Change the World

One Dad's Message to Others Living with HIV: You Can Be a Parent, Too

I've been living with HIV for close to 30 years. I don't need to wait until World AIDS Day to reflect on the tremendous impact HIV and AIDS have had on my life.


I received confirmation of my HIV status in January of 1991, though I know I became positive in March or April of 1988. It was my first year out of college, and I decided to celebrate my birthday by finally acting upon the incredible urges that had been building inside of me slowly but steadily for several years. Truth is, by then my desire to be with a man filled my thoughts just about every waking hour.

I cannot tell you the exact date it happened, but I do know it happened during several sexual encounters with guy-I-slept-with-first or guy-I-slept-with-second over the course of a month or two. Thankfully, guy-I-slept-with-third gave me the real facts about the spread of HIV and the need for protection.

It took me several years to come out and I did so first as a straight man living with HIV. It was another year or two before I finally came out as gay.

By my early 30s I had become fully entrenched in gay life in Boston, Massachusetts. During those years I attended far too many funerals of young men with promising lives that had been cut way too short. I recall attending a funeral of someone who had made it past 40 and thinking, “Good for him. He didn't die so young. Maybe I'll be so lucky."

Brian Rosenberg in the Boston Globe discussing his health with the new "cocktail therapy," 1996

I'm not sure why I survived when hundreds of thousands of others did not. In those early days, I did not, could not, plan for a future. Not for more than a couple of years away. Certainly not one involving a husband and children.

An important part of what we do at Gays With Kids is to show off the incredible beauty of the diversity within gay dad families, which includes HIV-positive gay dads like me and their children.

I hope my story, and the stories of the men in previous articles on Gays With Kids, will inspire other HIV-positive gay men to consider fatherhood.

Brian Rosenberg

Gays With Kids

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Change the World

Breaking with Older Generations,  Most LGBTQ Millenials Say They Want Kids

According to new research by the Family Equality Council, the number of LGBTQ parents is expected to rise dramatically in the coming years

According to the LGBTQ Family Building Survey, recently released by the Family Equality Council, the majority of young LGBTQ say they are interested in becoming parent. This marks a dramatic shift when compared with the attitudes of older generations.

Among the survey's findings:

  • 63% of LGBTQ Millennials (aged 18-35) are considering expanding their families, either becoming parents for the first time, or by having more children
  • 48% of LGBTQ Millennials are actively planning to grow their families, compared to 55% of non-LGBTQ Millennials, a gap that has narrowed significantly in comparison to older generations
  • 63% of LGBTQ people planning families expect to use assisted reproductive technology, foster care, or adoption to become parents, a significant shift away from older generations of LGBTQ parents for whom the majority of children were conceived through intercourse.

Despite the expected increase in LGBTQ parents, most providers, they note, "do not typically receive training about the unique needs of the LGBTQ community; forms and computer systems are not developed with LGBTQ families in mind; insurance policies are rarely created to meet the needs of LGBTQ family building; and discrimination against LGBTQ prospective parents by agencies and providers remains widespread."

The Family Equality Council goes on to recommend that family building providers "from reproductive endocrinologists and obstetricians to neonatal social workers, family law practitioners, and child welfare workers" begin preparing now to welcome future LGBTQ parents.

Read the full report here.

Change the World

Gay Dads More 'Equitable' in Parenting Roles Than Straight Dads, Says New Study

Unmoored by gender roles, gay dads take equal parts in being "playmates, caregivers, protectors, role models, morality guides,

A new study conducted by Éric Feugé from the Université du Québec à Montréal observed 46 families, made up of 92 gay dads and their 46 children over a period of seven years.

The study, which Feugé says is the first of its kind, analyzed the roles gay dads take in raising their kids and found the way they parent is 'very equitable'.

'We learned that gay fathers' sharing of tasks is very equitable,' the researcher told the Montreal Gazette, who added there was a "high degree of engagement" by both gay dads in all types of parental roles. "What's really interesting is that they don't conform to roles of conventional fathers. They were able to redefine and propose new models of cultural notions of paternity and masculinity."

Unmoored by gender roles, gay dads take equal parts in being "playmates, caregivers, protectors, role models, morality guides,' the author said.

Read the full review of the research here.

Change the World

Don't F*ck With This F*g

After a homophobic encounter on the subway, BJ questions what the right response is, in an era of increasing vocal rightwing activists

On February 1, 2019, Frank and I went out on a date night, something we haven't done in a while. Our son was sleeping over at his grandparents for the night and we made plans with our friends to meet them for dinner downtown. We decided to save some money and take the subway into town instead of taking a taxi.

We boarded the subway and sat down opposite a couple, a man and woman. I noticed they looked at us as we boarded the train and began whispering to each other. Frank and I were talking to each other when I heard the man uttering under his breath, "F*$%ing faggots."

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Gay Dad Life

14 Gay Dad Families Show Their Love This Valentine's Day

These pics of gay dads smooching will warm the hearts of even the biggest V-Day skeptics

You might quietly (or loudly) oppose the commercialism and celebration of Valentine's Day, but let's just take a moment and rejoice in these beautiful signs of affection, shared between 14 awesome two-dad families. Cynicism gone? Good.

Happy Valentine's Day, dads! We hope you have a lovely day with your kids, your significant other, and / or friends. Because who doesn't love love!?!

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Gay Dad Life

How Gay Dads Celebrate Valentine's Day: Before and After Kids

Tom Bourdon asks gay dads how celebrating Valentine's Day has changed for them since kids came into their life

Life changes so much when you become a parent, so I thought I'd ask some parents how Valentine's Day compares - before kids and after. Watch the video to hear what they had to say.

Watch the video:

We'd love to know how your Valentine's Days have changed since having kids! Let us know in the comments.

Gay Dad Life

Why Date Night Is So Important this Valentine's Day

When you're a parent, time alone with your significant other isn't a luxury — it's a necessity.

Even before the morning sunlight — and my eyelids — have lifted, I'm reminded that I'm somebody's father. It's usually around 5:40am when my 8-year old son Maxwell pokes his head into our room shouting "cock-a-doodle-doo" at the top of his lungs. He's usually wearing an adorably comfy onesie, a look he thankfully refuses to retire. His rooster call is followed up with strict demands in quick succession:

"Warm milk!"

"Turn on the lights."

"Where's your phone?"

"Put on Nick Jr."

"Feed me yogurt while I play Fortnite!" (Note: we don't… well… anymore.)

This Groundhog Day routine follows us as we pick out his clothes for the day —"Comfy camouflage t-shirt and sweat pants!" he insists (shoot me now). We then make him breakfast, prepare his packed lunch and then make sure his completed homework is in his schoolbag.

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Gay Dad Life

Gay Dads Featured in New AT&T Ad

AT&T is the latest company to feature gay dads in their advertising so far this year!

I hope this becomes the norm that we regularly see brand advertising featuring gay dads. And I hope it becomes so much the norm that I don't feel compelled to write about it anymore!

We're getting there, little by little.

Mega-brand AT&T just released a short video/commercial that features two protective dads making sure that their babysitter is equipped to take care of their children. What strikes me most about this spot is the normalcy. These are simply two normal parents, regardless of gender, who are making sure their children will be properly watched. No stereotypes, no big messaging, no big deal. Just two men being protective parents.

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