Gay Dad Life

In Risqué Professions, Yet Dreaming About Fatherhood

It’s hardly news anymore to read about gay men having children, but when was the last time you read about gay men having children who live what might be considered unconventional careers? While "Playboy" centerfolds and "Sports Illustrated" models have kids without causing a commotion, what about guys who work in similar fields? Or, more provocatively, the escort business? Are these potential gay dads under the radar or uninterested in having children?


According to porn mogul Michael Lucas, it’s neither. Lucas, 42, who runs Lucas Entertainment, one of the most successful gay adult-film sites in the world, says he’s always wanted and planned to have children, but the timing was never right. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

“Gay men have time to think,” says Lucas, who is in the planning stages of having a child with his partner. “It doesn’t just take a c*m shot.” Lucas thinks that gay people often have an advantage in raising kids because they are not doing it spur of the moment.

“That’s why I think children in gay families are less insecure and healthier, emotionally,” he says. “People do it right, they read a lot about it. You don’t do it when you’re eighteen.”

Like everyone else, he does worry about that time clock. “I want to be there for my kid when I’m not old. So I should do it soon.”

Michael Lucas – Photo courtesy of Michael Lucas

Admittedly, Lucas is in a sound position financially to have a family, no matter what anyone thinks of his choice. As for other potential obstacles—his partner is HIV positive, Lucas himself has sex with men on film—he brushes them aside like a wayward fly.

“You can be positive these days and have kids,” says Lucas, who plans on having a surrogate birth. “They can clean the sperm.”

He’s also not worried about dirty looks or nasty comments or bigoted remarks.

“I never thought about doing something I would never do,” says Lucas on hitting parts of the country that aren’t particularly gay friendly. “I would never go to Texas, so I never thought about that. I care about myself and what actually has to do with me. I can protect my child from any prejudice better than someone else.”

For Colby Melvin, fitness model, calendar boy, and activist-in-underwear, having children is not on next year’s calendar, but the future is still way off. “I was going to say I don’t want kids, but then again, five or so years ago I thought I liked girls,” he says.

What the 26-year-old does want is to make clear is that sex and the display of the male body is not something his kids should ever be ashamed of.

“I grew up constantly tormented and teased about my height [he’s 5 feet 7], about the way I acted, etc.,” says Melvin. “It wasn’t until I was able to take a picture in my underwear that I discovered a new sense of self-confidence that led to my success in all other areas of life. I can guarantee that if I had a kid, he or she would be damn proud of themselves.”

Colby Melvin – Photo courtesy of Shaun Vadella

Melvin is also not concerned about any unhealthy messages he might be giving a child. Just the opposite.

“I’m not ashamed and I feel like passing on the mentality that you should always be yourself,” he says. “Obviously, some of my stuff is not meant for under eighteen, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. I think Americans, especially, are afraid of sexuality.

“We all have bodies and pretending sex does not exist or making it seem taboo is how we get so many body-image disorders. Make fun of me all you want, but this is the real me, and it isn’t changing. Would that be so bad to teach my child?”

On the farther end of the spectrum is Tom, a 39-year-old gay escort in New York City who has advertised on RentBoy.com for seven years, who has a partner who is also an escort, and who would very much love to have a child.

“It’s out of the question,” he tells me. “As much as gay rights have advanced, men who sell their bodies are not considered good parents. How would I even begin to explain my choice to friends and family?”

Tom says that he and his partner have made enough money to change professions, but simply love their jobs. “I love sex, I have a very lucrative business, and I am certain I would be a great father. I don’t know how or when I would explain to him what I did for a living, but I would let him know the human body and sex are things that should make us feel proud.”

“I’d say, as a whole, people are very deviant,” adds Melvin, on our somewhat hypocritical views on sex. “Porn stars and prostitutes (even me) just aren’t afraid to show it. In my experience, the ‘normal’ working gays typically exhibit a lot more shameful behavior.”

With regard to a family, he adds, “If you try and pretend it doesn’t exist, your kids are f*cked.”

Neither Lucas nor Melvin would allow their careers to encroach on their children, even if they're quick to point out that kids are going to be curious about sex no matter what business you choose.

“Children will see porn regardless of what industry you’re working in,” says Lucas, who adds that he felt ashamed of his parents when he found adult materials in their home as a teen. “I don’t have porn materials in my house, and maybe in my world the child will be exposed to it later on.”

“I don’t think my kids should know the details of my sex life,” says Melvin. “Just like my mother shouldn’t know when I stick it in a guy’s butt.”

He’s quick to point out, however, that secrecy and a private life are two different things.

“[Kids] will find out on their own. Why not be their guide and be the support, so they are getting the information from you? I think they’d be less likely to rebel and engage in risky behavior.”

