Gay Dad Life

Gay Dads Tell Us the Meaning of Their Tattoos

We've noticed a trend on our Gays With Kids Instagram account: a good chunk of the gay dads we know have some pretty amazing ink! We got in touch with a bunch of these dads to ask them what special significance (if any) their tattoos have for them. Be sure to go through the entire collection; it's worth the effort!


Jason and David with Scout and Gus from New York, New York

Jason (bottom right) has a whale tattoo on his upper arm and an X on his forearm with the initials of his kids' first and middle names in each quadrant. He shares that his kids like his tattoos and they enjoy teasing him about his increasingly white beard. (Jason and David are the two men in the feature image of this article.) @jasonoranzo @davidfate

Michael and Norman with Caleb, Jonah, Zechariah and Levi from Stockton, California

Tattoos have a special significance for Norman (wearing red cap). The phoenix reminds him of the new life he began when he came out five years ago; the word Famiglia refers to his family; and Valdez, his family name, is tattooed on his forearm. He also has a cross tattoo. Michael (wearing blue cap) has four stars on his upper arm, one for each of his sons. @angelomichael_ @jessevaljr

Ewerton and Jonathan with Matheus from Natal, Brazil

Ewerton's leg tattoo consists of Maori symbols of balance and protection. His shoulder tattoo has no particular meaning; he just chose it for aesthetic reasons. Their son Matheus says he'll get a tattoo when he's a grown-up. @ewertonwilliambrito

Brian and Tyral with their daughters from Denver, Colorado

Brian (with dark hair) and Tyral both have similar tattoos of peacocks on their left forearms, which they chose because the birds are so full of life and character. Tyral also has a Leo (his sign) on one shoulder blade and Virgo (Brian's sign) on the other. The dads share that their three girls love their ink a lot!

Stephen with Birdie from Portland, Maine

Stephen's daughter Birdie likes to point to his tattoos of nautical stars and an anchor, but her favorite is his mermaid tattoo. @papabear_81

Michael and Jon with Georgia from Lake Oswego, Oregon

Michael's tattoos, which are the beginning of a sleeve, show tree silhouettes, natural elements that speak to his Native American heritage: He's part Nez Perce on his mom's side. @mjamesd

Rocco and Corey with Forge from Mamaroneck, New York

Rocco' son Forge and husband Corey love his tattoos, three of which have particular meaning for Rocco: those of his son, his husband and his first dog. @bigdognyc

David with his son and daughter from Palm Springs, California

David's favorite tattoo is his autism tattoo, which honors his son. He also relishes the Phoenix tattoo on his forearm, which represents his own rebirth after coming out. “When I came out, my entire life changed and so did the kids'. For the better!" @lifebydstephens

Anthony and Dom with Gabe from Old Bridge, New Jersey

Anthony's tattoos all have special meaning for him: his ice hockey number, lyrics from the “Rent" song “No Day But Today" and a giant octopus half-sleeve, because, as Anthony explains it, ink is the only way his skin gets any color beyond the occasional summertime sunburn. @devnewjersey

D.J. and John with twins Gregory and William and younger twins Mathew and Violet from New Canaan, Connecticut

D.J.'s tattoos include an anchor and a violet to celebrate his children. He looks forward to adding to his tattoo collection. @douglasjk

Tim and Addison with their daughter from Parker, Texas

Tim and Addison's tattoos are a collaborative effort as they've been together to get every one of them. In response to Addison's “I Love You" tattoo, Tim got one that reads “I Love You Most." Addison's sleeve is full of his favorite things from nature: flowers, birds and butterflies. @addisonabshire @johnsnit

Photo credit: facebook.com/WhitneyRogersPhotography/

Cheron with Antoinette from Fresno, California

Cheron has several tattoos, including one of roses, which honor his grandmother, and a crown, symbolizing royalty for his daughter (Marie) Antoinette. Two of his tattoos cover up the names of exes!

Davide and Thomas with Evelyn from New York, New York

Davide's daughter Evelyn includes tattoos in all of her coloring of him. Davide explains that his tattoos show his love for graphic design and sailing; many of them are traditional sailor tattoos. His left arm includes his family tree with names and birthdays. #dbfiori

Alfredo and Mitchell with Jasper from Dallas, Texas

Mitchell (in the V-neck) and Alfredo's tattoos are unique and carry special meaning for them.

Keith and Jovanny with their two daughters from Miami, Florida

Keith and Jovanny each have many tattoos, and the girls often ask about the meaning behind them. The dads agree that their most special tattoo (top right) is the one designed by Keith on the occasion of their wedding. Watch their wedding highlights video. @triguykeith @gio1ofakind

See Our Other Recent Photo essay:

Adorable Pics of Dads and Kids at Pride!!

Show Comments ()
Gay Dad Life

Karamo Brown Co-Writes Children's Book with Son, Jason

The 'Queer Eye' star and his son named the story on a family mantra: You are Perfectly Designed

When his sons, Jason and Chris, were young, "Queer Eye" Star Karamo Brown repeated the same saying to them: "You are perfectly designed."

