Gay Dad Life

Kickstarter Campaign for Must-Read LGBT Books

Heather of "Heather Has Two Mommies," a story by Lesléa Newman about a child and her two moms, first made her literary appearance in the late 80s. Since then Heather would have grown up, moved out of her parents house, and maybe begun to create a family of her own. If she had kids, what books would she read them so they can learn about their family, friends and themselves?


“'Heather Has Two Mommies' was a groundbreaking book when it came out in 1989,” author and activist S. Bear Bergman says. “There haven’t been a lot of updates, and unfortunately a lot of the updates have come in the same kind of vein as "Heather Has Two Mommies." It’s sort of like: 'Dear Heterosexual Macroculture. We have made a book for you to explain that families like ours exist. Please stop throwing rocks. Love and kisses, The Homos.'”

Bergman explains that beyond that, even when LGBT families are represented, they’re usually white, live in the suburbs, and have exactly and only two parents. The breadth of diversity our families are in reality often stops on the pages of the stories we offer to children.

In order to tell a wider variety of stories, Bergman has launched the Flamingo Rampant Book Club, a Kickstarter campaign that wants to deliver brand new LGBTQ2S-themed stories to you and your kids.

The Book Club — a follow-up to a successful Kickstarter campaign which saw two books with trans themes published, "Backwards Day" and "The Adventures of Tulip, Birthday Wish Fairy" — seeks to launch a subscription service for six new LGBTQ2S-themed children’s books.

“These books celebrate the great and wide variety of our kids, families, and communities,” says Bergman. “They don’t just feature gay dads or lesbian mums, they get storylines: travels, adventures and mysteries to solve, rather than entire books pointing out that we exist.” Bergman goes on to note that half of the books will focus on Black, Latin@, Indigenous, First Nations, Asian/Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, and mixed-race people and families instead of making them minor, one-line characters.”

What kicked off the Flamingo Rampant Book Club! is actually a kid’s story itself. Bergman’s husband, j wallace (his preferred spelling) is an expert on LGBT-themed children’s books, as their family has a huge collection at home; as a result, wallace often presents on the topic and he works with Toronto District School Board teachers on how to positively introduce LGBTQ2S people and stories into the classroom. Every time wallace sees recommendations of children’s books for teachers on the subject, he orders them.

One night, their child Stanley and Bergman were reading through some of the most recent finds. “We settled in before bedtime to read some of this stack of books,” Bergman says. “They were all full of bullying, harassment and misery, and a couple of pages into the fourth one he looked at me and he said, ‘I don’t want this. I don’t want any more bully stories.’”

“I started thinking about it. What are we sending our kids to sleep with?” Bergman says. “That could just as well be the motto of this project.”

Many publishers don’t have a children’s imprint and, in publishing, children’s books are considered a specialty, let alone LGBT-themed ones. Flamingo Rampant Book Club! is a book club for all families who want their children to have the opportunity to read positive stories about LGBTQ2S people.” The stories span a range of different types of family and children. One story, Newspaper Pirates, will depict the adventures of a child living with his two dads in an urban apartment building, trying to figure out the mystery of his dad’s disappearing newspaper. Another will follow a gender-independent Mohawk child who finds power in his long hair and gender-identity. Another is an ABC book about Pride, featuring different community members, items, and values of Pride.

The Kickstarter campaign has several different levels to meet budgets and needs of all families, including a full-year subscription of six books for just $99. These can be addressed to the child, and will arrive in a festive pink envelope.

In any case, Heather and her family are going to have a few awesome new books to choose from!

Flamingo Rampant Book Club! is an all-or-nothing Kickstarter campaign running until Tuesday, Aug 12. If you want to support this worthy cause or are looking for more info, visit the campaign page.

 

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Gay Uncles

Gay Uncles are an Essential Part of This Gay Dad Family's Village

It takes a village to raise a child, and this village includes many gay uncles

In November last year, Ottawa-based husbands Matt Ottaviani and Rej Gareau (whose story we shared in July) became first-time dads through surrogacy. They were overjoyed to welcome their daughter Andy and become a family of three.

But as many of us know, raising a child isn't always just about the nuclear family. The African proverb "it takes a village to raise a child" is a commonly repeated phrase, and rings very true for many families. Matt and Rej are no different, and when they shared their story last month, one thing jumped out to us: the important role Andy's guncles play in her and her dads' lives.

In honor of Gay Uncles Day today, we reached out to Andy's many guncles to learn first-hand how their relationship with the family affects their lives. Here's what they had to say.

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Gay Dad Life

Need a Sitter for Your Kids? Gays With Kids Reviews UrbanSitter

Back-to-school is already here for some of us, and if you're looking for a sitter to help out with school runs, after-school pick-ups, and the occasional date night, check out our review of UrbanSitter.

Instagram @davidcblacker

We moved from New York to Boston the summer of 2017. Along with the Manhattan skyline, our beloved Broadway, and late-night cookie deliveries, we also left behind our sitters — two sisters who had become more like family.

After settling for several months into our new home and neighborhood, we realized we hadn't had a dads' night out since our move. Our kids were still too young to leave alone at night, so I began what I presumed would be the tedious task of finding a sitter.

The first thing I did was to leave a post on our local parents' Facebook group. The dad of one of our daughters' classmates told me about UrbanSitter, a website and mobile app that he'd had success using to find last-minute sitters a few times. He also mentioned that within the app, I could see see babysitters and nannies recommended by parents at our kids' school in addition to local parenting groups.

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"We are so excited about The Bravest Knight, its values and our partnership with Hulu," said Shabnam Rezaei, the director of the series and co-founder of Big Bad Boo Studios. "They understand how to push the envelope with authentic storytelling."