Adds Tom, “My first order of business as a dad would be helping my child understand the basics of sex. To be proud of it, and to ask questions and never feel ashamed. Trust me, on a daily basis I see how sexual confusion causes men to do amazingly crazy things. In my private life, I’m extremely vanilla.”

Whatever business you’re in, raising children is tough, and gay men are learning the ropes just like everyone else. Jinkx Monsoon, RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 5 winner and all around sex goddess, sums it up best.

“I plan on having kids one day, and I know that’s a tall order with my career. But Gypsy Rose Lee and Joan Crawford did it. Why shouldn’t I?”

Jinkx Monsoon – Photo courtesy of Jose A Guzman Colon

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Gay Dad Life

There's No Bunny Like You: Gay Dads Do Easter and Celebrate Passover

Easter and spring time are here with their pastel palettes, giant bunnies, and eggs for days. And yesterday was Passover, so happy Pesach!

Here's some of our favorites photos from Easter and Passover - thanks for sharing them with us. We hope you had an egg-tra special Easter and Passover, folks!

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Gay Dad Life

Inside the Weird World of Expectations for Gay Dads

At social gatherings with other parents, Grant Minkhorst finds he's often the only father in the room

In my two months as a parent, I've had the pleasure of meeting a lot of new parents. As a gay dad, I am the one signing up for little activity groups and social gatherings with other new parents. I am often the only father in the room. I find myself trying to "fit in" by discussing all of the things that new moms talk about: nap schedules, feeding, baby gear and "that the sidewalks are too narrow!" But there are some topics of conversation to which I cannot contribute (e.g., breast feeding). As a social person, this can leave me feeling a little isolated, almost as if I exist just outside the real parenting bubble. Because being a mom is different.

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Gay Dad Life

In the U.K.? Join These Dads at Events Supporting LGBTQ Parents!

The dads behind the blog TwoDads.U.K are ramping up their support of other LGBTQ parents. Check out these events they're a part of!

What a couple of years it's been for us! When our daughter Talulah was born via UK surrogacy back in October 2016, we decided to take to Instagram and Facebook to document the parental highs and lows. Little did we expect for it to be where it is now. We always had the ambition to help other intended fathers understand more about surrogacy, and we also had the added driver to do our best to influence others – help open some of the closed minds with regards to same-sex parenting.

Here we are now, pregnant again with our son which we revealed Live on Facebook! We're due in August, we're now writing several blogs, social media influencers and launching a new business focusing on our main mission to support others and being advocates for UK surrogacy. It's no wonder we're shattered!

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Change the World

Three Eagles, Two Male one Female, Form Nontraditional Family

Three bald eagles in the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge are sharing a nest and incubating eggs together

According to the Advocate, three bald eagles — two male and one female — are sharing a nest and incubating eggs together.

"Families come in all shapes and sizes, and that's true for wildlife too!" wrote the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services on Facebook. "Meet Valor I, Valor II and Starr, a breeding trio of bald eagles that live along the Mississippi River in Illinois. For several years, fans from all over the world have been watching this nontraditional family through a webcam as the eagles deal with the trials and tribulations of parenting."

The thruple came to be in unique way. "The nest was originally inhabited by Valor I and another female eagle named Hope," wrote the Advocate. "Initially, Valor I had poor parenting skills — he didn't hunt or guard the nest while Hope was away. Valor II entered the nest in 2013 to pick up the slack — and taught Valor I some parenting skills in the process. Hope left the nest in March 2017 after she was injured by other birds. But instead of going off to find new mates, the male eagles decided to stick together until Starr joined their nest in September 2017."

Though rare, this isn't the first time that a trio of eagles have come to share nests in this way. According to USA Today, other trruples were have been spotted in Alaska in 1977, in Minnesota in 1983 and in California in 1992.

Check out this family below!


Trio Eagle Cam Stewards of the Upper Mississippi River Refuge Live Stream www.youtube.com

Change the World

These Guys Are Proof: Bisexual Dads Exist!

Far more LGBTQ parents fall into the "B" category than any other. Here are three of their inspiring stories.

A couple months ago, Gays With Kids received the following message via one of our social media channels:

"Hey guys, love what you do. But where are your stories about bi men who are dads? Do they not exist? I get the sense from your page that most queer dads identify as gay. I identify as bi (or pansexual) and want to become a dad one day, but just never see my story represented. Are they just not out there?"We can say with resounding certainly that YES bisexual dads absolutely exist. In fact, of all the letters in our acronym, far more LGBTQ parents fall into the "b" category than any other.

But our reader is certainly right in one respect--we don't hear the stories of bisexual/pansexual dads told nearly often enough. While we occasionally find stories to tell about bi dads, like this great one from earlier this year from a dad who just came out, we otherwise aren't often finding stories of bi dads nearly as easy as we do gay dads. We're sure this is due to any number of reasons--societal pressure to stay closeted from both the straight and LGBTQ communities along with erasure of bisexuality both come to mind.

But it's also because we haven't done the best job reaching out specifically to the bi dad community! We hope to start changing that, starting by bringing you the stories of three bid dads in our community.

(Are you a bi dad? Click here so we can help tell your story and increase exposure for the bi dad community, or drop us a line at dads@gayswithkids.com!)

James Shoemaker, bisexual dad of three, in Alton Illinois

James Shoemaker, who is 65-years-old and lives in Alton, Illinois, says he's known he was bisexual since the age of five. Still he lived what he called a "happily socially heterosexual" life throughout his adolescence, until he had his first same-sex experience in college at the age of 18-years-old.

In his 20s, he began his first same-sex relationship with a man, which lasted about five years. But soon the conversation turned towards children. James wanted his own biological children, something that would have been difficult, particularly at the time, to achieve. He and his boyfriends split, and soon after James met the woman who would become his wife. Since he had previously been in a relationship with a man, and his friends and family were aware of his sexuality, there was no hiding his bisexuality from his wife. There was no hiding my bisexuality from her

"We were both in our 30's, and both wanted kids," James said. "Wo were both kind of desperate to find a partner and she expressed that."

He and his wife proceeded to have three daughters together and lived what he called a fairly "conventional" life. "There was so much societal support [for raising a family] within conventional marriage," he said. "This was new to me, since I came out at age 17, and was used to being "different".

Being in a relationship with a woman, James said, alienated him from much of the LGBTQ activism that began to take hold in the 1980s and 1990s. "I felt I could not act as a representative for gay rights while married to a woman and raising kids with her," he said.

When his youngest daughter turned 18, he and his wife split and, and James began, once again, to date other men. Eventually, he met Paul Mutphy, who he has been dating for four years. Since reentering the world dating another man, he's had to confront, at times, people's misconceptions about his bisexuality. "It's not just gay guys looking for more social acceptance," James said, noting that "Bi rights" has not really caught the public's attention in the same way as "gay rights".

Maxwell Hosford, bi trans dad of one, in Yakima Washington


Maxwell Hosford, who lives in Yakima, Washington, came out as bisexual when he was 13-years-old. "I was still questioning myself," he said "and the term bisexual seemed to fit me."

A year later, when he was 14, Maxwell also came out as trans. "I had heard about Chaz Bono on the radio one morning before school and it got me thinking," he said. "I realized that I wasn't the only one who felt that way and that there was a term for how I've felt."

Though people often conflate sexual orientation and gender identity, Maxwell stressed that he sees his identity as trans and bisexual as perfectly natural. "I see them interacting in a way of fluidity," he said. "Not straight but not gay. Just a feeling of love."

Maxwell described his path to parenthood as a bit of an accident. "I was on testosterone for two years but had a four-week break because i was switching doctors," he said. During that break, Maxwell ended up getting pregnant, and wasn't aware of the pregnancy for several months after. "I just thought my body was just being weird from starting T again," he said. Once he took the test and saw the two pink lines, though he knew his life was about to change forever. He went to Planned Parenthood the very next day.

Being pregnant while trans, Maxwell said, was an incredible experience. "I was comfortable enough with my gender identity that I didn't have very much dysphoria," he said, though he noted he did face a lot of misgendering from strangers. "But I understood that because I did have a big ole pregnant belly," he said. He was grateful for his medical team who all referred to him according to the correct pronouns.

Soon after, his son Harrison was born. As soon as he held him in his arms, Maxwell said the entire process was worth it. "All the misgendering, all the questions and people misunderstanding doesn't matter once you have that baby in your arms nothing matters but that little bundle of joy."

Three years ago, Maxwell met his current fiancé, Chase Heiserman, via a gay dating app, and the three now live together as a family. He says he couldn't be happier, but he does face some difficulty as a bi trans man within his broader community. "In some peoples eyes my fiancé and I are a straight couple because I'm trans and he's cisgender," he said. Some of the difficulty has even stemmed from other trans men. "I've had some bad comments from other transmen regarding my pregnancy and how it doesn't make me trans," he said, noting he continues to fight the perception that he is not "trans enough" because he chose to carry his own baby.

Through it all, though, Maxwell says becoming a father has been the biggest blessing in his life. "Being able to carry my baby and bond through those nine months was amazing," he said. "I'm breastfeeding, which is hard as I'm trans, and so I'm self conscious of my large breasts now but it's such a bonding experience that it doesn't matter when I see the look of love and the comfort he gets from it."

For other gay, bi and trans men considering fatherhood, Maxwell has this simple piece of advice: "Go for it."

Michael MacDonald, bi dad of two, in Monterery California 

Michael MacDonald, who is 28-years-old and living in Monterey California, says he came out as bisexual over two years ago. He has two daughters, who are four and two-and-a-half years old, that were born while he was married to his ex-wife. "My children are amazing," he said. "They have been so incredibly strong and brave having mom in one house and dad in another."

Both children were fairly young when Michael and his ex separated, so "they didn't really break a deeply ingrained idea of what a family unit is like. They have always just sort of known that mom and dad don't live together."

Co-parenting isn't always easy, Michael said, noting it's "one of the hardest things in the world." He and his ex overcome any potential difficulty, though, by always putting the children first. "As long as they are happy, healthy and loved, that is all that matters," he said. "I'm so fortunate to have such an incredible/pain in the butt partner to help me raise these amazing little girls."

Though the separation was hard on all of them, Michael said it's also been an amazing experience watching his children's resiliency. "I am so proud of the beautiful little people they are," he said. "Their adaptability, courage and love is something really spectacular."

Since the separation, Michael hasn't been in a serious relationship, but he has dated both men and women, something he says has been "absolutely challenging. Not only does he need to overcome all the typical challenges of a newly divorced parent ("Do they like kids? Would they be a good stepparent?") but also the added stresses of being bisexual. "It can sometimes just be a bit too much for some women to handle," he said.

He has been intentional about making sure his children have known, from a young age, that "daddy likes girls and boys," he said. "They have grown up seeing me interact with people I've dated in a romantic way, like hand holding, abd expressing affection, so I think as they get older it's not something that will ever really seem foreign or different to them to see me with a man or woman," he said.

In his dates with other men, Michael says most guys tend to be surprised to learn that he has biological children. "But once I explain that I am bisexual, it's usually much more easily understood," he said. He is more irritated, though, when people question or outright refuse to recognize his bisexuality. "While I understand and have witnessed many guys who use bisexuality as a "stepping stone" of sorts when coming out," he said, it does not mean that "bisexuality is not real or valid."

As a bisexual dad, he also says he can feel isolated at times within the broader parenting community. "It can be a little intimidating feeling like you don't really belong to one side or another," he said. "There's this huge network of gay parents, and, of course straight parents. Being sort of in the middle can sometimes create a feeling of isolation"

The biggest misconception about bisexual dads who have split with their wives, he said, is that sexual orientation isn't always the reason for the separation. "When my ex wife and I separated, while my bisexuality did play a small part in it, it was not the reason we separated," he said. He added that while life might not be perfect, it's good. "My children are happy, healthy, and loved," he said. "That's really what matters the most."

Change the World

Mayor Pete Hopes His (Future) Kids Are "Puzzled" That Coming Out Was Ever Newsworthy

Mayor Pete and husband Chasten don't have any kids yet, but have talked openly and often about their hopes to be dads one day

Pete Buttigieg, who is making waves in the political world by competing to be the first openly gay and (at 37 years old) first Millennial President of the United States, currently doesn't have any children with husband Chasten. But it's clear from his public comments and writings that he and Chasten hope to become dads one day.

And when that day comes, Buttigieg says he hopes his kids will find it puzzling that coming out as gay was ever a newsworthy event. Back in 2015, well before he began his campaign for president, Buttigieg wrote an essay in the South Bend Tribune that said the following:

"Like most people, I would like to get married one day and eventually raise a family. I hope that when my children are old enough to understand politics, they will be puzzled that someone like me revealing he is gay was ever considered to be newsworthy. By then, all the relevant laws and court decisions will be seen as steps along the path to equality. But the true compass that will have guided us there will be the basic regard and concern that we have for one another as fellow human beings — based not on categories of politics, orientation, background, status or creed, but on our shared knowledge that the greatest thing any of us has to offer is love."

In the meantime, Pete and Chasten are kept plenty busy with their two fur babies, Truman and Buddy.


Personal Essays by Gay Dads

An All-Boys School: One Gay Dad's  Short-Lived Experience in the Traditional Environment

"The most dangerous phrase in the language is 'we have always done it this way.'" —Rear Admiral Grace Hopper

The process of entrance to Manhattan's elite private schools can be similar or even more rigorous than college admissions. And you can take that and multiply it tenfold when you're dealing with an all-boys environment. I know this from experience, as my partner Andy and I have spent the last year and a half dealing with one such establishment, that has been in existence for "136 years," and touts the cliché slogan of "educating boys to become scholars and gentlemen."

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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