume. We had a day without kids.

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Believe me, I get sharing the day with your children. With your family. But in my house, we live Pride every day. Two white dads caring for two black kids makes us walking billboards for equality, love, and acceptance. I don't need a day to celebrate my family with my children. We do it in the grocery store. We do it at preschool. We recognize our uniqueness and celebrate it. My children don't need a meltdown and a long walk to tell them about their history and their fathers' connection to the past.

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Our Pride ended in a small fight while walking to the car, like all good Pride's should. But it wasn't about kids bickering, or kids getting upset they didn't get the right treat. It was about us centering ourselves in a community that isn't exactly welcoming in certain spaces to gay families other times of the year. It was about us catching up with our past while also seeing our collective future.

And the kids didn't seem to mind. They had fun with a babysitter and lived their Pride out loud when they shopped for daddy and papa gifts for Father's Day. That's our Pride. Maybe when the kids are older, and really get the meaning of Pride, we'll start marching together in solidarity. But for right now, daddies needed a little time alone to reconnect with their LGBT family. And while there may be too many beer ads and not enough voter registration tables, we celebrate visibility and love. And my husband and I had time together, reminding us of who we are, who our original family was, and how we will connect who we are now, and our children, with that family as it grows.

At the end of the day, we're all in it together. And my children will be enriched by the experience. Just not this year. This year, we fertilized our roots so that our branches can grow.

Antwon and Nate became dads through the foster care system. Nine months after becoming licensed, they received a call on a Tuesday, and two days later, their daughter moved in. "It was very quick," said Nate. "Honestly, it was more just shock and nervousness for me."

As new parents, Nate took unpaid leave for two weeks, before going back to work part-time. Antwon didn't receive any leave.

"It's definitely important to have time off to bond, but it's also important to be financially stable when you do it," said Antwon. "I don't think you should have to choose between staying financially afloat or showing your kid love... and I don't think anyone should have to make that choice."

Only 15% of dads in the U.S. have access to paid paternity leave. We want to change this.

Watch Nate and Antwon's video to find out how:

Sign the pledge: www.dovemencare.com/pledge

Like Antwon and Nate, we're helping Dove Men+Care advocate for paid paternity leave for *ALL* dads! Over the next three months, we will be sharing stories of gay dad families and their paternity leave experience. Our goal is to get 100,000 folks to sign the Paternity Leave Pledge.

Dove Men+Care has collected over 30,000 signatures on the Pledge for Paternity Leave in three short months, in a mission to champion and support new legislation for federally mandated paid leave laws in the U.S. With the conversation growing on Capitol Hill, Dove Men+Care will target key legislators to drive urgency behind paid paternity leave policy and provide a social proof in the form of real dad testimonials, expert research and signature support from families across the country.

Our goal is to help Dove Men+Care bring 100,000 signatures to key policymakers in Washington, D.C. for their Day of Action on the Hill, and drive urgency behind this issue.

If you believe *ALL* dads should receive paid paternity leave, sign the Paternity Leave Pledge.

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Gays With Kids Turns Five!

Wow! Time certainly flies when you're busy becoming the world's biggest online resource and magazine for gay, bi and trans dads!

As if we don't have enough going on this June (Stonewall's 50th anniversary! Father's Day! Taylor Swift rounding up all the gays in West Hollywood for her latest music video!) we're also celebrating another milestone here at Gays With Kids: we're officially turning five this month. (And we don't look a day over two, right?!)

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#10. The Hardest Part of Foster Care? The Wait, Say These Dads-to-Be

Several years ago, we brought you this article: The Hardest Part of Foster Care? The Wait, Say These Dads-to-Be. The article included a video of Antwon and Nate, who were in the midst of their process to become foster dads, which quickly became one of our most popular posts of all time. In this video, they shared how difficult it was waiting for "the" call from the agency letting them know their lives would be forever changed once a child came to live with them.

Want to see how the dads are getting on several years later? Check out this updated video here!

#9. Famous Gay Dads and Their Kids!

Our article, Famous Gay Dads and Their Kids, featuring well-known gay dads from Neil Patrick Harris to Ryan Murphy, quickly became one of our most popular. In the years since, as the ranks of gay dads has continued to grow, we've brought you MANY more stories of gay men in the limelight who are venturing into fatherhood. Check them all out here!

#8. The Story Behind America's Youngest Gay Dad

The Story Behind America's Youngest Gay Dad, which ran back in 2015, is also one of our most popular posts of all time! The post explores the story of Brian Mariano, who became a father with an ex-girlfriend while still in high school. "Everybody in my life is really supportive of me," he said. "If it's someone new and a friend mentions I'm a dad, they will stop. 'Wait, what? How are you a dad? You're gay.' It's like that 'Mean Girls' quote sometimes. You know – 'if you're from Africa, why are you white?'"

#7. When His Son Got a Tattoo, He Freaked Out. Then He Saw What it Was

This article, When His Son Got a Tattoo, He Freaked Out, definitely plucked the heartstrings of our readers! Which is why it's one of the most popular articles on our site of all time.

"Guess what dad I'm getting a tattoo," Richard's son, Jonathan, texted him. "Don't you dare," was Richard's response. But Jonathan went ahead with it anyway. At first, his dad "fumed." But then he found out what the tattoo was.

"So I got my first tattoo!!" Jonathan wrote on Facebook, of his roman numeral tattoo on his side. "This date is the day that my life changed. This is the day my dads adopted me. The greatest day in my life knowing that for the rest of my life I would finally have a loving family that loved me for me!" (Another one of our most popular posts is this photo essay of gay dads who explain the meaning behind their tattoos.)

#6. 8 Black Dads Share What Black History Month Means to Their Families

Last year, during February's Black History Month, we ran an article titled 8 Black Dads Share What Black History Month Means to Their Families. To create the post, we asked our community a simple question: as a Black gay dad, what does this month mean to you, your family, and your community? The answers we got back were reflective, poignant and deeply moving, which is why this article became one of our most-viewed ever.

Check out the story here.

#5. 19 Photos of Matt Dallas & Blue Hamilton That Will Make You Green with Parenting Envy

Ok the popularity of this article, 19 Photos of Matt Dallas & Blue Hamilton That Will Make You Green with Parenting Envy, doesn't need that much explanation. Gorgeous, talented, successful and good dads? What's not to love! Also check out this more recent post, Things Husbands (and Gay Dads) Do According to Matt Dallas and Blue Hamilton, which is also quickly climbing the ranks of our most popular!

#4. A Gay Dad's Message From His Heart to his Facebook Friends

This article, A Gay Dad's Message From the Heart to his Facebook Friends, by gay dad Michael Anderson, ran in the troubling aftermath of the 2016 Presidential election, when so many LGBTQ people, our allies, and other vulnerable communities looked (and continue to look) towards an uncertain future.

"Suddenly I don't feel secure anymore," Michael wrote. "Vice president-elect Pence has an extensive anti-gay record from supporting gay conversion therapy on kids that literally includes trying to (but failing to) electro-shock the gay out, to signing legislation in his state in 2013 to jail any same-sex couple who attempted to get a marriage certificate. All of the progress that we have made that gives my family a sense of belonging and security is very likely to be erased."

For more of our ongoing political coverage, including the 2020 race, check out these articles as well.

#3. Helping Gay Men Afford Adoption Through Sizable Grants

Our third most popular article, Helping Gay Men Afford Adoption Through Sizable Grants, features our good friends Help Us Adopt, an amazing non-profit organization that helps adoptive parents offset the substantial costs associated with the process. They are also dedicated to inclusivity, and are one of the few financial resources available for gay adoptive parents. Check out this great profile of their work!

#2. 9 Times Gay Dads Crushed Their Pregnancy Announcement Pics

Gay dads love a good photo opportunity. So obviously this photo essay of gay dad pregnancy announcement pics is high up on our list as well. This photo essay, 9 Times Gay Men Crushed Their Pregnancy Announcement Pics, is our second most popular. Check out this most recent roundup of pregnancy announcement pics, which is also climbing the

And Our MOST Viewed Article of All Time Is... 

Gay dads do Halloween right! So it's no surprise that this article, 13 Dads Giving You Major Family Halloween Costume Goals, is our most viewed of all time! And though Halloween may still be months away, why not prepare early with a look at some of our other most popular Halloween articles!

Gay Dads Snap Pics at the Pumpkin Patch
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31 Gay Dads Serving Major Halloween Costume Inspo (and Where to Get The Looks!)
Get Your DIY Skills On for Halloween, Dads!







THANK YOU!

Lastly, a big thank you to all of our readers! It's thanks to you that we now can claim the biggest online community of gay, bi, and trans dads in the world (not to mention two GLAAD award nominations ;) We can't wait to see what the next five years bring!

Fatherhood, the gay way

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