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

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