Gay Dad Life

Finding Normal

If you ever come across people who say, I don’t care what people think of me," I give you permission to bitch-slap them. Everyone, absolutely everyone, cares what other people think. It’s human nature, like eating, lying and stealing. Well, maybe not eating. This is L.A. after all.


I was just a little boy when I first became aware of what other people thought of me. Back then the worst thing someone could possibly think was that I was gay. I didn’t even know what gay meant, but it felt like something bad… something you didn’t want to be. At that age, it had nothing to do with whom you love, but rather what you love… what music you listen to, how you dress, how you walk, how you talk and how you hold your wrist. And by those standards, I, for all intents and purposes, was pretty gay. And so the pretending not to be began.

When all the other kids joined little league, I joined too and pretended to be a jock. Turns out, I was surprisingly good at getting the basketball past the goalie. Then, when all the other guys rocked out to Metallica, I bought all their CDs. Sure, I’d later have my mom exchange them for Whitney, but the point is, I had to play along. And even though I really wanted to watch the truly outrageous "Jem" cartoon before school, I forced my way through "Transformers" instead. I did all these things to appear the opposite of gay… to appear normal to everyone around me.

Years later, in high school, when I was old enough to understand the true meaning of gay, I still pretended I wasn’t. I deepened my voice when talking to guys. I wore those awful Champion sweatshirts instead of the color-block silk button-downs I desperately wanted. I even… wait for it… slept with girls, as many as possible, just to prove to everyone how not gay I was. (Now that’s dedication!) And when I saved up to buy my dream car — a teal Geo Storm — I instead purchased a dark blue Ford Thunderbird because it was the butchest car on the lot. (Although my furry zebra-print steering wheel cover might beg to differ.)

Then came college, typically known as the best time of your life, but for me meant four more tediou… — trying not to use 's' words because of my lisptortured years of pretending. Trying to be normal was exhausting. (I mean, do you know how many ‘s’ words there are?) I was over it. I needed a change.

So I moved from Philadelphia to Los Angeles and finally came out — to myself and the world. Fast-forward a few years: I meet my dashing soul mate Alex, we get married, buy a big “f*ck-you” house in the suburbs and together adopt the most genuine, ridiculously adorable, hella cool kid imaginable. I am wondering, did I just become what I pretended to be my entire life — did I just become normal?

In a word: hell-to-the-yeah!

As soon as I became a father, I finally had something in common with all those guys I grew up with, the normal guys I pretended to be like. I became an honorary member of the fatherhood club, a fraternity of dads who speak that once-foreign “Dad-Bro” language:

“Hey, brah, looks like you’ve got a ball player on your hands.”

Guys that celebrate each other’s parental victories...:

“Potty-trained at two?" (High-five.) "Well played, brah.”

…and support each other’s failures:

“Sorry about the minivan, brah. But don’t worry, your balls will eventually grow back.”

Turns out, the very same people that grew up calling me gay are now praising all my gay family pics on Facebook. It’s like having a child made me a man’s man in their eyes. I no longer had to pretend to be like them; I was them. Well, the thinner, healthier, tanner, wittier, more in-shape, more successful, fuller-head-of-hair version of them.

I always knew having a child would change my life in a million positive ways… but I never expected fatherhood to bring the one thing that always eluded me: acceptance, approval and a sense of normalcy. I’m finally just one of the guys. And I owe it all to my son.

Thanks, little dude. Dada loves you.

P.S.   If by chance any young gay kids are reading this, let me be very clear about something — YOU ARE NORMAL. You’ve always been normal. It’s other people’s perceptions that are sometimes abnormal. I didn’t figure this out until I was an adult, but I can tell you from experience, there’s nothing more normal than being yourself.

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Gay Uncles

Gay Uncles are an Essential Part of This Gay Dad Family's Village

It takes a village to raise a child, and this village includes many gay uncles

In November last year, Ottawa-based husbands Matt Ottaviani and Rej Gareau (whose story we shared in July) became first-time dads through surrogacy. They were overjoyed to welcome their daughter Andy and become a family of three.

But as many of us know, raising a child isn't always just about the nuclear family. The African proverb "it takes a village to raise a child" is a commonly repeated phrase, and rings very true for many families. Matt and Rej are no different, and when they shared their story last month, one thing jumped out to us: the important role Andy's guncles play in her and her dads' lives.

In honor of Gay Uncles Day today, we reached out to Andy's many guncles to learn first-hand how their relationship with the family affects their lives. Here's what they had to say.

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Gay Dad Life

Need a Sitter for Your Kids? Gays With Kids Reviews UrbanSitter

Back-to-school is already here for some of us, and if you're looking for a sitter to help out with school runs, after-school pick-ups, and the occasional date night, check out our review of UrbanSitter.

Instagram @davidcblacker

We moved from New York to Boston the summer of 2017. Along with the Manhattan skyline, our beloved Broadway, and late-night cookie deliveries, we also left behind our sitters — two sisters who had become more like family.

After settling for several months into our new home and neighborhood, we realized we hadn't had a dads' night out since our move. Our kids were still too young to leave alone at night, so I began what I presumed would be the tedious task of finding a sitter.

The first thing I did was to leave a post on our local parents' Facebook group. The dad of one of our daughters' classmates told me about UrbanSitter, a website and mobile app that he'd had success using to find last-minute sitters a few times. He also mentioned that within the app, I could see see babysitters and nannies recommended by parents at our kids' school in addition to local parenting groups.

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"We are so excited about The Bravest Knight, its values and our partnership with Hulu," said Shabnam Rezaei, the director of the series and co-founder of Big Bad Boo Studios. "They understand how to push the envelope with authentic storytelling."

