Popular

How Do Gay Dads Celebrate Father's Day Over the Years?

Whether it's your first time celebrating as a dad or your 30th, Happy Father's Day from all of us as Gays With Kids!

June is a celebratory month for us gay dads. We have Pride to remind us of our history, support our fellow LGBTQ+ community, and to be proud of who we are. We also have Father's Day, a cultural acknowledgement of dads everywhere!

It's a great day to acknowledge the dads in our lives (us included!) and the evolving role of fathers in general. But how does the celebration of Fathers' Day change for gay dads over the years? To find out, we spoke with seven gay dad families, each with a different number of Fathers' Days under the belt (from their first to their 30th!) to hear their family traditions, family stories, and their advice to future gay, bi and trans dads.


Happy 1st Father's Day to Ronald and Clarence!

Neil and Ronald with Viviana

Ronald and Clarence (Neil) Glenn Alarcon are thrilled to be celebrating their first Father's Day with their daughter Viviana, born July 19, 2018 via surrogate.

The dads met at a club in 2011, and over the next six months became best friends eventually stared dating. "We originally started talking about children in 2015 when a teenage family friend asked us to adopt their unborn child but later changed her mind." The dads would experience three failed adoptions, leaving them feeling lost and hopeless, before taking their friend up on her offer to be their surrogate, an offer she had made the year prior.

"We're most excited about being actual fathers for Father's Day! LOL," said Neil. "We have seven godchildren in total but this year will be different for sure." Although the dads aren't exactly sure what traditions they'd like to start for their Father's Day, they know it'll have something to do with traveling as they want to share the world with their kids.

One piece of advice to the next generation of GBT dads:

"Being a father is one of the best feelings in the world. The sleepless nights & poopy diapers are so worth it! LOL All the love that you give, you get it right back unconditional."

Happy First Father's Day to Nick and Shawn!

Nick and Shawn with Smith and Nora

When Nick and Shawn Goehring-Romero met eight years ago, one of the first things they bonded over was how close they were with their respective families, and how they really wanted to have their own one day. "Eight years ago LGBT families weren't as visible, so it took a lot of research and support from our friends and family," said Nick.

In November 2018, they welcomed twins Nora and Smith through adoption. "We have a strong relationship with our beautiful, caring, and unbelievably strong birthmother," shared Nick. "We were able to be there for the birth of our twins and she has made us a family."

As this is their first Father's Day, it'll be a day to acknowledge how lucky they are. "It is an amazing reminder of the importance of family. I'm sure there are going to be quite a few tears on Father's Day as we look at each other and again pinch ourselves that this is real: we are truly dads and words can't describe how much we love our beautiful children."

Going forward, they hope to establish traditions such as making breakfast together as a family, enjoying a walk or hiking together, or playing basketball as a family.

Our twins, Nora & Smith are 7 months old.- This year we are celebrating our very FIRST fathers' day as the twins entered our lives at birth in November. - When we met, one of the first things that bonded us was that we are both so close with our family, and we both wanted to figure out a way to have one of our own. 8 years ago, LGBT families

One piece of advice to the next generation of GBT dads:

"We encourage other GBT dads to SHARE YOUR STORY of how they became a family so that future generations know it is possible to be gay and raise a family. Everyone has so many questions, like we did, and we love being able to help others, so we know as long as we become more visible, others will feel supported and can have a resource."

Happy 4th Father's Day to Jonah and Deejay!

Jonah, Anuhea and Deejay

Jonah and Deejay Labayan-Arvelo are celebrating their 4th Father's Day with their 4-year-old daughter Anuhea.

Deejay, a trans man was able to carry their daughter. "We found as a blessing that I am transgender, and figured that we could bring a child into this world without having to jump through hoops and boundaries that other LGBT couples may find challenging," said Deejay. He also described the experience as "the hardest and, most interestingly, the most masculine thing I've ever done."

One of the things the dads love most about Father's Day is sharing their journey with other parents. "Being visible as a trans family, who also participates in drag, is a very different outlook for a lot of people. However, it's a positive lifestyle that is surrounded with love and acceptance."

While the family doesn't have any traditions for Dad's Day just yet, they imagine they will once their daughter is a little older. "She's going to come up with something wild and crazy she wants to do with her dads."

