Change the World

These 8 Books Will Make the Perfect Gift for the Gay Dad in Your Life

So many good LGBTQ parenting and children's books came out this year! We're thrilled with all the options, but here are our top 8 of the year. Pick one (or all 8) up for the gay dad in your life!

Here are a roundup of some of our favorite books from the past year. From one gay dad's memoir on overcoming homelessness, abuse and neglect to founding a not-for-profit for foster kids, to children's books written by gay dads, to a collection of stories from the perspective of kids of gay families - we've got your Christmas book list right here!


"Rebel Dad: Triumphing Over Bureaucracy to Adopt to Orphans Born Worlds Apart" by David McKinstry

David McKinstry set a legal precedent in 1997 as the first openly gay Canadian man approved to adopt internationally. A few years later, with his second husband, Michael, he did so again when they became the first gay Canadian couple to co-adopt children.

Read an excerpt from the first chapter of his new book here. It's 1998 and David finds himself in India. While in India, David visits several orphanages with his guide, Vinod, on his quest to adopt. With Indian adoption officials being extremely homophobic at the time, David could not reveal that he was a gay man.

Purchase your copy here.

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"Raised by Unicorns - Stories From People with LGBTQ+ Parents" by Frank Lowe

Frank Lowe, known on Instagram as @GayAtHomeDad, has carefully edited an anthology titled Raised by Unicorns: Stories from People with LGBTQ+ Parents. It reflects on the upbringing of children in many different forms of LBGTQ+ families - a subject that before now has rarely been discussed. Frank saw this current political climate as a time that is especially important to highlight stories from diverse families, rather than continually sweep them under the rug. From Baby Boomers to Generation Z, it features stories that are moving, visceral and raw. It's not always pretty, but love is always the common thread.

If you are currently an LGBTQ+ parent, about to be one, or considering being one - this book is a must-have. It sheds light on the flip side of parenting, and provides a moving snapshot of the world we're living in now.

Purchase your copy here.

Read more here...

"The 2 Boys Who Wanted to Become Daddies" by Gay Parents Books

Pascal and Sylvain are a French couple who have been together for 15 years, and became dads to twins via surrogacy in Canada. During the process they tried to find best ways to explain surrogacy to their family members, especially their young nephews. They looked for children books to easily depict surrogacy, but apart from stories with kangaroos and penguins, the choice was very limited. So they decided to create their own illustrated children's book to read it to their daughters and their families.

"The story is not necessarily ours, because our own journey had many obstacles: four failed transfers, and other disappointments which we did not want to put this in the book. Therefore, it is really a children's book for all families (gay or not) who wish to explain how two dads have babies by surrogacy."

Purchase your copy here.

Read more here...

"Promised Land" by Adam Reynolds and Chaz Harris

"Promised Land" is a children's book with a gay storyline created by Adam Reynolds and Chaz Harris.

As the Odyssey reviewer Cassandra Burge says: "This story has all of the elements of a great children's book; adventure, an evil villain, a brave hero and even a cute animal sidekick. It also happens to have two male characters that fall in love."

In "Promised Land," a young prince named Leo and a farm boy named Jack meet by chance in the Enchanted Forest; their newfound friendship soon blossoms into love. However, things get complicated when the Queen's sinister new husband seeks control of the forest the farm boy's family are responsible for protecting.

Purchase your copy here.

Read more here...

"What Does a Princess Really Look Like?" by Mark Loewen

In his debut children's picture book, gay dad Mark Loewen tells an important story that celebrates girl power and moves us to value the courage, determination, kindness, assertiveness, and "smarts" over beauty. Perfect for fans of The Paper Bag Princess and Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots?, What Does a Princess Really Look Like? challenges gender stereotypes showing girls it's not how they look but what they do for others that matters.

Purchase your copy here.

Read more here...

"The First Man on the Moon" by Laurent Pehem

The First Man on the Moon is a riveting story that will keep you on the edge of your seat, a true page-turner, full of unexpected twists. There are upheavals, escapes and near-misses, losses and gains, but never does Laurent loses sight of his ultimate objective: a baby.

