Gay Dad Life

Gay Since the 1970s, Dad Dennis Has a Plan to Fight Back Against Injustice

An out gay man since the 1970s, Dennis Wood has personally lived through the many setbacks and victories of the gay rights movement. Drawing on his personal experience of many years, he wrote the post below to share with his Facebook family and friends. 


I have spent nearly my entire life bowing under the powers of others who controlled my life. Being a gay man in a straight world, I always felt I had no right to rock the boat.

For the most part I quietly lived my life striving to prove my worth in ways that made others happy. I did this mostly gladly and have many good friends and the love of family because of it. I proved that I am the best “Dennis” I can be. But that has come at a cost. I have shortchanged my own needs and desires to accommodate others who take their rights for granted. I have happily celebrated their marriages and the arrival of their children and shared their milestones with a flourish. I never felt I could, or should, expect even close to the same sort of life others had. Those were my early years…the 1970s to 1990s, to put a timeline on it.

Now most of you know me in the context of being happily married to Jody and of us being the proud parents of Sam. We have been afforded this open life through the many advances made toward the rights of all classes of people.

We have waded through the muck of coming out and risking relationships with our families, the security of our jobs, the fellowship of our church and the protections for our livelihood. Yes, much of this was self-imposed out of fear, but much has had to do with society, in general.

In some very short years we have gained the right to marry. Ours, as many know, was a path of arduous work. We said “I DO” in 2004 only to have it voided and sent to court. We agreed to Domestic Partnership in 2006 in order to garner a few protections our straight counterparts take for granted. We once again said “I DO” in 2008 when Prop 8 loomed darkly over our heads.

Along the way we jumped into parenthood, but had some serious concerns about the protections our son would miss out on that others, once again, take for granted. Finally 2013 brought us a measure of peace and security no one thought we would see in our lifetime. Across the board and around the country, our family was finally recognized to be exactly like others. Of course, we had already felt this from family and friends…that’s not the issue. We NEEDED these reforms in order to simply protect ourselves and our son’s future.

What today’s election results bring to the surface is that we are NOT SAFE. We are NOT SECURE. We are once again going to be walking on pins and needles, wondering who will be working daily to destroy our family. This is a real concern. We are NOT moving forward, we are taking a huge step backwards. My family and many people we know will be hurt.

Our demographic is not the only one at risk. We have hit a turning point where people are once again feeling empowered to spew hate and feel it’s alright to call us names and attack people in broad daylight. As a country we were bringing awareness to those being attacked and killed because of bigotry, but now we risk sweeping any progress under the rug again. I implore us all to maintain momentum on supporting those who cannot fend for themselves.

Yes, I wonder why anyone who knows me or my family might even consider that Donald Trump is even remotely qualified to lead this nation well. Part of me wants to wipe the slate clean of those who chose to vote for someone who wishes I didn’t exist. This is a hard pill to swallow. I will choose to rise above my desire to hit someone hard. Anyone who has seen Steel Magnolias, will remember the scene at the cemetery where M’Lynn wants to hit something out of her incredible grief, then Clairee shoves Ouiser over to her and says “hit her hard!”…well, that’s what I want to do right now.

All this being said, I have always felt that we are more than our politicians…we need to vote with our actions EVERY SINGLE DAY.

We will continue to help our neighbors, we will mentor our youth, we will encourage our families…those who are born to us and those we have chosen.

We will lift a paintbrush or plant some plants. We will clean our canyons and we will support those who are ailing. Every single day we can do something to make our world better.

I refuse to lose momentum because of this “WTF?!?” moment in time. I refuse to return to a time where I worry what others will think when they learn that my spouse is a guy and that we have a child.

I know I am preaching to the choir and we certainly feel the love from people who know us personally. Please don’t become defensive and hurt that I am feeling betrayed. This is about how this election affects my family and my friends in a deep manner.

We must speak out about these realities, and to those who have enjoyed the privilege of living without oppression I ask you to simply put your arms around us and tell us you are here for us. THAT is how we can survive this until all the moving parts fall into place. We have a lot of work ahead of us. Let’s allow love and kindness to prevail, and allow our bruised hearts a chance to heal.

We need to not let this set us back as far as some would wish. A bit of mourning, a touch of circling the wagons and a lot of work moving forward…together.

Photo credit: Stephy Wong Photography

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Gay Dad Life

Karamo Brown Co-Writes Children's Book with Son, Jason

The 'Queer Eye' star and his son named the story on a family mantra: You are Perfectly Designed

When his sons, Jason and Chris, were young, "Queer Eye" Star Karamo Brown repeated the same saying to them: "You are perfectly designed."