One piece of advice to the next generation of GBT dads:

"Treasure every moment with your children. They are direct reflections of we want this world to be. Have patience, and feed their creativity in every way you can. There is no greater joy than being parent, that is the currency that keeps you rich all your life."

Happy 11th Father's Day to Kyle!

Kyle with his kids, Kasen, Kaylee, Avery and Brynlee

Kyle Ashworth became a dad through a previous straight relationship. "I was married to a woman for 10 years and amicably divorced in 2017. Together we had four children and we co-parent them," said Kyle. "I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to be a dad! I remember after the births of each of my kids, looking at them in their hospital blankets fearing that bringing them into the world would be the biggest mistake of my life. At the time I was closeted and feared coming out—even to my wife. I worried too much about what people would think of me and as a result, I worried about what people would think of my children.

I eventually came out, and the worst of my fears were never imagined."

Kyle is so proud of his children and feels as though they've taught him a lot, such as the important of honoring authenticity and honesty. "My children are strong, resilient and capable of giving love unconditionally. To them, having a gay dad isn't weird or shameful, but it is normal as any other parental relationship."

One of Kyle's favorite Father's Day traditions are the homemade crafts and drawings he receives from his kids. His home is proudly littered with sketches of giraffes, pandas, pugs and super heroes, although Kyle admits his feels somewhat close to donning a hoarder status as he has drawers full of their art. "I don't need ties, mugs or gifts for Father's Day, I just need them. I need my kids; they are my whole world."

One piece of advice to the next generation of GBT dads:

"To the next generation of dads, I welcome you to the club! Children will refine you. They have the ability to give you a perspective you've never before understood. Your capability to love them expands, your desire to seek goodness increases, and ultimately you will want the world to become a better place (because you know your children will venture into it someday.) I have learned that my children will follow my example, not my advice.

Go do some good today."

Happy 13th Father's Day to Bill and J.R.!

J.R. (left) and Bill with their daughters Mary and Nora

Bill Delaney and J.R. Parrish have two daughters through co-parenting. "We co-parent with our daughters' two moms and used at-home DIY insemination to conceive," explained Bill. "We have 50/50 legal and custodial rights and responsibilities." The kids split their time between their parents' homes which are 20 minutes, and the two families spent a lot of time together as a whole family.

As this is the dads' 13th Dad's Day, the love the excuse to do something a little fun. And still, Bill finds it triggers an odd feeling. "Even after all these years, I sometimes can't believe I have kids."

Typically, they celebrate with little weekend getaways. "Over the years we've gone camping, stayed by lakes in northern California, been to Russian River and Santa Monica, etc. Those trips are always just the dads and the kids." This year, it'll be a bit different as the whole family - moms included - will be in Kauai. "It wasn't intentional but worked out that way. This is our big annual family vacation so the baby mamas will be with us.

One piece of advice to the next generation of GBT dads:

"For couples, be a team and support each other. And that often means giving each other time off, so be willing to take on solo dad duty for a few hours or up to whole weekends. And whether a couple or a single dad (and especially the latter), if you don't have a built in local support network of extended family, think of alternate ways to create such support that doesn't always involve paying for childcare. Maybe work out an arrangement with other parents with kids of similar age to help each other out. Could be anything from helping with occasional errands up to providing weekends of childcare so you or the other parents can have time to themselves. We're socially conditioned to think our kids should be our 24/7 focus and source of happiness, but the reality is adults need childfree time…and often. Don't feel stigmatized into believing otherwise."

Happy 23rd Father's Day to Hunter and Johnny!

From left to right: Reed, Sidney, Eliza, Hunter and Johnny

Hunter Bigham's kids are 23, 21 and 18, and they are making him proud everyday. This will be his 23rd Father's Day and his needs are few, but being together is paramount. "The gift of time is precious indeed, especially at this stage in their lives."

Hunter was married to his children's mother for fourteen years after dating for eight. "Through quite a lot of self discovery, therapy, treatment, prayer, and help from the gay community, I came out in 2005 and we ultimately ended the marriage." Whilst rediscovering who he was, his kids remained the epicenter of his life. "They really saved me in so many ways; taught me how to be a man, showed me the importance of character, and just loved unconditionally."

