Gay Grandfathers Give New Gay Dads Their Best Advice
We spoke to four gay grandfathers about what they've learned through their years as dads, and what they love most about being granddads.
Some folks view being a grandparent as a second chance at parenting, but with only the fun stuff. Being an "out" granddad is a road (thus far) less travelled but the same rules apply. For many, it's a second chance to get it right, and for others, it's an opportunity to support their kids as they learn to parent. And ultimately, be the best granddads to their grandchildren.
We spoke to four gay grandfathers about what they've learned through their years as dads, their best advice to gay men just starting out as parents, and what they love most about being granddads.
"It's okay to struggle and not have all of the solutions," says gay Granddad, Matthew
When Matthew became a dad, he was a single 28 year old, working in social and community health. His son was in foster care at the time and on Matthew's caseload. When Matthew saw that the 8-year-old boy was placed up for adoption, he decided to adopt him. So at the age of 28, when most other 20-somethings were enjoying no responsibility, Matthew became a dad almost overnight. Today, he is a grandfather to two girls and couldn't be prouder of his son, Isaac.
What do you wish someone had told you when you were a new gay dad?
I was very fortunate to be surrounded by supportive family and friend, however, I wish I would have been told more that it was okay to struggle and not have all of the solutions, especially when it comes to dating as single dad at the time.
Looking back, what was the most important lesson you learned as a dad?
Being a parent has taught me how to really 'dig deep' and to be resilient and strong. It has made me a much better man.
What's the best thing about being a (gay) granddad?
Without a doubt, the BEST part of being a granddad for me so far is experiencing the expanding love of a growing family and the building of my legacy and helping shape something that will live beyond my years on this planet. My two precious granddaughters -18-month-old Thea and 3-month-old Athena – are very much motivators for me to be as healthy as possible! In fact, when we were expecting my first granddaughter, her birth inspired me to get serious about losing weight and getting into better shape so that I can be around as long as possible for her!