Gay Dad Life

Gay Dads Bryden and Pierre's Story

Pierre and Bryden celebrate their tenth anniversary this year. Their gift to each other? Fatherhood!


Turns out there just may be something to that old adage about there being "plenty of fish in the sea." Just ask Pierre and Bryden of Vancouver, who met online back in January of 2007 through the matchmaking website Plenty of Fish (POF). Both were young men at the time: Pierre was just 23 and Bryden 27. They bonded over their love of the outdoors and the importance of family. They both knew they wanted to be dads. Pierre was still closeted; as fate would have it, Bryden would soon become his first – and only – boyfriend.

Pierre (l) and Bryden on a camping trip 2007

Bryden, who had been out for years to his family and friends, had no problem introducing Pierre as his boyfriend. But Pierre told everyone that Bryden was his roommate.

Pierre's journey from the closet to living out and proud took several years. While Bryden certainly encouraged him to come out, Pierre shares that his boyfriend was patient and understanding. As it turns out, when he did finally come out in December 2010, the process was thankfully free of drama and pain. Pierre became one more example of a reality for many gay men these days: The only homophobia we encounter is our own.

Bryden and Pierre: Birthday Shenanigans 2009

Putting the Romance in Valentine's Day

Just two months later, on Valentine's Day 2011, Pierre decided that the man who supported him through his coming out journey and who also wanted to be a dad was the guy he wanted to spend his life with. So he proposed that day and the boyfriends went to bed on Valentine's night as fiancés.

Engagement photo shoot 2012

These guys were serious about their commitment. They took their time to plan a beautiful and memorable wedding, getting married in October 2012. That same year they also got a dog and purchased a home.

Bryden and Pierre's wedding, October 13, 2012

From Husbands to Gay Dads

A few years later they decided they were ready for fatherhood. They knew about surrogacy from good friends Brett and Justin, dads to adorable twins who've been featured several times on Gays With Kids.

Following their friends' advice, Pierre and Bryden used the same surrogacy agency Brett and Justin recommended. Pierre's life long friend volunteered to carry their baby, now they just needed to finalize their egg donor. As it turned out, a lesbian couple the guys knew were planning to become moms in the future. So the two couples worked out an arrangement whereby each would receive the healthiest embryos created from one of the women and both men.

Pregnancy Announcement 2016

Today, Pierre is the proud stay-at-home Daddy to newborn daughter Charli, and Bryden is her equally proud Dadda. The new parents share that Charli has lots of love from family and friends, especially her grandparents, who are already over the moon in love with their baby granddaughter!

Charli, born December 12, 2016

The dads have a message for other gay men considering fatherhood: 100 percent just do it! "Be patient, because it can be a long process, but the rewards are unmeasurably amazing! And for those of you who are Canadians, you'll get to take advantage of the nine months' parental leave!"

Life as a Stay-at-Home-Dad

We asked Pierre a few questions about his experience so far as the full-time daddy on paternity leave.

How did you guys come to the decision that you’d be the one to take the extended paternity leave?

I have been in my career with the same company for 10 years, so it made the most sense for us for me to be off.

What do you love most about being at home with your daughter?

I love every moment but my favorite is seeing her change everyday, and seeing her start to recognize our voices and silhouettes.  I can't believe how fast she is growing.

What does a typical day at home look like for you and Charli?

We try to stay busy; we are often on the move doing errands visiting friends and family. Or even just relaxing at home cuddling on the sofa and watching Netflix. But really there's always something to do.

What would you like to say to other gay men who have the option to take an extended paternity leave? 

Yes! Absolutely do it, take the opportunity to bond with your baby, and don't be nervous. Your instincts kick in and everything just sorta happens.

On their way home from the hospital December 2016

 Bonus Story: Two Guys With Bowties

We found out that Pierre moonlights as one of the Two Guys With Bowties, a small mobile bartending company based out of the Fraser Valley, Vancouver. We love the name and the look, plus this may help spur other dads into coming up with creative ways to generate additional income. According to Pierre, they  specialize in wedding and special event bartending and their focus is to provide a premium service at a not-so-premium price. Also, Two Guys With Bowties provides services for a number of community events, like Fraser Valley Pride (benefiting the Fraser Valley Youth society) and Trade secrets Ladies night (benefiting community events "we got your back" and "project warmth").

Website / Facebook / Instagram 

Pierre with his Two Guys With Bowties business partner

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Gay Dad Life

Dads Tell Us Their 'Gayest Moment Ever' as Parents

We may be dads — but we're still gay, damnit! And these "gayest moments ever," sent to us from our Instagram community, prove it.

Did your child know all the lyrics to Madonna songs by age 3? Do your kids critique all the red carpet lewks from the Tony Awards? Do you often have baby food, diapers, sparkling white wine, gourmet appetizer, and fresh cut flowers in your shopping cart — all in one trip? If you answered 'yes' to any of the above, you just might be... a gay dad.

We asked the dads in our Instagram community to share their gayest moments as a dad, ever, and their responses were just as hilarious as they were relatable.

Here's a great way to start the week...

Keep reading...
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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Politics

Supreme Court to Hear Major Case Concerning LGBTQ Foster Care Parents

The Supreme Court agreed to decide whether cities are allowed to exclude tax-funded adoption agencies from foster care systems if they refuse to work with gay couples.

In 2018, city officials in Philadelphia decided to exclude Catholic Social Services, which refuses to work with LGBTQ couples, from participating in its foster-care system. The agency sued, claiming religious discrimination, but the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit unanimously ruled against the agency, citing the need to comply with nondiscrimination policies.

