Gay Dad Life

How a Gay Dad Unexpectedly Became a Hockey Dad

Could I Really be a Hockey Dad?


Hockey. My son wanted to play hockey. He asked repeatedly but my partner and I deflected. We distracted – but the ballet lessons we put him in weren’t satisfying him, apparently. He was adamant about hockey.

Off to the neighborhood arena we went. The first time I walked in, it felt like a different world. Sure, I’d been in plenty of predominantly male spaces before, but this seemed like a foreign country. Here was a culture and a language I didn’t know. All I saw were other men who did the typical male nod of the chin, the small motion that conveyed so much. I assume they were expressing things like “Hey!”; “How ya doin’?”; “Registration is over here”; “The first practice starts next week at 8”; and “See that guy who has no clue what he’s doing?” It was all a code I had never learned.

Our First Day

I managed, awkwardly, to get my son registered. Then the taciturn guy looked over my son and turned to me to ask, “Equipment?” I looked back blankly. The guy shrugged and told us what gear we’d need. I couldn’t then admit not knowing what to put on first or how, so I looked out of the corners of my eyes to watch the other kids in the changeroom get geared up. I was so proud seeing my little guy skate onto the ice for his first practice, until I watched as the coach had to retie my son’s laces. It felt like a dad failure on my part.

I’m a morning person, so I don’t mind the early game times. But how would I fit in with the other dads? They stand at the boards, drink their morning coffee, talk about sports and yell encouragement and admonishments at their kids. I don’t drink coffee. I don’t know last night’s scores. And what advice could I yell at my kid?

The Hockey Code

One day I overheard two of the dads talking. One of them said, “That number 11 is fast but too bad he’s always offside.” Number 11 – my guy. But I didn’t admit that it was my son, nor that I didn’t know what “offside” meant. Instead I went home to Google it. The next week, while lacing up my son’s skates, I said to the coach, “We’ve been working on the offside thing.” That day, I had to go home and Google “icing.” I figured I could learn a hockey term a week. (“Icing: an illegal act by an ice hockey player of shooting a puck from within the defensive zone or defensive half of the rink beyond the opponents’ goal line but not into the goal.”)

Now I stand rinkside two or three times a week, happy because my son is happy. I can tie skates properly. I yell out “offside” when one of our players needs reminding. I hang out with the dads and chat about parenting, schools, weather, vacations, families – and a bit about hockey. I watch NHL games on TV with my son, so I’m picking up names of players and know who lost or won the night before. And I’m beginning to appreciate the strategy, speed and intensity of the game. The code isn’t a secret – it is simply a new language.

The Maple Leafs Game

For my son’s birthday this year, I bought two of the cheapest tickets to a Maple Leafs game when the Penguins were coming to town. Wearing the jersey of his hero, Sydney Crosby, my son opened the gift, threw his arms up and cheered. The tickets turned out to be standing room, behind the last row in the arena, the farthest away from the ice that one could possibly get. And yet when we arrived, my son said, sincerely and not charitably, “These are great seats!” He took it all in – the game, the atmosphere, the crowd. He focused intently on the game, knew when to cheer, when to groan, when to encourage the players and when to dispute the refs. He also knew to ask me for an overpriced hot dog, an oversized pop and an over-everything popcorn.

My Dad, My Role Model

It made me think of my dad who used to take me to games to try to get me interested in sports. He had to feed me to keep me occupied, before giving up on taking me altogether. My dad, who passed away 12 years ago, would have relished opportunities to take a grandkid to live games or watch sports with him on TV, all the things that I never liked to do. Instead my dad attended all the plays I wrote, directed or acted in. I didn’t follow my dad into a business career or have his zeal for sports, but I could still use him as a role model.

Tears came to my eyes. Standing with my son for his first NHL game, out of my comfort zone, I was learning and experiencing new things right along my son. There, not because of the game, but happy because my son was happy. (Bonus: the Leafs won in overtime!) I will cheer him on and cheer with him, as long as I get to spend time with him doing what he loves.

