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.
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."