Newly Out Gay Dads

This Gay Dad's Take On His Ex-Wife? 'She's My Best Friend'

Meet gay dad Dustin, 27, and his sons Brody and Aiven. Dustin lives in New Castle, Indiana, and he became a dad via a previous marriage to a woman. Brodey is 6 years old and Aiven will turn 3 in March. Dustin co-parents with his ex-wife, whom he describes as his best friend. Because of their great relationship they've found co-parenting to be a breeze!


Christmas 2015: Aiven (left), Dustin, and Brodey at Brodey's Christmas play

Gays With Kids: How did you create your family?

Dustin: Former straight relationship. I was born and raised in a small town where it was not OK to be gay. Growing up, I knew I was different. I thought being gay was a phase and it would eventually go away. I met my (now ex-)wife when I was 14 years old and I fell in love with her. We were young, but we were able to grow up together. We were together for nearly 10 years and married for almost six before I came out to her. After going to college and spending a significant amount of time in a big city, I realized that being gay was not wrong and I needed to be honest with myself and my wife. I couldn't stand the thought of telling my sons that they could be whatever they wanted to be as long as they were happy, knowing that I was a hypocrite because I wasn't being true to myself. After my wife and I split, things were tough. We did what was best for our boys and in the end had great results. My ex-wife and I are now best friends which makes co-parenting very easy and rewarding.

March 2014: Dustin with Aiven when he was a week old, Photo taken by a family friend in New Castle

Jeremy and I met in Indianapolis where he lived and I worked. There were several times we had run into each other at one of the bars downtown, and I think we both knew there was a connection then. We were in relationships at the time, so we never pursued anything. After both of us ended our relationships with other people, he had an opportunity to move to Texas to be closer to his two sons. My former relationship [with a man] ended badly and Jeremy helped me get through it emotionally. We texted and spoke on the phone every day or every other day in 2015. We really got to know each other and became great friends. Jeremy came for Christmas this past year and it gave us the opportunity we needed to get to know each other in person. We both knew that there was a connection prior to meeting, but I don't think either of us expected it to be as strong as it was in person. We were together for almost a week straight before he had to leave and go back to Texas. In that time, I did introduce him to my boys. This is rare for me because I refuse to bring people in and out of their lives. If I introduce someone to them, I expect that person to stay in our lives forever, in one capacity or another. We actually took the boys to Chuck E. Cheese and then decided to go on an "adventure" as Jeremy calls it. This consisted of going to PetSmart and to see all the animals and to pet all the dogs that came in the store. After that, we went to Toys "R" Us and played with all the toys in the store. It was a great day and my boys had a blast. I was excited to see how well Jeremy did with my boys and how much they enjoyed being with him. This also made me even crazier about him.

Indiana State Fair, August 2015: Dustin with Aiven and Brodey

Thanksgiving 2015: Dustin with Brodey and Aiven in New Castle, Indiana

Christmas 2014: Brodey, Dustin and Aiven

December 2015: Jeremy (left) and Dustin at the Indianapolis Auto Show

February 2016: Jeremy (left) and Dustin in Austin, Texas

Get to know other gay dad families here as part of our Meet Gay Dad series.

Show Comments ()
Change the World

Gay Dad Opens Up About His Experiences With Conversion Therapy

The California-based gay dad was one of 8 people to be interviewed about his experiences with the disproven practice of conversion therapy for The Cut.

Conversion therapy, the disproven practice of attempting to change an individual's sexual orientation through psychological interventions, has been in the news a lot lately. This past May, Maryland became the 11th state to completely ban the damaging therapy for minors. Some states are even considering bills to further prohibit the practice for adults.

Hollywood is paying attention to the trend, with two major movies, Boy Erased and The Miseducation of Cameron Post, to be released before the end of the year.

Keep reading... Show less
Change the World

Gay Dad Comes Out to Son in a Hidden Camera TV Show

The scene, which aired in a recent episode of What Would You Do?, took place in a New Jersey diner.

A recently aired episode of ABC's What Would You Do? featured a staged situation in which a gay man comes out to his son in a restaurant in New Jersey. The premise of the show, which features hidden cameras, is to subject unsuspecting people to a certain dilemma, and then gauge their reaction as the drama unfolds.

