Gay Dad Life

How Do Gay Dads Celebrate Father’s Day?

Over the past year, we've told the stories of many gay dads. Our writer David Dodge asked some of these dads about their plans for Father's Day.

Raymond and Daniel Trumble-Stazzone

"Father's Day means celebrating all of the successes and obstacles that have led us to where we are today. It means knowing our hard work has paid off and that we were successful in reaching our goal of becoming a family. It means we lead by example and help teach others in the world what a family looks like, it means we're a family and that our lives are better because of the kids we get to share it with."

The Trumble-Stazzone Family

Kenny and Greg Estle-Scarle

Greg: “Having lost my dad a couple years ago, Father's Day has taken on a new meaning being a father. To me, it's a day for others to give thanks to all the dads out there. Thinking on it, I think they should combine Mother's Day and Father's Day and simply make it Parent's Day. I think that would help with a lot of blended families in celebrating parents of all types, without anyone feeling left out."

Kenny and Greg Estle-Scarle with their kids

Kenny: "Father's Day is just another day to celebrate the awesome joy and responsibility that our boys bring to our lives. While it can be hard work, it can be such an awesome thing to see your kids succeed at the little things in life – passing a spelling test, making that first soccer goal, and using the potty without being asked! It makes all the time-outs and tantrums worthwhile. We'll be spending Father's Day relaxing by the pool, grilling some steaks and enjoying just a really lazy day!"

Stephen Stratton

"Historically, Father's Day signified what I didn't have. Until last year I wasn't a father and Father's Day felt like a reminder of that unfulfilled dream. But also, my father died of cancer when I was 16, so Father's Day always felt really sad and empty to me. Now, while there is still grief and loss, there is also celebration. And as a two-dad family there is double celebration on Father's Day. Last year I got to honor my partner for being such a great dad to our daughter, and, for the first time ever, I got to be celebrated for being a Papa.

Our culture puts a lot of emphasis on mothers being the primary caregivers, or moms doing all the hands-on parenting (lots of moms are great and they should be held in high regard for the incredible job they do), but nowadays many dads play a much more hands-on role in parenting. We aren't just the supporting role, we aren't just the "after work parent," we are also nurturers, and stay at home dads, and caregivers who are playing a very significant role in our children's lives. I think Father's Day should celebrate the evolving role of dads."

Josh and Stephen with their daughter Rowen

Harun Sinha

“We don't do anything special for Father's Day; maybe we'll do more as the kids get older. We're not even big on Valentine's Day so you can imagine. Mother's Day becomes more of an effort as we have to really prep for what our older son (now nearly 4) might ask but Father's Day by comparison is more of an effortless day. We are going to be in Greenport, N.Y., on the North Fork of Long Island, where we have brunch plans at a vineyard. The vineyard we're going to has chickens, ducks and some other farm animals so the kids will enjoy that."

Harun and Austin with their kids

Jason Howe

"Neither of us is very into corporate holidays like Valentine's Day or Father's Day, so it probably won't be much different from a regular weekend: a family lunch out and doing something fun with our beautiful girls. That said, if they want to take the day to pamper us when they get a bit older, I won't complain!"

Jason (l) and his husband Adrián with their girls

Bill Delaney

"We'll be spending this Father's Day in Yosemite with the kids, the moms, and friends. Most years it's just us and the girls, but we're changing it up this time."

Bill Delaney (l) and his family

Jim Joseph

"To be honest, I've never really been comfortable with Father's Day. Of course I'm a dad and of course it's been hard work, but I personally don't really want to be celebrated for it. But I do love the cultural acknowledgement of all the fathers in the world and how important it is to be a great dad."

Jim Joseph (l) and his family


Edward Peddell

"I believe that since I am acting as their dad it can and should be celebrated accordingly! However, if the bio father is still in the picture he also deserves to be recognized as we are co-parenting for the reunification of the child [with the birth family]."

Ed Peddell with his kids

Corey Harris

"I don't really participate in Hallmark holidays, but I do think it's important to have a day to dedicate to being a father, to give pause to what it means. So I'll just go for my regular visit on Saturday. Have a picnic in the park; no fanfare. My mom, on the other hand, makes a big deal out of Father's Day for me. She wants to participate somehow and I let her. If the kids want to, too, that's great. But I don't have the expectation to be special, or that they'll set time aside on this one particular day."

Corey Harris with kids

Chris Armijo

"Now that I have my own children, Father's Day and Mother's Day are more important as days to honor my own parents. So Father's day is an opportunity for my and my girls to really recognize my dad, who is just such a tremendous dad. Now that my daughters are older, they're starting to understand it more, too. So they'll get to pick what we do."

(“Can we go to Chucky Cheese?!" one of his daughters yelled in the background of our call. “No, honey," Chris laughed, “it probably won't be Chuck E. Cheese.")

