Gay Dad Life

These Dads Are Setting Sail With Their 6 Year Old Son

Court King and Rafael Gondim live in Kew Gardens, New York. They have been in a committed relationship for 10 years, and married in Chicago on July 5, 2015. The two met when they were both training to be flight attendants with United Airlines. Now, Court is a sixth grade NYC public school teacher and Rafael is NYC public school principal. Together, Court and Rafael are raising their 6-year-old son, Gabriel. This fall, the couple are selling their home, quitting their jobs and hitting the open sea on a catamaran, affectionately named "Wind." Follow their journey on Facebook, Instagram and on their website!

Tell us about your path to parenthood. We chose to foster-adopt. We wanted to help a child who needed a loving home. There are so many kids out there that need a great home and we were willing to deal with the chance of losing our child. We said worst case we give them a great start.

Tell us about any obstacles you faced on your path to fatherhood. It was hard being in meetings being the only gay couple, but after the initial meetings we felt very welcomed.

How has your life changed since you became a father? Life has become more meaningful. Having Gabriel has helped me focus on more important things in life such as playing, joy and my family. It has instilled a greater purpose and appreciation of life itself. Before we had Gabriel, we spent a lot more time and money on going out with friends at night. We were more focused on the world around us rather than our family. We traveled the world with little worry about where we went or where we stayed. Since we have had Gabriel, we go out a lot less, but we still travel. He loves traveling, tasting new foods, and experiencing any form of transport. Gabriel loves anything with wheels or flies! We no longer stay in hostels or friend's couches.

What have you learned from your son since you became a dad? Gabriel has taught me to love in a way that I did not know existed. I have never felt the love I have for him for any other person on Earth. I would do everything in my means to protect him. He has taught me to stop, play and enjoy the little things we do in life. We love having lego design battles, constructing the tallest tower and racing with bikes.

Was there ever a moment that you or your husband experienced any serious doubts about your path to fatherhood or fatherhood itself? Friends were amazing in encouraging us to foster a child, but my family cautioned me about what I would loose. They constantly said "Why would you give up your freedom?", "Do you know how much the cost!" "What if you get a child you cannot control?" All of these are valid concerns, but what I gained from Gabriel far out weighs any of these extreme worries from my family.

Is your family treated differently than others on account of your sexual orientation or gender identity? We live in Queens, NY. I feel that if anything we are treated better than other straight families. We have been incredibly lucky. The only time it gets awkward is when we are traveling and checking into a hotel or when we shock locals when we explain our family.

What words of advice do you have for other gay men considering pursuing your same path or parenthood? Do it! Don't let other's negativity ever keep you from experiencing the most wonderful lasting feeling in life... being a dad. It has been the best decision I have ever made and cannot imagine life without my son.

If you did not always want kids, what happened to change your mind? Growing up, I honestly thought being gay meant you could not have kids. Later on, I had become reluctant because I did not see an easy path to have a child. It was not until some friends told us about the need for gay parents as foster parents where I saw the incredible possibly to have a child in our lives.

Where do you see your family 5-10 years in the future? I see us traveling the world on our catamaran. We were committed from day one to not let our child change the way we lived. We wanted to show our child the way we live. So I guess, I see us sitting on an island eating, dancing and celebrating the world that brought us together.


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Read more:

With Only 48 Hours to Prepare, Rob & Zack Become Dads (need different story links here)

Worth the Wait: Mitch & Jake's Adoption Journey

Foster Dads Shed Selfishness, Gain a Family

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Gay Dad Photo Essays

How Single Dads Are Celebrating Valentine's Day This Year

Valentine's Day is not just for lovers! We caught up with 8 single gay dads to see how they plan to celebrate Valentine's Day with this year.

Valentine's Day is not just for lovers; it's also a day to celebrate our loved ones. And that's exactly what these single dads are doing.

Within our community, GWK has a large group of admirable, active, and awesome (!) single dads and we want to honor them! On Valentine's Day, they and their kids celebrate their family unit in the sweetest possible ways. We asked the dads to share these moments with us, and, where possible, one of the most heartwarming things they've experienced with their kids on Valentine's Day to date.

Hear their stories below.

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Gay Dad Photo Essays

11 Gay Couples Share Secrets to Their Long-Term Relationships This Valentine's Day

This Valentine's Day, we spoke with 11 gay dad couples who've been together for almost a decade or longer to learn what's made their relationships last

You're the peanut butter to my jelly, the gin to my tonic, the strawberries to my cream, the Mr. to my Mr.!

Happy Valentine's Day folks! We're excited to celebrate this day of lurrrrvvve by featuring a few dads in our community who've been together for almost a decade or more! And they're ready to share their secrets to a successful relationship and parenting partnership.

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Gay Dad Life

"Worth Every Blood, Sweat, and Tear": Congrats to Gay Dads on Recent Births and Adoptions!

Wishing all of these gay dads whose families expanded a lifetime of happiness! Congrats to everyone in our community on their recent births and adoptions!

Gay men go through a lot of ups and downs on the path to parenthood. It can be one of the most emotionally draining times in our lives. But as each of these families who are celebrating births and adoptions this month agree: it's worth every hardship.

