Gay Dad Life

How to Raise A Natural Athlete

My first – and last – time playing soccer was in Grade 5. I joined a bunch of boys playing on the school field. Someone kicked the ball right at me and instinctively my hands went up to protect myself. I got a penalty for touching the ball with my hands and then was teased for not knowing how to play (which was true). After that, I never played again.


Until last summer. My son was playing as part of a pick-up league in the neighbourhood and I was pressed into service to make the teams even. I would have preferred to cheer from the sidelines. I played for my son’s sake. Well, it was fun. And I even blocked a goal! From a 4-year-old. (Still, I congratulated myself. And thought, I’m not going to give goals away – they need to earn them.) My son’s team won the game that night, 4-3. My son scored all four goals and, yes, the 4 and 5-year-olds scored three against me.

I have no natural sporting ability. None whatsoever. My parents put me into sports but nothing really worked. My partner and I, on one of our first dates, compared stories of our shared interest in flower arranging – others call it t-ball. For each of us, in little league in our hometowns, we were both banished to left field where we picked grass and made bouquets of clover and dandelions. I always dreaded a ball coming my way as not only would I have to fetch it (never did I even attempt to catch a ball) but I'd have to throw it back too (I was always teased for throwing like a girl, which is an insult to women, all of whom can throw better than me). Thank goodness my parents allowed me to drop sports and go to drama camp (seriously).

Our son, however, is naturally athletically gifted. He can do any sport that he tries: he was playing indoor hockey at 2, skating at 3, soccer at 4, basketball at 5. Oh, and swimming, golf, skiing, canoeing, rock climbing, archery and biking too. It’s a bit ridiculous. One day I asked what he wanted to do when he gets older: “Compete at the Olympics.” Oh, which sport? “It doesn’t matter – as long as it’s on tv.” (Which reminds me: my mom, after one of my futile sporting events, told me, “Well, you’ll never win a gold medal, will you...” She was honest! But she followed it up with, “It’s OK. You can thank me on live tv when you win an Oscar.”)

What to do? Use the village to raise our kid: several dads run the pick-up soccer league in the summer, my brother-in-law needs to teach him to play hockey, my sister and our son’s brother’s mom will teach him basketball and even a professional ballet dancer we know has said she’ll teach him baseball and how to throw. Like a girl – meaning properly.

I’ll always cheer him on proudly from the sidelines - or at the rink, the poolside, the court, the diamond, the track, wherever. I just won’t be one of the parents hectoring him about his skills, because he’ll know more than me. (He already does.) And, yes, I’ll cry when he’s on the podium receiving his Olympic medal.

+ Photo credit: Sport stress balls #1, https://www.flickr.com/photos/popcorncx/

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Gay Dad Life

'NolaPapa' Launches YouTube Channel: Story of a Gay Dad

Check out Erik Alexander's new YouTune Channel: Story of a Gay Dad

When we first found out that our second daughter was African American I froze. Not because of her race, but because I knew NOTHING about African American hair. So I frantically tried to learn as much as I could while she was a newborn so I was ready to style it when she was a little older.

I decided to launch our YouTube channel Nolapapa: Story of a Gay Dad to focus on this very topic! Episodes 1-5 will solely be dedicated to learning how to wash, care for and styling African American hair. Afterwards, the content will shift towards personal & family situations, adoption, gay parenting questions and other great content! I'd love your support and become part of our little village as we launch this new project!

Sending Nola love to each of ya!

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"Dad," Jonathan said. "Would you just get out of the house and go on a date already?" (You may remember wise-beyond-his-years Jonathan from this post that went viral of a tattoo he got commemorating his adoption day.)

On his son's encouragement, Richard started dipping a tentative toe back into the dating pool. In 2015, he met Kevin thanks to mutual friends that introduced them via social media. It took four months before Richard introduced Kevin to his son, who was a Sophomore in high school at the time.

On New Year's Eve in 2017, Kevin proposed while the couple was vacationing in Palm Springs. The city has an outdoor festival every year, he explained, which the couple attended. The band Plain White T's happened to be performing their hit "Hey There Delilah" as Kevin got down on one knee and proposed. "Now whenever I hear that song it brings back memories of that night," Richard said.

Richard and Kevin married on March 30, 2019 back at the scene of the crime — in Palm Springs, at the Frederick Loewe Estate. Jonathan was Richard's best man, and also walked him down the aisle (awwww.....). Kevin's brother Bobby served as his best man.

"As so many wonderful moments continue to happen for us in Palm Springs, we now own a home there in addition to our primary residence in Bentonville, Arkansas," said Richard.

Check out video from the couple's special day below!


And Jonathan is now an E4 Master-at-Arms in the US Navy.

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In November last year, Ottawa-based husbands Matt Ottaviani and Rej Gareau (whose story we shared in July) became first-time dads through surrogacy. They were overjoyed to welcome their daughter Andy and become a family of three.

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Dig through your phones — what was the last pic taken of you BEFORE you became a dad?

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Enjoy some of our favorites! Want to play along? Dig through your phones and send us your pics to dads@gayswithkids.com!

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The pairing, for any gay man who has been subjected to impossible beauty standards (not unlike... literally all women?) makes a bit too much sense after watching the new Sundance film, "Brittany Runs a Marathon," starring SNL writer Jillian Bell (as the 27-year-old) and Micah Stock as the (somewhat *ahem* older) gay dad.

Based on a true story, the film follows Brittany, an overweight and over-boozed 20-something, trying to clean up her act by training for the New York City marathon — while doing so, she meets Seth (the gay dad), and the two begin to train together, along with Brittany's neighbor Catherine. Each has their own motivation for running: getting one's live together, recovering from a messy divorce, or an attempt to impress one's athletic son. (Which is the gay dad? Guess you'll have to watch to find out!)

We won't give too much more away, apart from saying that the trio — based off of actual people and events — really works. It's the feel good film you're waiting to see.

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Your 15 Most Common Questions About Adoption, Answered by an Expert

We asked our Instagram community for their biggest questions about adoption. Then asked Molly Rampe Thomas of Choice Network to answer them.

As part of our new "Ask an Expert" series on Instagram, our community of dads and dads-to-be sent us their questions on adoption in the United States. Molly Rampe Thomas, founder of Choice Network, answered them.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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