Change the World

How Do Gay Dads Celebrate Black History Month?

We asked 12 gay dads to tell us what Black History Month means to them and how they celebrate in their households.

February is Black History Month in America. And although celebrating Black history, culture and people shouldn't be confined to just one month, it does ensure an opportunity to commemorate the heroic figures of Black men and women, and also increase visibility of Black life and history; two of Carter G. Woodson's goals when he created the concept in 1926.


As time has gone on, it has evolved from the initial one week celebration in accordance with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, to a month-long celebration. And it continues to go further.

"It's about the lived, shared experience of all African Americans, high and low, famous and obscure, and how those experiences have shaped and challenged and ultimately strengthened America," said President Obama in during the 2016 Black History Month reception. "It's about taking an unvarnished look at the past so we can create a better future. It's a reminder of where we as a country have been so that we know where we need to go."

We spoke with 12 families on how they choose to celebrate Black History Month in their household. Here are there responses:

Dads Clayton and Andy with daughter Lyla, New Orleans, Louisiana

From left to right: Clayton, Lyla and Andy; dads though adoption

"The older I get ... the more I am filled with pride about being Black and celebrating the work that my ancestors have done to allow me the life I have now."

Clayton on one of his Black role models: "My mother will always be my Black role model. When I think of the generations of Black women who endured pain, heartache and made countless sacrifices, I put my mother in that number. She raised six kids, all while working and making sure that we all were educated and had the essentials. She created a happy home for us with so little and I keep this in mind anytime I think about parenting. I celebrate her all year long!"

Clayton on his favorite thing about Black History Month: "The older I get, the more in tune and understanding I have with my Blackness, and the more I am filled with pride about being Black and celebrating the work that my ancestors have done to allow me the life I have now. I am excited to teach my daughter that with having a Black daddy and a White daddy, she gets to experience two different cultures while growing up and celebrating her own Blackness. I want her to embrace her version of being a Black girl in America while always knowing the story of Blacks in this country."

***

Dads Jeff and Brian with their son Carter, Hamden, Connecticut

From left to right: Jeff, Carter and Brian; dads through adoption

"No matter the color of your skin, a culture can be appreciated by anyone."

Jeff sharing a significant moment encountering Black history: "One of our first trip with Carter was an impromptu trip to the Philadelphia Zoo. After that we went for a late lunch and then a walk downtown and stumbled on to The President's House, and we learned about some of the slaves owned by George Washington. One in particular that stuck with me was a man named Hercules. It was a powerful moment in time for us that we still talk about."

Jeff on what Black History Month: "Definitely no matter the color of your skin, a culture can be appreciated by anyone."

***

Dads Chris and Nick with Ari and Baby K, Chicago, Illinois

From left to right: Nick, Ari, Chris and Baby K; dads through adoption and foster-adopt

"We want to raise our kids with a strong racial and positive cultural identity and for us that goes beyond buying books/toys where our kids can see themselves represented in diverse and positive ways"

How Nick and Chris celebrate Black History Month: "As White adoptive parents, we feel the spirit of Black History Month is something we need to strive for all year round, but during February we want to create extra space to celebrate Black art, history, and support Black owned businesses. This year we have planned to go to a special kid's story time reading of "My Hair is a Garden" by the author Cozbi A. Cabrera at a local bookstore. We want to raise our kids with a strong racial and positive cultural identity and for us that goes beyond buying books/toys where our kids can see themselves represented in diverse and positive ways, but making it a priority to ensure Black culture is reflected in the neighborhood we live in, schools they attend, and community we build for our family."

One their family's favorite quotes by a Black icon: "Never be limited by other people's limited imaginations." —Dr. Mae Jemison

***

Dads Antwon and Nate with Daughter K, Portland, Oregon

Antwon and daughter K; dads through foster care

"I hope she and I are a family long enough to travel to the Natural Portrait Gallery and look at the paintings of Michelle and Barack Obama. I'd give anything to watch her smile as she realizes that she truly can accomplish anything."

Antwon on his family plans to celebrate Black History Month: "This month, my foster daughter and I will be learning about how powerful our skin is, and how powerful it has been throughout history. I replay in my mind the poem "Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou, where she says 'I am the dream and the hope of the slave.' That phrase is so powerful! I don't know how many Black History Month's K and I will have together, so I have to use this time to remind her that she's beautiful, that she's brilliant, and she has history to make. She naturally gravitates to historical figures that look like her, so we'll read stories and look at pictures of brave, talented, brilliant black women. I hope she and I are a family long enough to travel to the Natural Portrait Gallery and look at the paintings of Michelle and Barack Obama. I'd give anything to watch her smile as she realizes that she truly can accomplish anything."