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Gay Dad Life

How Canada's 'Gay Dollar' Helped This Gay Man Reflect on His Biggest Regret—Not Having Kids

Canada unveiled a 'gay dollar' coin earlier this year, helping Gregory Walters reflect on the progress the LGBTQ community has made—and his decision to forgo having children children

Earlier this year, Canada unveiled a rainbow-stripped coin dollar to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the country's decision to decriminalize homosexuality. With the coins now firmly in circulation, Gregory Walters, who lives in Vancouver, wrote a moving essay for the Globe and Mail, expressing joy for how far Canada has come on the issue of gay rights, but how the coin is also a symbolic representation of the "greatest regret" of his life—his decision not to adopt children.

Gregory writes that he had hoped to adopt a child ever since his early career working with persons with developmental disabilities. "Several children I worked with were wards of the State of Texas," he wrote. "Their parents having relinquished all rights either owing to egregious acts of abuse or a lack of desire to raise someone with so many needs. There were days when I felt, 'If I could just take you home and raise you.' I knew there was a need for adopting persons with special needs but my own internalized homophobia got in the way yet again. Despite what is probably my own gift in working with children, I never felt worthy enough to be a parent. I always felt that if I were a gay dad it would create more of a liability for the child."

Gregory decision to forgo having children, he says, is his "greatest regret." While he takes responsibility for some of this decision, he also adds: "society's view of homosexuals and its opinions regarding gay adoptions also played a major part."

To critics of Canada's coin, some of who have said its a cheap political pander to the LGBTQ community, Gregory concludes with this thought:

"I don't care if the indulged majority who never had to question marriage or raising children or being secure in a job may feel the coin is frivolous. The coin isn't for them in the first place. It's an acknowledgment for those of us who repressed our true selves and felt oppressed. It is for gays who never lived to see rights and protections enshrined in law. It is for younger LGBTQ people to learn more about how far we've come and to gain a deeper sense of gay pride. For these reasons, the coin has value so much greater than any monetary designation. The coin represents both empowerment and normalization."

Read Gregory's full essay here.

Gay Dad Life

8 Pics of Ricky Martin Being an Adorable Dad Because Why Not?

Here's some pics of Ricky Martin being an adorable dad because we've ALL had a long week and deserve this don't we??

Earlier this year, in January 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. With twin 9-year-old sons in the house as well, Ricky and Jwan now have a very full casa. Fortunately, the dads are giving us a little glimpse into their chaotic but fun-filled home lives via Instagram. We rounded up 8 of our fav recent parenting pics by the popstar because we've all had long weeks and we deserve this don't we??

Enjoy!

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Gay Dad Life

17 T.V. Shows Featuring Gay Dad Characters

Gay dads are all the rage on the small screen these days... here are 17 shows that prominently feature gay dad characters!

The 2019-2020 TV season will soon be upon us! In recent years, gay dad characters have been all the rage... will we see more representation this fall? We sure hope so! But in the meantime, we'll be content reviewing this list of 17 shows that have (somewhat) prominently featured gay dad characters!

Also we KNOW we're missing some, so drop us a line in the comments to tell us what we should add!

1. Grace & Frankie

In this Netflix original series, Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston play gay dads who come out to their wives and children well past their primes. Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda play the ex-wives, rounding out the star-studded cast. Now in its fourth season, the show has been well received and sheds an interesting light on the complications involved with fathers who come out later in life.

Entertainment

How Fatherhood Has Impacted Tom Daley's Diving Career for the Better

British diver Tom Daley, and new-ish gay dad, is looking to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in South Korea.

British diver Tom Daley is currently in the running to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in South Korea, his fourth if he competes, at the young age of just 26.

But he also has another concern that most young gay men his age couldn't fathom—fatherhood. He and his husband, filmmaker Dustin Lance Black, recently welcomed Robbie Ray via surrogacy in June 2018.

In an interview with the Independent, Daley explained how fatherhood has changed his routine and training, which he says is often for the better.