Chris Armijo and his girls

Answers have been edited for grammar and clarity.

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Gay Dad Life

Lance Bass Opens Up About Forming His Family Through Surrogacy

Lance Bass and his husband Michael Turchin hope to spend Father's Day next year as first-time dads!

According to a recent interview with ET Online, Lance Bass and husband Michael Turchin will likely be spending Father's Day next year as first time dads!

"It's looking like this might be the last Father's Day that I'm kid-less!" the former *NSYNC band member told ET. "We'll see if the timing's right. We're hoping to have a kid next summer, so we'll just see how everything works out. Who knows what wrenches might be thrown in, so we're just crossing our fingers that it all works out."

This past April, the dads-to-be revealed their plans to build their family via surrogacy, and will thus join the growing ranks of famous gay men who form their families in this way. In his recent interview with ET, Bass opened up further about what the process has been like so far.

"Our surrogate fell into our laps through our embryologist, who is incredible," Bass said. "We just loved her. She was so selfless and all about wanting to give that gift to someone. I wanted to cry because it was just so special that someone would do that."

The couple is still looking for an egg donor (here are some tips for choosing, Lance!) but are hoping to have the process complete by spring of this year.

In a recent appearance on the Today Show, Bass shared that he and his husband Michael Turchin have long hoped to become fathers.

"We are super excited," he said. "We love the idea of having a family. That's one of the reasons I wanted to marry this man, because I know he'll be such a great dad."

We'll be sure to keep you posted on their exciting journey!

Gay Dad Family Stories

After Three Failed Adoptions, This Couple Almost Gave Up; Now They're Dads to Twins

It took surviving three failed adoptions and two scams, but Danny and Justin are finally dads

"Our adoption journey was not easy by any means," began Danny. "We waited 16 months before being successfully placed with our children." Husbands Danny Maffia and Justin DeMartin, together a total of eight years and married for two, endured a roller coaster ride to become dads, experiencing three failed adoptions. Today, they're the proud dads to twins born November 2017. Here's their story.

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Gay Dad Life

Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black Share First Photos of Newborn Son

Olympic diver Tom Daley and filmmaker Dustin Lance Black recently welcomed a son, born via surrogacy, into their home

On June 27th, 2018, Olympic diver Tom Daley and filmmaker Dustin Lance Black welcomed a son, born via surrogacy, into their home. The baby boy was named Robert after Tom's father, who passed away in 2011. The couple celebrated the birth with a pair of touching black and white photos released on their respective Instagram pages.

"Welcome to the world our precious little Robbie Ray Black-Daley," Tom wrote. "The most magical moment of my life. The amount of love and joy you have brought into our life is immeasurable. Our precious son."

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Popular

After a Heartbreaking Loss, These Adoptive Gay Dads Learned to Open Up Their Hearts, and Home, Once Again

After the death of their three-month-old daughter, Nick and Sean struggled to go on. But with the help of their adoption agency, friends and family, the dads welcomed a baby girl into their family last fall.

Nick Bryan and Sean McGuire, who live in Columbus, Ohio, have suffered heartache that no parent should ever have to endure. They became first-time dads in 2016 when they adopted a baby girl who was born two months premature. Sadly, their daughter did not make it to 4 months, and passed away due to premature complications. The dads struggled to go on. But with the support of their family, friends and a wonderful adoption agency, they tried again, and in November last year, another little girl was born, and she had two daddies ready to love her with all their hearts. Here's their family's story.

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Gay Dad Family Stories

When Traditional Adoption Wouldn’t Work for This Tennessee Gay Couple, This Woman Stepped in to Help

A woman who had formed her own family through IVF after struggling with infertility not only offered this gay couple her extra embryos -- she offered to serve as their surrogate.

Justin and Matthew live in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and have been together for 11 years. They met through mutual friends and the first time Justin saw Matthew, he knew there something special about him. They both wanted children, and after almost 4 years of dating, they decided to begin their journey to parenthood.

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Change the World

Federal Judge Rules Against Adoption Agency's Attempt to Discriminate Against LGBTQ Parents

Many challenges to LGBTQ adoption continue to exist, however, including a Federal amendment that would grant tax-funded adoption agencies the right to discriminate nationally.

This week brought us some much-needed good news in the fight to protect LGBTQ adoption rights: U.S. District Judge Petrese B. Tucker ruled that Catholic Services Society (CSS) violated the city of Philadelphia's Fair Practice Ordinance due to the organization's refusal to work with prospective parents' based on no other reason than their sexual orientation.

The decision is the result of a suit brought by CSS against Philadelphia. Last May, the city announced it was suspending foster care placements with two agencies, CSS and Bethany Christian Services, given their refusal to place children with LGBTQ prospective parents. While Bethany Christian Services ultimately agreed to stop discriminating against same-sex parents, CSS sued the city instead, and lost.

