Gay Dad Life

People en Español's Armando Lucas Correa Opens Up about Writing, Family, and What It Means to Be a Gay Dad

Armando Lucas Correa came of age in Cuba during the late seventies, a particularly dangerous time to be gay in the Communist country.


Correa explains, "I grew up in Cuba in a time when homophobia was government-sponsored. There were laws in the books against homosexuality. In the 60s, concentration camps were created to send gays, religious people, and political dissidents. When you were in college, you could be kicked out if anyone questioned your sexuality."

Armando with his twins, Lucas and Anna

Though he never formally came out to his family, Correa didn't hide the fact he was gay. In fact, he met his partner, Gonzalo (together now for thirty-one years) right after college. They left Cuba together that same year (1991) and landed in Miami. Gonzalo worked as a photographer while Correa pursued his passion for the written word. Correa says, "When I arrived in the U.S., I went through the daily struggle all immigrants go through to cobble together a new life, a career—in my case, journalism."

In addition, the couple looked into adoption, but in those days, gay couples couldn't legally adopt kids in Florida. So the dream of starting a family was put on hold. Correa recalls, "I always wanted to be father, from the time I was a boy myself. Maybe it was because my parents divorced when I was two-and-a-half years old. I grew up in a matriarchy: my grandmother, my mom, my sister."

Armando and Gonzalo with their kids

When the couple moved to New York City in 1997, the dream of having their own family came back to life. Correa had accepted a position as a senior writer for the newly minted People en Español. Shortly after arriving, he read an article about surrogacy in People Weekly, which led him and Gonzalo on an "odyssey," as Correa describes it, creating a family via IVF with the help of a surrogate mother and an egg donor.

This odyssey would become the basis for Correa's first book: Finding Emma. (Today, the couple has three children: Emma is now 11. Her twin siblings, Anna and Lucas, are seven years old.)

Regarding how the book came about, Correa says, "I remember back in 2008, René Alegría, then editor at Rayo/Harper Collins, asked me for a meeting in my office. I thought he would talk to me about putting out a book about Hispanic celebrities—and I couldn't have been more wrong. He came to ask me to write a book for a U.S. Hispanic audience about how I had created my family. Initially, I was taken aback because though I'm openly gay, I never spoke about my private life with People en Español readers."

Correa says reaction from readers has been extremely positive. He's quick to point out, however, that the focus shouldn't be on the gay dad aspect. "For me, it's important that people see us as a family, which in this case has two dads," Correa says. "That they see we have the same conflicts and issues of any other family. The day we all understand we are human beings and we are all very different, and we accept and respect those differences, the world will be a better place."

Correa is now Editor-in-Chief for People en Español, which is the top-selling Hispanic magazine in the U.S. Correa's most recent book, a novel entitled The German Girl, came out in the fall of 2016 to great reviews from critics and readers alike. It's based on the true but little known story of 900+ Jews who fled Nazi Germany in 1939 to Havana. When the ship (the Saint Louis) arrived in Cuba, it was turned away, even though all passengers had the proper paperwork to disembark in Havana. The U.S. and Canada would deny the ship entry as well, forcing its return to Europe and leading to the encampment and deaths of most people on board.

The novel picks up in modern times. "The German Girl is about Anna, a girl who lives in New York and in 2014 receives an envelope from Hannah, her German great-aunt, who lives in Havana," Correa says. "Inside the envelope: pictures of Hannah aboard the Saint Louis, celebrating her 12th birthday. Anna's mother tells her Hannah is related to her from her father's side. Anna and her mother take a plane to Cuba and start to discover their family history."

When it comes to his writing, Correa says the work speaks for itself. "It's no better or worse because of my sexual orientation," he explains. "I'm defined by my family, my values as a human being, my work as a writer and editor, my role as a father, partner, friend, son, brother."

He adds, "But my biggest accomplishment is having created my family. My children are my pride."

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Foster/Foster-Adopt

This Gay Couple Was Inspired to Become Foster Dads Thanks to the Show "The Fosters"

Matthew and Brian say they used to feel like "unicorns" as gay foster dads. They're happy to see more LGBTQ couples take the plunge into the foster system.