Nate and daughter K

***

Dads Trey and Phil with Michael*, Seattle, Washington

From left to right: Phil, Michael* and Trey; dads through foster care

"We love Michelle and Barack in our house! We talk about them all the time, and they are an inspiration in terms of showing the world that Black families who are committed, stable, and loving exist and are thriving with amazing children."

Trey on his favorite Black History museum: "I recently was able to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture in D.C. for the first time, and I can't wait to take Michael* there when he's older. They did such a great job painting an honest picture of our history; both the good and the bad. I also love that they included representation of Black gay men! I bought Michael* a Tuskegee Air Man doll and an MLK Jr. book that we'll read to him."

Trey on Black role models their family celebrates: "We love Michelle and Barack in our house! We talk about them all the time, and they are an inspiration in terms of showing the world that Black families who are committed, stable, and loving exist and are thriving with amazing children. I also love the greater exposure of Black gay dads in the media and seeing other families of color shining and unapologetically being themselves in their parenting life."

***

Dads DaRel and Charles with Braeden, Mitchellville, Maryland

From left to right: DaRel, Braeden and Charles; dads through adoption

"We plan to make sure that Braeden is continually exposed to lessons about his history and culture all year long."

DaRel and Charles' favorite children's book celebrating Black culture: "'Please, Baby, Please' by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee. Braeden has always loved this book, and often requests that we read it several times in a row. We love the fact that both the authors and illustrator are Black, and that the characters allow our child to see himself represented on the page."

One of DaRel and Charles' favorite quotes from a Black icon: "You never know how or when you'll have an impact or how important your example can be to someone else." - Denzel Washington

***

Dads Terrell and Jarius with Ashton and Aria

From left to right: Ashton, Terrell, Jarius and Aria; dads through surrogacy

Photo credit: @amanda.marie.photo

"While we feel that Black History and culture should be celebrated and embraced year round, we love the knowledge and wisdom shared during this amazing time."

How Terrell and Jarius celebrate Black History Month: "Our family celebrates Black History Month by researching and learning of a different pioneer in African American culture at the end of each week. We hope to continue this tradition as our kids get older so that they are knowledgeable on Black History as well and understand the impact they can have on the world one day."

What is their family's favorite thing about Black History Month: "To see so many people embrace the culture is just amazing."

***

Dads Tarik and Jeff with Avery, New Rochelle, New York

From left to right: Jeff, Avery and Tarik; dads through adoption

"We want her to understand the history of African Americans in this country. And we want her to understand what being African American in this country means today."

Tarik on how their family celebrates Black History Month: "Avery is a little too young to understand what Black History Month is, but as she continues to grow and learn, we want her to understand the contributions African Americans have made to society. We want her to understand the history of African Americans in this country. And we want her to understand what being African American in this country means today."

Tarik on what Black History Month means to his family: "Avery is being raised in an interracial household, in a diverse area, around many different types of friends. Because of that, we're excited that she is going to learn about a range of cultures and types of people. As an African American girl with darker skin, she has to be raised to understand that she's important, that she matters, and that she can be whatever she wants to be. We are sure to take the time during Black History Month, and all year long, to reinforce that and show her as many great examples as we can."

***

Dads Jason and Patrick with Marian and Betty, Charlottesville, Virginia

From left to right: Marian, Patrick, Betty and Jason; dads through foster-adopt and adoption.

"For us, the Obama family is the ultimate example for all Americans about humility, responsibility and family values. The grace that they display and the honesty about their challenges as a family and a married couple are deeply inspiring."

Why Jason believes celebrating Black History Month is important? "It gives a formal structure for us to learn more about Black Americans who are and were instrumental to the making of this country. It's incredible how little attention is paid to the individuals of African descent throughout the year. This month, however short, is an opportunity to expand the conversation."

One of the ways that Jason and Patrick celebrate Black History Month: "My husband & I own two bakeries in Charlottesville and he is always creating stencils to put on the breads and cakes. This February, to celebrate Black History Month, our bread will feature a stencil of a different person from past or present who has shaped our country. Some will be well known, others a little more obscure to most Americans. Throughout this month we hope to showcase the indelible influence Black Americans have had at shaping the United States."