Laurent and Harry want a baby. Easier said than done for a gay couple. When their adoption application is rejected, the two men embark on an insane four-year, four-clinic, four-egg-donor, nine-surrogate adventure.

Their journey takes them to Bangkok, where they must navigate the shambles of Thailand's big fertility business. From Baby Gammy, a Thai surrogacy baby born with Down syndrome and allegedly abandoned by his Australian intended parents, to the visiting Japanese millionaire trying to father a thousand babies, the Thailand surrogacy microcosm has its share of scandals and oddities.

Things become even more complicated when a military junta abolishes democracy in the name of love and declares surrogacy out of bounds. Doctors refuse to examine surrogate mothers and would-be parents of surrogacy babies find themselves stranded in Bangkok, unsure if they'll be able to bring their children home.

Laurent and Harry's yearning for a family is enduring, but as they encounter unscrupulous surrogacy agents and try to play according to the rules, miscarriages and heartbreak, the likelihood of becoming parents is far from certain.

The First Man on the Moon is a true story.

Purchase your copy here.

A Forever Family: Fostering Change One Child at a Time

Rob Scheer never thought that he would be living the life he is now. He's happily married to his partner and love of his life, he's the father of four beautiful children, and he's the founder of an organization that makes life better for thousands of children in the foster care system.

But life wasn't always like this.

Growing up in an abusive household before his placement in foster care, Rob had all the odds stacked against him. Kicked out of his foster family's home within weeks after turning eighteen—with a year left of high school to go—he had to resort to sleeping in his car and in public bathrooms. He suffered from drug addiction and battled with depression, never knowing when his next meal would be or where he would sleep at night. But by true perseverance, he was able to find his own path and achieve his wildest dreams.

Poignant, gripping and inspiring, Rob's story provides a glimpse into what it's like to grow up in the foster care system, and sheds necessary light on the children who are often treated without dignity. Both a timely call to action and a courageous and candid account of life in the foster care system, A Forever Family ultimately leaves you with one message: one person can make a difference.

Purchase your copy here.

"O Cavaleiro E O Lobisomem" ("The Knight and the Werewolf") by Alexandre de Souza Amorim

"Every parent should remember that with their support their children can find the path of their happiness faster." - Alexandre de Souza Amorim

The book tells the story of young Kevin, who dreams of becoming a knight of his kingdom. When that dream comes true, Kevin is named the bravest knight in his kingdom. But being brave does not mean that you are not afraid of anything, but that you can face even your greatest fears. And it is facing his fear of Werewolves that Kevin meets Prince Noah. Friendship soon becomes love. It is a book about courage, love and with a great sensitivity to teach children that there are many possibilities to exist and to love.

Note: this book is in Portuguese

Purchase your copy here.

Read more...

Every book or product on Gays With Kids is independently selected by our staff, writers and experts. If you click on a link on our site and buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Change the World

New LGBTQ Children's Book Is About Two Moms — but Isn't About Being 'Different'

"Mighty May Won't Cry Today" is a relatable story celebrating the LGBTQ community, kids with same-sex parents, diversity and inclusion

Check out this 'Q & A' with Kendra and Claire-Voe Ocampo, authors of a new LGBTQ children's picture book, 'Mighty May Won't Cry Today.'

​Tell us a bit about yourselves!

Our story began 10 years ago in Boston when we fell in love. We got married in New Jersey in 2014, just months after same-sex marriage became legal in the state. Now six years later we are a happy family of four, moms to two daughters, Xiomara and Violet. When we're not writing or working our day jobs, you might find us eating Spanish tapas, video gaming, or debating over watching a sappy rom-com or the latest Sci-Fi flick on Netflix.

What inspired you to write the book?

Our inspiration to write the book began in 2016 after our first daughter was born and we began reading her children's books. We quickly saw that most of them featured a traditional family. It saddened us that our family was so little represented in the books Xiomara read, and we worried that she would feel like we were different (in a negative way) from other families. In fact, we learned that a study out of the Cooperative Children's Book Center of Education found that of 3,700 books surveyed, less than 1% were children's picture books containing LGBTQ+ content. It only made sense to write a children's book of our own!

