Gay Dad Life

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, And Gay Men Are From Pluto

I used to think that there was a big difference between how straight couples raise children and how gay couples raise children. After all, if straight men are really from Mars, then gay men are from Pluto, a world with an unlikely barycentric orbit, studied by astronomers who don’t understand it and disrespect it so much that they use demeaning terms like “dwarf planet.”


And because gay men are different from straight men, I assumed that we would raise our children differently. Less football, more figure skating. Less R & B, more show tunes. Isn’t that what the religious right is really afraid of, that we will take their children and raise them all to be interior decorators?

All this led me to doubt myself. I never taught my boys how to cook or sew because I assumed that boys were not learning these skills in straight households. I wondered, At what age do straight dads stop kissing their son goodbye on the schoolyard?

But the great thing about making mistakes with your children is that it gives you something to talk about at work over the water cooler. The straight guys I worked with had questions just as I did: At what age does a child get a cell phone? How do you decide when to allow you children to date? Should I teach him the zone defense or the man-to-man defense? One of the tougher guys I work with, a straight lieutenant who is an amateur wrestler on the side, told me that his son was gay, and he said, “I don’t know any more about raising a gay son than you do raising a straight son. It’s like you and me are making mirror image mistakes.”

So then I asked myself WWTLD: What would the lesbians do? There is exactly one gay couple raising two fost-adopt children in the Crocker Amazon neighborhood of San Francisco (that’s us), and there is exactly one lesbian couple in the neighborhood doing the same. It makes for a statistical sampling size of one each.

We’ve lived up the block from them for 14 years, and I have noticed that there are differences in how gay parents raise children as opposed to lesbian parents. Again, this is a pretty unscientific article, as the statistical sample size is one of each couple.

Here are the differences I have seen in a decade and a half:

The gay dads cook Thanksgiving; the lesbian moms cook Christmas.

The gay dads shout about everything; the lesbian moms have intense conversations where everyone takes responsibility.

The gay dads take in every rescue dog that has a sob story; the lesbian moms maintain a very neat cat who spends most of his time grooming himself in the basement.

The gay dads coach soccer not out of any love of the game, but because their children demand it; the lesbian moms coach soccer, basketball, volleyball and baseball, and really like it.

And while the gay dads and the lesbian moms are cooking and coaching, the presumably straight tweenagers are hanging out in the park between our two houses, rolling their eyes and comparing notes with the sons and daughters of straight parents, all of them trying to come up with ways to convince their parents that they should be allowed to stay up till midnight, play on iPads and borrow the cars.

Last Sunday, one of the lesbian moms called me to ask for help. She had had an argument with her son and he took off on the skateboard. I got lucky, saw him as soon as I walked out the door and still had enough caffeine in me to chase him down. I walked him home, with him complaining the whole while about his Moms making him do homework. As we got to the door, he rolled his eyes and complained, “I wish I had a real dad.”

I nodded and said, “You could ask Zane for a trade. Whenever he’s mad at me he wants a real mom.”

The lesbian mom answered the door, and said, “I’m sorry for your trouble. Thank you.”

She did not expect my smile as I said, “No, thank you. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to know that every tweenager hates homework. And hates the parents who make him do it.”

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Gay Dad Life

Internet Conflicted About Advice Given to Closeted Gay Dad in the Guardian

Ok fellow gay dads: if you were the advice columnist at the Guardian, what would you have said?

Recently, in a post titled "I met my girlfriend's parents – and realized I once slept with her father," a man wrote into the advice column at the Guardian with the following predicament:

"Five years ago, I went through a bi phase and used to sleep around with pretty much everyone that came along, including other men. This changed when I fell in love with my new partner, who is everything to me. I recently met her parents and halfway through lunch realised that I had slept with her father. I was going to propose, but when my partner and her mother were away, he told me to end it with his daughter. I'm obviously in love – shall I just ignore him, or tell my partner?"

Pamela Stephenson, the Guardian's columnist, responded as follows:

"I am not sure you could ever have a comfortable future with your new partner. To tell the truth would be to court disaster: a probable break-up, plus the risk of a permanent rift between father and daughter and father and wife. Hiding the truth would lead to toxic secret-keeping that could be equally destructive in the long run. If this whole family was as open-minded and sexually open as you, it might be possible for you to become part of it. However, the father – your former lover – has made it clear that you will not be welcome. Walk away now, and avoid the massive pain that would otherwise be inflicted on your partner, her family and yourself."

Not all commenters agreed with Stephenson's advice.

"Assuming your girlfriend knows that you were bi until falling in love with her and that you slept with everybody in your path [which she deserved to know up front anyway] then you can give HER the option what to do with this bond, rather than leaving the choice to her dad," said one commenter.

Another said, "Walking away without explaining why would be callous and also allow the father to escape the possible consequences of his actions."

It's worth noting that none of these commenters, nor the columnist, are or will ever be gay dads, whose perspective on this bizarre situation may be uniquely valuable. Many gay dads have become fathers while still in the closet. And even those who became dads after coming out can still sympathize with the detrimental impacts of the closet on our lives and those of our families.

So what say you, gay dads, about this man's predicament?

Gay Dad Life

These Gay Dads Know How to Make Holidays Extra Super Special

Adam and Josh got engaged on Good Morning America on Valentines Day, and welcomed their Christmas miracle baby into their lives on December 26th

Picture this: Valentine's Day 2015, Adam and Josh Klocke were among 24 other couples ice skating in Bryant Park as part of a Good Morning America segment. Lara Spencer was hosting while Christina Perri sang "A Thousand Years" on top of a piano. Midway through, she stopped and Lara reported technical difficulties. This was the cue that the knowing members of each couple had been waiting for. They each dropped to one knee and asked for their partner's hand in marriage. Adam recalls, "It was such an amazing experience that we will never forget." 18 months later, they were married.