***

Kenneth and J.Maurice with Eli and Juan, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

From left to right: J.Maurice, Eli, Juan and Kenneth; dads through foster-adopt

"We celebrate Black History Month by incorporating books about the lives of black historical figures into our daily reading."

One of the dads' favorite quotes by a Black icon: "Learn to deal with the valleys and the hills will take care of themselves." - Count Basie

J.Maurice and Kenneth on one of their Black role models: "Bill Cosby; despite his recent transgressions, in our household, Dr. Cosby single-handedly displayed to the world the complexities of African American culture and livelihood. As a child, "The Cosby Show" was the only true representation of my parental family unit on television. My husband and I have incorporated some of the traditions from the show within the makeup of our household (wearing college sweaters, exposure to Black art and frequent visits to our alma mater - Howard University)."

***

Dads Joe and Francois with Daphné and Axel, living in Larmor Plage, France

From left to right: Joe, Axel, Daphné and Francois; dads through surrogacy

"One place I'd love to visit with the kids, is the the national museum of African American history and culture. Since we moved overseas when the kids were 2 1/2 months, the African American side of their culture hasn't been as pronounced, so I am dying to get back and experience it for them and for myself, as well."

Joe on a Black icon who has impacted his life: "One person who I look to, as a father and as a human being, is Oprah. She is someone who walks the walk and talks the talk, and she firmly believes that you need to take care of yourself emotionally, physically and spiritually, to be able to take care of others. I wholeheartedly agree with that, and because of her, I've actually become more nurturing to my spiritual needs, and I've seen such change in how I'm present for my kids and husband."

One of the dads' favorite quotes by a Black icon: "'I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.' - Maya Angelou. I try to remember this, especially when I'm stressed or frustrated, whether it be business, or bath time. I don't always succeed, but I think it's important to remember that sometimes it's better to be kind than to be right."

***

Dads Weston and Brandon with Xander and Zoe, Salt Lake City, Utah

From left to right: Xander, Brandon, Zoe and Weston; dads through adoption

"Black role models in our family are any Black person who is willing to share their experience with our family. Finding cultural mirrors for our children is not easy in Utah but the community here is robust and welcoming. To be honest, my biggest hero right now is the woman who does my daughters hair and makes her look like the natural princess she is."

Why this family believes Black History Month is important: "It reminds us to honor the cultural and historical path of our children's ancestry. But more importantly, Black History Month is important to us because it offers a chance for the rest of the country - particularly those privileged enough to not have just one month dedicated to their culture - to take a moment and reflect on the contributions that Black Americans have made to all our lives - and to all our collective culture - and to our nation's history. Black History Month is really for White people to work on humanizing the Black experience. Humanizing will absolutely result in happier humans, stronger communities, and saved lives. We celebrate Black History Month by doing what we can to spread the celebration beyond our family, after all, as parents of Black children we should be honoring our children's culture every single day. This year we encouraged our predominately White elementary school's student council to decorate the entry way with Black history, quotes, and inspiration. They are encouraging teachers to do something in their class to honor the month as well."

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Change the World

Three Eagles, Two Male one Female, Form Nontraditional Family

Three bald eagles in the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge are sharing a nest and incubating eggs together

According to the Advocate, three bald eagles — two male and one female — are sharing a nest and incubating eggs together.

"Families come in all shapes and sizes, and that's true for wildlife too!" wrote the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services on Facebook. "Meet Valor I, Valor II and Starr, a breeding trio of bald eagles that live along the Mississippi River in Illinois. For several years, fans from all over the world have been watching this nontraditional family through a webcam as the eagles deal with the trials and tribulations of parenting."

The thruple came to be in unique way. "The nest was originally inhabited by Valor I and another female eagle named Hope," wrote the Advocate. "Initially, Valor I had poor parenting skills — he didn't hunt or guard the nest while Hope was away. Valor II entered the nest in 2013 to pick up the slack — and taught Valor I some parenting skills in the process. Hope left the nest in March 2017 after she was injured by other birds. But instead of going off to find new mates, the male eagles decided to stick together until Starr joined their nest in September 2017."

Though rare, this isn't the first time that a trio of eagles have come to share nests in this way. According to USA Today, other trruples were have been spotted in Alaska in 1977, in Minnesota in 1983 and in California in 1992.

Check out this family below!


Trio Eagle Cam Stewards of the Upper Mississippi River Refuge Live Stream www.youtube.com

Change the World

These Guys Are Proof: Bisexual Dads Exist!

