We Asked Gay Dads (And Their Kids) What They’re Thankful For This Father’s Day

A version of this post originally appeared on BuzzFeed

1."We are thankful for our beautiful daughter who came into our lives and showed us the meaning of unconditional love."


Nick and Chris Padien-Hill, with their daughter Ari from Chicago, Illinois


What are you thankful for this Father's Day?

Nick: I'm thankful for my family and friends. I am thankful for our beautiful daughter who came into our lives and showed us the meaning of unconditional love.

Chris: I'm incredibly thankful for our perfect little daughter who came into our lives this year and showed us all the blessings that come along with parenthood. I'm also grateful for the amazing support our friends/family have given us. I also feel very blessed to have such an amazing dad in my life who has always supported me through all my ups and downs…he has shown me what unconditional love looks like and seeing his eyes light up when he holds his granddaughter completely melts my heart.

What is your favorite thing about being a dad?

Nick: Knowing that I'm responsible for my daughter's health and happiness and being there to help her along the way as she uncovers all that this world has to offer.

Chris: Family has always been such an important thing to me, and my favorite thing about being a new dad is being able to soak up all the many milestones that occur in the first year and start forming our own little family traditions. I love that when my daughter sees my face in the morning she lets out the most contagious smile, and Nick will tell you I get entirely too much joy out of picking out her outfits!

What do you want people to know about your family?

Nick: We are a fun, caring, loving spontaneous family. We love just like any other family. We have ups and downs just like any other family but continue to love each other through it all.

Chris: I would just want people to know that although we may not be your typical family, we are held together with love and laughter. We are very loyal and there to support each other through the good days, bad days, and everything in between.

2. "Thankful for being a married gay couple and being legally blessed to be able to be a Father and to share our lives with our two beautiful daughters is the greatest joy for us this year."

Daniel and Victor Gonzalez-Baltazar, with their daughters Olivia and Omarie, from Victorville, California


What are you thankful for this Father's Day?

Daniel and Victor: We are most thankful for this Father's Day, Firstly that our eldest is old enough to say "Happy Father's Day". Being a married gay couple and being legally blessed to be able to be a Father and to share our lives with our two beautiful daughters is the greatest joy for us this year.

What is your favorite thing about being a dad?

Daniel and Victor: One of our favorite things about being dads is being able to hold our daughters, watching them grow , seeing the excitement in their little faces when we get home from long days work and feeling like superheroes for them.

What do you want people to know about your family?

Daniel and Victor: We want everyone to know that we are just an ordinary little family that is unique in our own special way.

3. "We're very thankful that we have to opportunity to be fathers at all. Growing up in conservative communities, neither of us thought being dads was ever a dream we'd see fulfilled."

Ryan (Tata) and Marcin (Daddy) Zielinski, with their son Liam, from Houston, Texas


What are you thankful for this Father's Day?

Ryan and Marcin: We're very thankful that we have to opportunity to be fathers at all. Growing up in conservative communities, neither of us thought being dads was ever a dream we'd see fulfilled. We think often of the men and women who came before us who fought for our right to live the life we do and we are so grateful for their perseverance, determination, and sacrifice that helped to make our dream a reality.

What is your favorite thing about being a dad?

Ryan: It's picking Liam up from school and seeing his eyes light up as he spots me and comes running across the room to wrap his little arms around my legs in a tight hug. All of the stress from work and the tiredness from the day melt away in that moment. It's magical.

Marcin: My favorite thing about being a dad is seeing the world through the eyes of Liam. Every new park, each new activity we try out, every new city we visit is a new adventure and a new opportunity to explore and to learn.

What do you want people to know about your family?

Ryan and Marcin: Despite being a family with two dads, we're a pretty typical Houston family and I think some people may find that surprising. We try to teach Liam kindness and compassion, we worry about the best schools, we research the healthiest recipes, and we fill up our calendars with play dates and special children's activities around our city. Our lives revolve around raising our son to be the best version of himself he can be.

