Gay Dad Life

8 Black Gay Dads Share What Black History Month Means to Their Families

As Black History Month comes to a close, 8 Black gay dads share what the month means to them and their families

As Black History Month comes to a close, 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. Want to share with us what Black History Month means to you? Email a quote and family photo to dads@gayswithkids.com.

'We Are Not Makers of History. We Are Made by History.'"

Dads Richard and Carlos with Timothy, New York, NY (@therealdadsofnewyork):

"Black history month, from our perspective, is yet another opportunity to celebrate positive images and examples of our culture and vibrant spirit. As Afro- Caribbean parents, we hope to both acknowledge and celebrate our son's culture — connecting him with his rich and diverse heritage. In the words of the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 'We are not makers of history. We are made by history.'"

"Unconditional Love for Self, for Beautifully Diverse Families"

Dads Greg and Paul with their three kids, Philadelphia, PA (@daddaddykids):

"As a Black gay man in an interracial gay marriage with mixed-race children, black history month for me means unconditional love for self, for beautifully diverse families, and for community. We show pride by living honestly, being visible and working to create a better world for others who may not have the ability to live in their truth and fight for something bigger than themselves."

"Racial self identity wasn't relevant to me until I became a father"

Dads James and Andrew with Liv and Brandon, New Jersey (@Dad.Squared.Life):

"What does it mean to me? What does it mean to be a black man? How about a black gay man?! Or even a black gay father for that instance?!? I can tell you, racial self identity did not even seem relevant to me until I became a father. In today's world with so many racial injustices fueled by hate and prejudices, it's hard to imagine a future for our children where this will now be the "new normal". Fortunately, I am very optimistic and was raised in an environment of acceptance and love. That is what I hope to teach to my children. What I love most specifically about Black History Month is it focuses on the perseverance through hurdles in the black community. Not only that, but it shows that there are other ways besides violence to obtain tolerance. That gives me much hope that the events of today (which are now part of history) will someday be reflected on as a part Black History Month as my children grow. I do consider myself a proud black father. I have two multiracial children and a white husband. My daughter, who is a little over two, looks at us and treats us exactly the same. We are both her fathers, we both tuck her in at night, we both shower her with unconditional love, and we both share all the trials and tribulations of parenting. That does not change the fact that Daddy is White and Dada is Black. She is now becoming self-aware and the physical differences between us are now more apparent to her. I want to nourish that curiosity about diversity. I want her to embrace it and hold onto it tightly. I commend those parents who have had the "talk" with young black youth (you know the talk I am referring to.) You can't protect yourself and others if you are unaware that there is an issue. To me, that is the only way our youth will start to get through this uphill struggle concerning racial injustice. It is my job as a father to do everything in my power to protect my children, but also educate them. I will say I do feel though in many ways, although we have a long way to go, more people are becoming engaged in the issues of today. Black History Month for me is a reminder that it is never too late to learn about ones past, never too late to educate yourself for the future, and never too late to be a role model and example for our youth."

"Embracing diversity makes us all stronger"

Dads DJ and Mike with their son, Prescott, Washington, DC (@djohnsondj):

"Celebrating the many aspects of our identities is something important to us as an interracial family raising a biracial son. Embracing diversity makes us all stronger."

"A Time to Pay Homage to Those who Sacrificed"

Dads O'Brian and Daryl with sons Keithen and Camden, Glenarden, Maryland (@obisme83):

"Black History Month is a time to pay homage to those who sacrificed so much for so little gain. My husband and I will nurture the Brilliance and Beauty within our Sons, ensuring they one day will be an asset to our Cultural Advancement. #raisingyoungkings"

"We Take More Time in Learning a Black History Fact Each Day"

Dad Victor with his daughter Tori, Stratford, New Jersey (@VictorsThing):

"Black history month is a way for us to celebrate our culture and heritage. We take more time in learning a black history fact each day of the month. I think it's important for her to know the people that made sacrifices so that she can enjoy the life that she has."

" I, a Black Gay Man, Can Openly Parent"

Trey and Philip, foster dads, Seattle, Washington:

"For me, it reiterates the importance of culture and racial identity for Black children. Part of the impetus of becoming a foster parent, was knowing the high numbers of Black children entering the foster care system and the need for more culturally appropriate homes for these children. I am reminded of the importance of teaching our Black children to have self-worth by providing an alternative narrative to the negative stereotypes that exists in our society about them.

Also, in the current political climate of hatred and intolerance, this month reminds me of how far we have come when it comes to equality in this country that I, a Black gay man, can openly parent and feel supported by my community."

"I Get to Show My Children They Can Be ANYTHING"

Dad Carlos and his two children, Marietta, Georgia

"I get to show my children that they can be ANYTHING they want to be, and help raise awareness of the struggles of those who paved the way for them!"

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Gay Dad Life

Gong Hei Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year!

As we usher in the year of rat, we asked some of our dads how they honor this special time.

Today we're celebrating, alongside our families, the Chinese New Year! As we usher in the year of rat, we asked some of our dads how they honor this special time, what they do to celebrate, and how they're instilling these traditions in their kids. Here are some of their responses.