Far more LGBTQ parents fall into the "B" category than any other. Here are three of their inspiring stories.

A couple months ago, Gays With Kids received the following message via one of our social media channels:

"Hey guys, love what you do. But where are your stories about bi men who are dads? Do they not exist? I get the sense from your page that most queer dads identify as gay. I identify as bi (or pansexual) and want to become a dad one day, but just never see my story represented. Are they just not out there?"We can say with resounding certainly that YES bisexual dads absolutely exist. In fact, of all the letters in our acronym, far more LGBTQ parents fall into the "b" category than any other.

But our reader is certainly right in one respect--we don't hear the stories of bisexual/pansexual dads told nearly often enough. While we occasionally find stories to tell about bi dads, like this great one from earlier this year from a dad who just came out, we otherwise aren't often finding stories of bi dads nearly as easy as we do gay dads. We're sure this is due to any number of reasons--societal pressure to stay closeted from both the straight and LGBTQ communities along with erasure of bisexuality both come to mind.

But it's also because we haven't done the best job reaching out specifically to the bi dad community! We hope to start changing that, starting by bringing you the stories of three bid dads in our community.

(Are you a bi dad? Click here so we can help tell your story and increase exposure for the bi dad community, or drop us a line at dads@gayswithkids.com!)

James Shoemaker, bisexual dad of three, in Alton Illinois

James Shoemaker, who is 65-years-old and lives in Alton, Illinois, says he's known he was bisexual since the age of five. Still he lived what he called a "happily socially heterosexual" life throughout his adolescence, until he had his first same-sex experience in college at the age of 18-years-old.

In his 20s, he began his first same-sex relationship with a man, which lasted about five years. But soon the conversation turned towards children. James wanted his own biological children, something that would have been difficult, particularly at the time, to achieve. He and his boyfriends split, and soon after James met the woman who would become his wife. Since he had previously been in a relationship with a man, and his friends and family were aware of his sexuality, there was no hiding his bisexuality from his wife. There was no hiding my bisexuality from her

"We were both in our 30's, and both wanted kids," James said. "Wo were both kind of desperate to find a partner and she expressed that."

He and his wife proceeded to have three daughters together and lived what he called a fairly "conventional" life. "There was so much societal support [for raising a family] within conventional marriage," he said. "This was new to me, since I came out at age 17, and was used to being "different".

Being in a relationship with a woman, James said, alienated him from much of the LGBTQ activism that began to take hold in the 1980s and 1990s. "I felt I could not act as a representative for gay rights while married to a woman and raising kids with her," he said.

When his youngest daughter turned 18, he and his wife split and, and James began, once again, to date other men. Eventually, he met Paul Mutphy, who he has been dating for four years. Since reentering the world dating another man, he's had to confront, at times, people's misconceptions about his bisexuality. "It's not just gay guys looking for more social acceptance," James said, noting that "Bi rights" has not really caught the public's attention in the same way as "gay rights".

Maxwell Hosford, bi trans dad of one, in Yakima Washington


Maxwell Hosford, who lives in Yakima, Washington, came out as bisexual when he was 13-years-old. "I was still questioning myself," he said "and the term bisexual seemed to fit me."

A year later, when he was 14, Maxwell also came out as trans. "I had heard about Chaz Bono on the radio one morning before school and it got me thinking," he said. "I realized that I wasn't the only one who felt that way and that there was a term for how I've felt."

Though people often conflate sexual orientation and gender identity, Maxwell stressed that he sees his identity as trans and bisexual as perfectly natural. "I see them interacting in a way of fluidity," he said. "Not straight but not gay. Just a feeling of love."

Maxwell described his path to parenthood as a bit of an accident. "I was on testosterone for two years but had a four-week break because i was switching doctors," he said. During that break, Maxwell ended up getting pregnant, and wasn't aware of the pregnancy for several months after. "I just thought my body was just being weird from starting T again," he said. Once he took the test and saw the two pink lines, though he knew his life was about to change forever. He went to Planned Parenthood the very next day.

Being pregnant while trans, Maxwell said, was an incredible experience. "I was comfortable enough with my gender identity that I didn't have very much dysphoria," he said, though he noted he did face a lot of misgendering from strangers. "But I understood that because I did have a big ole pregnant belly," he said. He was grateful for his medical team who all referred to him according to the correct pronouns.

Soon after, his son Harrison was born. As soon as he held him in his arms, Maxwell said the entire process was worth it. "All the misgendering, all the questions and people misunderstanding doesn't matter once you have that baby in your arms nothing matters but that little bundle of joy."

