Change the World

After Harrowing Delivery, Barry's Bootcamp CEO Welcomes Home a Baby Boy

Joey Gonzalez, CEO of Barry's Bootcamp, and Jonathan Rollo, founder of Greenleaf Gourmet Chop Shop, recently welcomed their second child, Jake, into their family. We caught up with Joey recently to talk about fatherhood, fitness, and Jake's scary entry into the world on April 8th of this year: 


Gays With Kids: You mentioned baby Jake had a dramatic entrance into the world on April 8 this year. What happened? Were you in the birthing room?

Joey Gonzalez: We were in the room, and it was actually a very traumatic experience. He flipped around in the final moments before coming out, shocking the midwife and nurses who were not prepared for a breeched birth. (Breeched babies are typically delivered through cesarean section surgeries) When they realized what was happening, they hit the emergency button and a dozen staff members ran into the room. Jake's legs came out one by one, but his entire body was pale, white and limp. Dayna continued to push, but unfortunately experienced what is called "head entrapment." This occurs when the entire body is delivered, but the head remains stuck. At this point, the NICU team arrived and they asked "the family to be removed." Words I will never forget. Jon, my Mom, and I waited in the hallway and listened to Dayna scream, push, and eventually deliver our son. However, the entire room was silent, and there were no sounds of him screaming or crying. The staff eventually allowed us back in the room, and we could see him hooked up to an oxygen machine while being worked on by the physician and his team. After what seemed like an eternity, Jake finally let out a scream, and the nurse next to us smiled, and said, "that's a very good sign."

GWK:  We're so happy everything worked out! From your Instagram accounts, it looks like you've used the same surrogate, Dayna, for both of your children. Could you tell us a little about your relationship with your her?

JG: She's a miracle. She and her family have sacrificed so much to bring Frankie and Jake into our lives.

GWK: How is your first born, Francesca, responding to her little brother?

JG: She has been a dream come true---only ever kissing and hugging her brother, to whom she refers to as "baby."

GWK: How are you and Jonathan managing life with two children under the age of 2, and operating your personal businesses?

JG: The balance is challenging. It feels as though no matter what I'm doing, I'm sacrificing other important responsibilities. At some point, you just have to trust your ability to prioritize, and live in the moment. I love my job so much, but of course I love my family above all.

GWK: How tough has it been to keep up with working out as a new gay dad?

JG: Tough. It's the area of my life that has taken the biggest hit. I've only been able to workout approximately 4 times a week, which I've offset by eating even healthier than before.

GWK: How important is fitness and healthy living to you as new gay dads?

JG: Very important. All the aforementioned things are a part of our identity: work, family, and health. Jon and I have built our lives around health and fitness and it's vital we teach our children the importance of it always.

GWK: What fitness tips do you have for a new dads?

JG: Snatch up every opportunity you get. Set a weekly goal and do what it takes to meet it. Also, try and find workouts that can involve your kids!

GWK: Why did you decide to join Barry's Bootcamp?

JG: When I discovered Barry's, it was a small local workout concept here in Los Angeles. The way it changed my body and mind and the friends I made in class drove me to approach the founders about an expansion.

GWK: Do you have plans to grow your family again?

We've always wanted a bigger family (three or four), but are planning to test life with two for a while before jumping the gun.

GWK: How has life changed since becoming dads? 

JG: I thought it would feel much more like work, and underestimated the amount of fun and joy we squeeze out of every moment together.

GWK: If you could go back in time and give your younger self any advice about your path in life, what would it be?

JG: Follow your gut and have fun. Don't sweat the small stuff.

***

Check out some of our favorite Instagram pics of Joey and Jonathan's family in the slide show below! And if you're in need of a new workout routine, be sure to check out a Barry's Bootcamp near you. In the Los Angeles area? Check out Greenleaf Gourmet Chop Shop which specializes in fresh, affordable, and healthy foods. 

 

Left: Francesca's birth announcement. Right: Jake's birth announcement.

So in love with Jake Stone Gonzollo . . . FIG meet her baby brother today.

A post shared by Jonathan Rollo (@chefjonrollo) on

 

 

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Change the World

Hungarian Company Raising Money for LGBTQ+ Organization with a LEGO® Heart

Startup WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD is helping combat misinformation and prejudice in Central and Eastern Europe

Guest Post from WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD

WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD is an innovative startup venture that sells LEGO® parts and unique creations. The core values of our company include social equality regardless of gender identity or origin. As LEGO® is a variety of colors and shapes, so are the people.

