Brooklyn Gay Dads Who Brunch
This is the fourth year in a row that José Rolon has hosted a brunch for gay dads on Father's Day. This year, he played host to 80 people!
José Rolon has been throwing an annual Gay Father's Day since 2016, and every year they get bigger and better. "Basically I threw up some balloons and cooked for 30 people and let the kids run around my home," said José when asked about his very first brunch. Last month, he hosted 80 people at Everyday Athlete in Brooklyn and even had sponsors for the special event! We spoke with José to find out about his brunch celebrating gay dads on Father's Day.
2016 Father's Day Brunch
GWK: What inspired you to begin this annual event?
José: I'm an event planner, so let's start there. And although I mostly do weddings, I really wanted to do something for my LGBT community. After losing my husband when our son was 8 months old and we were 11 weeks pregnant, I really leaned on some of the gay dads I met. A lot of them took me under their wing. And although some centers like the Gay Center in NYC have done many family events in the past, no one really had done anything specific for the gay dads on Father's Day. This was my way of giving back putting a spotlight on those of us I consider being in the forefront of this movement of gay parenting. We are a community. We are family.
Photo credit: @gajalk and @photo_Dh
GWK: When did you first host your Father's Day Brunch event, and what did that one look like?
José: First was in my home 4 years ago, June 19th, 2016. Basically, I threw up some balloons and cooked for 30 people and let the kids run around my home. It was actually great. How has the Brunch Potluck grown / evolved over the years? Well the first, one was 30 people. And it was a brunch. By the 2nd year, to take a load off, I made it a potluck! That year, we had 60. By last year it grew to 75 and this time, we had some sponsors for the first time. Patina rentals converted my bedroom into a movie theater and we played Moana, and We Love Photobooths converted my office into a larger photobooth!
GWK: What do your kids think of it?
José: Kids love it! They just get to run around play games, eat, and have fun! As they get older, they're far more aware when they look around, they're surrounded by all dads. It's beautiful. Helps they're surrounded by a lot o rainbows. Lol.
GWK: Please tell us a little about what was involved in this year's Brunch Potluck.
José: This year we called it Bigger and Better. It was the first year we decided to move our "Gay Dads on Father's Day" to a venue! I can proudly say, we have outgrown my home. When I approached Everyday Athlete to host, not only did they not hesitate, they decided to sponsor it! We had a total of 9 sponsors! From mobile oyster shuckers to a portrait artist. We pulled out all the stops! And I think this was the first year, kids truly had their own thing to do thanks to the coaches at Everyday Athlete who entertained them while us dads got to mingle and gossip!
Photocredit: We LOVE Photobooths
GWK: What are your plans for 2020's Brunch?
José: We'll head back to Everyday Athlete as they agreed to sponsor it every year. This time, we'll add at least 10 more families, and a couple surprise vendors!
We're already excited for next year!!
José's vendors from the 2019 Father's Day Brunch:
Mini Melanie - your desserts were a huge hit with the dads! Pics of your treats are one of my faves of the bunch.
Jaymo - Thank you for coming through so very last minute. Gaja was a perfect addition and we love her pics!
Rifko & Tyler - I mean. The gay dads couldn't keep their composure and this is exactly what I wanted!
Kim of Patina - To be able to convert half of Every Day Athlete into a Dad's lounge could not be possible without you!
Isabelle - No party without a photo booth. Thank you!
Waterfront Wines - You kept the boys with a nice buzz throughout and we thank you.
A.E. Kieren - You are always a hit and the bonus to every party. Boys were living for your pieces of art.