What's your favorite thing about having two dads?

Liam: Playing!

4. "The process to become a father is so difficult that you cherish your title."

Andrew Gubany with his kids, Dianna and Owen from La Habra, California


What are you thankful for this Father's Day?

Andrew: I'm so thankful that I'm a father. The process to become one is so difficult that you cherish your title. My kids are happy, healthy and spoiled rotten. We share our dreams and we have become each others dreams. for that, I am truly thankful that this is my family.

What is your favorite thing about being a dad?

Andrew: There are so many favorites, but the first thing that comes to mind is LOVE. I have constant love. Hugs, kisses, cuddles, I loved yous. In one single day even when life is throwing me challenges, I have these two little kids that love me as much as I love them.

What do you want people to know about your family?

Andrew: That we are just like every other family. We are a hard working, middle class family with everyday struggles. We have our ups and downs. The kids fight as much as they laugh. The schedules are insanity and the we work very hard for the future. We are learning to embrace all the great moments each day has to offer so we don't miss anything. I am a very goal focused person. I'm always thinking and planning for our future. Some days I'm not sure if I am saving for the kids college funds or for therapy. I feel that's normal. We are equipped to thrive and as a father, I'm teaching them how to be faithful, to have courage, to understand and know the importance of our family and to grow into destiny so that not one of our gifts are wasted.

What's your favorite thing about your dad?

Dianna: Daddy Dates are my favorite time with daddy and when he cooks.

Owen: Cuddling with my daddy and playing in the pool

5. "Since the journey to fatherhood was not easy one, we appreciate being dads more than ever. We are thankful to live in a world where being two dads is possible and accepted."

Eli and Ido Bendet-Taicher, with their daughters Milo and Demi from New York, N.Y.


What are you thankful for this Father's Day?

Eli and Ido: Since the journey to fatherhood was not easy one, we appreciate being dads more than ever. We are thankful to live in a world where being two dads is possible and accepted. We are thankful to have family and friend who love and support us no matter what, making us feel that our family is no different than any other.

What is your favorite thing about being a dad?

Eli and Ido: Our favorite thing about being a dad is learning new things about ourselves every day through our girls. We re-live our childhood with every new thing our girls discover which makes us have a new perspective on how to enjoy the simple things in life.

What do you want people to know about your family?

Eli and Ido: Our family is just like any other family with the twist of two dads. We are both the mom and the dad in the family and we are both equally involved in our daughters day-to-day and upbringing. Our daughters feel proud and lucky to have two dads.

What's your favorite thing about having two dads?

Milo: I am lucky to have two dads because 2 dads is better than one! I am unique and special to have two dads. Even my best friend told me she wants to have 2 dads too.

6. "Father's Day is meaningful to us because we live in a place that allows us to be dads to a wonderful two-year-old without fear of discrimination or hate."

Ryan Saavedra (Daddy) and Ryan Sia (Papa), with their son Enzo from Toronto, ON


What are you thankful for this Father's Day?

Ryan (Papa) and Ryan (Daddy): Father's Day is meaningful to us because we live in a place that allows us to be dads to a wonderful two-year old without fear of discrimination or hate. Being surrounded by friends, family and a great support system is truly what makes us very thankful this Father's Day.

What is your favorite thing about being a dad?

Ryan (Daddy): Reading Enzo a book and singing his favorite lullaby just before bedtime!

Ryan (Papa): Trying out different recipes for french toast during breakfast on Saturdays!

What do you want people to know about your family?

Ryan and Ryan: Ryan and I are originally from the Philippines and we come from families that have been able to balance tradition and open-mindedness. We draw a lot of inspiration from our individual backgrounds but at the end of the day we just want a safe and loving home for Enzo and the opportunity to raise him with the same values that we grew up with. It's very easy to label our family as non-traditional but we really are not too different from everyone else.

What's your favorite thing about having two dads?

Enzo: We only managed to get a "roar" from Enzo because of his fixation with dinosaurs lately so we'll have to pass on this question :)

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