We all know that LEGO® is a brand that nearly everyone knows and likes between the age of 3 and 99 so this gives a great opportunity to connect unique LEGO® creations and Pride. We started a fundraising campaign for a Hungarian LGBTQ+ organization who's aim is to bring people closer to the LGBTQ+ community, they help to combat misinformation and prejudice regarding LGBTQ+ issues in Central- Eastern Europe since 2000.

You might know that gender equality and the circumstances of LGBTQ+ people is not the easiest in the former communist Eastern European countries like Hungary so this program is in a real need for help. For example a couple of month ago a member of the government said that homosexual people are not equal part of our society.

The essence of the campaign is when one buys a Pride Heart, a custom creation made of brand new and genuine LEGO® bricks the organization gets $10.00 donation so they can continue their important work. This Pride Heart is a nice necklace, a decoration in your home, and a cool gift to the one you love.

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Change the World

4 Tips for Using Instagram to Connect with Gay Dads Offline

We asked gay dads who have successfully met up with other LGBTQ families offline for some of their tips

Last week, we ran a story about several gay dads who did the unthinkable: meet other gay dads IRL after connecting on Instagram! We get MANY questions from gay dads wondering how they can meet up with others in their area, so we decided to dig a bit deeper this week to get their advice. What can gay dads do to meet others off the 'gram?

1. Be kind — share others' excitement in parenting!


From @twinlifedads Ben and Andy:

"Be kind. That is absolutely it. Be kind to each other and don't be afraid to reach out. Respond to each other when you can. Share in excitement for each other. There is no reason to bring someone else down who might be excited about how they are parenting."

2. Drop a couple comments and likes before reaching out!

From @brisvegasdad Tim and Nic:

"I think drop comments now and then on their posts and instastories and see where things land. Chances are, if you're commenting on a post and it is a heartfelt response, they'll click through to your account, look at your photos and connect with you. And that's when the magic happens - you can introduce yourself, talk about your lives and how things are being a parent... and after a while, if you're in the same neighbourhood, you meet up and grow your friendship organically. That being said, I'm obsessed with Bobby Berk from Queer Eye and his husband Dewey Do - if they ever had kids, I'd probably be completely unsubtle and leave strange awkward comments on their instaposts saying, 'GAY DADS MEET UPSSSSS'."

3. Go in with no expectations

From @stevecsmith Steve and Ben:

"I always try to reach out without any expectations – mostly just to provide a positive comment. I like to leave it up to the other parents to comment or message back before suggesting meeting up or a playdate. Every family is different, so how each person is going to respond is different too."

4. Keep trying!

From @theconways13 Ricky and Jeff:

"Reach out to other families, start a light friendly conversation. Get to know each other and let conversations happen organically. If they lead to a play date great! Our first experience in meeting another lgbt family (not through ig/gwk) was very awkward cause there wasn't a whole lot of conversation happening before hand. The conversations leading up to the play date will help make the first play date with the family go a lot smoother and fun. Don't be afraid of not connecting with the other families. If it isn't successful the first time, continue reaching out to to other families- don't let it deter you from reaching out to others."

Change the World

How Gay Dads Are Using Instagram to Connect

Meet the gay dads from around the world who are using our Gays With Kids Instagram account to connect with other gay dad families!

It can be easy to dismiss Instagram as nothing more than a place for us to pretend our lives our perfect — smiling families, exotic vacations, maybe a FaceTuned pic or two — but for gay dads, it's more than that. Sure, we share our perfect family pics, too. But for LGBTQ families, who still face discrimination all across the country and world, sharing a picture of two gay dads, smiling happily and proudly with their kids, is also a political act. And it provides us an opportunity to lift up and support one another, wherever our families are, in cities and towns big and small.

And we're proud to provide an avenue for these families to meet and connect via our Instagram page (which just reached over 100,000 followers!!)

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Gay Dad Penguins Strike Again! This Time in Berlin Zoo

The latest male penguins to care for an egg together are Skipper and Ping in the Berlin Zoo.

