Gay Dad Life

Rehoboth Beach Dads Cory and Jeffrey: "Love is Love"


This guest post was written by Michael Cook and originally published on the Huffington Post as Rehoboth Beach, Delaware’s Cory Garrett Rose & Jeffrey Harrison Rose: “Love Is Love; Be An Example.”

The question “what makes a family” seems to pop up frequently on the evening news, but Cory Garrett Rose and Jeffrey Harrison Rose could be an example for many to follow. Raising daughter Beverly together in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, they are an active part of a vibrant beach town that melds both the heterosexual and LGBT parts of the community almost seamlessly.

Making Beverly their top priority, yet keeping their own distinct interests, Cory and Jeffrey sat down for a chat with me to talk about the joys of parenthood, and what it’s like to raise their daughter in Rehoboth Beach. Most of all, Cory and Jeffrey show one of the biggest keys of parenthood is, in their own words, “a happy parent is a good parent”.

Jeffrey Harrison Rose and Cory Garrett Rose with their daughter Beverly

What was it like when you and your husband first decided that you would take the plunge into parenthood? Was it a hard or a long drawn out decision?

It was more a coincidence of timing and fate, really. We went to a party, talked with a friend who revealed to us he was expecting a child via egg donation and surrogacy. His success motivated us to call his surrogacy agency, and their phone number was literally placed into our hands. It was a now-or-never kind of feeling. That time in our lives was perfect. Thirteen months after making the initial call, Beverly was born.

What is it like raising your child in an LGBT community like Rehoboth Beach? Do you think it would be difficult in a less accepting community of just different?

The acceptance in a place like Rehoboth Beach makes it much easier. We like living here because two guys raising a child together isn’t much of a novelty or oddity, as it may be in a more isolated community.

Is parenthood everything you expected or different? How so?

We anticipated parenthood to be tough at times, but it is more challenging than expected in that it’s a lot of constant effort that offers very little downtime. It continues to be a wonderful experience for us both, and we love sharing our lives with this precious child who we created, together.

How do you and your husband balance a social life with friends with the responsibilities that come with parenthood?

We’ve balanced our social lives with the responsibilities that come with parenthood by making Beverly a part of them. We take turns, compromise, and have a supportive family who love to help with Beverly when needed or not. As long as we get our gym time in, and at least one night out with friends, we’re happy! A happy parent is a good parent. You can’t be a prisoner of your child. It is important to retain part of your individuality, and frequently revisit yourself.

What are some of your favorite things about being dads?

Her innocence, and how she trusts us to protect and take care of her. The giggles, and her little voice when she says, “I love you, Daddy and Poppy!” But more so the creation of life and watching that life unfold and mature. It’s the shared experience that all parents have, you just have to go through it.

Ok now is the time to gush about your gorgeous daughter; have at it!

Everyone believes their child is special. I don’t know where to start. It’s an honor to know her, let alone be her fathers; she brings out the best in us.

What is it like to see LGBT parenthood become part of the lexicon and part of the conversation now? It is much more common and accepted than it used to be.

The lexicon is slowly changing. While much more common, it’s still awkward. Some people are still making ignorant assumptions, and ask very inappropriate questions like “How did you get a white one?” “Whose sperm did you use?” “Who plays the Mommy?” We try not to judge, but rather educate. The understanding of what a family is, and the ways a family can become is still beyond some people’s capacity for respect. For a gay couple to have a baby requires PERMISSION, takes time, thought, and money. Some people just have a one night stand, others, like us, undergo psychiatric analysis.

What does “pride” mean to you and your husband? And how do you pass that down to your daughter?

We all know what pride means. I think it’s the matter and importance of having pride rather than of how one interprets the word. For us, we’re proud to be part of a family, regardless of whether it’s same sex, opposite sex, single parent, adoption, IVF/surrogacy, whatever. Love is love; be an example.

What are your biggest hopes both for your own daughter as well as for the other LGBT parents of children?

Our biggest hope for Beverly is that she live happily, and unapologetically, having the freedom and pride to be her most true self, and that she find someone who sees beauty in all forms of love to share her life with.

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Gay Uncles

Gay Uncles are an Essential Part of This Gay Dad Family's Village

It takes a village to raise a child, and this village includes many gay uncles

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.

But as many of us know, raising a child isn't always just about the nuclear family. The African proverb "it takes a village to raise a child" is a commonly repeated phrase, and rings very true for many families. Matt and Rej are no different, and when they shared their story last month, one thing jumped out to us: the important role Andy's guncles play in her and her dads' lives.

In honor of Gay Uncles Day today, we reached out to Andy's many guncles to learn first-hand how their relationship with the family affects their lives. Here's what they had to say.

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Gay Dad Life

Need a Sitter for Your Kids? Gays With Kids Reviews UrbanSitter

Back-to-school is already here for some of us, and if you're looking for a sitter to help out with school runs, after-school pick-ups, and the occasional date night, check out our review of UrbanSitter.

Instagram @davidcblacker

We moved from New York to Boston the summer of 2017. Along with the Manhattan skyline, our beloved Broadway, and late-night cookie deliveries, we also left behind our sitters — two sisters who had become more like family.

After settling for several months into our new home and neighborhood, we realized we hadn't had a dads' night out since our move. Our kids were still too young to leave alone at night, so I began what I presumed would be the tedious task of finding a sitter.

The first thing I did was to leave a post on our local parents' Facebook group. The dad of one of our daughters' classmates told me about UrbanSitter, a website and mobile app that he'd had success using to find last-minute sitters a few times. He also mentioned that within the app, I could see see babysitters and nannies recommended by parents at our kids' school in addition to local parenting groups.

While I appreciated the tip, I let him know that I was really hoping for a direct referral. But when none others came from the — other than a couple of middle schoolers looking for their first sitting jobs — I decided to give it a try.

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Move over Modern Family, there are some new gay dads taking over the small screen! Big Bad Boo Studios is bringing their animated series The Bravest Knight to Hulu. The series is based upon a children's book called "The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived" by Daniel Errico, and it follows the life of Sir Cedric - now grown and married to Prince Andrew - as he regales their adopted daughter Nia with tales of his knighthood journey as she trains to become a knight herself.

"We are so excited about The Bravest Knight, its values and our partnership with Hulu," said Shabnam Rezaei, the director of the series and co-founder of Big Bad Boo Studios. "They understand how to push the envelope with authentic storytelling."

"I immediately fell in love with the idea of a girl wanting to work hard and make something of herself," Rezaei continued. "I also have a nephew who has two dads, so it's a very personal issue for me. I want him to have role models when he's watching TV. I want him to feel like having two dads is completely normal. That's what this show is going to do for him."

Errico's book was first realized as an animation when Hulu created a short film based upon his writing and were interested in exploring the concept of a full series. "I watched the eight minutes on Hulu and at the end the prince and the knight get married and I was in tears," says Rezaei. Rezaei then stepped in to create all new art work including new character design by Tim Linklater and backgrounds by Sarita Kolhatra. Together, they created a kickass bible and pitched the series to Hulu and were successful.

Diversity and inclusivity is celebrated throughout The Bravest Knight, reflected by its casting choices. Nia is played by Storm Reid, from "A Wrinkle in Time," and her dads Sir Cedric and Prince Andrew are voiced by T.R. Knight and Wilson Cruz respectively. The star studded cast also includes Wanda Sykes, Bobby Moynihan, RuPaul, Steven Weber, Teri Polo, AJ McLean, Jazz Jennings, Maz Jobrani and Christine Baranski as the formidable Red Dragon.

"With so many wonderful stories yet to be told, we hope that The Bravest Knight stands as an example of the undeniable strength in inclusivity, and the inherent joy in all forms of love and identity," said Errico, the author of the original book.

The first 5 episodes were released on June 21, and there are 8 more planned for release before the end of the year. Be sure to tune in!

This is the Main Title Song for Big Bad Boo's Hulu Original Series "The Bravest Knight". The song is performed by Justin Tranter and composed by Michael Plow...

Politics

Utah Court Rules Gay Couples Can't Be Excluded From Surrogacy Contracts

The Utah Supreme Court found in favor of a gay couple attempting to enter into a surrogacy contract.

DRAKE BUSATH/ UTCOURTS.GOV

Earlier this month, the Utah Supreme Court ruled that a same-sex couples can't be excluded from entering into enforceable surrogacy contracts, and sent a case concerning a gay male couple back to trial court to approve their petition for a surrogacy arrangement.