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Gay Dad Life

A Gay Dad Wonders: What Will the 'Roaring Twenties' Bring?

Jim Joseph says he's looking forward to "moving forward in 2020" and in the decade to come!

The Roaring Twenties are upon us, and with the new decade comes great anticipation.

I remember as a kid that whenever a new decade came, it felt like "out with the old and in with the new." It seemed like pop culture and the way of doing things suddenly shifted. Witness 1979 into 1980 and the dawn of a new era in music, fashion, entertainment, and culture. Same with 1989 into 1990. Bam!

As I got older and started my own journey of growth, I started tracking decades by the milestones I had hit during each of the ten-year increments.

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Change the World

How Do Gay Dads Celebrate Black History Month?

We asked 12 gay dads to tell us what Black History Month means to them and how they celebrate in their households.

February is Black History Month in America. And although celebrating Black history, culture and people shouldn't be confined to just one month, it does ensure an opportunity to commemorate the heroic figures of Black men and women, and also increase visibility of Black life and history; two of Carter G. Woodson's goals when he created the concept in 1926.

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Change the World

Apply for a Paid Internship at Gays With Kids!

Are you a student who is passionate about journalism, new media, and supporting the LGBTQ community? Apply for a (paid!) internship with Gays With Kids and join the largest community for gay, bit and trans dads and dads to be!

We are excited to announce that Gays With Kids will be hiring two student interns to help support our rapidly expanding work as the largest online magazine and resource for gay, bi and trans dads and dads to be! At the moment, we have two paid positions available.

  • Our Journalism and Editorial Intern should be interested in journalism, editing, and the daily process of running and maintaining a major website. This is a New York-based position, who will work closely with our Editor in Chief, David Dodge.

  • Our Social and Community Intern should be interested in supporting and expanding our vibrate online community across multiple social media channels and will work closely with Rosalind Lonsdale, our Social and Community Manager.

Please see below for more information and how to apply!

Journalism and Editorial Intern — New York, NY 

Paid $15 p/h || 15-20 hours per week || Immediate start || New York City, NY


Gays With Kids is seeking an energetic, organized, and socially conscious Journalism and Editorial intern with an immediate start date. This is a paid position and the intern will be expected to work 15-20 hours a week. Position is ongoing but possible end dates will be discussed in the interview process.

About us: Gays With Kids is the world's premier website and social network dedicated exclusively to helping gay, bi and trans men become dads, and to helping queer dads navigate fatherhood.

We launched in 2015 and we're very excited to refresh our website in the next couple of months with a stronger and more clear focus on the different paths to fatherhood available to our community. We currently have close to 250,000 followers on social media, and our community is extremely engaged. You should be proud to be part of a small, but passionate and dedicated team that's making a meaningful impact nationally and globally.

Check us out: https://www.facebook.com/GaysWithKids/ / https://www.instagram.com/gays_with_kids/ / https://www.youtube.com/user/GaysWithKids

Much of this work can be undertaken at the intern's own residence but, at least initially, you will be required to meet and work closely with our Executive Editor, located in New York City.

Learning opportunities include:

  • Write blog posts, articles, and other pieces of content for the website as needed.
  • Identify and interview experts within various paths to parenthood for gay, bi and trans men, including: surrogacy, adoption, foster care, co-parenting partnerships and more.
  • Refresh and reimagine current content on the Gays With Kids website.
  • Support engaging and dynamic social media content across external channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest)
  • Assist with migration of current website to a new platform


Requirements:

  • Interest in journalism, particularly as it relates to the LGBTQ+ community
  • Interest and activism in equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community
  • Crucial skills: highly organized, good at multitasking, a strong problem solver, and a willingness to learn new skills and abilities.
  • Experience managing social media platforms, specifically Instagram and Facebook
  • Knowledge of Google Docs, iMovie, Canva, Trello, are a plus
    Proficient in MS Office Suite with excellent writing / communication skills
  • Interest in learning digital communications including social media management platforms and SEO skills

To apply, pleas send a resume and two writing samples to David Dodge, Executive Editor, at David.Dodge@gayswithkids.com

Social and Community Intern

Paid $15 p/h || 15-20 hours per week || Immediate start || Philadelphia, PA


Gays With Kids is seeking an energetic, organized, and socially conscious Social and Community intern with an immediate start date. This is a paid position and the intern will be expected to work 15-20 hours a week. Position is ongoing but possible end dates will be discussed in the interview process.

About us: Gays With Kids is the world's premier website and social network dedicated exclusively to helping gay, bi and trans men become dads, and to helping queer dads navigate fatherhood.

We launched in 2015 and we're very excited to refresh our website in the next couple of months with a stronger and more clear focus on the different paths to fatherhood available to our community. We currently have close to 250,000 followers on social media, and our community is extremely engaged…especially on Instagram. You should be proud to be part of a small, but passionate and dedicated team that's making a meaningful impact nationally and globally. As our social and community intern, you will have plenty of opportunity to engage with our community.