While their engagement was a life-changing experience, another for the husbands was welcoming their Christmas miracle, Baby K, via adoption on December 26, 2018. She was just two days old. Here's their story.

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Change the World

Meet the Gay Dad Running For Common Council in South Bend, Indiana

Move over Mayor Pete Buttigieg! South Bend, Indiana may soon have another gay politico in the form of Alex Giorgio-Rubin, a dad of a 12-year-old adopted son.

You've probably heard of Pete Buttigieg, the young gay mayor running to be the Democratic nominee to challenge President Trump in 2020. But the town of South Bend, Indiana, may soon have another gay politico rising star in the form of Alex Giorgio-Rubin, a dad to a 12-year-old son.

Alex is running for a seat on South Bend's Common Council, in part, he says, to help make all families – including ones like his own – feel welcome.

As an out, married, gay dad, living in a Jewish household, raising a son who is on the Autism spectrum, Alex feels he can offer a unique perspective. "We come from the state that produced Mike Pence," said Alex. "We come from the state that made national headlines because of a bill that would allow businesses to discriminate based on sexual orientation; it's fair to say that the cards are stacked against my family, and many, many other families like mine."

Alex, who is currently a stay-at-home dad raising his adopted son, 12-year-old Joseph, is married to Joshua Giorgio-Rubin, a Senior English Lecturer at the Indiana University of South Bend. The two have been together for six years.

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Gay Dad Family Stories

This Women's History Month, Gay Men Honor the Gals Who Help Make Them Dads

Each and every man becomes a dad with the help of a woman. We asked gay dads to honor one who helped them along in their path to parenthood to help us celebrate women's history month.

Each and every one of us became (or will become) a dad with the help of a woman--more often than not, with the help of multiple women. So this Women's History Month, we choose to celebrate these women by asking you to tell us a bit about them. Enjoy these inspiring stories below. Want to honor a woman in your life who has helped you become a dad? Tell us about her at dads@gayswithkids.com

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Gay Dad Life

Gay Dad Settles Discrimination Suit Against LA-Based School

A single gay dad claims an LA-based school did not adequately protect his two daughters who were reportedly bullied on account of his sexual orientation.

According to MyNewsLA, a single gay dad settled his suit against an LA-based school, Pressman Academy of Temple Beth Am. The man, who is unidentified, alleged that his two daughters were discriminated against in the school on account of his sexual orientation.

Identified only as "John Doe" in the complaint, the single gay dad reportedly grew up in Israel and chose Pressman Academy for his daughters "because it is supposed to be the best school that would instill those same values in his children." The school apparently took issue, however, with John Doe's sexuality.

According to the suit, teachers and other staff members at the school repeatedly asked the sisters to bring a "woman figure" to the school's Mother's Day celebration, for instance. School staff also did not intervene to prevent bullying of the daughters, one of whom was reportedly called an "orphan" because she lacked a mother, and teased to the point of telling a school therapist that she was contemplating suicide.

The terms of the settlement were not made public but the girls, thankfully, now attend another school.

Change the World

This British Olympian Is Retiring to Fight for the Rights of His Gay Dad

British gold medalist Callum Skinner says his "heart sunk" when his father offered to hide his sexuality from the media during the 2016 Rio Olympics

In a recent article, OutSports reported that British cyclist Callum Skinner is retiring from the sport in order to focus on fighting for the rights of his gay dad and the broader LGBTQ community.

Skinner, who is an Olympic gold medalist, had already been taking a break from racing due to some health complications, but said in a recent post on his website that he's excited to use this time to to be an ally to the LGBTQ community.

He wrote in part: "As some of you will know, I'm particularly passionate about giving back to sport, using my profile for good, whether that's in supporting the long overdue reform of sports governance, LGBT rights and encouraging people to get on their bikes. My focus and effort now lies in working in partnership with British Cycling to continue to make the athlete experience more human whilst still maintaining that performance mindset."

As OutSports reported, Skinner began talking more openly about his gay father in the lead up to the 2016 Rio Olympics, when his father offered to hide his sexuality to avoid any potential negative media attention.

"It was only around about the Games when my dad was signing up to the scheme with the [British Olympic Association], that he said to me, 'you know, I don't mind hiding the gay thing'" Skinner said. "It was at that point that my heart sunk. And then I thought, 'I've truly been hiding this'. So I decided that win, lose or draw, after the Games, this is something that I'm going to be more open about, because my dad shouldn't have to hide who he is."

Read the full article here.

Become a Gay Dad

New Dad Andy Cohen Is Back on Grindr

Andy Cohen, who is single, has been criticized for being on the gay dating app Grindr just a couple weeks after welcoming a newborn into his home

A recent Page Six article claims the What What Happens Live host, Andy Cohen, was "spotted" on gay dating app Grindr several weeks after welcoming a newborn into his home. This has some of his followers on social media all worked up.

"Get off Grindr and start being a dad," said one follower who appeared to think single parents must take a vow of celibacy the minute they start changing diapers. "You're sad, that kid has no chance," said another.



Fortunately, others came to Cohen's defense. "You think once people have children they should just be celibate?" one person asked. "I support Andy and grindr!" said another. "We're all human bro!"


The only thing crazy to us about Andy Cohen being back on Grindr is that the app repeatedly kicks him off, thinking he's impersonating himself. So maybe better to try Scruff?



Fatherhood, the gay way

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