Gay Dad Life

Honoring Dads Who Made the Journey to Out & Proud

In honor of National Coming Out Day, we are proud to celebrate these gay dads, all of whom were in relationships with women and eventually took their own journeys to live authentic lives. We are grateful that they shared their stories with us, hoping that others still in straight relationships will be able to relate and become inspired to make their own life transitions.


Blake McKinney, Milwaukee, WI (The dad on the right)

My ex-wife and I were married for nine years before I came out. We have three kids. We share custody of the kids and she, I and my partner of nine years parent the kids together and are one family unit in two households. I am very lucky!


Chet Atkins, Ft. Worth, TX

My ex-wife and I were married for nine years before I came out. We have two teenaged kids: a 15-year-old-son and a 16-year-old daughter. My husband Terry (to be legalized this month!) and I have co-parented with my ex-wife and her husband for the last 3 years. Our household currently includes not only my kids, but also an exchange student and a couple of others I've been parenting because of family dynamics after they came out.


Christopher Burtt, South Orange, NJ

My ex-wife and I were married for 13 years. We have a 12-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter. I'm out to all my family, friends, and co-workers, and I run Gay Night Out for North Jersey Pride.


Cory LeClair, Yukon, OK

My ex-wife and I were together for 12 years and married for 10. Our kids are 12 and 10 years old.


Ed Murphy, Barbourville KY

I was married for 11 years to my ex-wife. We have two kids. I am very proud of my decision to come out; nor would I change anything from my past as it's made me who I am today!


Allen Lepley, Washington State.

My ex-wife and I were married for seven years before I came out. We have one son. I've had sole custody of our son since he was 7 years old, and he's now a young adult.


Ian Scott, Fife, Scotland

I was in a relationship with a woman for four years. We have one daughter. My daughter has been living full-time with me for the past year and I'm the happiest I've ever been!


Ian Wilson, Ann Arbor, Michigan (Ian's all the way to the right in the photo above, standing next to his partner. Also shown are Ian's two children, and his partner's mother and brother.)

My ex-wife and I were married for seven years. We have a son and daughter. My ex and I are still close; I wouldn't be where I am today without her support and friendship.


Jesse Bryan, Gainesville. FL

I was married to the mom of my two daughters for eight years; I was in a relationship with the mom of my youngest child, my son, for almost two years. I'm out to both of my exes. I'm now 30 years old and, while I co-parent with my two exes, I have primary custody for my two daughters.


John Wescombe, New South Wales, Australia

My ex-wife and I were married for 12 years; she came out as a lesbian seven years after our divorce. We have three children and a grandson, as well as a granddaughter due in December.


John R. Warner, Berkley, MI

My ex-wife and I were married for 13 years. We have two sons. I am now married to a wonderful man who is like a big brother to our two kids. He and I were joined at the wedding by our kids and their wonderful mom.


Kyle Furness, Thornaby, England

I was married to my ex-wife for five years, and came out a year after our divorce. We have two children. I've had a boyfriend for three months and I'm the happiest I've ever been!


Mike Dietrich, Ladysmith, British Columbia, Canada

I was married to my ex-wife for 19 years. We have three sons. All of my sons joined me in my wedding party when I got married in July to my husband.


Mike Rogers, Glen Ridge, NJ

My ex-wife and I were married for 11 years. We have a son and a daughter.

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Transracial Families Series

This Transracial Family Relies on a 'Support Group' of African American Women

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Our second feature in our transracial family series. Read the first one here.

Ferdinand Ortiz, 39, and his husband Manuel Gonzalez, 38, have been together for 7 years. In 2017, they became foster dads when they brought their daughter, Mia Valentina, home from the hospital. She was just three days old at the time. On December 13, 2018, her adoption was finalized.

Mia is of Jamaican and African American heritage, and her dads are both Puerto Rican. When Manuel and Ferdinand began their parenting journey through the foster care system, they received specific training on how to be the parents of a child whose race and culture was different from their own. "We learned that it's important to celebrate our child's culture and surround ourselves with people who can help her be proud of her culture." However, as helpful as this training was, the dads agreed that it would've been beneficial to hear from other transracial families and the type of challenges that they faced.

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Then Covid.

Ten weeks ago, I — along with the rest of the world — was ordered to shelter-in-place... to stop thinking about what's next, and instead, focus on the here and the now. In many ways, the shut down made me shut off everything I thought I knew about being content and living a productive life. And so, for the first time in my 41 years, I have literally been forced to stop and smell the roses. The question is, would I like the way they smell?

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Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of ongoing posts exploring issues related to transracial families headed by gay, bi and trans men. Interested in being featured as part of the series? Email us at dads@gayswithkids.com

Is adopting a child whose race and culture is different from your own something that us queer dads need to talk about? Share our experiences? Learn from others? We've been hearing from our community, and the answer has been a resounding, "yes."