"It has changed my life completely in all of the best ways possible," Daley said. "It has changed my perspective, the way I think about things. [My son] is the most important thing in my life, everything I do is for him, everything I think about he is at the forefront of everything."

With respect to his diving career, Daley continued, "if you have a bad day at training, or a good day, you are grounded immediately when you get home through the door because you are having cuddles or you are having to change a dirty nappy. It is the first time that I have been able to leave diving at the diving board and not think about what I need to the next day in the pool."

Whatever the challenges he faces while training, he said, "I can leave it there because you don't have time to think about diving when you are looking after a kid under one."

The strategy seems to be working in Daley's favor. He recently enjoyed his most successful FINA Diving World Series ever this past Spring in Canada, winning 12 medals across five events. And barring any major catastrophe, he is overwhelmingly expected to qualify for South Korea 2020.

And we can't wait to cheer the young dad on!

Change the World

One Gay Dad's Fight Against Hate in Superior, Nebraska

Brian Splater is refusing to let homophobic and transphobic elected officials in his town go unchecked

Millie B. Photography

Guest post written by Brian Splater

No one ever should feel they will have a very lonely and secluded life as a child. But that is something me and many other gay kids believe as they are growing up.

The truth of the matter is there are people who will try everything in their power to have our rights go back in time instead of forward. It is very disheartening when these people are elected officials, or they are people who use their place of employment to spread their disgust and hate.

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Politics

America's First Gay Dad Governor Heads Into the Lion's Den

Colorado Governor Jared Polis recently became the first elected Democrat to speak at the annual Western Conservative Summit in Denver

Last Friday, American's first gay dad Governor, Jared Polis, became the first elected Democrat to speak at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, where he urged the Republican crowd to help him build a "Colorado for all."

"While we should never gloss over the things that divide us, there is a lot more that unites us," Polis said. "When we close ourselves off from discussion or debate, and we reject the possibility of hearing and understanding other perspectives, it threatens the fabric of our democracy."

If he was hoping for a Kumbaya moment, he didn't exactly get it. As he was called to the stage, he was greeted with a smattering of applause—while others booed and shouted for a "recall" of the Governor.

"It was almost unbearable for me to sit there to listen to his talk," Abby Johnson, one of the event's attendees, told the Denver Post. "And I'm going to tell you why. He kept talking about equality for all persons, yet we live in a society where 60 million innocent human beings have been slaughtered in the name of choice. Where is their justice? Where is their equal rights?"

Polis was also criticized from his left flank for attending the same event that refuses to let the Log Cabin Republicans, a group of gay GOP members, participate—and that featured Donald Trump Jr. as a speaker the same day. "To me it feels like vanity," Katie Farnan, a staffer with progressive group Indivisible, told the Denver Post. "He can go and be a hip Democratic governor who isn't afraid to go into GOP sanctuary. Or maybe it's recall insurance. But unless he was there to hold them accountable for their support for fascist and racist policies, what's the point?"

In response to the criticism from both sides of the political aisle, Polis told the Colorado Sun: "I think it's very important that Coloradans of different ideologies, different races, different geographies, different orientations and gender identities all really celebrate that we're all part of what makes Colorado great."

The event is hosted each year by Colorado Christian University to bring together conservatives from around the state, and the larger West.

What do you think, dads? Was Polis's decision to speak at the event a savvy political move or mere pandering?

Entertainment

Hate Group Boycotts 'Toy Story' for Featuring Lesbian Moms—Hilarity Ensues on Twitter

"One Million Moms" announced a boycott of the latest Toy Story movie for *very briefly* featuring lesbian moms. Twitter's response was swift and hilarious.

One Million Moms, which is affiliated with the anti-LGBTQ American Family Association, recently called for a boycott of Toy Story 4 for (very, very briefly) featuring (interracial!) lesbian moms in the animated film. The angry, hateful moms affiliated with this group must have watched the film VERY closely because you could easily blink and miss the moment that apparently "blindsided" viewers.

The Internet reacted with a collective facepalm to the ridiculous boycott. Here are some of our favorite hilarious Twitter reactions to the hateful group:

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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