Matthew Hamparian and his husband Brian Lawrence have been together for over 18 years and live in Columbus, Ohio. "We had talked about children for a long time," shared Matthew. They were inspired by the show "The Fosters," and watched it regularly as one of the staffers of the show was a friend of Brian's. In one of the episodes, Matthew remembers a conversation between a foster child and the biological child of his foster parents. The foster child asks if he was okay with the fact that he had to share his home with foster siblings. He responds that he is okay with it, because he and his family have enough of everything.

"It was very meaningful to us as we were both raised that when you got up the ladder, you threw the ladder back," explained Matthew.

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Gay Dad Life

Gay Single Dads Defend Andy Cohen's Right to Be on Grindr

After the Internet rushed to judge Andy Cohen for signing onto Grindr a couple of weeks after welcoming his newborn son home, fellow single gay dads rushed to his defense.

Last week, we wrote a post about reports that "What What Happens Live" host Andy Cohen had been "spotted" on gay dating app Grindr several weeks after welcoming a newborn into his home. This has some of his followers on social media all worked up"

"Get off Grindr and start being a dad," said one follower who appeared to think single parents must take a vow of celibacy the minute they start changing diapers. "You're sad, that kid has no chance," said another.

Well, suffice it to say that this judgment from people who are presumably not single gay dads of Andy Cohen certainly struck a nerve with our gay dad audience! We received well over 100 comments on this post on Facebook, the vast majority of them coming to Cohen's defense. We caught up with two fellow single gay dads to find out why the story struck a nerve.

"We don't have to live like monks!"

One of the most liked comments on our piece came from Owen Lonzar, who wrote the following:

"I have always been a good single father to my biological son who came to live with me when he was 7 years old. He is now 25 years old and we are very close. I used Grindr and dated while he lived with me. I never had anyone sleep over and he certainly never saw some man he didn't know hanging around my home. Single parents have to date responsibly and with sensitivity to their child but that doesn't mean they have to live like monks!"

We asked Cohen to elaborate a bit more on why the backlash against Cohen bothered him. He had the sense, he said, that much of the criticism against LGBTQ parents comes from gay men without children. "Gay men without kids have a lot to say," he said. "And all of it is ignorant, because they have no idea what it means to actually be a father." He said he was particularly disappointed in gay critics, given our shared history of discrimination. "You would think with all the prejudice we have faced that gay men would be less judgmental themselves," he said.

"Are we supposed to be celibate?"

Another commenter, Josue Sebastian Dones-Figueroa, who is a divorced father of five, questioned what Cohen's critics would prefer him do. "So what, parents are supposed to become celibate because they have kids?" he asked.

We followed up with Josue to ask him to elaborate a bit more: "The idea that just because he is a dad that he would need to stop being a man," he said, questioning why Cohen should have to put his life hold and stop dating, or having sex, just because he's now a father. "If the child is cared for loved and not neglected what is the problem? Life goes on right?"


Gay Dad Life

Internet Conflicted About Advice Given to Closeted Gay Dad in the Guardian

Ok fellow gay dads: if you were the advice columnist at the Guardian, what would you have said?

Recently, in a post titled "I met my girlfriend's parents – and realized I once slept with her father," a man wrote into the advice column at the Guardian with the following predicament:

"Five years ago, I went through a bi phase and used to sleep around with pretty much everyone that came along, including other men. This changed when I fell in love with my new partner, who is everything to me. I recently met her parents and halfway through lunch realised that I had slept with her father. I was going to propose, but when my partner and her mother were away, he told me to end it with his daughter. I'm obviously in love – shall I just ignore him, or tell my partner?"

Pamela Stephenson, the Guardian's columnist, responded as follows:

"I am not sure you could ever have a comfortable future with your new partner. To tell the truth would be to court disaster: a probable break-up, plus the risk of a permanent rift between father and daughter and father and wife. Hiding the truth would lead to toxic secret-keeping that could be equally destructive in the long run. If this whole family was as open-minded and sexually open as you, it might be possible for you to become part of it. However, the father – your former lover – has made it clear that you will not be welcome. Walk away now, and avoid the massive pain that would otherwise be inflicted on your partner, her family and yourself."