Judge Tucker found that no "substantial burden" existed on on CSS's religious exercise in providing foster care to children, writing that, "In essence, if CSS provides its services consistent with the minimal requirements of the all-comers provisions of the Fair Practices Ordinance, then CSS may continue to provide foster care to children.

Elsewhere around the country, however, the news on LGBTQ adoption rights has been much less encouraging. Over the course of the year, news hasn't been great for the LGBTQ community's adoption rights. Over the course of the year, a slew of anti-LGBTQ adoption measures have been cropping up in state legislatures all across the country. At the federal level this month, Republicans passed an amendment to an appropriations bill that if enacted will allow tax-funded adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ adoptive parents on the grounds of religious freedom.

Get Involved!

Want to take action? Look up your federal representatives here and demand they reject the inclusion of the anti-LGBTQ amendment in the appropriations bill passed by Republicans earlier this week.

Have you experienced discrimination as a potential gay adoptive or foster parent? We want to hear about it. Contact us at dads@gayswithkids.com and tell us about your experience.

And stay tuned to Gays With Kids as we continue to monitor and report on developments in anti-discrimination protections for adoptive LGBTQ parents, on both the state and federal level.

Change the World

Gay Dad's Family Car Vandalized with Homophobic Slur in Tennessee

"Sometimes people do things to try and make you sad," Michael told his sons following the incident. "But we have to be better than that."

Michael Quinton, a gay man living in Dandridge, Tennessee, had just arrived at home on July 6th when he noticed the damage done to his car. His tires were slashed, the car seats sliced up, and the radio rendered useless by a sharp object.

"My first reaction was a flood of every emotion," he said. "Angry, mad, sad, disheartened. As I took a look at the vehicle I saw more and more damage."

The physical vandalism, however, was nothing compared to the emotional damage inflicted by this next part of the crime: the word "fagot" had been etched into the side of his car.

Though Michael was clearly the intended target of the crime, he was particularly worried about how the incident might affect his two sons, Blake and Clayton, whom he had adopted with his ex-husband.

"I called my mom who lives a few minutes away to come sit with the boys as an officer was coming out," Michael told Gays With Kids. "At that moment I didn't want them to see the vehicle or the words carved into it.

Michael called the experience "eye-opening," adding, "Come what may I have to ensure [my sons] are taken care of. I have to show them that love wins and without a doubt there is nothing wrong with the way you love. One day they very well could help change the climate in this country."

As far as the perpetrator, Michael has his suspicions of who might behind the damage, and has shared them along with some potential evidence with the detective involved. The incident is being investigated as a hate crime. Michael has spent most of life in east Tennessee and says this was the first time he had ever experienced an act of hate. From sharing this horrible experience, a lot of people have reached out to Michael and his family to send words of support and kind messages. But Michael is still worried.

"In the end, the tone of this country has done a 180," he said. "I honestly feel worried that things will continue to happen to families like mine or anyone viewed different in others' eyes."

New data has shown that hate crimes have risen 12% in the past year, and that is only those that are reported. The African American community has been the most targeted, followed by LGBTQ people.

Michael with his kids

The damage to Michael's vehicle has also been a blow to family, symbolically, he says. Michael is recently divorced from the boys' second dad, and is now raising them full-time. The car, a bright blue Kia, came to represent so much more than a vehicle; it meant a new beginning for Michael and his boys after the separation.

"So many memories have been made in that vehicle over the last 18 months," shared Michael. His youngest son, Blake, "processes things a little different than your average 7 year old," Michael says. "You take away routine, structure, consistency, security and he doesn't do too well."

Since the incident, the family has been comforting each other by sleeping together on the couch every night. Michael has always kept an open conversation with his kids, whether it be about their adoption (Blake originally came to Michael through kinship guardianship, and Clayton is Blake's biological older brother whom Michael later adopted as well), divorce, and now this.

"I told them that sometimes people do things to try and make you sad," said Michael. "But we have to be better than that and know that we can't stop loving and that we have each other and I wouldn't allow them to be hurt. We also have to be able to forgive in order to find peace."

The car, sadly, is beyond repair. Fortunately, Michael has a vehicle supplied by work he can use for family drop offs, baseball practice and medical appointments. But eventually, he'll need to get his own car again. As a single-income father, Michael has set up a GoFundMe page to help with the insurance deductible and/or possible replacement of the car.

Despite the gravity of the situation, Michael didn't miss an opportunity to through some well-deserved shade back at the perpetrator of this heinous act. "Who spells faggot..... fagot?" he wrote on a post he published to Facebook shortly after the incident. "Doesn't most everyone have access to spell check with their phone? I mean come on!!!"

Fatherhood, the gay way

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