That mantra is now a Children's Book, cowritten by Karamo and his 22-year-old son, Jason, who used to come how and "say things like, 'I don't want to be me, I wish I was someone else, I wish I had a different life." As a parent, that "broke my heart," Karamo told Yahoo! Lifestyle. "I would say to him, 'You are blessed and you are perfect just the way you are,' as a reminder that you have been given so much and you should be appreciative and know that you're enough — I know that the world will try to tear you down, but if you can say to yourself, 'I am perfectly designed,' maybe it can quiet out some of those negative messages."

The illustrations, by Anoosha Syed, also make a point of displaying families of a variety of races and sexual orientations throughout the book.

Read more about Karamo's fascinating path to becoming a gay dad here, and then check out the video below that delves deeper into the inspiration behind "You Are Perfectly Designed," available on Amazon.



Gay Dad Life

The Suburban Gay Dad

Are you intimidated by the suburbs? This gay dad was — but then he moved there.

In a recent article for Yahoo! Lifestyle, Steve Jacobs says the thought of living in the suburbs as a gay dad "intimidated" him. But when he started fantasizing about garages, he began to question that notion. Any apprehension he had soon evaporated, he said, one winter morning while trying to navigate the snowy streets of New York City with a stroller.

While "pushing the stroller through snow banks and pools of slush with snowflakes stinging our faces," he wrote, "a vision came to me: I pictured us walking into a garage, hopping into a car, and arriving at a diner with 10 times less drama. This image planted the seed of moving to the 'burbs that I couldn't shake."

Soon, the family of four found a house in a town a half hour outside the city. "It had grass and a beautiful yard for our spirited kiddos. The schools were good. There were even good restaurants. The only red flag: Census data estimated only 0.1 percent of the population was gay male."

There were some "growing pains" while trying to make friends in this environment. "When we attended our first dinner party, within minutes the hostess went to the kitchen and the other wives followed her, while the husbands settled into the living room. Ira and I froze, looking at each other. In the city, our straight friends hadn't separated out like this for the evening. Should we stay with the dudes, exert our masculinity, and blow off the mom we liked? Or does one of us go with the wives and accept the personal branding that comes with that? We did a quick rock paper scissors in the foyer. Ira went with the wives."

But ultimately, "being a parent defined me more than I ever imagined it would," he wrote, and he settled in nicely to his new suburban life.

Have you had a similar adjustment, from city life to the suburbs? Tell us about it at dads@gayswithkids.com for an upcoming piece!

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.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Family Stories

One Single Gay Dad's Trailblazing Path to Parenthood Via Surrogacy

20 years ago, Gene became the first single gay man to work with Circle Surrogacy in order to become a dad — trailblazing a path for many others since.

This article is part of our family feature series with Circle Surrogacy, a surrogacy agency that has been helping LGBTQ+ singles and couples realize their dream of parenthood for the past 20 years.

"I think I was pretty naïve, I guess," chuckled Gene, one of the first single gay dads to work with Circle Surrogacy over 19 years ago. "I just had made a decision and went out and did it, and wasn't really thinking about how difficult it might be or what other people thought, being first at doing something."

So how did Gene hear about surrogacy as an option for single gay men? Well, it began with Gene flipping through a bar magazine. He recalls seeing an ad about a woman providing a service to connect gay men with lesbians in platonic co-parenting relationships. While he started down that path, working with the founder, Jennifer, he remembers thinking, "What if I meet someone? What if I want to move? It would create all these complications."

Keep reading... Show less
Change the World

"Dadvocates" Gather in D.C. to Demand Paid Family Leave for ALL Parents

"Dadvocate" and new gay dad Rudy Segovia joined others in D.C. recently to educate lawmakers on the need for paid family leave for ALL parents

On Tuesday October 22, Dove Men+Care and PL+US (Paid Leave for the United States) led the Dads' Day of Action on Capitol Hill. A group of over 40 dads and "dadvocates" from across the states lobbied key member of Congress on the issue of paid paternity leave for *ALL* dads. They shared stories of their struggles to take time off when welcoming new family members and the challenges dads face with no paid paternity leave.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Photo Essays

Falling for Fall: 33 Photos of Gay Dads and Kids at the Pumpkin Patch

Oh my gourd, it's fall! To celebrate, we rounded up 33 pics (and whole lot of pun-kins) in our annual fall photo essay!

Don your checked shirt, grab them apples, and shine those smiles while perched on pumpkins — it's the annual fall family photo op! A trip to the pumpkin patch and / or apple orchard is a staple family fall outing, and we're here for it. 🎃🍎🍂👨👨👧👦

Thanks to these dads who shared their pics with us! Share your own to dads@gayswithkids.com and we'll add them to this post!

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Family Stories

David and Ben Met on the Dance Floor — and Are Now Grooving Their Way Through Fatherhood

David and Ben, who became fathers with the help of Northwest Surrogacy Center, live in Melbourne with their daughter, Maia.

In 2003, while both studying at Reading University in the UK, Ben Suter and David Cocks met after locking eyes on the dance floor and then being introduced by a mutual friend. Ben, a meteorologist and Operations Manager, and David, an Assistant Principal, have been together ever since. They moved to Australia together in 2010, seeking a different life, and an overall better work-life balance. The chose Cairns in Queensland as their new home, between the Great Barrier Reef and the tropical rainforest, "taking life a bit easier," said David. The couple were also married in June 2016, back home in England.

While David always wanted kids, Ben took a little convincing. So they started their parenting journey with a dog, Titan, who quickly became like their first born. From there, Ben came around rather quickly.

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