Co-parenting

These Dutch Dads Turned to the Internet to Find Their Co-Parent

After many year of trying, Lewis and René are finally dads! Their daughter, Loa, was born early January, with the help of a co-parent (Loa's mother) who they found online.

Lewis and René met 8 years ago in their hometown in The Netherlands. Within minutes of first meeting, their conversation turned to kids. The two got to know each other for about a year before they began a relationship.

Gay fatherhood in The Netherlands, like many countries around the world, requires a lot of research and planning. For René and Lewis it took 2 years before they felt ready to start try in 2014.


René (left) and Lewis on their wedding day

In the beginning, they tried to get pregnant with a close female friend as they all wanted to co-parent together. But after three miscarriages, their doctors decided to stop the process. Lewis shared with Gays With Kids that it was a difficult time for them all, but ultimately, he and René decided to not give up.

In 2015 they were married in front of friends and family.

"It was very beautiful to have our family and friends to support us during the good and bad moments," said Lewis, reflecting on his wedding. "Our dream to become fathers was bigger than ever."

In the Netherlands there is a website accredited by the government called "Meer Dan Gewenst," a community committed to members of the LGBT community who want to become parents. Lewis and René posted about their dream of fatherhood to the website and their future co-parent responded: a straight single woman. When they met in person, they had a great connection.

After a few months of getting to know one another, and completing all the necessary legal paperwork and financial preparation, they decided to begin the process. After the third attempt, the co-parenting team announced that they were expecting. On January 6, 2018, they welcomed their daughter, Loa.

Today, Lewis and René are moving from their home of Rotterdam to another town so they can be closer to their daughter's mother. They are splitting their parenting time 50 / 50. We spoke with Lewis to find out how he's finding fatherhood.


How has your life changed since you became a father? I was lucky to get few weeks off to take care of my daughter. We have just moved into our new family home. Our life is no longer about us 2 or chilling with our friends! We are finally a family :)

What have you learned from your child since you became a dad? I've learned to be patient, soft, easy-going and not always in rush! I plan everything from A to Z, I'm completely a new person.

Was there ever a moment that you or René experienced any serious doubts about your path to fatherhood or fatherhood itself. Not at all! We always dreamed about having a child. We didn't know which path to take at first but after meeting gay fathers and readying about possibilities, we were focus on our dream. It took us 4 years but it's worth the wait.

Is your family treated differently than others on account of your sexual orientation? Sometimes I see people looking at us and maybe talking behind our back. But I don't really focus on that! I want to be strong for our daughter and show people around us that we are not different than a straight couple with a child!

Lewis (left) and René

What words of advice do you have for other gay men considering pursuing your same path or parenthood? Learn as much as possible about which parenthood path suits you and your partner best. Try to connect with couples who are in the same situation, exchange experience with them and talk to your family for the extra support! Best advice: Follow your dream and never give up, no matter what!

Where do you see your family 5-10 years in the future? I would like to have a second child. I see my family being happy and healthy. Also I would like to inspire and advise other gay men around my city in The Netherlands...



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Change the World

Republican Utah Lawmaker, and Dad of Two, Comes Out as Gay in Moving Video

Nathan Ivie has many important identities he's proud of: Mormon, Republican, Utahn, father of two... and gay.

In a moving video posted to Facebook, Republican lawmaker Nathan Ivie finally admitted publicly something he's known since the age of 9: he's gay. Ivie, who serves as a County commissioner, is now the first openly gay Republican elected official in the state of Utah. His coming out video has already been viewed more than 25,000 times:

"There's no easy way to say this, I might as well just jump up and say it: I'm gay," Ivie says in the video. "That's my reality and that's what I need to talk to you about today."

In the video, Ivie reveals that he and his wife has separated. He refers to her as his "best friend and supporter," however, and that he is continuing to co-parent their two children with her.

"It's ok to be different, it's ok to live authentically," Ivie says in his video. "You can be gay and a Republican. You need to trust that people will love you for who you really are."

Jackie Biskupski, Salt Lake City's openly lesbian Democratic mayor, praised Ivie via Twitter, writing: "All the best to you, I love how a simple act of love among strangers helped you find your truth and that you are being embraced by family and friends."

Single Parenting

Coming Out to His Wife Was Painful, Says This Salt Lake-Based Dad of Four. But it Started Him on a Path of Authenticity

After Kyle came out to his wife, with whom he has four children, "she listened, she mourned and she loved," he said.

Kyle Ashworth has four kids from a previous straight relationship. After ten years of marriage, he came out to his wife. "It was the most painful and wrenching experience of my life," said Kyle. "In the cold morning hours that coming-out-day in March, I began a journey of authenticity and honesty." Today, Kyle is 36 years old and ready to live his next chapter. But before we get to that, we need to look back at what led him to where he is now: an out and proud single gay dad.

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Coming Out

These Gay Dads Via Previous Marriages Have Adopted a Motto Since Coming Out and Finding Each Other: "United We Stand"

Vincent and Richard both had children in previous marriages with women; together, with their ex-wives, they are helping raise seven beautiful kids.

Vincent Galvin and Richard Belward had almost parallel life journeys before they found one another. Vincent grew up in a small town with an Evangelical Christian background and was very involved in the church; Richard, also from a small town, was raised Catholic and followed the path set out for him. Both married women in their twenties and had children. Both knew they were gay. When they were in their thirties, they came out, and chose to live their authentic lives. It was then that they found each other, and ultimately, true love.

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Entertainment

How Fatherhood Has Impacted Tom Daley's Diving Career for the Better

British diver Tom Daley, and new-ish gay dad, is looking to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in South Korea.

British diver Tom Daley is currently in the running to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in South Korea, his fourth if he competes, at the young age of just 26.

But he also has another concern that most young gay men his age couldn't fathom—fatherhood. He and his husband, filmmaker Dustin Lance Black, recently welcomed Robbie Ray via surrogacy in June 2018.

In an interview with the Independent, Daley explained how fatherhood has changed his routine and training, which he says is often for the better.

"It has changed my life completely in all of the best ways possible," Daley said. "It has changed my perspective, the way I think about things. [My son] is the most important thing in my life, everything I do is for him, everything I think about he is at the forefront of everything."

With respect to his diving career, Daley continued, "if you have a bad day at training, or a good day, you are grounded immediately when you get home through the door because you are having cuddles or you are having to change a dirty nappy. It is the first time that I have been able to leave diving at the diving board and not think about what I need to the next day in the pool."

Whatever the challenges he faces while training, he said, "I can leave it there because you don't have time to think about diving when you are looking after a kid under one."

The strategy seems to be working in Daley's favor. He recently enjoyed his most successful FINA Diving World Series ever this past Spring in Canada, winning 12 medals across five events. And barring any major catastrophe, he is overwhelmingly expected to qualify for South Korea 2020.

And we can't wait to cheer the young dad on!

Change the World

One Gay Dad's Fight Against Hate in Superior, Nebraska

Brian Splater is refusing to let homophobic and transphobic elected officials in his town go unchecked

Millie B. Photography

Guest post written by Brian Splater

No one ever should feel they will have a very lonely and secluded life as a child. But that is something me and many other gay kids believe as they are growing up.

The truth of the matter is there are people who will try everything in their power to have our rights go back in time instead of forward. It is very disheartening when these people are elected officials, or they are people who use their place of employment to spread their disgust and hate.

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Politics

America's First Gay Dad Governor Heads Into the Lion's Den

Colorado Governor Jared Polis recently became the first elected Democrat to speak at the annual Western Conservative Summit in Denver

Last Friday, American's first gay dad Governor, Jared Polis, became the first elected Democrat to speak at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, where he urged the Republican crowd to help him build a "Colorado for all."

"While we should never gloss over the things that divide us, there is a lot more that unites us," Polis said. "When we close ourselves off from discussion or debate, and we reject the possibility of hearing and understanding other perspectives, it threatens the fabric of our democracy."

If he was hoping for a Kumbaya moment, he didn't exactly get it. As he was called to the stage, he was greeted with a smattering of applause—while others booed and shouted for a "recall" of the Governor.

"It was almost unbearable for me to sit there to listen to his talk," Abby Johnson, one of the event's attendees, told the Denver Post. "And I'm going to tell you why. He kept talking about equality for all persons, yet we live in a society where 60 million innocent human beings have been slaughtered in the name of choice. Where is their justice? Where is their equal rights?"

Polis was also criticized from his left flank for attending the same event that refuses to let the Log Cabin Republicans, a group of gay GOP members, participate—and that featured Donald Trump Jr. as a speaker the same day. "To me it feels like vanity," Katie Farnan, a staffer with progressive group Indivisible, told the Denver Post. "He can go and be a hip Democratic governor who isn't afraid to go into GOP sanctuary. Or maybe it's recall insurance. But unless he was there to hold them accountable for their support for fascist and racist policies, what's the point?"

In response to the criticism from both sides of the political aisle, Polis told the Colorado Sun: "I think it's very important that Coloradans of different ideologies, different races, different geographies, different orientations and gender identities all really celebrate that we're all part of what makes Colorado great."

The event is hosted each year by Colorado Christian University to bring together conservatives from around the state, and the larger West.

What do you think, dads? Was Polis's decision to speak at the event a savvy political move or mere pandering?

Entertainment

Hate Group Boycotts 'Toy Story' for Featuring Lesbian Moms—Hilarity Ensues on Twitter

"One Million Moms" announced a boycott of the latest Toy Story movie for *very briefly* featuring lesbian moms. Twitter's response was swift and hilarious.

One Million Moms, which is affiliated with the anti-LGBTQ American Family Association, recently called for a boycott of Toy Story 4 for (very, very briefly) featuring (interracial!) lesbian moms in the animated film. The angry, hateful moms affiliated with this group must have watched the film VERY closely because you could easily blink and miss the moment that apparently "blindsided" viewers.

The Internet reacted with a collective facepalm to the ridiculous boycott. Here are some of our favorite hilarious Twitter reactions to the hateful group:

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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