This latest episode was inspired by a popular op-ed in the Washington Post by a man named Jared Bilski titled "My dad lived a lie. I'm determined my kids won't have to do the same." In the piece, Bilski writes about the regret he feels for his father, who finally came out to him just a few days before he passed away.

Bilski writes in part, "It wasn't death he was afraid of, at least not at that moment. My dad was terrified of how I'd react to hearing he'd been lying all along."

What would passersby in a crowded diner think of a father coming out to his son in a similarly-staged situation? John Quiñones, who hosts the hidden camera show, sought to find out. In the scene, a man, seated next to his wife, tell their son they are getting a divorce because of his sexual orientation. The couple then leave the room, leaving the son alone, pondering this news.

Fortunately, most of the feedback the young man receives from other diners who overhear the conversation are positive.

"You didn't lose him," one diner tells the son. "He is the same person with the same values and the same emotions. Let me tell you, it doesn't matter what age you are, divorce is divorce. It hurts. But these two people don't change. These two people still love you very, very much."

"It's still your dad, man," says another "Accept him for what it is, you know? It's the only thing you can do."

"Being gay, it's not a big deal," says yet another. "It doesn't change the fact that he's your dad."

You can watch the full clip of the touching episode here.

Gay Dad Family Stories

Newly Out Gay Dad is Living His Truth

"All of my relationships in my past were real," says Steven, who began living his authentic life as a gay man in 2015. "My marriage included."

Partners Steven Graffam and John Stivale met commuting to work on the bus in New York City. The two had noticed one another for months. Then one day, they went beyond exchanging looks and exchanged phone numbers too. The two have been together a little under a year.

Steven is a gay dad with one son, via a straight relationship, who came to terms with his sexual orientation in 2015. Now he's in a serious relationship with a man who adores his son and they've begun to talk about their future, one that might include more kids. Here's Steven's story.

Keep reading... Show less

'Life Is Amazing': Congrats to Gay Dads Whose Families Recently Grew!

Help us congratulate gay dads on their recent births and adoptions last month!

Wishing all of these gay dads whose families expanded in the last month or so a lifetime of happiness! Congrats to everyone in our community on their recent births and adoptions!

Keep reading... Show less
Personal Essays by Gay Dads

We Gained a Son Through Foster Care — He Didn't Lose his Family

Foster-adopt expert Trey Rabun writes a moving essay about his own experiences as a parent in the foster care system.

My husband, Phil, and I talked about having children since out first date over 11 years ago. Like many other gay dads, we waited to start the journey to become parents until we felt secure with our careers, finances, and home life. This meant we didn't start the partnering journey until 2016 when we were eight years into our relationship.

When we first met, I was completing my graduate studies in social work and subsequently started a career working in foster care and adoption. This made our decision to pursue foster care-adoption as our path to parenthood a fairly easy one. In fact, I can't recall us discussing other avenues to parenthood, but I'm sure we briefly discussed them before solidifying our decision to become foster parents.

Keep reading... Show less
Change the World

In the Philly Area? Attend 'Family Pride' On October 5th!

Philadelphia Family Pride is hosting their 10th Annual "Family Matters" Conference on October 5th for LGBTQ parents, prospective parents, and their kids!

Guest post by Stephanie Haynes, the executive director of Philadelphia Family Pride

On Saturday, October 5, 2019, Philadelphia Family Pride will hold their 10th Annual Family Matters Conference from 9am to 3:30pm for LGBTQ parents, prospective parents and their kids of all ages at the University of the Sciences in West Philadelphia. The theme this year is "Telling Our Stories." Registration is now open!

In an interactive keynote, Anndee Hochman, author of the Philadelphia Inquirer's weekly "Parent Trip" column, will share highlights from her work as a journalist and memoirist. She'll invite conversation about the stories that shape us—what tales do we share? who does the telling? who is left out?—and how those stories, added up, are changing the world. Read her bio.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Adoption

5 Things to Keep in Mind When Preparing for Your Home Study

Molly Rampe Thomas of Choice Network lists the 5 things gay men should keep in mind when preparing for your home study

The homestudy is the first step in the adoption process. In every state the homestudy is done a little differently, but all of them have the some combo of paperwork, trainings, and interviews. The homestudy can take anywhere from 2 months to 6 months to complete. Without it, you cannot adopt.

Keep reading... Show less

Fatherhood, the gay way

Get the latest from Gays With Kids delivered to your inbox!

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse