Gay Uncles

Happy 'Guncles' Day! Have You Thanked the Gay Uncle in Your Life?

To celebrate the important role gay men play in the lives of their nieces and nephews, check out these adorable pics below!

Two years ago, on August 14, the Internet lit up with the hashtag #GayUnclesDay, accompanied by countless adorable pictures of gay men beaming for the camera alongside their nieces and nephews. The social media sensation was all in good fun, of course, and we're supportive of any holiday that leads Olympic bobsledder Simon Dunn to post this picture on his Instagram, but it's worth noting that not every gay uncle felt celebrated that day:


"If only I was allowed to have a relationship with my either of my sister's kids," said Tristan Michel Sauvageau last year, a gay man with a large list of friends on Facebook. "I bet it's nice being a gay uncle. I guess I'll never know."

For many gay men, National Gay Uncles Day was just another silly social media antic. But for others like Tristan, the hashtag contained a message that was at best aspirational and at worst a reminder of how far we have yet to go. So, in an effort to remind the world of the wonderful, important and inspiring influence gay men can have on children, we proudly celebrate this made-up holiday with pictures of these "guncles" and their nieces and nephews.

Luis Lemec Morales, Santa Marta, Colombia

Luis has one 4-year-old nephew whom he's been close with since he was born. Luis' nephew always greets him with an enthusiastic shout and a big hug. They have a lot of fun together.

"The best part of being an uncle is to have my amazing nephew anytime I want and being able to give him back when he drains my energy," said Luis. "So it feels a little bit like having a kid without the 24 hours responsibility."

Luis's nephew has met his boyfriend and already knows more about drag queens than Luis did at his age. "He is just amazing and I hope to be a part of his life forever."

Alex Parsons, Austin, Texas

Alex not only adores being an "guncle" to niece Parker, but he also loves seeing how his brother and sister-in-law have taken so naturally to parenting. "Seeing two people come together so selflessly and immeasurably love someone as beautiful as Parker is the best part about being a 'guncle!'" shared Alex.

Coming from a Southern Baptist family, Alex feels as though not all his family understands him, but they love him all the same. As a "guncle" he hopes to set a foundation for Parker than she finds value in every human, no matter what. Although, watching her parents this past year makes him think that won't be an issue.

"I do want children someday," said Alex, talking about his own plans for fatherhood. "I know for a fact there is no greater act of love than choosing to bring someone into a family, and I will do that some day through adoption."

David Gardoni, Seattle, Washington

For David, one of the best parts of being a "guncle" has been watching his eleven nieces and nephews grow over the years. "They never stop to amaze me," said David. And, of course, being witness to the hilarious things the kids say and do.

David would love to have kids of his own, too, but wants to wait till he's a little older, possibly married, and financially stable. He thinks surrogacy would be the path he'd like to follow, but David wants to make sure that he can provide for his children because, as we all know, kids are expensive.

As a "guncle," David appreciates that he is able to give a different perspective to his nieces and nephews.

"The unique connection they have with me is that they know I am different and they are so fascinated by that," shared David. "I remember when I told a few of them that I have a boyfriend and they just had so many questions or they couldn't wait to meet the new guy in my life."

Brett David, Lubbock, Texas

Brett and his boyfriend Devin are proud "guncles" and can't wait to have their own kids one day. They're considering either surrogacy or adoption, just as long as they can share their love.

"Our connection with our niece and nephews is something that amazes us ... to show our love and how they love us as a couple."

Brett and David utilize their role as gay uncles to teach their nieces and nephews that LGBT relationships are not a negative thing, and to show how much love they have for one another.

Thomas Freeman, Atlanta, Georgia

Thomas is definitely the fun and energetic uncle! "The best part of being a "guncle" is getting the chance to get my niece and nephew all sugared up and spoil them with whatever they want because once the sugar hits they can slide back in with their parents."

Thomas grew up in a very conservative part of the country and leads a very different life to his niece and nephew. He feels as though it's his job to show them that there is a huge world filled with all kinds of people.

