Double Agent Me

Let’s Be Frank: The Diary of a Divorced Gay Dad


7:30 a.m. – Wake up, throw on sweatpants and other necessary “dad garb,” wake up my son aka Sleeping Beauty.

7:45 a.m. – Dress Briggs, prepare breakfast, eat, get Briggs pumped to kick ass in school.

8:15 a.m. – Pile into the car, talk as much as possible with Briggs knowing I won’t see him for a few days.

8:35 a.m. – Drop Briggs off at school, give him a lingering hug and my sign-off “I love you more than anything else in the world.”

8:55 a.m. – Return home, hop back in bed, shut phone off completely, catch up on much-needed sleep.

12:00 p.m. – Wake up, change identities. “Weekend Single Frank” is now in full effect. Let the games begin.

Saturday – Monday:

(What happens during the weekend stays in the weekend.)


3:15 p.m. – Change identities, pick Briggs up from school, be the best parent I can possibly be until Friday.


Did you follow along? This is my weekly routine that has developed from being a recent divorcé, with a child. I have two distinct lives that have yet to merge. One might say I’m like a gay Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, but I prefer the term “Double Agent Me.” I switch hats twice a week, and have become a master at balancing both. I have achieved the yin-yang of being a single, divorced gay dad. Here’s how:

Finding gratitude within a tragedy is very difficult to do, but it’s essential after a break-up/divorce involving children. One of the first things I realized was that I would be seeing half as much of my son, but that also meant by default I’d spend half the week alone. I only allowed myself a short amount of time to isolate and grieve. During that time, I made some amazing new friends that would comfort me and be there when I needed someone. Then I started to take advantage of my “time off” and slowly began to find myself, again.

Before I was partnered and married and all of that, I loved to go out. I wasn’t necessarily a club whore, but I definitely enjoyed cutting loose occasionally. Usually a little too loose. Over the years, I cared less and less about the scene, and starting #adulting on a regular basis. Then I began to hate the scene, because I felt it was in direct opposition to my personal relationship/family goals, so I didn’t step foot in a bar for years (vacations not included). Fast forward to my separation, and suddenly the gay clubs seemed like Candyland.

The first time I entered a club as a single man, I was silently terrified. I didn’t pregame sufficiently, so I ordered a Grey Goose on the rocks to help me deal with my anxiety. Within an hour, my friends and I were dancing our asses off and I felt like I was 21 again. Several drinks later, I noticed a very handsome guy who was also recently single. We talked (as best as I could) and flirted, and I went home with his phone number and felt completely rejuvenated. It gave me the confidence I so desperately needed and missed. It reminded me of what I am capable of, and what my future has in store.

Week after week, I garnered what my limits were and what I wanted more of. I went overboard a few times, and learned some valuable lessons that most learn earlier in life. For instance:

  • Never be intoxicated and get on social media (especially when you have almost 90,000 Twitter followers).
  • Be extremely aware of who is taking pictures of you, and at what times.
  • Shopping at Forever 21 when you’re way past 21 creates a closet full of unworn clothing.
  • In a small state, every single gay person knows each other (or at least has slept with each other).
  • Snapchat is the devil.
  • And the list could go on forever. Part of my experience was going to the mall and discovering the fine line between clubwear and “WTF does that Daddy think he’s wearing?” It took a few attempts, but eventually I shed my J.Crew Stepford Gay look and found my party “uniform.” My closet is now a strange hybrid of clothes that could easily be for four different people. It has a multiple personality disorder, but fortunately, I do not.

    When my son is with me, I shut out the scene completely. That is my precious time with him, and it will always be that way. It’s also when I consider myself to be at my peak best self, so I nurture that side of me as much as possible. I know for a fact that my life will eventually even out, and I will consider this period to be transitionary. In the meantime, this weekend warrior is living it up – cautiously. No matter what I’m doing, the fact that I’m a parent comes first, and no amount of fun is ever worth forgetting that.

    Show Comments ()

    Today is National Coming Out Day, and as we celebrate, we're sharing six coming out stories from dads in our community. Their personal stories are heartwarming, relatable, and empowering. Happy Coming Out Day, and remember, live your truth!

    Keep reading... Show less
    Personal Essays by Gay Dads

    Growing a Thicker Skin

    Experiencing hateful and hurtful comments, Erik Alexander had to learn an important lesson: how to ignore the trolls.

    Photo credit: BSA Photography

    Twenty years ago when I came out, it was unbearably hard. As I have written before, I am from the Deep South. Anyone who dared to deviate from social norms was sure to be ostracized. It's not that these people were born hateful or mean; rather, it probably had more to do with them not being subjected to other lifestyles. Anything different from their own experiences sparked fear and confusion. Homosexuality, interracial relationships, religious differences – these were all unfamiliar territories to the average person I grew up around. Thus, growing up was particularly difficult.

    I remember lying in bed at night when I was a little boy. I would pray and beg God to not let me be gay. Every single night I would end my prayers with "... and God, please don't let me have nightmares and please don't let me be gay." I remember crying myself to sleep many nights. I was embarrassed and ashamed. And I wanted God to cure me.

    Keep reading... Show less
    Change the World

    10 Inspiring Coming Out Stories From Gay Dads

    Happy National Coming Out Day! To celebrate, we've rounded up some of our recent stories about gay men with kids coming out to live their most authentic lives.

    Happy National Coming Out Day! To celebrate, we've rounded up some of our best articles of gay dads coming out to live their authentic lives.