The case, Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, follows a 2018 Supreme Court decision regarding a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. In that case, the court narrowly ruled that the baker bad been discriminated against, on religious grounds, by the state's civil rights commission. It did not decide the broader issue: whether an entity can be exempt from local non-discrimination ordinances on the basis of religious freedom.

The court — whose ideological center has shifted to the right since the addition of Justice Brett Kavanaugh in fall 2018 — may choose to do so now. Advocates quickly called on the court to consider the potential impact on the more than 400,000 children currently in the foster care system:

"We already have a severe shortage of foster families willing and able to open their hearts and homes to these children," said Leslie Cooper, deputy director of the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project. "Allowing foster care agencies to exclude qualified families based on religious requirements that have nothing to do with the ability to care for a child such as their sexual orientation or faith would make it even worse. We can't afford to have loving families turned away or deterred by the risk of discrimination."

"It is unconscionable to turn away prospective foster and adoptive families because they are LGBTQ, religious minorities, or for any other reason unrelated to their capacity to love and care for children," said HRC President Alphonso David. "We reject the suggestion that taxpayer-funded child welfare services should be allowed to put discrimination over a child's best interest. This case could also have implications for religious refusals that go far beyond child welfare. The Supreme Court must make it clear that freedom of religion does not include using taxpayer funds to further marginalize vulnerable communities."

The court may choose to override a 1990 decision, Employment Division v. Smith, which created the current standard for carving out religious exemptions. In that case, the court ruled that laws that target a specific faith, or express hostility towards certain beliefs, are unconstitutional — but this standard has long been abhorred by religious conservatives, who think it doesn't offer enough protections for religions. If the court does overrule Smith, it could have far-ranging consequences. " As noted on Slate, "it would allow anyone to demand a carve-out from laws that go against their religion, unless those laws are 'narrowly tailored' to serve a 'compelling government interest.'"

The four members of the court's conservative wing — Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh —have all signaled an openness to reconsider Smith. The ruling's fate, then, likely rests in the hands of the court's new swing vote, Chief Justice Roberts.

For more, read the full article on Slate.

News

What's it Like to Be a Child of the 'Gayby Boom'?

Tosca Langbert, who grew up with two dads, writes a piece for the Harvard Business Review about what it's like being among the first children of the "Gayby Boom" to come of age.

We've previously written about the pressure on LGBTQ parents to appear perfect, given that so many in the United States still feel out families shouldn't exist in the first place. And we know this pressure trickles down to our kids. But In an article for the Harvard Business Review titled 'The Gayby Boom Is Here to Stay," author Tosca Langbert eloquently writes, from her perspective, about the experience of beingone of the first children to come of age during an era when LGBTQ parenthood is far more commonplace. She and her two siblings, she notes, "were raised in a family that was an impossibility only decades ago."

In the article, Langbert said she knew from a young age that her family was different from those of most of her peers, who had one a father and a mother. But otherwise, she writes, she didn't feel like her family differed much. "Like any other parents, Dad sat in the carpool lane after school and taught us how to ride our bikes," she writes, "while Papa took us to the movies on the weekends and separated the whites from the colors."

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Politics

Utah Bill Would Allow Gay Men to Enter Surrogacy Contracts

Rep. Patrice Arent of Utah is sponsoring a bill that will remove a provision that currently prohibits gay men from entering into commercial surrogacy contracts in the state.

Though Utah is not one of the three states that currently prohibit commercial surrogacy contracts, the state's current policy does specifically exclude gay men from doing so. That may soon changed, however, thanks to a bill in the state's legislature that was unanimously voted out of a House Committee that would remove that restriction.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek, a Democrat, was created in response to a ruling by the Utah Supreme Court this past August that found the ban on gay men unconstitutional.

Gay men have been excluded from legally entering surrogacy contracts due to a provision in the current law that requires medical evidence "that the intended mother is unable to bear a child or is unable to do so without unreasonable risk to her physical or mental health or to the unborn child," Rep. Arent told the Salt Lake Tribune — a requirement that clearly excludes gay male couples.

The state's original surrogacy law dates back to 2005, before same-sex marriage was legalized in the state, which accounts for the gendered language. Though the state's Supreme Court already ruled the provision unconstitutional, Rep Arent further told the Tribute that, "People do not look to Supreme Court opinions to figure out the law, they look to the code and the code should be constitutional."

Politics

Colorado Republicans Try and Fail to Outlaw LGBTQ Marriage and Adoption Rights

A bill introduced by four Republican state legislators in Colorado that would outlaw same-sex marriage and adoption rights was voted down.

The "Colorado Natural Marriage and Adoption Act," which would have outlawed gay marriage and adoption in the state of Colorado, was voted down in the state legislature this week. The bill was sponsored by Republican Rep. Stephen Humphrey and three of his conservative colleagues: Dave Williams, Shane Sandridge and Mark Baisley.

If enacted, the bill would have enforced "state law that marriage is between one man and one woman" and restrict "adoption of children by spouses in a marriage ... that consist of one man and one woman."

The bill, which had little chance of success, particularly in Colorado which has trended more progressive over the past several election cycles, was mostly symbolic, according to Sanridrge. "We all know this bill isn't gonna pass in this current left-wing environment," he told Colorado Public Radio. "It's to remind everyone, this is the ultimate way to conceive a child."

In a sign of how far we've come on the issue of LGBTQ marriage and parenting rights, most Republican legislators in the state did not endorse the bill.

Though the bill had little chance of passage, LGBTQ advocacy groups in the state are taking the threats seriously nonetheless. Daniel Ramos, director of the LGBTQ group One Colorado, told LGBTQ Nation that the bills were an attempt to return Colorado to its "hate status" of the 1990s, adding the aggressiveness of the measures were "a bit surprising."

Fatherhood, the gay way

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