"I have a very different life from my niece and nephew; they live in the Deep South while Guncle Bubba lives in a more progressive city," shared Thomas. "The ability to hang out with them and expose them to people and words and sentiments they aren't seeing everyday is what makes our relationship one of mutual learning because I've lived where they do."

One day, Thomas would love his own tiny humans to wake him up too early on a Saturday. He and his partner Cody have spoken about becoming parents and are in agreement that adoption is their preferred path. "We think there are too many kids out there who need love to just keep our lives just between us," explained Thomas. "Between the two of us, Cody and I have the opportunity to raise the most amazingly caring humans. The thought of it makes me happy."

Trent Morrison, Salt Lake City, Utah

Trent has been a "guncle" since he was 7 years old, and has twenty eight of what he calls "nibblings" (nieces and nephews of siblings). The eldest is 20, and the youngest was born a little over a week ago.) His favorite part of being an "guncle" has been watching them grow and seeing their unique personalities shine through.

Since coming out, Trent has felt an extra obligation as his nibblings' "guncle."

"As a gay man, I'm able to provide a safe space for expression, creativity, and love," said Trent. "When I came out, I made a commitment to live authentically and create spaces for others to do the same--including my nibblings."

And does Trent want to be a dad himself? Yes! And with being part of such a large family, each sibling has had to start claiming names for all their some-day kids! Trent would like to adopt two kids (hopefully twins) when he's found a partner (married or committed) in about 5-10 years.

"Ever since I could remember, I've wanted to be a dad. For me, having kids is important because I see the impact and expansion of love creating a family can have."

George, Bucharest, Romania

George lives in Bucharest, Romania, and although he is unable to marry or adopt a child in his home country, he knows for sure that one day he will be a dad. At the moment he is content being a "guncle" to his one nephew.

"When I'm with my nephew I feel like I'm on a long break where I can relax; I can be playfully, protective and responsible."

Ryan Tristan Jin, New York City, New York

These gay uncles take their responsibility for offering an important and unique perspective to their siblings' kids seriously.

"We hope that by leading through example, our unique connection as uncles helps instill joy, confidence, kindness and inclusiveness as they grow to become the best version of themselves."

Josh and Ryan cannot wait to start a family. But for now, they're content experiencing the world together, learning more about one another, and being the best "guncles" they can be. "Josh and I are both lucky to have parents and family that love us unconditionally, and we want nothing more than to continue to pass that infinite love to our nieces and nephews," said Ryan.

Tyler Ziola, Grands Rapids, Michigan

Some of Tyler's favorite things to do as "guncle" is to take his niece and nephew to the park, the zoo, and is looking forward to an upcoming trip to Disney World! "I love to go out and experience new things through their eyes," he shared.

"Being an uncle brings out a different side of me," said Tyler. "I never really engaged with kids before, assuming I probably wouldn't have my own I guess, but these two littles have already shown and taught me more than I thought about myself, family, and relationships."

Tyler is planning a move to Atlanta soon but will still be an engaged "guncle."

In terms of planning his own future and potential path to fatherhood, he's undecided. "I've considered adoption and surrogacy, but it will depend on how my (yet-to-be-named, inquire within LOL) future husband and I feel. My family knows I'm hesitant and currently love spoiling my niece and nephew."

Topher McNeil, Sacramento, California

Topher, who is currently finishing his PhD, is an attentive "guncle" to his seven nieces and nephews. He loves spending time with them; hiking, going to the beach, riding rollercoasters, you name it! "There's always something my nieces and nephews want to try," said Topher.

Although Topher is no longer a practicing Mormon, he comes from a Mormon family, and he's making it a point to teach his nieces and nephews that it's okay for people to be gay and different. "I get to be their introduction to a completely new and more progressive world view."

Right now, he's a ways off from having kids, but Topher can't wait to be a dad. His preferred path would be to foster or foster-adopt so he give children in need a loving home.

"Coming from a very close family, I want to give another generation the same love and support I received from my family."

Tyler and Phil, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom

Phil and Tyler cannot wait to have their own kids! Being "guncles" has filled their world with happiness but creating their own family is something they're very excited about.