In 2013, Hunter met Johnny Martell and although Hunter wasn't looking for a relationship, he immediately know Johnny would fit with his family. "His kindness and generosity are hallmarks of why our transition to being a family has worked. The children accepted him right away like I knew they would. It works because everybody understands how important the other is to me."

This Father's Day, the family plan to do what they usually do: church, food, and a movie. "Pretty simple, but special."

One piece of advice to the next generation of GBT dads:

"If you put the needs of children first, give them constant love and never stop showing up, they'll turn out to be the special people they were intended to be."

"I'm extremely proud of the work we have all done to make this house a loving home for all in it. There has been a lot of change in our lives and I believe we are stronger and love better because of it."

Happy 30th Father's Day to Gerald!  (And 15th for Gatlin!)

From left to right: Gatlin, Madison, Kinley, Gerald and Reggie.

Father's Day has another meaning for the husbands Gatlin Dresidan and Gerald Hyler this year: it's also their anniversary.

Six years ago, both Gerald and Gatlin came into their relationship with children from previous straight marriages. Gerald's son Reggie is 30, and Gatlin's two daughters Kinley and Madison are 15 and 14 respectively. The two men met via Facebook.

"When we first started you know it was Gerald's son and Gatlin's daughters but now we're one happy family. Our son Reggie got married last October so we now have a daughter in law to add to the family!"

Gatlin and Gerald chose June 16th as their anniversary to celebrate their relationship, and it also marked their first Father's Day together. Five years later, on June 16 2018, they were married. So this June 16 will mark their 6th anniversary, first wedding anniversary, and sixth Father's Day together. A special day indeed!

"You know, as parents we spend 99% of our time celebrating our children and their accomplishments, whether it's birthdays, graduations, sports, band, cheer, or what have you, that it's the one day that's set aside for them to get to celebrate the both of us," said Gatlin. "It's also a day for G and I to reflect and be extremely proud to be their fathers."

One piece of advice to the next generation of GBT dads:

"Enjoy every moment being a father the good and the bad! Remember that moments make memories for you and them!"

And Happy Father's Day to Phillip and Clinton ... in 2020!

Phillip and Clinton

Phillip and Clinton Billingsley from North Dallas are expectant dads, and eager to welcome their daughter via surrogacy this July. Phillip's sister is carrying the baby.

The husbands already feel like dads and although they are going to celebrate this Father's Day, they can't wait to recognize their first official Father's Day as a family of three next year. "I'm excited to spend the day reflecting on and celebrating our accomplishments as fathers with our daughter," shared Phillip.

The dads-to-be envision future Father's Days spent together, taking time to reflect on the "good times and love shared" as a family.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received from a parent?

"Some of our favorites would be, Remembering to not overly expect too much from our children depending on their current stage of life, and let them be kids! Instilling the importance of always being kind and showing unconditional love to those around them! And lastly, to always be encouraging and supportive! We need to focus on building our children up!"

Show Comments ()
Transracial Families Series

How These Dads Address White Privilege within Their Transracial Family

The "white savior" complex is real, said Andrew and Don, who are raising two Black children.

Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of ongoing posts exploring issues related to transracial families headed by gay, bi and trans men. Interested in being featured as part of the series? Email us at dads@gayswithkids.com

Andrew Kohn, 40, and his husband Donald (Don) Jones, 47, together 13 years, are two white dads raising two Black children in Columbus, Ohio. Do they stick out? Sure. Have they encountered racism? They say they haven't. "I keep waiting for the moment so that I can become my best Julia Sugarbaker," said Andrew. "I think because we're a gay couple with Black kids, we're the other-other and people don't really say things to us. We have never had people touch our kids hair or do something that was inappropriate."

Keep reading... Show less
Entertainment

Take a Virtual Tour of The Homes of These Famous Gay Dads

Many famous gay dads — including Neil Patrick Harris, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Ricky Martin — have opened up their homes to fans on the pages of Architectural Digest.

In each issue, Architectural Digest offers a peak into the homes of different celebrities. In recent years, they've featured the homes of several famous gay dads. Check out the videos and stories the magazine pulled together on the beautiful homes of Neil Patrick Harris, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Ricky Martin below!

Keep reading... Show less
Children's Books

New LGBTQ-Inclusive Children's Book Asks: What Makes a Family?

