Personal Essays by Gay Dads

5 Reasons Why We Love Gays With Kids!

Our longtime blogger Erik Alexander breaks down five reasons he loves Gays With Kids to celebrate our 5th birthday!

Photo Credit: BSA Photography

In the divisive and polarizing environment that gay dads live in today, what would we do without Gays With Kids? Honestly.
Just think about it. GWK gives the gay dads of America and across the world an outlet to feel a sense of belonging and inclusion that, for many, is difficult to find. Furthermore, GWK is primarily about us—gay dads.

With that being said, this is GWK's 5th anniversary! So how better to show my appreciation than to list My 5 reasons Why: We Love Gays With Kids!


Reason Number 5: The adorable photo essays!

Tough day? Stressed out? GWK never disappoints when it comes to their uplifting and cheerful parade of photos. They seriously can brighten any day. Whether it's the first family snap shot in a pumpkin patch, the monthly montage of 'new baby' pictures, gay pride family photos from throughout the country, or the hilarious pictures of terrified children in Santa's lap, your mood will instantly take a sharp sweet turn.

Reason Number 4: Sense of community

Being a gay dad in America is harder in some parts of the country than others. For example, gay dads may have an easier time being able to relate to other gay dads in NYC more so than the gay dads in a rural town in Oklahoma or Arkansas. That's why it is so important that different GWK platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and their website enables all gay dads around the country to take part in the bigger picture by allowing everyone to weigh in on the conversation while also giving us all a sense of belonging and community.

Reason Number 3: Lots of laughs!

As if you didn't know already, sassy gay men are hella good at cheering people up—even if they don't mean to "girl." :: lip pop:: ((ahem, @bigdognyc/Rocco)) 🤣

From some of the comments left by community members to the memes (and lets not forget some of the hilarious stories written by gay dads themselves) it's definitely hard to keep a straight face as you scroll through.

Reason Number 2: Selfless devotion behind the scenes

I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to keep GWK going with new and thoughtful content every single day. Brian, Ferd, Rosalind, David and all the other magic makers of GWK allow each of us the opportunity to expand our minds and grow stronger with every inspiring story we read.

They work around the clock collecting pictures and thinking of new and exciting material to share with our ever growing community. GWK is what it is because of this talented dream team that makes the magic happen every single day.

Reason Number 1: Self-confidence

This particularly hits home to me. I have always loved to write. Even when I was in middle school, I would sell short stories to my classmates. As I grew older, that hobby faded away and other hobbies took its place. After our first daughter was born I started jotting down my thoughts again. Though not new to writing, I was new to the subject matter. I will never forget the day when Brian Rosenberg, the founder of GWK responded to my email about submitting my personal blogs to their website. That moment, now 3 years ago, ignited my hobby into a burning passion that has not stopped since. Discovering my voice through writing again allowed me to find something I haven't always had—self confidence. Reading the other stories of other gay dads is also a huge confidence booster. We are all in this together!

On behalf of myself and all the other gay dads and gay allies across this country I say,
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU Gays with Kids! You are part of our family and each one of us are honored to be part of yours. Happy 5th Anniversary GWK!

I would love for you to follow our family's journey!

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Keep up with my blog at Nolapapa.com



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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.

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How Canada's 'Gay Dollar' Helped This Gay Man Reflect on His Biggest Regret—Not Having Kids

Canada unveiled a 'gay dollar' coin earlier this year, helping Gregory Walters reflect on the progress the LGBTQ community has made—and his decision to forgo having children children

Earlier this year, Canada unveiled a rainbow-stripped coin dollar to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the country's decision to decriminalize homosexuality. With the coins now firmly in circulation, Gregory Walters, who lives in Vancouver, wrote a moving essay for the Globe and Mail, expressing joy for how far Canada has come on the issue of gay rights, but how the coin is also a symbolic representation of the "greatest regret" of his life—his decision not to adopt children.

Gregory writes that he had hoped to adopt a child ever since his early career working with persons with developmental disabilities. "Several children I worked with were wards of the State of Texas," he wrote. "Their parents having relinquished all rights either owing to egregious acts of abuse or a lack of desire to raise someone with so many needs. There were days when I felt, 'If I could just take you home and raise you.' I knew there was a need for adopting persons with special needs but my own internalized homophobia got in the way yet again. Despite what is probably my own gift in working with children, I never felt worthy enough to be a parent. I always felt that if I were a gay dad it would create more of a liability for the child."

Gregory decision to forgo having children, he says, is his "greatest regret." While he takes responsibility for some of this decision, he also adds: "society's view of homosexuals and its opinions regarding gay adoptions also played a major part."

To critics of Canada's coin, some of who have said its a cheap political pander to the LGBTQ community, Gregory concludes with this thought:

"I don't care if the indulged majority who never had to question marriage or raising children or being secure in a job may feel the coin is frivolous. The coin isn't for them in the first place. It's an acknowledgment for those of us who repressed our true selves and felt oppressed. It is for gays who never lived to see rights and protections enshrined in law. It is for younger LGBTQ people to learn more about how far we've come and to gain a deeper sense of gay pride. For these reasons, the coin has value so much greater than any monetary designation. The coin represents both empowerment and normalization."

Read Gregory's full essay here.

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This episode is dedicated to all the parents out there that are going through or have gone through similar situations.

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Janno, from Estonia, and Matthias, from Belgium, were accepted into the "Childlessness Overcome Through Surrogacy" Program.

Janno Talu, an accountant, and Matthias Nijs, an art gallery director, were born in different parts of Europe. Janno, 39, is from Estonia, and Matthias, 28, is from Belgium. Their paths crossed when the two moved to London, each from their different corners of the European Union.

Janno relocated to London earlier than Matthias, when he was 24, and his main reason for the move was his sexuality. "Although Estonia is considered one of the more progressive countries in Eastern Europe, when it comes to gay rights, it is still decades behind Western society in terms of tolerance," said Janno. "And things are not moving in the right direction." In 2016, same-sex civil union became legal, but the junior party in the current coalition government is seeking to repeal the same-sex partnership bill. "In addition," Janno continued, "they wish to include the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman in the country's constitution. Even today, there are people in Estonia who liken homosexuality to pedophilia, which is why I decided to start a new life in the UK, where I could finally be myself."

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If you're in San Francisco or the surrounding area, clear your calendar this weekend. Two events are happening simultaneously that are significant for dads-to-be AND surrogacy advocates: the Men Having Babies San Francisco Conference, and the SF Advocacy and Research Forum for Surrogacy and LGBT Parenting (ARF). For an outlines of both events, check out below.

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When Trystan Reese found out protesters were planning to show up to an event in Boston he was presenting at, he put out a call to his community for help — and gay dads showed up.

A couple months ago, Trystan Reese, a gay, trans dad based in Portland, Oregon, took to Instagram to share a moving, if incredibly concerning, experience. Reese, who works with Family Equality Council, was speaking at an event in Boston, and learned before his appearance that a group of protesters were planning to attend.

"As a trans person, I was terrified to be targeted by anti-LGBTQ people and experienced genuine fear for my own safety," Trystan wrote. In response, he did what many LGBTQ people would do in a similar situation — reach out to his community in Boston, and ask for their support. "And they came," he wrote. But it wasn't just anyone within the LGBTQ community that came to his defense, he emphasized — "you know who came? Gay men. Gay dads, to be exact. They came, ready to block people from coming in, ready to call building security, ready to protect me so I could lead my event. They did it without question and without reward. They did it because it was the right thing to do."

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