Phil has two nieces and one nephew, and Tyler is "guncle" to his goddaughter, and they both take their roles of the gay uncle seriously while still having a lot of fun with the kids.

The couple are engaged and are getting married on October 18th this year. A couple of years after the celebrations, they plan to look into the different paths to fatherhood as they're open to both surrogacy and adoption. The thing that they're most excited about?

"Someone for you to love and hold like no other, someone to live beyond you and to feel grateful for being in this world."

Grant Gilmour, Glasgow, Scotland

At only 22, it's hard for Grant to think definitively about a path to fatherhood but he knows that he wants to be a dad one day. For now, he take great pride and joy in being the godfather and "guncle" to his best friend's daughter. With her own biological dad not in the picture, Grant is one of the most significant male guardians she has.

"The best thing about being a "guncle" is being able to love and support such a young beautiful little girl with as much love as I got from my parents growing up."

Grant feels honored to get a chance as her "guncle" to educate her on how wonderfully diverse the world is and that she can grow up to be whoever she wants to be.

In terms of his own future, Grant would consider both surrogacy and adoption to help create one big diverse, loving family.

Wallace Pacheco, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Wallace loves his nephew and feels like his big brother. Even though he's not biologically related to him (he's the nephew of his boyfriend), he's embraced his role as "guncle" and loves him like his own.

"The best part of being a "guncle" is that I can be completely myself without weird eyes looking at me."

Although Wallace would like to be a dad one day, he's concerned about how to become one. He's afraid that if he had kids with his partner, they might encounter prejudice in the future, or have a child with a woman. But, he believes he still has time to consider his options, and is also considering adoption. The first step for Wallace is to buy a home and get a good job.

CJ Oliver, Syracuse, New York

CJ is a music teacher and his favorite thing to do with his newborn niece is sing to her while he cuddles her close. "What makes it great is the song I sang to her the first day she was born, I sing now and she smiles knowing it me," CJ shared. He feels a very special bond as her "guncle" and can't wait for more moments like that as she gets older.

As the first gay male in his family, CJ feel like his connection with his niece will be unique.

"The reality of her being able to grow up with someone in the family who is gay, gives her a special understanding to the world around her and more tolerance," said CJ. "That this idea will be seen as normal and not as unusual; it's a beautiful gift to the world of acceptance and love."

CJ very much sees kids in his own future and can't wait for that dream to be realized, but in the meantime, he'll settle for his "kids" to be the students he teaches. "The care I am able to show them is just the same as when I someday will have my own family," said CJ "What I look forward to is when these two worlds will collide and become one."

Kevin and Adam Hillyer-McHugh, Tampa, Florida

Kevin and Adam adore being "guncles" to both a little brother and their nieces and a nephew. They love the laughs they have and even more so, the unconditional love they receive and give in return. enjoy the laughs they have with their kiddos the most. "Love is in their little hearts from the time they enter the world and nothing makes you feel more important than those little arms reaching out for you because you're all they need in that moment."

As "guncles," Kevin and Adam utilize this opportunity to also be gay role models.

"The most unique thing about our connection to our nieces and nephew as gay men is unknown to them entirely, but so deeply meaningful to us. They offer unconditional acceptance which is something not all in our community get to feel and yet so simply innate for a child to give."

The husbands would love kids of their own one day, but are currently struggling with how to create their family. An amazing and selfless sister has offered to donate her eggs so they're considering surrogacy but the attached expense currently seems insurmountable and frustrating. "But know that what is meant to be, will be and in the mean time we have amazing little guys and girls in our lives to love."

Cody Goehring, Dallas, Texas

Cody has one niece whom he loves seeing grow and spoil her without rules and consequences. "I get to leave the dirty work to her parents!" said Cody. "Not to mention the unconditional love that children give is just good for anyone's soul!"

Being gay hasn't influenced Cody's relationship with his niece as she sees him just as her uncle, no matter what. " I am blessed with a family that excepts me as who I am and that is all that matters," shared Cody.

One day, Cody would love to have his own kids but he's not ready for a few more years. At the moment, when he looks towards the future, he'd prefer to be in a relationship so they could raise their kids together, but he also knows his feelings could change. He's open to both adoption and surrogacy.