That mantra is now a Children's Book, cowritten by Karamo and his 22-year-old son, Jason, who used to come how and "say things like, 'I don't want to be me, I wish I was someone else, I wish I had a different life." As a parent, that "broke my heart," Karamo told Yahoo! Lifestyle. "I would say to him, 'You are blessed and you are perfect just the way you are,' as a reminder that you have been given so much and you should be appreciative and know that you're enough — I know that the world will try to tear you down, but if you can say to yourself, 'I am perfectly designed,' maybe it can quiet out some of those negative messages."

The illustrations, by Anoosha Syed, also make a point of displaying families of a variety of races and sexual orientations throughout the book.

Read more about Karamo's fascinating path to becoming a gay dad here, and then check out the video below that delves deeper into the inspiration behind "You Are Perfectly Designed," available on Amazon.



Gay Dad Life

The Suburban Gay Dad

Are you intimidated by the suburbs? This gay dad was — but then he moved there.

In a recent article for Yahoo! Lifestyle, Steve Jacobs says the thought of living in the suburbs as a gay dad "intimidated" him. But when he started fantasizing about garages, he began to question that notion. Any apprehension he had soon evaporated, he said, one winter morning while trying to navigate the snowy streets of New York City with a stroller.

While "pushing the stroller through snow banks and pools of slush with snowflakes stinging our faces," he wrote, "a vision came to me: I pictured us walking into a garage, hopping into a car, and arriving at a diner with 10 times less drama. This image planted the seed of moving to the 'burbs that I couldn't shake."

Soon, the family of four found a house in a town a half hour outside the city. "It had grass and a beautiful yard for our spirited kiddos. The schools were good. There were even good restaurants. The only red flag: Census data estimated only 0.1 percent of the population was gay male."

There were some "growing pains" while trying to make friends in this environment. "When we attended our first dinner party, within minutes the hostess went to the kitchen and the other wives followed her, while the husbands settled into the living room. Ira and I froze, looking at each other. In the city, our straight friends hadn't separated out like this for the evening. Should we stay with the dudes, exert our masculinity, and blow off the mom we liked? Or does one of us go with the wives and accept the personal branding that comes with that? We did a quick rock paper scissors in the foyer. Ira went with the wives."

But ultimately, "being a parent defined me more than I ever imagined it would," he wrote, and he settled in nicely to his new suburban life.

Have you had a similar adjustment, from city life to the suburbs? Tell us about it at dads@gayswithkids.com for an upcoming piece!

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Guest post Tracey Wimperly

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"I think I was pretty naïve, I guess," chuckled Gene, one of the first single gay dads to work with Circle Surrogacy over 19 years ago. "I just had made a decision and went out and did it, and wasn't really thinking about how difficult it might be or what other people thought, being first at doing something."

So how did Gene hear about surrogacy as an option for single gay men? Well, it began with Gene flipping through a bar magazine. He recalls seeing an ad about a woman providing a service to connect gay men with lesbians in platonic co-parenting relationships. While he started down that path, working with the founder, Jennifer, he remembers thinking, "What if I meet someone? What if I want to move? It would create all these complications."

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On Tuesday October 22, Dove Men+Care and PL+US (Paid Leave for the United States) led the Dads' Day of Action on Capitol Hill. A group of over 40 dads and "dadvocates" from across the states lobbied key member of Congress on the issue of paid paternity leave for *ALL* dads. They shared stories of their struggles to take time off when welcoming new family members and the challenges dads face with no paid paternity leave.

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Oh my gourd, it's fall! To celebrate, we rounded up 33 pics (and whole lot of pun-kins) in our annual fall photo essay!

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Thanks to these dads who shared their pics with us! Share your own to dads@gayswithkids.com and we'll add them to this post!

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David and Ben Met on the Dance Floor — and Are Now Grooving Their Way Through Fatherhood

David and Ben, who became fathers with the help of Northwest Surrogacy Center, live in Melbourne with their daughter, Maia.

In 2003, while both studying at Reading University in the UK, Ben Suter and David Cocks met after locking eyes on the dance floor and then being introduced by a mutual friend. Ben, a meteorologist and Operations Manager, and David, an Assistant Principal, have been together ever since. They moved to Australia together in 2010, seeking a different life, and an overall better work-life balance. The chose Cairns in Queensland as their new home, between the Great Barrier Reef and the tropical rainforest, "taking life a bit easier," said David. The couple were also married in June 2016, back home in England.

While David always wanted kids, Ben took a little convincing. So they started their parenting journey with a dog, Titan, who quickly became like their first born. From there, Ben came around rather quickly.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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