Gay Dad Life

Cooking with Kids: An Interview with David Burtka

David Burtka sits down with us to talk about his new book "Life is a Party."

When you're a young couple it's easy to order in or dine out on a daily basis, but when the kids come along, spending time in the kitchen to prepare nutritious and healthy meals for them can become a problem for some dads. We turned to gay dad and celebrity chef David Burtka who just published his debut recipe book Life is a Party, to get some advice, inspiration, and support as we take our baby steps in the kitchen.



One of the main things we learned from our interview with David is that healthy eating habits for your kids stem from the way we, the parents, behave and interact with them when it comes to food. "I think that some parents also don't want to put up a fight and don't want to argue with their kids so they'll just make a second meal," David says. "You know, there's no option in our house, there's no second meal. What we're eating for dinner they're eating for dinner."

"My kids will eat anything you'll put in front of them. And I think that there's a lot of parents that just give their kids jarred baby food, and there's no salt, there's no flavor, and of course they're learning to eat bland so no wonder they just want to eat chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese. I think that the more we try to expose our kids [to flavors] the better eaters they will be."

For those who struggle in the kitchen, David suggests to start with cooking chicken. "A roast chicken is one of the easiest things you can possibly do," he says. "All you do is you pat it, you put salt and pepper on it, you put it in the oven, 425 for an hour. That's it.

"You can have it that evening and then you can have chicken for the whole week. And there's so many things you can [make from it], like soup or chicken pot pie, chicken enchiladas or a chicken salad – which is putting it on a regular green salad. It has endless possibilities. Even with a roast, you can cut half of it and put it in the freezer, I mean, proteins freeze really well, you can put them in the freezer for two weeks and then repurpose it in another way. That's what I'm always doing."

Other quotes from the interview:

David cooks, Neil does the dishes

"Neil doesn't do sue chef with me I'm usually doing it by myself but he's great at cleaning up. It's a given that if I'm gonna cook, he's going to do the dishes."

Still in touch with the surrogate

"Because of the situation that we're in and being in the limelight we just wanted to keep it as secret as possible, like I don't want photographers coming to her house or into her world, so we try to keep it as private as possible. I keep in touch with her more than Neil, I just heard from her she was taking a test, she went back to school and was taking a whole course on human sexuality, and one of the questions had to do with Neil and I so she took a picture of it. It was really interesting."

The toughest year of parenting

"The hardest age was I think zero to one. With twins, literally, I don't even remember. It's a haze. The lack of sleep is just beyond. You can't function as a human being. I think that only around three I started to go 'okay… I think I start to become a normal person again.' And it puts such strains on your relationship, after five, six, seven – seven is when Neil and I started connecting again, which is a really big deal."

"We were together for a while before the kids came so you have this bond and then the kids come and it shakes it all up, it's a snow globe. And it really puts how you guys see each other as parents, and your relationship change, you change as people and your relationship change and you have to just be open to change and know that things take a different turn and I think this is when a lot of people get into trouble with marriages, I think they realize, 'oh he's not the person he was 10 years ago.' Well, of course he's not, and you have to be open to that and accept that, and realize that there's an unknown out there."

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Gay Dad Life

Karamo Brown Co-Writes Children's Book with Son, Jason

The 'Queer Eye' star and his son named the story on a family mantra: You are Perfectly Designed

When his sons, Jason and Chris, were young, "Queer Eye" Star Karamo Brown repeated the same saying to them: "You are perfectly designed."

That mantra is now a Children's Book, cowritten by Karamo and his 22-year-old son, Jason, who used to come how and "say things like, 'I don't want to be me, I wish I was someone else, I wish I had a different life." As a parent, that "broke my heart," Karamo told Yahoo! Lifestyle. "I would say to him, 'You are blessed and you are perfect just the way you are,' as a reminder that you have been given so much and you should be appreciative and know that you're enough — I know that the world will try to tear you down, but if you can say to yourself, 'I am perfectly designed,' maybe it can quiet out some of those negative messages."

The illustrations, by Anoosha Syed, also make a point of displaying families of a variety of races and sexual orientations throughout the book.

Read more about Karamo's fascinating path to becoming a gay dad here, and then check out the video below that delves deeper into the inspiration behind "You Are Perfectly Designed," available on Amazon.



Gay Dad Life

"Daddy, Which Belly Did I Come From?"

How do gay dads talk to their kids about the women that helped bring them into the world?

When you tell your kids the story of how they came to be, is the woman who delivered them identified by a face and a name? That's a decision that every gay dad has to make when it comes to having kids through surrogacy or adoption. In this episode we explored two ways of keeping in touch with the birthmother (for adoptive kids) or the gestational surrogate (for IVF and surrogacy) as part of gay dads' children's birth story.Some adoptive parents choose to have an 'open adoption,' where the child gets to meet the birthmother. Parents who go through surrogacy sometimes keep in touch with the surrogate and have their kids meet her when they are old enough.