"I immediately fell in love with the idea of a girl wanting to work hard and make something of herself," Rezaei continued. "I also have a nephew who has two dads, so it's a very personal issue for me. I want him to have role models when he's watching TV. I want him to feel like having two dads is completely normal. That's what this show is going to do for him."

Errico's book was first realized as an animation when Hulu created a short film based upon his writing and were interested in exploring the concept of a full series. "I watched the eight minutes on Hulu and at the end the prince and the knight get married and I was in tears," says Rezaei. Rezaei then stepped in to create all new art work including new character design by Tim Linklater and backgrounds by Sarita Kolhatra. Together, they created a kickass bible and pitched the series to Hulu and were successful.

Diversity and inclusivity is celebrated throughout The Bravest Knight, reflected by its casting choices. Nia is played by Storm Reid, from "A Wrinkle in Time," and her dads Sir Cedric and Prince Andrew are voiced by T.R. Knight and Wilson Cruz respectively. The star studded cast also includes Wanda Sykes, Bobby Moynihan, RuPaul, Steven Weber, Teri Polo, AJ McLean, Jazz Jennings, Maz Jobrani and Christine Baranski as the formidable Red Dragon.

"With so many wonderful stories yet to be told, we hope that The Bravest Knight stands as an example of the undeniable strength in inclusivity, and the inherent joy in all forms of love and identity," said Errico, the author of the original book.

The first 5 episodes were released on June 21, and there are 8 more planned for release before the end of the year. Be sure to tune in!

This is the Main Title Song for Big Bad Boo's Hulu Original Series "The Bravest Knight". The song is performed by Justin Tranter and composed by Michael Plow...

Fun

Gay Dad Penguins Strike Again! This Time in Berlin Zoo

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First, there was Roy and Silo — the two male penguins in the Central Park Zoo that served as inspiration for the famous children's book And Tango Makes Three. Then Magin Sphen got together in Sydney, where aquarium keepers gave the cocks (Calm down, that's what a male penguin is called!) a foster egg to care for.

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"They kept trying to hatch fish and stones," Jaeger said.

So the zookeepers loaned the penguins an egg from a female penguin, who is apparently uninterested in hatching eggs on her own, according to the BBC.

Unsurprisingly, the gay penguins are killing it as parents. "The two male penguins are acting like exemplary parents, taking turns to warm the egg," Jaeger said,

Read the whole article on DPA here.

Change the World

Hungarian Company Raising Money for LGBTQ+ Organization with a LEGO® Heart

Startup WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD is helping combat misinformation and prejudice in Central and Eastern Europe

Guest Post from WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD

WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD is an innovative startup venture that sells LEGO® parts and unique creations. The core values of our company include social equality regardless of gender identity or origin. As LEGO® is a variety of colors and shapes, so are the people.

We all know that LEGO® is a brand that nearly everyone knows and likes between the age of 3 and 99 so this gives a great opportunity to connect unique LEGO® creations and Pride. We started a fundraising campaign for a Hungarian LGBTQ+ organization who's aim is to bring people closer to the LGBTQ+ community, they help to combat misinformation and prejudice regarding LGBTQ+ issues in Central- Eastern Europe since 2000.

You might know that gender equality and the circumstances of LGBTQ+ people is not the easiest in the former communist Eastern European countries like Hungary so this program is in a real need for help. For example a couple of month ago a member of the government said that homosexual people are not equal part of our society.

The essence of the campaign is when one buys a Pride Heart, a custom creation made of brand new and genuine LEGO® bricks the organization gets $10.00 donation so they can continue their important work. This Pride Heart is a nice necklace, a decoration in your home, and a cool gift to the one you love.

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Entertainment

Single Gay Dad Featured on Season Three of GLOW

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For a couple of years now, Hollywood has been obsessed with gay dad characters (and who can blame them?) But the latest show to get hip to a story line featuring gay man raising kids is Netflix's GLOW, which explores a female wresting troop in the late 1980s.

But GLOW is helping represent a gay character that rarely gets time in the limelight:the single gay dad. In Season three of the hit comedy — which stars Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, and Marc Maron — actor Kevin Cahoon joins the case as Bobby Barnes, a single gay father who plays a female impersonator. (80s divas only, of course — Joan Collins and Babs among them)


"I've never done female impersonation," the openly gay actor told OutSmart Magazine, "so I tried to learn really quick. You will know them all; I was very familiar with all of them. There were plenty of talk shows and performances on YouTube to study. I learned that their breathing was very informative."

A single gay dad AND drag queen on television? It's about damn time if you ask us.

Read the full interview with Cahoon here.

Politics

Utah Court Rules Gay Couples Can't Be Excluded From Surrogacy Contracts

The Utah Supreme Court found in favor of a gay couple attempting to enter into a surrogacy contract.

DRAKE BUSATH/ UTCOURTS.GOV

Earlier this month, the Utah Supreme Court ruled that a same-sex couples can't be excluded from entering into enforceable surrogacy contracts, and sent a case concerning a gay male couple back to trial court to approve their petition for a surrogacy arrangement.

As reported in Gay City News, the case concerns Utah's 2005 law on surrogacy, which was enacted prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state. As a result, the content of the law is gendered, saying that surrogacy contracts should only be enforceable if the "intended mother" is unable to bear a child. When a gay couple approached District Judge Jeffrey C. Wilcox to enter into a surrogacy arrangement, he denied them, arguing that the state's law only concerned opposite sex couples.

"This opinion is an important contribution to the growing body of cases adopting a broad construction of the precedent created by Obergefell v. Hodges and the Supreme Court's subsequent decision in Pavan v. Smith," according to GCN. "It's also worth noting that same-sex couples in Utah now enjoy a right denied them here in New York, where compensated gestational surrogacy contracts remain illegal for all couples."

Read the full article here.

Fatherhood, the gay way

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