"I think kids are a great blessing to the world and I would love to have the connection that I have with my parents and I see my brother and his wife have with my niece."

Cole Jenkins and Brendan Talbot, Auckland, New Zealand

Cole and Brendan are getting married next year, and will then start looking into the different ways to create their own family, but for now, they're proud "guncles" to their nephews.

"Being "guncles' brings us so much joy and happiness. Our nephews are always so excited to see us which is the most amazing feeling in the world."

As "guncles," Cole and Brendan are teaching their nephews from a young age that love exists in many different forms. "To have them know that their Gungles are in a loving relationship together and be positive queer role models for them."

Family has always been important to the fiancés and raising and nurturing a child has always been a shared dream of theirs. When the times is right, they'll be excited to begin their own journey to fatherhood.

Mark Pincock, Salt Lake City, Utah

Mark has always wanted to be a dad. "During the time in my life when I was struggling the most with depression, anxiety and even battling suicidal ideation, it was the dream of having a family that gave me hope and kept me going." That dream seemed to be further complicated when Mark accepted his sexuality, but as he's gotten older, he's realized that being gay doesn't prevent him from creating his own family.

It may not happen in the way that he originally envisioned for himself, but Mark's still looking forward to one day having his own kids.

And in the meantime, Mark is getting tons of practice with his 24 nieces and nephews!

"Spending time with them gives me a glimpse into the joys - and frustrations - that comes with kids. I'm so glad I get to be their 'guncle.'"

Check out last year's "Guncles Photo Essay" here.

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This Gay Uncle is on a Mission to Provide His Nieces and Nephews With as Much Culture as Possible

Mike Adank isn't a dad (yet!) but that isn't stopping him from introducing his nieces and nephews to all New York City has to offer.

Mike Adank, who lives in New York City, has been a "guncle" for 19 years to Dylan (19), Emma (17), Laura (12), Alex (8), Katie (6), and Lizzie (3). His Instagram account reveals him to be a fun uncle who thinks the world of his nieces and nephews, and someone eager to share with them his life and passions. He's attentive, enthusiastic, and, dare we say, probably the favorite uncle.

Last year for "Gay Uncles Day" he shared the post below on Instagram with his niece and nephew, with a caption that read: "who needs your own kids when you can just borrow your siblings'?!"

As much as Mike loves being an uncle, however, this message was a bit tongue and cheek: he's begun thinking about having his own family one day in the maybe not-so-distant future.

Mike is the manager of VIP guest experiences at Jujamcyn Theaters, a major Broadway landlord and producer. He lives and breathes Broadway, loves adventures and is a proud New Yorker.

Mike takes his status as a "guncle" seriously and has played a large role in his nieces and nephews lives since they were born. Although they live far away in Wisconsin, Mike travels back two or three times a year, and they make the most of their time together: hiking, camping, gossiping and eating. He also makes sure they see the annual summer musical in their hometown, and plans to give each of them a paid for ticket to New York upon their graduation from high school. "I want them to be well rounded and provide them with as much culture as possible," he said.

As a gay man, Mike also feels it's his responsibility to teach them about tolerance and respect. "Or at least demonstrate it and be an example of how successful you can be if you stay true to yourself and follow your dreams." Recently, he was an even prouder uncle when his niece stood up to a teacher who was allowing hate in the classroom.

Mike has been seeing someone whom he meet via Chappy for the past four months, and although everything is going very well, it's still too early to bring up the conversation of kids. But Mike has begun researching regardless as he's still open to being a single dad if he hasn't found someone who shares the same dream.

In terms of a choosing a path, Mike is keeping his options open even though he's very keen to become a foster dad."Fostering is at the top of my list," said Mike. "I love the idea of sharing my love and life with a child that may be experiencing some rough times, or may not have been as fortunate this far in their life. Everyone deserves to find that one person they can count on, look up to, learn from, and feel safe with, [when] they need it most." Ideally Mike would like to foster to adopt, but he'd also be happy just fostering those in need.

