Personal Essays by Gay Dads

One Single Gay Dad's Reflections on Father's Day

Father's Day can be a tough for single gay dads. Salim's answer to any patches of loneliness? Remembering his role as father.

When I began writing this piece about Father's Day, I had a think about what my experience as a dad had involved up until now. There's all the usual stuff – love, happiness, purpose in life, all of which is a given. But there's one subject people always ask me about in regards to being a father - MEN.


The questions vary from "do you still go on dates?" to "do you have time for sex?" and so on. The answer is usually "no" on both counts, which is met with a sad face or just a look that says 'bless your heart'. This is where I want to click my fingers and say in my sassiest voice "Gurl, I don't need a man."

But who am I kidding? Gay men (and straight women) are obsessed with finding a man. It's hot wired into us to see it as something that validates us. I did it myself – only ever drinking in gay bars and going on gay vacations, all in order to put myself in the path of my dream man. I had all the fantasies – holdings hands, cuddling on the sofa and doing everything together. Well, there's one thing I've always wanted to do alone – be a father.

Most people don't understand it, and I get that. It must be awesome to have a child with another person and watch it grow. But the cynic in me knows that relationships break down.

Besides, I have a theory. When gay men obsess about meeting a man and go on lots of dates and shag around etc., it's all in the hope of achieving one thing – intimacy. Humans are tribal creatures that seek out a sense of belonging even without realising it. When I had my son, I noticed a lot of those feelings disappeared. I stopped feeling so (I hate to say it) desperate. This is because the intimacy had been satisfied.

Forget what you know about intimacy – it doesn't only mean sex and candlelit dinners. You can be intimate with friends and family! When I come home from work and Felix (my son) runs into my arms it's out of this world. When we hold hands walking down the street, when he pats the sofa signaling me to sit next to him, when he's at the other end of a room and I see him looking around frantically to check I'm still close by – all of this is the kind of intimacy that satisfies that mysterious, unnamed longing I had before.

That said, I am only human... As the years go by, the realization sets in that there is no time - no time to fall in love because there's no time to get to know anyone, no time to get to know anyone because there's no time for a date, and no time for a date because, when push comes to shove, there's only one boy I want to share my free time with (and he's waiting at home). I think that's the key to getting through these patches of loneliness for us single dads – remembering our role as fathers. The same goes for couples, too, for who the romance died long ago and sex is probably a distant memory. What we get in return is immeasurably better. Always remember one thing – no one, and I mean no one, will love you like your baby does.

So to all you dads out there – throw a dirty diaper in the face of loneliness! Be proud of your role! Own it!

Happy Fathers' Day!

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Personal Essays by Gay Dads

Growing a Thicker Skin

Experiencing hateful and hurtful comments, Erik Alexander had to learn an important lesson: how to ignore the trolls.

Photo credit: BSA Photography

Twenty years ago when I came out, it was unbearably hard. As I have written before, I am from the Deep South. Anyone who dared to deviate from social norms was sure to be ostracized. It's not that these people were born hateful or mean; rather, it probably had more to do with them not being subjected to other lifestyles. Anything different from their own experiences sparked fear and confusion. Homosexuality, interracial relationships, religious differences – these were all unfamiliar territories to the average person I grew up around. Thus, growing up was particularly difficult.

I remember lying in bed at night when I was a little boy. I would pray and beg God to not let me be gay. Every single night I would end my prayers with "... and God, please don't let me have nightmares and please don't let me be gay." I remember crying myself to sleep many nights. I was embarrassed and ashamed. And I wanted God to cure me.

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Personal Essays by Gay Dads

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Personal Essays by Gay Dads

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The dads behind the popular blog TwoDadsU.K. tell us about the day the welcomed their son Duke to the family.

When Wes and I first met, I made a point of wanting to know if he wanted kids. I use the plural as I've always wanted a house full of children. Thankfully he did, and he already had a daughter when I met him back in 2012. Fast forward 7 years and we're now married and have two children of our own together.

Talulah has been the star of TwoDads.U.K since we started blogging about our UK Surrogacy journey when she was born in October 2016, her expressive facial expressions keep everyone entertained and the fact she's growing up in front of everyone is also interesting for others to see. It's also important that others see how we parent, the mistakes we make, and the similar issues we face as parents vs our straight counterparts. The feedback is glowing — in fact we very rarely receive negative comments from trolls, unlike some of our friends who have family accounts which is really sad.

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Happy National Coming Out Day! To celebrate, we've rounded up some of our recent stories about gay men with kids coming out to live their most authentic lives.

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#1. Former NFL Player Jeff Rohrer, and Father of Two, Comes Out as Gay and Marries Longterm Partner


Jeff Rohrer, a father of two teenage boys via a previous relationship with a woman, is the first NFL player to marry another man. Read the article here.

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

#3. Gay Dads Share Their Coming Out Stories for National Coming Out Day

We asked several gay dads to share their coming out stories in honor of National Coming Out Day, whose stories are heartwarming, instructive, and everything in between. Read the article here.

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Maivon Wahid writes about the challenges of reconciling three separate, but equally important, identities in an opinion piece for Gay Star News. Read the article here.

#5. One Gay Dad's Path Towards Realizing Being Gay and Christian are Not Mutually Exclusive

Gay dads Matt and David Clark-Sally talk about coming out, parenting as gay men, and reconciling faith and sexuality. Read the article here.

#6. 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. Read the article here.

#7. How Coming Out Helped This Gay Man Find the Strength to Be a Dad

Steven Kerr shares the moment he came out to his ex-girlfriend. "From that moment on," he writes, "my strength and purpose have grown." Read the article here.

#8. Ed Smart, Father of Kidnapping Victim Elizabeth Smart, Comes Out as Gay

In coming his coming out letter, Ed Smart, a Mormon, condemned the church for their "ridicule, shunning, rejection and outright humiliation" of LGBTQ individuals. Read the article here.

#9. The Best Part of Coming Out, Says This Gay Dad, Is Being an Out and Proud Role Model for His Daughter

"I couldn't face myself in the mirror and think that I could be a good dad and role model for my child when I was lying to myself every moment of every day," said Nate Wormington of his decision to come out. Read the article here.

#10. 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. Read the article here.

Gay Dad Life

8 Ways for Dads to Find Work/Life Balance

Finding work/life balance is hard enough... but can be even harder for gay dads.

Having kids is an amazing part of life, and it should be fun. Life does tend to get in the way sometimes, and one huge aspect of that is work. Striking that balance between work and home life is tough. If you both work it's even harder.

And if you're a gay couple, it can have it's own set of problems above and beyond the standard work-life issues that people face. Recently, the Harvard Business Review conducted a study that focused specifically on the experiences of same-sex couples who wanted to make moves towards a work/life balance.

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Celebrating gay, bi and trans fatherhood is what we do on Gays With Kids. We rejoice in whatever paths our community took to become parents. But many of those journeys come with heartbreak, sometimes for the intended parents, and sometimes for the biological family from whom the adoption or foster placement occurs. With an open adoption, the adoptive and biological families come to an arrangement which best benefits the child, and that's when something truly beautiful can occur. This isn't always possible in every scenario, but when it does, we're exceedingly thankful. Can a child ever have too many family members loving them? Not likely. This was husbands of five years Edward and Andrew Senn's experience.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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