I literally never thought I'd see the day. Literally.
Gay fathers on the cover of Parents Magazine! Gay fathers being celebrated in a "main stream" publication about being parents. Gay fathers!
I don't want to get overly dramatic here, but this is a milestone. A massive cultural milestone.
Sure, gay dads have come a long way in being accepted in our popular culture, but to my eye we've never been on the cover of a big popular parenting magazine celebrating our parenting skills. As if we are the norm.
We are now - thanks to Parents Magazine.
This is a particular milestone for me because I have a bit of a history with the magazine and with parenting publications in general. My first job out of grad school was in brand marketing at Johnson's Baby Products where I did indeed run advertising in this particular magazine. Back then though we only featured married, straight couples. There were no other kinds of parents to feature back in the day! And if I'm to be really honest, they were generally white, married, straight couples.
I distinctly remember one photo shoot where I forgot to put a wedding ring on the "husband's" finger and we had to reshoot it. No photoshop back then!
Now admittedly this was before I was a dad and before I was out, but as the years went by and I embraced my own journey as a gay dad, there were no role models or pop culture markers to say that I (and other gay dads) were accepted. There were no Andy Cohens publicly making baby announcements. We were alone on our parenting.
It was hard. There was a constant barrage of straight parenting norms that constantly reminded us that we were different.
Not any more! Being a gay dad, or any dad, is now simply being a parent. A good parent. A loving parent. And we have Parents Magazine to thank for the reminder and endorsement, with hopefully more to come.
And I can't help but think, and actually know, that this kind of normalization will inspire the next generation of gay dads who will simply accept, without hesitation, that fatherhood as a gay man is a real, accepted, and normal option.