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

Gay Dad Creates a New Kind of LGBT Children's Book

Titled, "What Does a Princess Really Look Like?" the book differentiates itself from most other LGBT picture books. Namely, the story doesn't explain, clarify or justify its gay characters (who are dads). The characters are just a natural part of the story - the new normal.

Gay dad Mark Loewen's children's book debut made a splash in the children's LGBT literature pool this year.

Titled, "What Does a Princess Really Look Like?" the book differentiates itself from most other LGBT picture books. Namely, the story doesn't explain, clarify or justify its gay characters (who are dads). The characters are just a natural part of the story - the new normal.

"What Does a Princess Really Look Like?" is the story of Chloe, a girl who loves princesses. As she sets out to craft an imaginary princess out of paper, yarn, and colored pencils, she becomes disillusioned with the importance of beauty. Chloe realizes that the power of a princess is not in how she looks to others, but in the change she can affect around her. More than looks, her princess values knowledge, bravery, strength, assertiveness, and kindness.

"In a way, Chloe's experience is the LGBT experience," explains Loewen, "but I didn't realize this until after I finished the book. I grew up very concerned about how others saw me. Then I found my own happiness when I learned to look past other's opinions of me, and appreciate who and how I was."

Another key element of the message in this book comes at the end of the story. Chloe's dads help her realize what a princess is not: perfect. "Being OK with being imperfect has been one the most freeing lessons I've learned. And I want my daughter to get this message early on. We should aim to be the best we can, but if we aim to be perfect, we'll surely fail."

Loewen's book tour started in Provincetown, MA, during Family Week, a weeklong gathering of LGBT families, organized by Family Equality Council and Colage. "I can't describe what it feels like when I read my book to children who have LGBT parents, and when I turn to the page that shows Chloe dancing with her two dads. Their eyes sparkle with excitement as they see themselves in the story," Loewen describes.

Loewen's book was named one of 20 LGBT Books for Preschoolers to High School Kids in a post by the parenting site scareymommy.com. It was included in the online review magazine, Children's Bookwatch. Midwest Book Review described the book as, "A unique, entertaining, and iconoclastic picture story from beginning to end."

Bestselling author Rachel Simmons (The Curse of the Good Girl) praised "What Does a Princess Really Look Like?" for "helping girls expand their definition of what a princess can truly be." Katherine Wintsch, founder of The Mom Complex, endorsed the book for delivering "the right message at the right time for the next generation of brave young women." The librarian ran website, www.bendybookworm.com, described the book as "the beginning of a new Manifesto of Beauty for young girls."

Finally, www.mombian.com, a website for lesbian mothers, speaks to the LGBT aspect of Loewen's book. "I love that this is an LGBTQ-inclusive children's book with a message, but that the message isn't about LGBTQ identity. Not that that's not an important topic—but we LGBTQ parents and our children have multifaceted identities, and sometimes we want books that speak to other parts of us, while still showing families that look like ours."

Giving visibility to families with two dads is also Loewen's goal, and why he shares many of his family's experiences on Instagram and Facebook.

For more information about Mark Loewen and his upcoming projects visit his website. Mark is also the founder of www.bravelikeagirl.com, a website that helps parents who are raising girls.

"What Does a Princess Really Look Like?" is available on Amazon, or anywhere books are sold.

Expert Advice

How to Get Your Little Ones to Eat (and Enjoy!) Their Vegetables

Meet David and Danny fathers and founders of Kekoa Foods sharing some tips on how to keep your little ones eating their healthy vegetables during the hecticness of the holidays.


Watch:

Tip Number 1 – Try to prepare your own meals with fresh ingredients. Doing so gives you better control over the amount of sugar, sodium and cholesterol you and your family consume.

Tip Number 2 – Experiment in your kitchen with herbs and spices you haven't used before. Some items we've added in recent years include cumin, tarragon, curry, turmeric and ginger. Start slowly, though, you can always add more next time.

Tip Number 3 – Use veggies instead of pasta to get more veggies in your diet. We like spaghetti squash, zucchini and beets for this purpose and toss them with our favorite sauce.

Tip Number 4 – Instead of adding cream to veggie dishes to get your kids to eat them, sprinkle them with just a touch of parmesan cheese and add fresh lemon juice. It enhances flavor without adding a significant amount of cholesterol or fat.

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A 'Men Having Babies' Conference Started These Happy New Dads on Their Path to Parenthood

In the Bay Area? Sign up now for the next Men Having Babies Conference taking place this January 12-13!

Last year, after 12 years together, Jimmy Nguyen and Michael Duque were finally ready to become dads. And so in 2017 they began their journey to fatherhood. Little did they know how quickly that would become a reality. What began with a serendipitous sighting of an ad for an upcoming Men Having Babies conference resulted in the joyous birth of their son in October 2018. Here's their story.

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Check Out this Amazing Xmas Tree Cake Recipe By the Dad Behind "Preppy Kitchen"

We're thrilled to be working with John Kanell, the gay dad behind the popular "Preppy Kitchen" account, to bring you some amazing holiday recipes! First up: learn how to "paint with buttercream" in this incredible Christmas Tree Cake recipe

My husband and I love entertaining during the holidays, and a great cake is often the focal point for our gatherings. For this Christmas Tree Cake, I made a spicy gingerbread batter for the layers and piped a two-tone swirl of Italian meringue buttercream in between each layer. The red batch is spiced with cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, and cloves, while the white part is a mellow vanilla flavor. For those who don't know, Italian meringue buttercream is creamy, less sweet than your average frosting and PERFECT for cake decorating as it's quite smooth. I "painted" the tree on with a pallet knife and dusted it with confectioner's sugar for a snowy effect. My twin boys were mesmerized by the process as they watched from their highchairs. Maybe next year they'll be able to help out!


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Understanding the Legal Process of Gay Surrogacy

Next up on the Daddy Squared podcast! Yan and Alex talk with a fertility lawyer, Richard Vaughn, about the legal elements of the IVF process

When thinking about having kids via surrogacy, the legal part is just as important as the IVF process itself. Making sure that the agreements with the surrogate and the egg donor are set up properly is a solid base for the whole process itself. And then there are issues like legal guardianship and birth certificates that are also crucial for finishing the process with babies that are completely, legally yours. We turned to Fertility Lawyer and gay dad Richard Vaughn of International Fertility Law Group, to set the record straight about the legal steps that must be taken when having babies through IVF.

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Rebel Dad: 1st Gay Canadian to Adopt Internationally Writes New Memoir

David McKinstry set a legal precedent in 1997. A few years later, with his second husband, Michael, he did so again when they became the first gay Canadian couple to co-adopt children.

Excerpt #1 – From Chapter 1: The Search (1793 Words)

As the first openly gay Canadian man approved to adopt internationally, David McKinstry set a legal precedent in 1997. A few years later, with his second husband, Michael, he did so again when they became the first gay Canadian couple to co-adopt children.

The following is an excerpt from the first chapter of his new book Rebel Dad: Triumphing Over Bureaucracy to Adopt to Orphans Born Worlds Apart. Here, it's 1998 and David finds himself in India. While in India, David visits several orphanages with his guide, Vinod, on his quest to adopt. With Indian adoption officials being extremely homophobic at the time, David could not reveal that he was a gay man.

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Are You a Bisexual Dad? Gays With Kids Wants to Tell Your Story!

After a recent reader pointed out our lack of stories featuring bi men, we're reaching out to try to increase exposure for the bi dad community!

Recently, 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 change that. So if you are a bi man who is a father (or wants to become a father) and in a relationship with a man OR woman (or are single!) we want to hear from you! 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!

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