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Gay Dad Life

Ricky Martin: Puerto Rican, Gay Dad, Revolutionary

Superstar Ricky Martin has been participating in a mass movement in Puerto Rico, which this week led to the the resignation of the Governor, Ricardo Rosselló

Earlier this week, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced his resignation Wednesday days after hundreds of thousands of demonstrators — which made up the island's largest protest in recent — called for his removal after private chats were leaked the contained, among many other things, homophonic content.

Superstar Ricky Martin protested alongside many in the country — setting an amazing example for his kids as to what's possible when people rise up and stand for what's right. He chronicled the week's protests on Instagram, some of our favorites of which are below:

Ricky Martin with fellow Puerto Rican celebs Bad Bunny and Residente, calling for the Governor's resignation. 

Gay Dad Life

Broadway Performer's Surrogacy Journey Briefly Sidetracked — for One Very 'Wicked' Reason

"Broadway Husbands" Stephen and Bret explain the exciting reasons they had to hit pause on their surrogacy journey — but don't worry, they're back on track!

In the latest video of the Broadway Husbands sharing their path to fatherhood, Stephen and Bret explain their hiatus for the past 4 months. The couple have big news to share including a relocation, a job announcement, and the fact that they're getting ready to restart their journey (which they had to take a brief pause from since September).

Watch their video to find out their latest news.

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Gay Dad Family Stories

These Gay Dads Lost Everything After Hurricane Dorian — Except Hope

The couple, who live in "Hope Town" in the Bahamas, lost everything after suffering a direct hit from Hurricane Dorian this past summer.

Max Bethel-Jones, 52, had traveled to more than 120 countries over the last 30 years working with the United Nations, but had never been to the Bahamas — in 2015, he decided to apply for a private teaching job as a special needs teacher in Freeport on the island of Grand Bahama.

Just weeks after his arrival, he'd get a whole lot more than another pin in his map of visited countries when he attended a social event at Freeport Rugby. "My object was to ogle the local male talent but several women had other ideas," he said. One woman was particularly insistent, he said, but after a couple of drinks she got the hint that he batted for the other rugby team. "She promptly told me there was someone I should meet."

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News

Gay Dads Told One Must Identify as 'Mother' to Enroll in Daycare

The Israeli gay dads told one must identify as mother — like a "normal couple" — in order to receive financial assistance for daycare.

Israeli dads Guy Sadak Shoham and Chai Aviv Shoham were trying to enroll their two-year-old twins in daycare when they were told by a government official that one would need to identify as the "mother" in order to be cleared.

According to Out Magazine, the couple was attempting to apply for financial aid to help pay for the costs of preschool when a government bureaucrat called them to discuss their eligibility.

"I understand that you are both fathers and understand that you both run a shared household, but there is always the one who is more dominant, who is more the mother," the government said, according to an interview on the Israel site Ynet (translated by Out Magazine). "I am just asking for a written statement in your hand which of you is the mother. From the point of view of the work, which works less than the father. Like a normal couple."

The official, apparently, said she was beholden to rules set for in the Ministry of Economy.

"It is mostly sad and a little disturbing," one of the dads told Ynet. "These are concepts that we consider the past. We do not necessarily come up with allegations against this representative, she is ultimately subject to the guidelines and as she said, they are the state. It is also sad that the state's definition of a mother is someone who works less and is at home with the children, and that we must choose which of us meets that definition."

The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, fortunately, issued an apology following the incident, and promised to update its protocols. "We will emphasize that the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs practices explicitly treat all types of families and grant equal rights to all," the ministry wrote in a statement, an apology that was called "insufficient" by Ohad Hizki, the director-general of the National LGBT Task Force.

"The Ministry of Labor and Welfare must sharpen its procedures immediately to prevent recurrence of cases of this kind, as other public organizations have been able to do," he said.

Read more about this story on Out Magazine.

News

World's First Sperm Bank Opens for HIV Positive Donors

Sperm Positive, started by three non-profits in New Zealand, hopes to end stigma surrounding HIV and parenthood

"Our donors have so much to give," say the promotional materials of a new sperm bank. "But they can't give you HIV."

The new sperm bank, Sperm Positive, launched on World Aids Day this year by three non-profits as a way to fight stigma surrounding HIV and parenthood. For years, scientists have known that those living with an undetectable level of HIV in their blood thanks to antiretroviral treatments can't transmit the virus through sex or childbirth. Yet discrimination and stigma persists.

The sperm bank exists online only, but will connect donors and those seeking donations with fertility banks once a connection is made on their site. Sperm Positive was started by three New Zealand non-profits — Body Positive, the New Zealand Aids Foundation and Positive Women Inc. — who hope the project will help disseminate science-backed education and information about HIV and parenthood.

Already, three HIV positive men have signed up to serve as donors, including Damien Rule-Neal who spoke to the NZ Herald about his reasons for getting involved in the project. "I want people to know life doesn't stop after being diagnosed with HIV and that it is safe to have children if you're on treatment," he told the Herald. "I've experienced a lot of stigma living with HIV, both at work and in my personal life that has come from people being misinformed about the virus."

We applaud the effort all around! To read more about our own efforts to end the stigma surround HIV and parenthood, check out our recent round-up of family profiles, resources, and expert advice that celebrate the experience of gay dads living with HIV here.

Fatherhood, the gay way

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