    #1. Former NFL Player Jeff Rohrer, and Father of Two, Comes Out as Gay and Marries Longterm Partner

    Jeff Rohrer, a father of two teenage boys via a previous relationship with a woman, is the first NFL player to marry another man. Read the article here.

    #2. Coming Out to His Wife Was Painful, Says This Salt Lake-Based Dad of Four. But it Started Him on a Path of Authenticity

    After Kyle came out to his wife, with whom he has four children, "she listened, she mourned and she loved," he said. Read the article here.

    #3. Gay Dads Share Their Coming Out Stories for National Coming Out Day

    We asked several gay dads to share their coming out stories in honor of National Coming Out Day, whose stories are heartwarming, instructive, and everything in between. Read the article here.

    #4. Gay Muslim Single Dad Writes Op Ed on His Path to Self Acceptance

    Maivon Wahid writes about the challenges of reconciling three separate, but equally important, identities in an opinion piece for Gay Star News. Read the article here.

    #5. One Gay Dad's Path Towards Realizing Being Gay and Christian are Not Mutually Exclusive

    Gay dads Matt and David Clark-Sally talk about coming out, parenting as gay men, and reconciling faith and sexuality. Read the article here.

    #6. Republican Utah Lawmaker, and Dad of Two, Comes Out as Gay in Moving Video

    Nathan Ivie has many important identities he's proud of: Mormon, Republican, Utahn, father of two... and gay. Read the article here.

    #7. How Coming Out Helped This Gay Man Find the Strength to Be a Dad

    Steven Kerr shares the moment he came out to his ex-girlfriend. "From that moment on," he writes, "my strength and purpose have grown." Read the article here.

    #8. Ed Smart, Father of Kidnapping Victim Elizabeth Smart, Comes Out as Gay

    In coming his coming out letter, Ed Smart, a Mormon, condemned the church for their "ridicule, shunning, rejection and outright humiliation" of LGBTQ individuals. Read the article here.

    #9. The Best Part of Coming Out, Says This Gay Dad, Is Being an Out and Proud Role Model for His Daughter

    "I couldn't face myself in the mirror and think that I could be a good dad and role model for my child when I was lying to myself every moment of every day," said Nate Wormington of his decision to come out. Read the article here.

    #10. These Gay Dads Via Previous Marriages Have Adopted a Motto Since Coming Out and Finding Each Other: "United We Stand"

    Vincent and Richard both had children in previous marriages with women; together, with their ex-wives, they are helping raise seven beautiful kids. Read the article here.

    Gay Dad Life

    8 Ways for Dads to Find Work/Life Balance

    Finding work/life balance is hard enough... but can be even harder for gay dads.

    Having kids is an amazing part of life, and it should be fun. Life does tend to get in the way sometimes, and one huge aspect of that is work. Striking that balance between work and home life is tough. If you both work it's even harder.

    And if you're a gay couple, it can have it's own set of problems above and beyond the standard work-life issues that people face. Recently, the Harvard Business Review conducted a study that focused specifically on the experiences of same-sex couples who wanted to make moves towards a work/life balance.

    Keep reading... Show less
    Gay Dad Family Stories

    These Adoptive Dads Gained an Extended Family Through Foster Care

    Adoptive dads Edward and Andrew have maintained a close relationship with their twins' biological family.

    Celebrating gay, bi and trans fatherhood is what we do on Gays With Kids. We rejoice in whatever paths our community took to become parents. But many of those journeys come with heartbreak, sometimes for the intended parents, and sometimes for the biological family from whom the adoption or foster placement occurs. With an open adoption, the adoptive and biological families come to an arrangement which best benefits the child, and that's when something truly beautiful can occur. This isn't always possible in every scenario, but when it does, we're exceedingly thankful. Can a child ever have too many family members loving them? Not likely. This was husbands of five years Edward and Andrew Senn's experience.

    Keep reading... Show less
    Change the World

    Single Gay Man Adopts Girl Passed Over by 20 Previous Families

    Luca Trapanese, a gay dad from Naples, Italy, adopted a baby with Down syndrome who had been rejected twenty times previously

    Luca Trapanese, a single 41-year-old gay man from Naples, Italy, had always wanted to become a dad. But in Italy, it was only legal for married heterosexual couples to adopt until 2017. Even then, he was told that he'd only be able to adopt a "hard to place" child, with mental or physical challenges.

    "They told me that they would only give me sick children, with severe disabilities, or with behavioral problems," he told the BBC in an interview. "I was absolutely ok with that."

    And that's how Alba, a little girl with Down syndrome, came into his life. Abandoned at birth, she had been passed over by 20 separate families before Luca was approached about providing her a home. Luca, who has worked and volunteered with people with disabilities from a young age, readily agreed.

    "I'm proud to be her father," Luca said. "Alba was never a second option because she had a disability. I wanted her to be my daughter."

    Listen to the entire interview here.

    Gay Dad Photo Essays

    Gay Dads + Kids = MAJOR Family Halloween Costumes

    All October long, we'll be posting pics of gay dads and their major Halloween costumes from previous years for inspiration! We'll ALSO let you know where to get the looks!

    We've said it before and we'll say it again — NO ONE does Halloween (aka queer Christmas) better than the gays. So if you're in need of some inspiration for this year's family costume, look no further! We selected 31 of our favorites off Instagram from last year, one for each spooky day of October, to help get your creative juices flowing.

    We can't wait to see what creepy, creative and/or cute costumes dads have up their sleeves (or maybe capes?) this year!

    Keep reading... Show less

    Fatherhood, the gay way

    Get the latest from Gays With Kids delivered to your inbox!

    Follow Gays With Kids

    Powered by RebelMouse