Congrats to the dads whose families grew this month!

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Surrogacy for Gay Men

Dads Talk About Surrogacy Process in New Video for Northwest Surrogacy Center

The Northwest Surrogacy Center interviewed some of their gay dad clients for a video to celebrate their 25th anniversary of creating families through surrogacy!

Last year, Northwest Surrogacy Center celebrated 25 years of helping parents realize their dreams. And they celebrated in style by inviting the families they've worked with over the past two and a half decades to join them!

At the party, they took the opportunity to film queer dads and dads-to-be, asking them a couple of questions: how did it feel holding your baby for the first time, and tell us about your relationship with your surrogate.

Watch the video below and get ready for the water works!

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Surrogacy for Gay Men

Campaign to Legalize Surrogacy in New York Heats Up with Competing Bills

Two competing bills — one backed by Governor Andrew Cuomo and another by Senator Liz Krueger with stricter provisions — are aiming to legalize surrogacy in New York.

Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York is once again attempting to legalize commercial surrogacy in the state, which is still just one of three states in the country to forbid the practice.

"This antiquated law is repugnant to our values and we must repeal it once and for all and enact the nation's strongest protections for surrogates and parents choosing to take part in the surrogacy process," Governor Cuomo said in a statement in announcing a broader effort called Love Makes a Family. "This year we must pass gestational surrogacy and expedite the second parent adoption process to complete marriage and family equality."

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Change the World

Your Marriage Should Be Gayer, Says the New York Times

In an op-ed for the New York Times, Stephanie Coontz, author of "Marriage: a History," lists the many insights LGBTQ marriages can offer straight ones.

According to a fascinating op-ed in the New York Times this week by Stephanie Coontz, author of "Marriage: a History," turns out the people convinced marriage equality — legal across the United States for five years now — would usher in the complete breakdown of civil society should be more worried about the health of their own marriages.

In the article, Coontz details the results of research that followed 756 "midlife" straight marriages, and 378 gay marriages, and found same-sex couples reporting the lowest levels of physiological distress — with male gay couples reporting the lowest. The reason for this, the author said, is pretty simple — misogyny. The idea that men and women should strive for parity in a relationship is still a fairly new idea, Coontz said, and traditional gender roles are still pervasive. Gay couples, meanwhile, are free from such presumptions, which often results in happier, healthier relationships.

The most interesting findings in the research relate to parenting. While gender norms tend to be even more emphasized among straight people once they have children, with the bulk of the childrearing falling to mothers, same-sex couples — once again freed from the stereotypes of the male/female divide — parent more equitably. As the author notes, "A 2015 survey found that almost half of dual-earner, same-sex couples shared laundry duties, compared with just under a third of different-sex couples. And a whopping 74 percent of same-sex couples shared routine child care, compared with only 38 percent of straight couples."

When it comes to time spent with children, men in straight marriages spent the least amount of time and the lowest proportion of "nonwork" time, with their children — while men in same-sex marriages spent just as much time with their children as women in a straight relationship. "The result?" Coontz writes, "Children living with same-sex parents experienced, on average, three and a half hours of parenting time per day, compared with two and a half for children living with a heterosexual couple."

Straight fathers devote the least amount of time — about 55 minutes a day — on their children, which includes things like physical needs, reading, playing, and homework. Gay mothers spent an additional 18 minutes each and straight mothers an additional 23 minutes. Gay fathers spent the most time with their children, the study found, an average of an additional 28 minutes a day.

Taken together, straight couples spend an average of 2 hours and 14 minutes on their children. Lesbian moms spend an additional 13 minutes, while gay men spend 33 more minutes than straight couples.

One factor, the author notes, that can help explain this difference is this: gay parents rarely end up with an unintended or unwanted child, whereas a full 45% percent of pregnancies in straight relationships in 2011 (the last year data is available) were unintended, and 18% were unwanted.

But right. Gay people shouldn't be parents.

Single Parenting

The 'Strange Dichotomy' of Dating as a Single Gay Dad

A single gay dad describes the balancing act involved with dating after having come out later in life.

It was a Friday morning as I walked towards the twins' bedroom door, and I caught the dreaded whiff. The unmistakable smell of fecal funk. My heart sank — I knew exactly what awaited me on the other side. As I cracked the door open, my assumptions were immediately confirmed. Our resident two-year-old "scat princess", a.k.a. Maren, had pried off her poopy diaper and painted her bedroom walls and doors in her own excrement for the third time in as many weeks. I couldn't decide if I wanted to scream or cry. Fortunately my dad superpowers immediately took over and I did neither. I simply gritted my teeth, smiled, threw open the door and uttered "good morning, girls!" I spent the next hour giving the toddlers, the walls and the doors a Silkwood scrub-down. Again.

Fast-forward twelve hours later. The kids were safely with their mom for the weekend, and I was out on a date with a handsome guy I met on Tinder. The trauma from earlier in the day a mere, faint memory. This was the strange dichotomy of my life as a single gay dad. Balancing dating in the midst of coming out later in life, never mind the whole parenting thing, is a struggle. And, one that nobody really talks about.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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