As reported in Gay City News, the case concerns Utah's 2005 law on surrogacy, which was enacted prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state. As a result, the content of the law is gendered, saying that surrogacy contracts should only be enforceable if the "intended mother" is unable to bear a child. When a gay couple approached District Judge Jeffrey C. Wilcox to enter into a surrogacy arrangement, he denied them, arguing that the state's law only concerned opposite sex couples.

"This opinion is an important contribution to the growing body of cases adopting a broad construction of the precedent created by Obergefell v. Hodges and the Supreme Court's subsequent decision in Pavan v. Smith," according to GCN. "It's also worth noting that same-sex couples in Utah now enjoy a right denied them here in New York, where compensated gestational surrogacy contracts remain illegal for all couples."

Read the full article here.

Personal Essays by Gay Dads

Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Working:​ One Father's Plea for Gun Reform

One gay dad's plea to our leaders to enact sensible gun control

My articles on GaysWithKids aspire to be lighthearted, helpful and humorous. This one won't be any of those things. Because I'm feeling heavyhearted, helpless and sad. Last week I woke up to news of yet another mass shooting. This time at a family-friendly Garlic Festival in northern California. I don't know if it's because this one hit so close to home, or if it's because the headline included a picture of the innocent 6-year old who was among those killed, but I am overcome with emotion. But mostly I am angry. And I don't know what to do with my anger.

Then, just a few days later came two additional horrific mass shootings that stole the lives of at least 32 more innocent people, many of them children. And then there's the "everyday" gun violence that plagues American cities like Chicago, where guns injured another 46 people this past weekend alone… creating so much turmoil, a hospital had to briefly stop taking patients.

How does one verbalize the collective sadness felt around the world? One can't. And that's why I am asking everyone reading this article to commit to getting involved in some way, to help end this epidemic once and for all. Even though the solution is so obvious, we can't allow ourselves to become numb to mass shootings. Because becoming numb isn't going to save anyone.

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Politics

Gay Russian Dads Forced to Flee Moscow

Fearing the Russian government might take their adopted kids into custody because of their sexual orientation, Andrei Vaganov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev fled Moscow

A married couple in Russia, with two adopted children, were just forced the flee their home in Moscow for fear that the authorities would take their children away, according to German news site Deutsche Welle.

Trouble started last month after investigators in Russia opened a criminal inquiry into the proceedings that had allowed the gay couple, Andrei Vaganov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev, to legally adopt the two boys —adoption by LGBTQ people in Russia has typically not been recognized. The government became aware of the adoption proceedings after the gay couple brought their 12-year-old son to the hospital, who was complaining of a stomachache. The boy was fine, but after he mentioned offhand that he was adopted and lived with two fathers, the doctor called the police.

Andrei and Yevgeny granted an interview with Deutsche Welle after escaping Moscow, but on the advice of their lawyers have yet to disclose where they are currently located. Here is a quick recap of that conversation:

"In connection with the 'propaganda of non-traditional values,' the state representatives are accused of having neglected their duty of supervision," Andrei said, when asked to explain on what basis the Russian government might take his children into custody. "This means that lesbian couples could even have their biological children taken away because, through their lifestyle choices, they propagate "certain values."

Yevgeny also explained the events that led to the couple's harrowing escape "I was alone in Moscow at that time. A week after Andrei and the children had left the country, there was a knock on my door, but nobody called 'police, open up.' After half an hour the violent knocking stopped. My parents' home was searched. They were looking for the children and our Danish marriage certificate because we got married in Denmark in 2016. My friends then got me out of the country."

Read the full interview here.

Gay Dad Family Stories

This Couple is Using 'Wheel of Fortune' Winnings to Help Fund Their Adoption

Need to raise money for your adoption fund? Why not try your luck on Wheel of Fortune like these guys!

Doug and Nick Roberts connected three and a half years ago via a dating app, and on their first date, the two immediately felt a connection. Doug, a psychologist, and Nick, a neuroscientist, were married 18 months later. Today the couple live in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and they're ready to start their next exciting adventure together: fatherhood.

The husbands would like to have children, and Nick has always wanted to adopt. "We considered surrogacy, and may consider it in the future as we expand our family," said Doug, "but right now, it is cost-prohibitive. Adoption was easily the right choice for us as we begin to grow our family.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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