Becoming a dad doesn't come without some fear on Mike's part. And those fears are tied up with his sexuality. "I'm a little scared of them not liking me because I'm gay; I don't want them to feel short changed." But on the flip-side of his concerns, Mike knows that his sexuality could also be a real asset, and help him educate his children on the importance of compassion and love.

As Mike gets closer to celebrating an exciting milestone - the big 4-0 - which is still a couple of years away, he's getting more and more excited about fatherhood, but still wants to be young enough to have fun his kids. The goal is in 5 years time to not only be a fabulous guncle, but also a loving and doting dad. We're excited to watch this space!

Mike with his nephew Dylan

Gay Uncles

As Male Role Models for Their Nieces and Nephews Lives, These "Guncles" Aren't Afraid to Show Some Femininity

These proud gay uncles are excited to be positive role models in the lives of their nieces and nephews


Shamar and Joshua Litvinoff met in college in Providence, Rhode Island, and have been together 6 years. On October 9, they will celebrate their third wedding anniversary. They are "guncles" to Shamar's thirteen biological nieces and nephews - Nathan, Yaya, Shamar, Chris, Mason, Ian, Eli, Chance, Jojo, Julanie, Lamaria, Naomi, and Destiny - and love spending time with them and often get the opportunity to do so as they don't live too far away.

Does the couple aspire to be more than "guncles" one day? Yes, but not right now.

Shamar (left) and Joshua

Early on in their relationship, the subject of kids was discussed as both Shamar and Joshua hope to one day become dads. "Neither of us wanted to waste our time in a relationship that could possibly go nowhere if the other felt differently about the idea of having kids," explained Shamar. But right now, their priorities are finishing school and then they'll begin to save for the substantial cost that is both becoming gay dads and raising kids. Their first choice would be to pursue surrogacy but they're also still considering adoption.

When it does become time for the Shamar and Joshua to focus on fatherhood, there's something else weighing on their minds other than just being gay dads. "My sexuality doesn't play into my fears more so than the fact that we are in a interracial relationship," explained Shamar. As he's become older, Shamar has learned to embrace who he is and his sexuality, but he's found that dating outside his own race has brought a whole new set of eyes looking at his and Joshua's relationship. And he's concerned that this judgement will continue towards their kids. "There is no place outside the home we share that I am never aware of people or the color of our skin."

However, the husbands are going to abide by one of RuPaul's life lessons and remind themselves that, "someone else's opinion of me is none of my business."

One of the things that the husbands are most looking forward to when they become dads is teaching their kids everything they know. Shamar and Joshua are also excited about what their kids will teach them!

For now, Shamar and Joshua will just soak up their fun responsibilities as the fun and doting uncles. Their relationships with their nieces and nephews is unique as they're the male figures in their lives that are not afraid of showing some femininity, believing it to be helpful to raise a well rounded person. "You get to see how kids experience life and how at one point you thought your sexuality would be the end all be all but actually is a very small part of your relationship," said Shamar.

These "guncles" are sharing their love with their nieces and nephews, and one day, they look forward to sharing it with their own kids. And before then they'll keep reminding themselves of these words of wisdom: "If you can't love yourself, how in the hell can you love somebody else."

Gay Uncles

For This Gay Couple, Being a "Guncle" Means Setting a Good Example for the Next Generation

Gay Uncles Day is this Sunday! To celebrate, we're bringing you inspiring stories of gay men and the important role they play in the lives of their nieces and nephews.

Matt Sinclair and Clay Jackson are newlyweds, sharing their special day with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. They met online almost four years ago, but lived three and a half hours apart. Neither Matt nor Clay were ones to let distance stand in their way, so they decided to meet at a brewery halfway between their two locations. After four hours getting to know one another and tasting beers, they'd established a connection and a tradition. Now, everywhere they travel, you can find them sampling the local breweries as a throwback to when they first met and fell for one another.

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Change the World

Study Finds Two-Thirds of Gay Dads Experienced Stigma in Last Year

The study also found that over half of gay dads have avoided certain social situations in the last year for fear of experiencing stigma.

According to new research by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the vast majority of gay men and their children experience some form of stigma. The findings are based on a survey of 732 gay father across 47 states in the United States.