Check us out: https://www.facebook.com/GaysWithKids/ / https://www.instagram.com/gays_with_kids/ / https://www.youtube.com/user/GaysWithKids

Much of this work can be undertaken at the intern's own residence but, at least initially, you will be required to meet and work closely with our Social and Community manager, located in Philadelphia.

Learning opportunities include:

  • Support engaging and dynamic social media content across external channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest)
  • Write blog posts, articles, and other content for the website
  • Assist with migration of current website to a new platform


Requirements:

  • Interest and activism in equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community
  • Crucial skills: highly organized, good at multitasking, a strong problem solver, and a willingness to learn new skills and abilities.
  • Experience managing social media platforms, specifically Instagram and Facebook
  • Knowledge of Google Docs, iMovie, Canva, Trello, are a plus
  • Proficient in MS Office Suite with excellent writing / communication skills
  • Interest in learning digital communications including social media management platforms and SEO skills

All inquiries should be addressed to Rosalind Lonsdale, Social and Community Manager, rosalind@gayswithkids.com

Change the World

Miami Tourism Board Releases Vacation Guide for LGBTQ Families

Miami isn't just about circuit parties! The LGBTQ Family-Friendly Miami Vacation Guide showcases many options for queer parents, too.

As gay people, it can be difficult to find vacation spots that are LGBTQ-friendly out of the normal travel "fruit loop" — New York, Mykonos, San Francisco; repeat. For those of us with kids, the Venn diagram of destinations that are both queer and kid friendly can seem practically non-existent.

Fortunately, that's starting to change as the tourism industry realizes that LGBTQ families are a growing segment of vacationers. One city to quickly pick up on this trend is Miami. While the gays have long flocked to Miami for party weekends, the city has also recently noticed an uptick in the number of LGBTQ visitors who are parents. In response, Miami's tourism board release a guide, LGBTQ Family-Friendly Miami Vacation Guide, that includes loads of options for queer parents and their kids. Amid Miami's legendary circuit parties, it turns out, are tons of family friendly things to do — like the Museum of Science, an eco-adventure theme park, and other kid-focused events all year long.

Who knew?

"When I came onboard as Director of LGBTQ Marketing a little over a year ago, I found that our LGBTQ messaging was centered around our annual events," said Dan Rios, who works with the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau. Massive parties like the White Party and Aqua Girl are a central part of the city's LGBTQ offerings, he said, but he was also worried the city was "developing a reputation solely as a party destination. "I want to diversify that message to highlight everything else that Greater Miami has to offer."

Hence the city's family-friendly guide that includes offerings within "art and culture, dining, beaches, fitness," Dan said. "We have unique and amazing family attractions that we had been promoting to our general audiences for decades. I saw this as an opportunity; an opportunity to introduce our attractions to LGBTQ families, and an opportunity to further promote our attractions -- it was a win-win."

Dan said the Bureau is also in the midst of a campaign that will prominently feature LGBTQ parents within different travel destinations throughout the city, which will be featured throughout both LGBTQ and mainstream websites, publications and advertising.

We applaud the effort to reach out to LGBTQ families, and hope more cities follow Miami's lead! Be sure to check out the guide here.

News

Indiana Court Says Couples Using Sperm Donors​ Can Both Be Listed on Birth Certificate — But Ruling Excludes Male Couples

The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in the case, a major victory for LGBTQ parents — but the Attorney General may appeal to the Supreme Court.

On Friday, a US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling from a lower court that said that both parents in a same-sex relationship are entitled to be listed on the birth certificate — previously, the state of Indiana had required the non-biological parent within a same-sex relationship using assisted reproductive technologies to adopt their child after the birth in order to get her or his name listed on the birth certificate, a lengthy and expensive process not required of straight couples in the same situation.

It's a double standard LGBTQ parents have long been subjected to in many states across the country. So this represent a major win. As reported by CNN, this ruling "takes a lot of weight off" the shoulders of LGBTQ parents, said Karen Celestino-Horseman, a lawyer representing one of the couples in the case. "They've been living as families and wondering if this was going to tear them apart."

The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals deliberated the case, according to CNN, for more than two and a half years, which is one of the longest in the court's history.

However, because all the plaintiffs in the case involved female same-sex couples using sperm donors, the ruling left open the similar question of parenting rights with respect to male couples. Indiana's Attorney General, moreover, may also appeal the case to the Supreme Court.

We'll be following the case closely and be sure to keep you up to date. For more on this recent decision, read CNN's article here.

Personal Essays by Gay Dads

As a Gay Dad, What's the Impact of Letting My Son Perform Drag?

Michael Duncan was excited when his 10-year-old son asked if he could perform in drag for charity — but he also felt fear and anxiety.

As LGBT parents, we have all lived through some sort of trauma in our lives. For many it is the rejection of our family, being bullied, or abuse. We learn to be vigilant of our surroundings and often are very cautious of who we trust. As adults, we start to become watchful of how much we share and we look for "red flags" around every corner.

So, what effect does this have on our children? Does it unintentionally cause us to be more jaded with our interactions involving others? For some the answer may be a resounding "no." But as we look deeper into the situation, we often find that through survival our interactions with others have changed and we may not even realize exactly how much we are projecting on those around us.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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