"I immediately fell in love with the idea of a girl wanting to work hard and make something of herself," Rezaei continued. "I also have a nephew who has two dads, so it's a very personal issue for me. I want him to have role models when he's watching TV. I want him to feel like having two dads is completely normal. That's what this show is going to do for him."

Errico's book was first realized as an animation when Hulu created a short film based upon his writing and were interested in exploring the concept of a full series. "I watched the eight minutes on Hulu and at the end the prince and the knight get married and I was in tears," says Rezaei. Rezaei then stepped in to create all new art work including new character design by Tim Linklater and backgrounds by Sarita Kolhatra. Together, they created a kickass bible and pitched the series to Hulu and were successful.

Diversity and inclusivity is celebrated throughout The Bravest Knight, reflected by its casting choices. Nia is played by Storm Reid, from "A Wrinkle in Time," and her dads Sir Cedric and Prince Andrew are voiced by T.R. Knight and Wilson Cruz respectively. The star studded cast also includes Wanda Sykes, Bobby Moynihan, RuPaul, Steven Weber, Teri Polo, AJ McLean, Jazz Jennings, Maz Jobrani and Christine Baranski as the formidable Red Dragon.

"With so many wonderful stories yet to be told, we hope that The Bravest Knight stands as an example of the undeniable strength in inclusivity, and the inherent joy in all forms of love and identity," said Errico, the author of the original book.

The first 5 episodes were released on June 21, and there are 8 more planned for release before the end of the year. Be sure to tune in!

This is the Main Title Song for Big Bad Boo's Hulu Original Series "The Bravest Knight". The song is performed by Justin Tranter and composed by Michael Plow...

Fun

Gay Dad Penguins Strike Again! This Time in Berlin Zoo

The latest male penguins to care for an egg together are Skipper and Ping in the Berlin Zoo.

First, there was Roy and Silo — the two male penguins in the Central Park Zoo that served as inspiration for the famous children's book And Tango Makes Three. Then Magin Sphen got together in Sydney, where aquarium keepers gave the cocks (Calm down, that's what a male penguin is called!) a foster egg to care for.

And now, please welcome Skipper and Ping in Berlin to the latest list of gay dad penguins! As soon as the two emperor penguins arrived at the city's zoo, they set about trying to start a family, said Berlin Zoo spokesman Maximilian Jaege to DPA news.

"They kept trying to hatch fish and stones," Jaeger said.

So the zookeepers loaned the penguins an egg from a female penguin, who is apparently uninterested in hatching eggs on her own, according to the BBC.

Unsurprisingly, the gay penguins are killing it as parents. "The two male penguins are acting like exemplary parents, taking turns to warm the egg," Jaeger said,

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Change the World

Hungarian Company Raising Money for LGBTQ+ Organization with a LEGO® Heart

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Guest Post from WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD

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You might know that gender equality and the circumstances of LGBTQ+ people is not the easiest in the former communist Eastern European countries like Hungary so this program is in a real need for help. For example a couple of month ago a member of the government said that homosexual people are not equal part of our society.

The essence of the campaign is when one buys a Pride Heart, a custom creation made of brand new and genuine LEGO® bricks the organization gets $10.00 donation so they can continue their important work. This Pride Heart is a nice necklace, a decoration in your home, and a cool gift to the one you love.

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Single Gay Dad Featured on Season Three of GLOW

Actor Kevin Cahoon joins the Gorgeous Ladies of Wresting in Vegas as a single gay dad — and drag queen — on Season Three of the hit Netflix show

For a couple of years now, Hollywood has been obsessed with gay dad characters (and who can blame them?) But the latest show to get hip to a story line featuring gay man raising kids is Netflix's GLOW, which explores a female wresting troop in the late 1980s.

But GLOW is helping represent a gay character that rarely gets time in the limelight:the single gay dad. In Season three of the hit comedy — which stars Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, and Marc Maron — actor Kevin Cahoon joins the case as Bobby Barnes, a single gay father who plays a female impersonator. (80s divas only, of course — Joan Collins and Babs among them)


"I've never done female impersonation," the openly gay actor told OutSmart Magazine, "so I tried to learn really quick. You will know them all; I was very familiar with all of them. There were plenty of talk shows and performances on YouTube to study. I learned that their breathing was very informative."

A single gay dad AND drag queen on television? It's about damn time if you ask us.

Read the full interview with Cahoon here.

Politics

Utah Court Rules Gay Couples Can't Be Excluded From Surrogacy Contracts

The Utah Supreme Court found in favor of a gay couple attempting to enter into a surrogacy contract.

DRAKE BUSATH/ UTCOURTS.GOV

Earlier this month, the Utah Supreme Court ruled that a same-sex couples can't be excluded from entering into enforceable surrogacy contracts, and sent a case concerning a gay male couple back to trial court to approve their petition for a surrogacy arrangement.

As reported in Gay City News, the case concerns Utah's 2005 law on surrogacy, which was enacted prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state. As a result, the content of the law is gendered, saying that surrogacy contracts should only be enforceable if the "intended mother" is unable to bear a child. When a gay couple approached District Judge Jeffrey C. Wilcox to enter into a surrogacy arrangement, he denied them, arguing that the state's law only concerned opposite sex couples.

"This opinion is an important contribution to the growing body of cases adopting a broad construction of the precedent created by Obergefell v. Hodges and the Supreme Court's subsequent decision in Pavan v. Smith," according to GCN. "It's also worth noting that same-sex couples in Utah now enjoy a right denied them here in New York, where compensated gestational surrogacy contracts remain illegal for all couples."

Read the full article here.

Fatherhood, the gay way

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