First, there was Roy and Silo — the two male penguins in the Central Park Zoo that served as inspiration for the famous children's book And Tango Makes Three. Then Magin Sphen got together in Sydney, where aquarium keepers gave the cocks (Calm down, that's what a male penguin is called!) a foster egg to care for.

And now, please welcome Skipper and Ping in Berlin to the latest list of gay dad penguins! As soon as the two emperor penguins arrived at the city's zoo, they set about trying to start a family, said Berlin Zoo spokesman Maximilian Jaege to DPA news.

"They kept trying to hatch fish and stones," Jaeger said.

So the zookeepers loaned the penguins an egg from a female penguin, who is apparently uninterested in hatching eggs on her own, according to the BBC.

Unsurprisingly, the gay penguins are killing it as parents. "The two male penguins are acting like exemplary parents, taking turns to warm the egg," Jaeger said,

Read the whole article on DPA here.

Entertainment

Single Gay Dad Featured on Season Three of GLOW

Actor Kevin Cahoon joins the Gorgeous Ladies of Wresting in Vegas as a single gay dad — and drag queen — on Season Three of the hit Netflix show

For a couple of years now, Hollywood has been obsessed with gay dad characters (and who can blame them?) But the latest show to get hip to a story line featuring gay man raising kids is Netflix's GLOW, which explores a female wresting troop in the late 1980s.

But GLOW is helping represent a gay character that rarely gets time in the limelight:the single gay dad. In Season three of the hit comedy — which stars Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, and Marc Maron — actor Kevin Cahoon joins the case as Bobby Barnes, a single gay father who plays a female impersonator. (80s divas only, of course — Joan Collins and Babs among them)


"I've never done female impersonation," the openly gay actor told OutSmart Magazine, "so I tried to learn really quick. You will know them all; I was very familiar with all of them. There were plenty of talk shows and performances on YouTube to study. I learned that their breathing was very informative."

A single gay dad AND drag queen on television? It's about damn time if you ask us.

Read the full interview with Cahoon here.

Politics

Utah Court Rules Gay Couples Can't Be Excluded From Surrogacy Contracts

The Utah Supreme Court found in favor of a gay couple attempting to enter into a surrogacy contract.

DRAKE BUSATH/ UTCOURTS.GOV

Earlier this month, the Utah Supreme Court ruled that a same-sex couples can't be excluded from entering into enforceable surrogacy contracts, and sent a case concerning a gay male couple back to trial court to approve their petition for a surrogacy arrangement.

As reported in Gay City News, the case concerns Utah's 2005 law on surrogacy, which was enacted prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state. As a result, the content of the law is gendered, saying that surrogacy contracts should only be enforceable if the "intended mother" is unable to bear a child. When a gay couple approached District Judge Jeffrey C. Wilcox to enter into a surrogacy arrangement, he denied them, arguing that the state's law only concerned opposite sex couples.

"This opinion is an important contribution to the growing body of cases adopting a broad construction of the precedent created by Obergefell v. Hodges and the Supreme Court's subsequent decision in Pavan v. Smith," according to GCN. "It's also worth noting that same-sex couples in Utah now enjoy a right denied them here in New York, where compensated gestational surrogacy contracts remain illegal for all couples."

Read the full article here.

Personal Essays by Gay Dads

Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Working:​ One Father's Plea for Gun Reform

One gay dad's plea to our leaders to enact sensible gun control

My articles on GaysWithKids aspire to be lighthearted, helpful and humorous. This one won't be any of those things. Because I'm feeling heavyhearted, helpless and sad. Last week I woke up to news of yet another mass shooting. This time at a family-friendly Garlic Festival in northern California. I don't know if it's because this one hit so close to home, or if it's because the headline included a picture of the innocent 6-year old who was among those killed, but I am overcome with emotion. But mostly I am angry. And I don't know what to do with my anger.

Then, just a few days later came two additional horrific mass shootings that stole the lives of at least 32 more innocent people, many of them children. And then there's the "everyday" gun violence that plagues American cities like Chicago, where guns injured another 46 people this past weekend alone… creating so much turmoil, a hospital had to briefly stop taking patients.

How does one verbalize the collective sadness felt around the world? One can't. And that's why I am asking everyone reading this article to commit to getting involved in some way, to help end this epidemic once and for all. Even though the solution is so obvious, we can't allow ourselves to become numb to mass shootings. Because becoming numb isn't going to save anyone.

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