A new children's book by Seamus Kirst follows a young girl's journey of emotional discovery after she is asked which of her two dads is her "real dad."

Editor's note: This is a guest post from Seamus Kirst, author of the new LGBTQ-inclusive children's book "Papa, Daddy, Riley."

Throughout my life, I have discovered that reading provides an almost miraculous way of changing the way I think.

There is no medium that better offers insight into the perceptions, feelings and humanity of someone who is different from us. Through reading we become empathetic. Through reading we evolve. I have often emerged from reading a book, and felt like I was changed. In that, even in this digital age, I know I am not alone.

As children, reading shapes how we see the world. The characters, places, and stories we come to love in our books inform us as to what life might offer us as we grow up, and our world begins to expand beyond our own backyards.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Photo Essays

Interested in Foster Care? These Amazing Dads Have Some Advice

As National Foster Care Month comes to a close, we rounded up some amazing examples of gay men serving as foster care dads, helping provide kids with a bright future.

Every May in the United States, we celebrate National Foster Care Month. With over 437,000 children and youth in foster care, it's our honor to take a look at some of the awesome dads in our community who are opening their hearts and their homes, and providing these kids with a bright future.

Thinking about becoming a foster parent? Check out these resources here, and visit AdoptUSKids.

Meet the Foster Dads!

Keep reading... Show less
Transracial Families Series

This Transracial Family Relies on a 'Support Group' of African American Women

Puerto Rican dads Ferdinand and Manuel are raising a daughter of Jamaican descent — and love to find ways to celebrate their family's diversity

Our second feature in our transracial family series. Read the first one here.

Ferdinand Ortiz, 39, and his husband Manuel Gonzalez, 38, have been together for 7 years. In 2017, they became foster dads when they brought their daughter, Mia Valentina, home from the hospital. She was just three days old at the time. On December 13, 2018, her adoption was finalized.

Mia is of Jamaican and African American heritage, and her dads are both Puerto Rican. When Manuel and Ferdinand began their parenting journey through the foster care system, they received specific training on how to be the parents of a child whose race and culture was different from their own. "We learned that it's important to celebrate our child's culture and surround ourselves with people who can help her be proud of her culture." However, as helpful as this training was, the dads agreed that it would've been beneficial to hear from other transracial families and the type of challenges that they faced.

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

How the Shut Down Opened Me Up to Being a Better Dad

David Blacker's dad used to tell him to 'stop and smell the roses' — the shut down has led him to finally take the advice

"Stop and smell the roses." It was the thing my dad always said to me when I was growing up. But like many know-it-all kids, I didn't listen. I was determined to keep my eye on the prize. Whether it was getting good grades in school, getting my work published, scoring the next big promotion, buying a house or starting a family. For me, there was no such thing as resting on my laurels. It has always been about what's next and mapping out the exact course of action to get me there.

Then Covid.

Ten weeks ago, I — along with the rest of the world — was ordered to shelter-in-place... to stop thinking about what's next, and instead, focus on the here and the now. In many ways, the shut down made me shut off everything I thought I knew about being content and living a productive life. And so, for the first time in my 41 years, I have literally been forced to stop and smell the roses. The question is, would I like the way they smell?

Keep reading... Show less
Transracial Families Series

How This Transracial Family Creates a 'Safe Space' to Talk About Their Differences

Kevin and David know they can never understand what it's like growing up as a young black girl — but they strive to create a 'safe space' for their daughters to talk about the experience

Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of ongoing posts exploring issues related to transracial families headed by gay, bi and trans men. Interested in being featured as part of the series? Email us at dads@gayswithkids.com

Is adopting a child whose race and culture is different from your own something that us queer dads need to talk about? Share our experiences? Learn from others? We've been hearing from our community, and the answer has been a resounding, "yes."

With over one-fifth (21.4%) of same-sex couples raising adopted children in the United States today (compared to 3% of different-sex couples), it's highly likely, at the very least, that those families are transcultural. According to April Dinwoodie, Chief Executive of The Donaldson Adoption Institute, Inc., all adoptive families are transcultural. "All, in my opinion, adoptions are transcultural because there are no two families' culture that is exactly the same, even if you went as far as to get very specific about the family of origin and the family of experience and almost make it cookie-cutter … no two families operate the same."

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