Gay Dad Family Stories

These Workout Buddies Are Tackling Their Toughest Routine Yet: Fatherhood

Woodie was already well on his way to becoming a father by the time things turned romantic with his workout buddy, Sean

Like a lot of gay men, Sean and Woodie met at the gym. "Woodie was the class clown," said Sean, "and I was more of a wall flower, focusing on working out." Woodie approached Sean and they became workout partners. Woodie made Sean laugh like never before and they became fast friends. They remained friends for a few years before realizing they both had feelings for one another. If you ask Woodie, he'll tell you Sean asked him out, but if you talk to Sean, he swears it was the other way around.


The "honeymoon" phase of their relationship wasn't a typical love bubble like it can be for a lot of couples. Very early on, Woodie made it clear that he wanted kids, and if Sean wasn't cool with that it was already a bit too late: Woodie was already partway through his journey. Earlier that year, he made the decision to conceive a child via surrogacy, and his surrogate had just become pregnant with his baby boy. He'd always wanted to be a dad and had made the brave decision to go it alone rather than wait for the right partner.

Sean, fortunately, was on board. "I admired that so much," said Sean. "Over the course of more dates, we had very deep and honest conversations about what we wanted in life, our plans for the future and what we valued in a partner." It didn't take long for the two to realize that they were the perfect match.

Woodie holding Max, and Sean

On February 19, 2017, Max was born in Santa Barbara. Both dads' lives changed forever.

Despite the initial euphoria of fatherhood, the couple had to learn how to carefully navigate through their emotions as first-time parents as well as with each other as new partners. "The first few months of your child's life are riddled with anxiety: are they breathing? Are they eating enough? Am I doing everything correctly?" said Woodie. "Answering those questions is interesting when you're also asking yourself those same questions about your partner: am I giving them enough room to breathe? Are we satisfying each other properly? Am I being a good partner?"

But overall, life just got better. It finally all made sense. "I now truly know what it means to be in love, in more ways than one," said Sean. Both Woodie and Sean put Max's needs before their own needs, at all costs. "I also understand the profound appreciation of having a partner to share in the responsibility, anxiety and beauty of that love for a child," added Woodie.

Sean does admit to some initial anxiety in the beginning of this adventure. Woodie had already made a monumentally huge life decision and it was up to Sean to decide if he was in for the family ride or not. But that initial doubt was natural and quickly dissipated when Max was born and Sean fell quite naturally into a co-parenting role. And they're happy to report that they've only ever received an outpouring of support from friends, family and even strangers.

The dads are currently in the midst of uprooting their lives and relocating to Denver, Colorado. They're also beginning their second surrogacy journey for baby number two.

"Don't wait," says Sean. "Do it as soon as you're able," he said, talking to those out there considering fatherhood. "Woodie always tells me that he wishes he didn't wait as long as he did."

"Do it. Become dads!" added Woodie. "We as gay men have lived long enough in fear and as "others," that history and those experiences have left us with so much love to give. And children deserve nothing than to experience love and compassion."

You heard it here, folks. What are you waiting for?

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Gay Dad Family Stories

One Single Gay Dad's Trailblazing Path to Parenthood Via Surrogacy

20 years ago, Gene became the first single gay man to work with Circle Surrogacy in order to become a dad — trailblazing a path for many others since.

This article is part of our family feature series with Circle Surrogacy, a surrogacy agency that has been helping LGBTQ+ singles and couples realize their dream of parenthood for the past 20 years.

"I think I was pretty naïve, I guess," chuckled Gene, one of the first single gay dads to work with Circle Surrogacy over 19 years ago. "I just had made a decision and went out and did it, and wasn't really thinking about how difficult it might be or what other people thought, being first at doing something."

So how did Gene hear about surrogacy as an option for single gay men? Well, it began with Gene flipping through a bar magazine. He recalls seeing an ad about a woman providing a service to connect gay men with lesbians in platonic co-parenting relationships. While he started down that path, working with the founder, Jennifer, he remembers thinking, "What if I meet someone? What if I want to move? It would create all these complications."

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Gay Dad Family Stories

David and Ben Met on the Dance Floor — and Are Now Grooving Their Way Through Fatherhood

David and Ben, who became fathers with the help of Northwest Surrogacy Center, live in Melbourne with their daughter, Maia.

In 2003, while both studying at Reading University in the UK, Ben Suter and David Cocks met after locking eyes on the dance floor and then being introduced by a mutual friend. Ben, a meteorologist and Operations Manager, and David, an Assistant Principal, have been together ever since. They moved to Australia together in 2010, seeking a different life, and an overall better work-life balance. The chose Cairns in Queensland as their new home, between the Great Barrier Reef and the tropical rainforest, "taking life a bit easier," said David. The couple were also married in June 2016, back home in England.

