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

How Canada's 'Gay Dollar' Helped This Gay Man Reflect on His Biggest Regret—Not Having Kids

Canada unveiled a 'gay dollar' coin earlier this year, helping Gregory Walters reflect on the progress the LGBTQ community has made—and his decision to forgo having children children

Earlier this year, Canada unveiled a rainbow-stripped coin dollar to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the country's decision to decriminalize homosexuality. With the coins now firmly in circulation, Gregory Walters, who lives in Vancouver, wrote a moving essay for the Globe and Mail, expressing joy for how far Canada has come on the issue of gay rights, but how the coin is also a symbolic representation of the "greatest regret" of his life—his decision not to adopt children.

Gregory writes that he had hoped to adopt a child ever since his early career working with persons with developmental disabilities. "Several children I worked with were wards of the State of Texas," he wrote. "Their parents having relinquished all rights either owing to egregious acts of abuse or a lack of desire to raise someone with so many needs. There were days when I felt, 'If I could just take you home and raise you.' I knew there was a need for adopting persons with special needs but my own internalized homophobia got in the way yet again. Despite what is probably my own gift in working with children, I never felt worthy enough to be a parent. I always felt that if I were a gay dad it would create more of a liability for the child."

Gregory decision to forgo having children, he says, is his "greatest regret." While he takes responsibility for some of this decision, he also adds: "society's view of homosexuals and its opinions regarding gay adoptions also played a major part."

To critics of Canada's coin, some of who have said its a cheap political pander to the LGBTQ community, Gregory concludes with this thought:

"I don't care if the indulged majority who never had to question marriage or raising children or being secure in a job may feel the coin is frivolous. The coin isn't for them in the first place. It's an acknowledgment for those of us who repressed our true selves and felt oppressed. It is for gays who never lived to see rights and protections enshrined in law. It is for younger LGBTQ people to learn more about how far we've come and to gain a deeper sense of gay pride. For these reasons, the coin has value so much greater than any monetary designation. The coin represents both empowerment and normalization."

Read Gregory's full essay here.

Gay Dad Life

8 Pics of Ricky Martin Being an Adorable Dad Because Why Not?

Here's some pics of Ricky Martin being an adorable dad because we've ALL had a long week and deserve this don't we??

Earlier this year, in January 2019, superstar Ricky Martin and his husband Jwan Yosef shared a post via Instagram announcing that they'd welcomed a baby girl named Lucia into their family. With twin 9-year-old sons in the house as well, Ricky and Jwan now have a very full casa. Fortunately, the dads are giving us a little glimpse into their chaotic but fun-filled home lives via Instagram. We rounded up 8 of our fav recent parenting pics by the popstar because we've all had long weeks and we deserve this don't we??

Enjoy!

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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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Entertainment

How Fatherhood Has Impacted Tom Daley's Diving Career for the Better

British diver Tom Daley, and new-ish gay dad, is looking to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in South Korea.

British diver Tom Daley is currently in the running to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in South Korea, his fourth if he competes, at the young age of just 26.

But he also has another concern that most young gay men his age couldn't fathom—fatherhood. He and his husband, filmmaker Dustin Lance Black, recently welcomed Robbie Ray via surrogacy in June 2018.

In an interview with the Independent, Daley explained how fatherhood has changed his routine and training, which he says is often for the better.

"It has changed my life completely in all of the best ways possible," Daley said. "It has changed my perspective, the way I think about things. [My son] is the most important thing in my life, everything I do is for him, everything I think about he is at the forefront of everything."

With respect to his diving career, Daley continued, "if you have a bad day at training, or a good day, you are grounded immediately when you get home through the door because you are having cuddles or you are having to change a dirty nappy. It is the first time that I have been able to leave diving at the diving board and not think about what I need to the next day in the pool."

Whatever the challenges he faces while training, he said, "I can leave it there because you don't have time to think about diving when you are looking after a kid under one."

The strategy seems to be working in Daley's favor. He recently enjoyed his most successful FINA Diving World Series ever this past Spring in Canada, winning 12 medals across five events. And barring any major catastrophe, he is overwhelmingly expected to qualify for South Korea 2020.

And we can't wait to cheer the young dad on!

Change the World

One Gay Dad's Fight Against Hate in Superior, Nebraska

Brian Splater is refusing to let homophobic and transphobic elected officials in his town go unchecked

Millie B. Photography

Guest post written by Brian Splater

No one ever should feel they will have a very lonely and secluded life as a child. But that is something me and many other gay kids believe as they are growing up.

The truth of the matter is there are people who will try everything in their power to have our rights go back in time instead of forward. It is very disheartening when these people are elected officials, or they are people who use their place of employment to spread their disgust and hate.

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Politics

America's First Gay Dad Governor Heads Into the Lion's Den

Colorado Governor Jared Polis recently became the first elected Democrat to speak at the annual Western Conservative Summit in Denver

Last Friday, American's first gay dad Governor, Jared Polis, became the first elected Democrat to speak at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, where he urged the Republican crowd to help him build a "Colorado for all."

"While we should never gloss over the things that divide us, there is a lot more that unites us," Polis said. "When we close ourselves off from discussion or debate, and we reject the possibility of hearing and understanding other perspectives, it threatens the fabric of our democracy."

If he was hoping for a Kumbaya moment, he didn't exactly get it. As he was called to the stage, he was greeted with a smattering of applause—while others booed and shouted for a "recall" of the Governor.

"It was almost unbearable for me to sit there to listen to his talk," Abby Johnson, one of the event's attendees, told the Denver Post. "And I'm going to tell you why. He kept talking about equality for all persons, yet we live in a society where 60 million innocent human beings have been slaughtered in the name of choice. Where is their justice? Where is their equal rights?"

Polis was also criticized from his left flank for attending the same event that refuses to let the Log Cabin Republicans, a group of gay GOP members, participate—and that featured Donald Trump Jr. as a speaker the same day. "To me it feels like vanity," Katie Farnan, a staffer with progressive group Indivisible, told the Denver Post. "He can go and be a hip Democratic governor who isn't afraid to go into GOP sanctuary. Or maybe it's recall insurance. But unless he was there to hold them accountable for their support for fascist and racist policies, what's the point?"

In response to the criticism from both sides of the political aisle, Polis told the Colorado Sun: "I think it's very important that Coloradans of different ideologies, different races, different geographies, different orientations and gender identities all really celebrate that we're all part of what makes Colorado great."

The event is hosted each year by Colorado Christian University to bring together conservatives from around the state, and the larger West.

What do you think, dads? Was Polis's decision to speak at the event a savvy political move or mere pandering?

Entertainment

Hate Group Boycotts 'Toy Story' for Featuring Lesbian Moms—Hilarity Ensues on Twitter

"One Million Moms" announced a boycott of the latest Toy Story movie for *very briefly* featuring lesbian moms. Twitter's response was swift and hilarious.

One Million Moms, which is affiliated with the anti-LGBTQ American Family Association, recently called for a boycott of Toy Story 4 for (very, very briefly) featuring (interracial!) lesbian moms in the animated film. The angry, hateful moms affiliated with this group must have watched the film VERY closely because you could easily blink and miss the moment that apparently "blindsided" viewers.

The Internet reacted with a collective facepalm to the ridiculous boycott. Here are some of our favorite hilarious Twitter reactions to the hateful group:

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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