Three years ago, Maxwell met his current fiancé, Chase Heiserman, via a gay dating app, and the three now live together as a family. He says he couldn't be happier, but he does face some difficulty as a bi trans man within his broader community. "In some peoples eyes my fiancé and I are a straight couple because I'm trans and he's cisgender," he said. Some of the difficulty has even stemmed from other trans men. "I've had some bad comments from other transmen regarding my pregnancy and how it doesn't make me trans," he said, noting he continues to fight the perception that he is not "trans enough" because he chose to carry his own baby.

Through it all, though, Maxwell says becoming a father has been the biggest blessing in his life. "Being able to carry my baby and bond through those nine months was amazing," he said. "I'm breastfeeding, which is hard as I'm trans, and so I'm self conscious of my large breasts now but it's such a bonding experience that it doesn't matter when I see the look of love and the comfort he gets from it."

For other gay, bi and trans men considering fatherhood, Maxwell has this simple piece of advice: "Go for it."

Michael MacDonald, bi dad of two, in Monterery California 

Michael MacDonald, who is 28-years-old and living in Monterey California, says he came out as bisexual over two years ago. He has two daughters, who are four and two-and-a-half years old, that were born while he was married to his ex-wife. "My children are amazing," he said. "They have been so incredibly strong and brave having mom in one house and dad in another."

Both children were fairly young when Michael and his ex separated, so "they didn't really break a deeply ingrained idea of what a family unit is like. They have always just sort of known that mom and dad don't live together."

Co-parenting isn't always easy, Michael said, noting it's "one of the hardest things in the world." He and his ex overcome any potential difficulty, though, by always putting the children first. "As long as they are happy, healthy and loved, that is all that matters," he said. "I'm so fortunate to have such an incredible/pain in the butt partner to help me raise these amazing little girls."

Though the separation was hard on all of them, Michael said it's also been an amazing experience watching his children's resiliency. "I am so proud of the beautiful little people they are," he said. "Their adaptability, courage and love is something really spectacular."

Since the separation, Michael hasn't been in a serious relationship, but he has dated both men and women, something he says has been "absolutely challenging. Not only does he need to overcome all the typical challenges of a newly divorced parent ("Do they like kids? Would they be a good stepparent?") but also the added stresses of being bisexual. "It can sometimes just be a bit too much for some women to handle," he said.

He has been intentional about making sure his children have known, from a young age, that "daddy likes girls and boys," he said. "They have grown up seeing me interact with people I've dated in a romantic way, like hand holding, abd expressing affection, so I think as they get older it's not something that will ever really seem foreign or different to them to see me with a man or woman," he said.

In his dates with other men, Michael says most guys tend to be surprised to learn that he has biological children. "But once I explain that I am bisexual, it's usually much more easily understood," he said. He is more irritated, though, when people question or outright refuse to recognize his bisexuality. "While I understand and have witnessed many guys who use bisexuality as a "stepping stone" of sorts when coming out," he said, it does not mean that "bisexuality is not real or valid."

As a bisexual dad, he also says he can feel isolated at times within the broader parenting community. "It can be a little intimidating feeling like you don't really belong to one side or another," he said. "There's this huge network of gay parents, and, of course straight parents. Being sort of in the middle can sometimes create a feeling of isolation"

The biggest misconception about bisexual dads who have split with their wives, he said, is that sexual orientation isn't always the reason for the separation. "When my ex wife and I separated, while my bisexuality did play a small part in it, it was not the reason we separated," he said. He added that while life might not be perfect, it's good. "My children are happy, healthy, and loved," he said. "That's really what matters the most."

Change the World

Mayor Pete Hopes His (Future) Kids Are "Puzzled" That Coming Out Was Ever Newsworthy

Mayor Pete and husband Chasten don't have any kids yet, but have talked openly and often about their hopes to be dads one day

Pete Buttigieg, who is making waves in the political world by competing to be the first openly gay and (at 37 years old) first Millennial President of the United States, currently doesn't have any children with husband Chasten. But it's clear from his public comments and writings that he and Chasten hope to become dads one day.