While David always wanted kids, Ben took a little convincing. So they started their parenting journey with a dog, Titan, who quickly became like their first born. From there, Ben came around rather quickly.

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Change the World

A Gay Fertility Doctor Opens Up About His Own Path to Parenthood

Parenthood is the "one and only job" held by the majority of the population, wrote gay fertility doctor Mark Leondires in a recent op-ed for The Advocate

Dr. Mark Leondires, founder of the fertility clinic RMA of Connecticut, has helped thousands of LGBTQ people become parents over the years. But in a recent op-ed for The Advocate, he discussed his own path to parenthood as a gay man, and some of the lessons he's learned along the way.

"Similar to most gay men I struggled with the coming out process," Dr. Leondires wrote. "I strongly desired to be a parent. And as a fertility doctor I knew this was possible. What was enlightening was after we had our first child is that in the eyes of my community, I went from being a gay man or gay professional to being a parent just like most of my straight friends."

Dr. Leondires goes on to say his reasons for opening up about his parenting journey is to offer some perspective LGBTQ people who are considering parenthood. "Once you have a family you will have this common bond with the vast majority of our population and something they can relate to — having children," he wrote. "You are no longer someone living this "special" lifestyle, you are a parent on a shared journey."

Being a parent is the "one and only job" held by the majority of the population, he continued. "It is also the only job you can't be fired from."

Understanding this commonality helped Dr. Leondires in his coming out process, he said. "I had to be proud of my family because I want them to be proud of our family," he wrote. "It wasn't about me anymore. The reality is that 5-7% of patients identify as LGBTQ+, and there may be a greater likelihood that your child might be LGBTQ+ because you are. Therefore, you need to be proud of who you are and who your family is, establish and maintain this foundation unconditionally."

Read Dr. Leondires entire essay here.

Gay Dad Life

Karamo Brown Co-Writes Children's Book with Son, Jason

The 'Queer Eye' star and his son named the story on a family mantra: You are Perfectly Designed

When his sons, Jason and Chris, were young, "Queer Eye" Star Karamo Brown repeated the same saying to them: "You are perfectly designed."

That mantra is now a Children's Book, cowritten by Karamo and his 22-year-old son, Jason, who used to come how and "say things like, 'I don't want to be me, I wish I was someone else, I wish I had a different life." As a parent, that "broke my heart," Karamo told Yahoo! Lifestyle. "I would say to him, 'You are blessed and you are perfect just the way you are,' as a reminder that you have been given so much and you should be appreciative and know that you're enough — I know that the world will try to tear you down, but if you can say to yourself, 'I am perfectly designed,' maybe it can quiet out some of those negative messages."

The illustrations, by Anoosha Syed, also make a point of displaying families of a variety of races and sexual orientations throughout the book.

Read more about Karamo's fascinating path to becoming a gay dad here, and then check out the video below that delves deeper into the inspiration behind "You Are Perfectly Designed," available on Amazon.



Change the World

"Dadvocates" Gather in D.C. to Demand Paid Family Leave for ALL Parents

"Dadvocate" and new gay dad Rudy Segovia joined others in D.C. recently to educate lawmakers on the need for paid family leave for ALL parents

On Tuesday October 22, Dove Men+Care and PL+US (Paid Leave for the United States) led the Dads' Day of Action on Capitol Hill. A group of over 40 dads and "dadvocates" from across the states lobbied key member of Congress on the issue of paid paternity leave for *ALL* dads. They shared stories of their struggles to take time off when welcoming new family members and the challenges dads face with no paid paternity leave.

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Gay Dad Photo Essays

Falling for Fall: 33 Photos of Gay Dads and Kids at the Pumpkin Patch

Oh my gourd, it's fall! To celebrate, we rounded up 33 pics (and whole lot of pun-kins) in our annual fall photo essay!

Don your checked shirt, grab them apples, and shine those smiles while perched on pumpkins — it's the annual fall family photo op! A trip to the pumpkin patch and / or apple orchard is a staple family fall outing, and we're here for it. 🎃🍎🍂👨👨👧👦

Thanks to these dads who shared their pics with us! Share your own to dads@gayswithkids.com and we'll add them to this post!

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Personal Essays by Gay Dads

Single Gay Dad and the City

When Kyle decided to take his four kids, ages 6-11, to New York City on vacation, his friends thought he was crazy.

"You're crazy, Kyle."

"You can't be serious? A single dad taking four kids to the Big Apple? Think again."

"That's bold. There's no way I'd do that."

Those were a few of the responses I heard from my friends as I told them I was thinking of booking a trip to New York City with four kids, ages 11-6. My children's fall vacation from school was approaching and I wanted to get out of the house and explore. Was the Big Apple too much of an adventure?

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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