More gay men are becoming fathers each year, and have more options for doing so than ever before: including adoption, foster care, and surrogacy. However as the study's authors write: "Despite legal, medical, and social advances, gay fathers and their children continue to experience stigma and avoid situations because of fear of stigma. Increasing evidence reveals that stigma is associated with reduced well-being of children and adults, including psychiatric symptoms and suicidality"

Almost two-thirds of respondents, or 63.5%, reported experiencing stigma based on being a gay father within the last year. Over half, or 51.2%, said they have avoided situations for fear of stigma, in the past year. Importantly, the study found that fathers living in states with more legal protections for LGBTQ people and families experienced fewer barriers and stigma. Most experiences of stigma (almost 35%) occurred, unsurprisingly, in a religious environment. But another quarter of gay dads said they experienced stigma from a wide variety of other sources, including: family members, neighbors, waiters, service providers, and salespeople

Surprisingly (or perhaps not?) another source of stigma cited by the study originates from other gay men. "Gay men report suspicion and criticism for their decision to be parents from gay friends who have not chosen parenthood." The study also says gay dads often feel "isolation in their parental role."

The study concludes, "Despite growing acceptance of parenting by same-gender adults, barriers and stigma persist. States' legal and social protections for lesbian and gay individuals and families appear to be effective in reducing experiences of stigma for gay fathers."

Read the whole study here.

Gay Dad Photo Essays

5 Pics of Ricky Martin In Newborn Baby Bliss

He may be a superstar most of the year, but with a new baby girl at home, Ricky Martin is just a regular ol' dad deep in the throes of newborn baby bliss.

On January 1st, 2019 superstar Ricky Martin and his husband Jwan Yosef shared a post via Instagram announcing that they'd welcomed a baby girl named Lucia into their family.

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Gay Dad Life

Gay Dads Featured on Cover of Parents Magazine for First Time

Fitness guru Shaun T. and his husband Scott Blokker are the first gay dads to be featured on the cover of Parents Magazine

I literally never thought I'd see the day. Literally.

Gay fathers on the cover of Parents Magazine! Gay fathers being celebrated in a "main stream" publication about being parents. Gay fathers!

I don't want to get overly dramatic here, but this is a milestone. A massive cultural milestone.

Sure, gay dads have come a long way in being accepted in our popular culture, but to my eye we've never been on the cover of a big popular parenting magazine celebrating our parenting skills. As if we are the norm.

We are now - thanks to Parents Magazine.

This is a particular milestone for me because I have a bit of a history with the magazine and with parenting publications in general. My first job out of grad school was in brand marketing at Johnson's Baby Products where I did indeed run advertising in this particular magazine. Back then though we only featured married, straight couples. There were no other kinds of parents to feature back in the day! And if I'm to be really honest, they were generally white, married, straight couples.

I distinctly remember one photo shoot where I forgot to put a wedding ring on the "husband's" finger and we had to reshoot it. No photoshop back then!

Now admittedly this was before I was a dad and before I was out, but as the years went by and I embraced my own journey as a gay dad, there were no role models or pop culture markers to say that I (and other gay dads) were accepted. There were no Andy Cohens publicly making baby announcements. We were alone on our parenting.

It was hard. There was a constant barrage of straight parenting norms that constantly reminded us that we were different.
Not any more! Being a gay dad, or any dad, is now simply being a parent. A good parent. A loving parent. And we have Parents Magazine to thank for the reminder and endorsement, with hopefully more to come.

And I can't help but think, and actually know, that this kind of normalization will inspire the next generation of gay dads who will simply accept, without hesitation, that fatherhood as a gay man is a real, accepted, and normal option.

Bravo!

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Broadway Husbands Talk Eggs, Embryos and Exciting News

The husbands explain what is considered a good egg retrieval.

In their previous video, Broadway Husbands Bret Shuford and Stephen Hanna shared that they found their egg donor. In this video, the dads-to-be discuss their embryo creation process. And - spoiler alert - there are now frozen Hanna-Shuford embryos, and the husbands are ready for their next step: finding a gestational carrier.

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