Not all commenters agreed with Stephenson's advice.

"Assuming your girlfriend knows that you were bi until falling in love with her and that you slept with everybody in your path [which she deserved to know up front anyway] then you can give HER the option what to do with this bond, rather than leaving the choice to her dad," said one commenter.

Another said, "Walking away without explaining why would be callous and also allow the father to escape the possible consequences of his actions."

It's worth noting that none of these commenters, nor the columnist, are or will ever be gay dads, whose perspective on this bizarre situation may be uniquely valuable. Many gay dads have become fathers while still in the closet. And even those who became dads after coming out can still sympathize with the detrimental impacts of the closet on our lives and those of our families.

So what say you, gay dads, about this man's predicament?

Terrell and Jarius need your help. Earlier this week they were made aware of an act of discrimination against a male transgender student at Johnson High School in Gainesville, Georgia

"Dex Frier was elected by the student body to run for prom king but is now facing backlash from the school's administration," shared the dads via their Instagram. "The school's Superintendent is forcing Dex to either run as prom queen or not run at all. This is very unjust and does NOT reflect the opinion of the parents nor the students."

Watch their video below:

Dex, 17, who came out identifying as male in his sophomore year, spoke with Gainsville Times about being nominated by the student body. "Frier said he kept his emotions in check while at school, but 'the moment I got home, I immediately started crying. I've never been shown so much support before,' Frier added."

He was later informed by school officials that his name had been withdrawn and he could only run in the prom queen ballot.

Sadly, there have been rival petitions started in support of Dex's nomination being withdrawn, and he's received backlash from those who believe he shouldn't be able to run.

Although Terrell and Jarius do not know Dex personally, they were made aware of what was happening through Jarius co-worker who is a parent at the school. "He's such a brave kid and is standing firm in his beliefs, and we should support him," said Jarius.

These dads are asking all of us to take a minute and sign this petition and share with friends and family, or anyone you think could help.

Surrogacy for Gay Men

Learn How These Dads Used Social Media to Find Their Surrogate

In the latest "Broadway Husbands" vlog, Bret and Stephen discuss the rather unconventional way in which they found their surrogate: through a Facebook group.

In this, the Broadway Husbands' sixth video, Bret Shuford and Stephen Hanna discuss the rather unprecedented process they went through to find their surrogate. The lucky couple also chat about winning an "Intended Parents" competition, which granted them the free services of a surrogacy agency who is now helping guide them (and their new surrogate!) on their journey.

In the first video below, get caught up to speed with the dads-to-be. Plus: there's bonus footage! Ever wondered about the financial side of their journey? In the second video, Bret and Stephen talk candidly about how they're managing to afford their dream of fatherhood.

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Gay Dad Family Stories

This Women's History Month, Gay Men Honor the Gals Who Help Make Them Dads

Each and every man becomes a dad with the help of a woman. We asked gay dads to honor one who helped them along in their path to parenthood to help us celebrate women's history month.

Each and every one of us became (or will become) a dad with the help of a woman--more often than not, with the help of multiple women. So this Women's History Month, we choose to celebrate these women by asking you to tell us a bit about them. Enjoy these inspiring stories below. Want to honor a woman in your life who has helped you become a dad? Tell us about her at dads@gayswithkids.com

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Gay Dad Life

These Gay Dads Know How to Make Holidays Extra Super Special

Adam and Josh got engaged on Good Morning America on Valentines Day, and welcomed their Christmas miracle baby into their lives on December 26th

Picture this: Valentine's Day 2015, Adam and Josh Klocke were among 24 other couples ice skating in Bryant Park as part of a Good Morning America segment. Lara Spencer was hosting while Christina Perri sang "A Thousand Years" on top of a piano. Midway through, she stopped and Lara reported technical difficulties. This was the cue that the knowing members of each couple had been waiting for. They each dropped to one knee and asked for their partner's hand in marriage. Adam recalls, "It was such an amazing experience that we will never forget." 18 months later, they were married.

While their engagement was a life-changing experience, another for the husbands was welcoming their Christmas miracle, Baby K, via adoption on December 26, 2018. She was just two days old. Here's their story.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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