And when that day comes, Buttigieg says he hopes his kids will find it puzzling that coming out as gay was ever a newsworthy event. Back in 2015, well before he began his campaign for president, Buttigieg wrote an essay in the South Bend Tribune that said the following:

"Like most people, I would like to get married one day and eventually raise a family. I hope that when my children are old enough to understand politics, they will be puzzled that someone like me revealing he is gay was ever considered to be newsworthy. By then, all the relevant laws and court decisions will be seen as steps along the path to equality. But the true compass that will have guided us there will be the basic regard and concern that we have for one another as fellow human beings — based not on categories of politics, orientation, background, status or creed, but on our shared knowledge that the greatest thing any of us has to offer is love."

In the meantime, Pete and Chasten are kept plenty busy with their two fur babies, Truman and Buddy.


Gay Dad Life

In the U.K.? Join These Dads at Events Supporting LGBTQ Parents!

The dads behind the blog TwoDads.U.K are ramping up their support of other LGBTQ parents. Check out these events they're a part of!

What a couple of years it's been for us! When our daughter Talulah was born via UK surrogacy back in October 2016, we decided to take to Instagram and Facebook to document the parental highs and lows. Little did we expect for it to be where it is now. We always had the ambition to help other intended fathers understand more about surrogacy, and we also had the added driver to do our best to influence others – help open some of the closed minds with regards to same-sex parenting.

Here we are now, pregnant again with our son which we revealed Live on Facebook! We're due in August, we're now writing several blogs, social media influencers and launching a new business focusing on our main mission to support others and being advocates for UK surrogacy. It's no wonder we're shattered!

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Personal Essays by Gay Dads

An All-Boys School: One Gay Dad's  Short-Lived Experience in the Traditional Environment

"The most dangerous phrase in the language is 'we have always done it this way.'" —Rear Admiral Grace Hopper

The process of entrance to Manhattan's elite private schools can be similar or even more rigorous than college admissions. And you can take that and multiply it tenfold when you're dealing with an all-boys environment. I know this from experience, as my partner Andy and I have spent the last year and a half dealing with one such establishment, that has been in existence for "136 years," and touts the cliché slogan of "educating boys to become scholars and gentlemen."

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Surrogacy for Gay Men

How Long Does a Surrogacy Journey Take?

From the minute you sign with a surrogacy agency, how long will it take until you have a baby in your arms?

You've been waiting a long time to become a gay dad. You've done your research, and decided that surrogacy is the best fit for you. You're excited to get started, and even more excited at the prospect of the arrival of your little one.

But exactly how long is it going to take from the minute you sign on, until you have your baby in your arms?

On average, a surrogacy journey – from start to finish – can average between 16-21 months.

And while that sounds like a long time, remember that 9 months of that is your surrogate's pregnancy!

To help you better understand how long a surrogacy journey takes to complete, it's helpful to understand the different milestones along the way. Below is a general surrogacy process timeline from Circle Surrogacy. Remember, every surrogacy journey is unique, so the exact timing of your journey may be different than these estimates.

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Gay Dad Family Stories

These Dads Chose to Raise Their Kids in Philly for the City's Diversity

These foster dads say Philly is "actively protecting, serving, and supporting their queer families."

Are you a Philadelphia gay dad family? Ivory Tree Portraits is hosting a special Gay Dad Family Day and offering all the attendees a complimentary photoshoot and digital print! Put May 4th in your diary, meet other local gay dads and their kids; make memories and keep them forever in the form of a digital print of your beautiful family. Click here for more details.

We're working in partnership with Ivory Tree Portraits to bring you the stories of some of their gay dad clients. The dads had this to say about their experiences in the studio: "At Ivory Tree photos, Marcy worked until she got the shot that she knew would make us happy and beyond," said Greg Yorgey-Girdy. "Marcy had the kids pose certain ways, but also let them be themselves. It was a wonderful experience. Even though we didn't have the pleasure of meeting Lara in person, she reached out via email to ensure our photo session was a positive and fun experience. We absolutely recommend Ivory Tree to anyone looking for a great photo studio who has a talented photographer, responsive, friendly, and extremely professional."

***

Paul and Greg Yorgey-Girdy have been together for over 12 years and married since March 19, 2014. Paul, a Philly local, was born and raised in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, and Greg came to Philadelphia to attend law school. They met in a bar rather serendipitously. "Paul happened to have on a Texas t-shirt, and I'm a big Longhorn fan," said Greg. "So I approached him and asked him did he go to University of Texas, and he said "no" … didn't even know he had a Texas t-shirt on; he said it just matched his shoes."

Paul and Greg are dads to three kids through the foster care system – Bella, Xander and Trevor. They also recently became guardians to eldest son, Raymond, who joined the family in 2018.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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