What is the book about?

Mighty May Won't Cry Today tells the story of May, an imaginative and determined girl who tries not to cry on her first day of school. May's first day of school is filled with many adventures and emotions as she is faced with unexpected, embarrassing and overwhelming moments. Young readers will relate to the experiences of May's day—riding the bus for the first time or forgetting her favorite drink at home. At last May will face the ultimate challenge and she cannot hold back her tears. With the help of her two moms, she finds out why it's OK to cry and that even adults cry, both happy and sad tears!

How is this book unique from other children's books?

Not only is this book unique because it shows non-traditional families in children's books, but it also shares a unique message for kids and adults of all ages—learning that it's beneficial to cry when dealing with emotions like sadness, fear, embarrassment and frustration.

Shira Levy, School Psychologist and Positive Psychology Practitioner says about Mighty May: "I absolutely love Mighty May Won't Cry Today. It's a story about grit and perseverance, and teaches children about emotional intelligence and the fact that it's okay to experience a wide range of emotions. That's actually really good for our brains because when we make mistakes and we learn new things, our brains GROW. I highly recommend Mighty May Won't Cry Today."

What will gay, bi and trans fathers love about your book?


Fathers and kids will love the poetic rhymes, colorful designs and lovable "Mighty May." It's a beautiful story with a positive message about embracing different families and encourages an environment of inclusion from an early age. It is a great learning tool to teach kids that it's OK to cry and how to use mindful techniques to work through emotions.

When can we buy the book and how can we support it?

The illustrations for the book are almost final, but in order to fund the final illustrations and printing of this book, we launched a Kickstarter campaign on February 1, 2020. We would love it if you could join us on this journey. Please VISIT our Kickstarter page, LIKE our Facebook page and SHARE our story with your friends and family. We are counting on the LGBTQ community as our advocates and we know that together we will successfully bring this story to life.

Please post below and tell us: what are you excited about related to Mighty May? What do you think is important about telling this story? We can't wait to hear your thoughts.

Thank you for reading!

Kendra & Claire-Voe Ocampo, creators of Mighty May Won't Cry Today

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mightymay/mighty-may-wont-cry-today-an-lgbtq-childrens-book

www.facebook.com/mightymaybooks

Gay Dad Life

"Fridays with Fitz": A New Kid's Book Based Upon the Son of These Two Dads

Tracey Wimperly, author of the new children's book, said she hopes to give a more honest portrayal of the role grandparents play in the lives of children.

Guest post Tracey Wimperly

I've recently written a children's picture book (aimed at 2-4 year olds) called "Fridays with Fitz: Fitz Goes to the Pool." Every Friday - when his two dads go to work - Fitz and his grandparents (my husband, Steve and I) head off on an adventure. Through the eyes of a curious and energetic 3 year old, even ordinary adventures, like riding the bus or foraging for fungus in the forest can be fun and magical.

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Personal Essays by Gay Dads

"Rollercoaster and Sons," Explores the Journey of One Single Gay Dad Through the Foster-Adopt System

When it comes to the foster-adopt system, "there is no roadmap," said single gay dad Chase Turner

Guest post written by Chase Turner

Many of us thought long and hard about what avenues were best to pursue being a dad. For me, fostering to adoption was the selected road. There is no roadmap here, many things that came my way were learned by doing. Along the way, I started wishing I had a better support group or people who could understand what it's like to be gay and attempting to adopt. Often we (people who are LGBT) feel scrutinized and judged for choices that the majority makes but for us there is pushback. Once my adoption was complete, I felt it was necessary that I put pen to paper and write this story, from a gay male perspective.

My goal was to provide a voice in the space of foster care and adoption where there is a void. Additionally, I wanted to provide an authentic look at all facets of the process, from the kids, to the obstacles and challenges that happened within my personal life. I do hope you enjoy and more importantly can relate or prepare yourself for a similar journey.

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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."

Keep reading...
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.

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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Fatherhood, the gay way

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