With over one-fifth (21.4%) of same-sex couples raising adopted children in the United States today (compared to 3% of different-sex couples), it's highly likely, at the very least, that those families are transcultural. According to April Dinwoodie, Chief Executive of The Donaldson Adoption Institute, Inc., all adoptive families are transcultural. "All, in my opinion, adoptions are transcultural because there are no two families' culture that is exactly the same, even if you went as far as to get very specific about the family of origin and the family of experience and almost make it cookie-cutter … no two families operate the same."

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As his sons have gotten older, the movies have morphed away from cartoons and towards things blowing up — but movie night remains his favorite family tradition.

Editor's Note: This is the next in a series of excerpts from Joseph Sadusky's new book, Magic Lessons: Celebratory and Cautionary Tales about Life as a (Single, Gay, Transracially Adoptive) Dad. The book contains many stories about his life as a dad, as well as lessons learned, and we're excited to share several excerpts from the the book over the course of the next few months. Read previous installments here!

Of all of our traditions and rituals, probably the most consistent and longest-lasting one was movie night. Sure, we read the heck out of Harry Potter. But our capacity for watching Harry Potter? We're talking Quidditch World Cup here, folks.

In its early version, movie night looked like this: During the week, I would order a movie and a cartoon from Netflix—back when "Netflix" meant "mail." On Saturday night—and I mean, faithfully, every Saturday night—we would order a pepperoni pizza (which Mark faithfully took the meat off of—I'll get to food later) for delivery and then sit and watch our cartoon and movies while eating. The kids had a say in the movie, but I got to pick the cartoon. They watched enough of their own cartoons on the regular, and besides, this gave me a great opportunity to introduce them to the wonders of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Josie and the Pussycats.


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Gay Dad Life

Happy Mother's Day From Gays With Kids!

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Mother's Day can be complicated holiday for many gay, bi and trans dads and their kids. Choosing how, when — or even if — to celebrate the day is a uniquely personal decision. But no matter how we've become dads, women have helped us achieve our dreams of fatherhood. And for that reason, we've loved celebrating all of the women who have supported our journeys to fatherhood, in ways big and small, over the years. Check out some of our favorite photos, essays, articles and more below!


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Become a Gay Dad

Webinar Series: Becoming a Dad During a Pandemic

Gays With Kids launches a webinar series with surrogacy, adoption and foster care experts — to explore family planning options for gay, bi and trans men in the age of the coronavirus.

Gay, bi or trans and considering building or growing your family? Gays With Kids is offering FREE webinars led by industry experts in surrogacy, adoption and foster care to give you up-to-date insight on how the coronavirus affects family building. There will be lots of time for audience Q&A, so come prepared for this webinar with your specific questions on starting or continuing your surrogacy journey.

Register via the links below!

SURROGACY

Thinking About Becoming A Dad? Explore Your Options in our Surrogacy Webinar Series.

Come discuss: surrogates, egg Donation, IVF, and embryo creation with leading surrogacy and fertility experts.

Please register for just one of the following 3 surrogacy webinars

Monday, May 4, 2020
4:00-5:00pm PT / 7:00-8:00pm ET

  • Dr. Guy Ringler, California Fertility Partners
  • Victoria Ferrara, Worldwide Surrogacy
Register here (pre-registration required)
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Wednesday, May 6, 2020
4:00-5:00pm PT / 7:00-8:00pm ET
  • Dr. Jerald S. Goldstein, Fertility Specialists of Texas
  • Sam Hyde, Circle Surrogacy
Register here (pre-registration required)
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Friday, May 8, 2020
12:00-1:00pm PT / 3:00-4:00pm ET
  • Dr. Mark Leondires, Reproductive Medical Associates of CT
  • Kristin Hanson, Simple Surrogacy

Register here (pre-registration required)

ADOPTION & FOSTER CARE

Thinking About Becoming A Dad? Explore Your Options in our Adoption Webinar Series.

Come discuss: matching, placements, home studies and finalizations with leading experts in adoption and foster care.

Please register for just one of the following 2 adoption / foster webinars
Tuesday, May 12, 2020
3:00-4:00pm PT / 6:00-7:00pm ET

  • Monica Baker, Spence-Chapin Services to Families & Children
  • Rita Soronen, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
  • Molly Rampe Thomas, Choice Network
Register here (pre-registration required)

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Friday, May 15, 2020
10:00-11:00am PT / 1:00-2:00pm ET

  • Monica Baker, Spence-Chapin Services to Families & Children
  • Rita Soronen, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
  • Molly Rampe Thomas, Choice Network
Register here (pre-registration required)

Gay Dad Life

Top Memes From Parents Sheltered in Place with Kids

Perhaps the ONLY good thing to come out of the coronavirus crisis... hilarious parenting memes.

Very, very few good things have come about since the start of the global coronavirus pandemic, but one of the tiny silver linings — and one of the only ways most of us parents sheltering at home with our kids are staying sane — is this: parenting memes.

We've rounded up our favorites below. (If you know who originated some of these, please let us know so we can give credit!)

Enjoy!


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