Gay Dad Life

Stackables: The Toy Your Baby Needs

At first, Gabe just wanted to flip them around the living room floor with his right hand. Then he started to pick them up. And then came the banging, the endless, eardrum-shattering, breath-shortening, stomach-churning banging. And now, I’m sitting on my couch watching my 11-month old son grab one, crawl across the room clutching it, and deposit it on the shelf of a Fisher-Price kitchen oven.

I’m talking about this, the Green Toys Stacker tower. When Gabe was three months old, we would set it up for him, standing perfectly upright, and watch his fascination, his realization of cause and effect, as he’d swat at it with his tiny hand, knocking it to the ground. The world was different for him then, he was only able to interact with items we selected for him, only able to experience the world from his belly.Gabe’s left hand was called the Smacker, and his right hand was the Flipper. He’d swat, smack, and bang at anything he could with his left hand. With his right hand, he’d keep his fingers tight together, as though he was ready to meet someone’s acquaintance, and he’d bend his fingers at a right angle, like he was a traffic cop waving on a line of cars. Armed with the Smacker and the Flipper, his Stacker tower didn’t stand a chance. We’d set it up, he’d knock it down. But piece by piece, it wasn’t enough.

Before long, as Gabe’s skills grew, he would pick up a level of the tower, and he’d inspect them thoughtfully. He’d turn it over in his hands, pass it from Smacker to Flipper, look at it and try to understand what he was seeing. His brow would furrow, staring at this tiny piece of colored plastic, and working to figure out its and his own place in the world in relation to one another. We were bystanders on our son’s journey to self-discovery, we got to sit on the floor with him and watch him problem-solve, block by block.

With more independence came the ability to independently manipulate items in each hand, and then the Green Toys Stacker became a set of cymbals, startling us from the living room as we cooked in the kitchen, a huge crash followed by two seconds of silence, and then the tiny laughter of a baby who knows too well what he’s done. We’d notice Gabe turning a big Stacker block upside down, picking it up, then putting a smaller block inside. Building skills by building a tower, the simplest of toys teaching more and more complicated lessons for our little guy.

And then over the weekend, in his pajamas, Gabe took a block and crawled with it, away from us, over to his upright Fisher-Price oven. We watched as he set it down on the floor, opened the door of the refrigerator, and stopped. Watching our son think, problem-solve, and make decisions? It is one of the most fascinating parts of parenting. Gabe had made up his own mind, and decided that the green Stacker block belonged on the middle shelf. And so, having worked it out in advance, he executed his plan.

Every day, Gabe gets bigger and bigger. He challenges himself to do more, to learn. And as Dads, we are so lucky to help this little guy build his tower, block by block.

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Gay Dad Life

A Gay Dad Wonders: What Will the 'Roaring Twenties' Bring?

Jim Joseph says he's looking forward to "moving forward in 2020" and in the decade to come!

The Roaring Twenties are upon us, and with the new decade comes great anticipation.

I remember as a kid that whenever a new decade came, it felt like "out with the old and in with the new." It seemed like pop culture and the way of doing things suddenly shifted. Witness 1979 into 1980 and the dawn of a new era in music, fashion, entertainment, and culture. Same with 1989 into 1990. Bam!

As I got older and started my own journey of growth, I started tracking decades by the milestones I had hit during each of the ten-year increments.

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Gay Dad Life

Gay Dads Tell Us Their Parenting Goals for 2020

Some are hoping to expand their families — others are hoping to keep the members they already have alive!

We asked our community on Instagram what their parenting goals were for 2020. Here are some of their responses.

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Gay Dad Life

10 Ways Gay Dads Inspired Us in 2019

No two gay parents have the same family creation story, but they still have one thing in common — they inspire us.

Every week, we bring you the stories of gay men and their families. While no two of these stories are the same, one thing they have in common is this — they inspire us. Check out 10 (out of the MANY!) ways gay dads moved us in 2019!

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As a Gay Dad, What's the Impact of Letting My Son Perform Drag?

Michael Duncan was excited when his 10-year-old son asked if he could perform in drag for charity — but he also felt fear and anxiety.

As LGBT parents, we have all lived through some sort of trauma in our lives. For many it is the rejection of our family, being bullied, or abuse. We learn to be vigilant of our surroundings and often are very cautious of who we trust. As adults, we start to become watchful of how much we share and we look for "red flags" around every corner.

So, what effect does this have on our children? Does it unintentionally cause us to be more jaded with our interactions involving others? For some the answer may be a resounding "no." But as we look deeper into the situation, we often find that through survival our interactions with others have changed and we may not even realize exactly how much we are projecting on those around us.

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A Gay Chiropractor Explains Why He Came Out to His Patients

After Cameron Call, a chiropractor, came out to his family this past year, he knew he had one more step to take — he had to come out to his patients

Fear is an interesting thing. It motivates when it shouldn't, shows at inconvenient times, and is the author of stories that do nothing but hold us back. I would argue though, too, that fear has some good qualities. I believe it helps us to feel. And I think it can be a great teacher as we learn to recognize and face it.

For years fear prevented me from embracing my truth and accepting a large part of who I am. I know I am not alone in that regard. But for so long my fear convinced me that I was. Fear is what kept me from ever telling my parents or anyone growing up that I am gay. Fear mingled with strong religious teachings, embraced at a young age, which led me to believe that I could cure myself of my attractions to the same gender. And fear is a part of what kept me in my marriage to a woman for over ten years.

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A Gay Dad Gains Clarity After a Health Scare

A recent health scare helped give Erik Alexander clarity.

Sometimes fear can cripple the mind and hinder ones judgement. Having children of my own, I have come to grips with accepting the things I cannot change and learned to take action when there is no other choice. When it comes to my own personal health, the future and well being of my family gives me all the clarity I need to make the right decision about any kind of health scare.

This episode is dedicated to all the parents out there that are going through or have gone through similar situations.

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This European Couple Became Dads Through a U.K.-Based Surrogacy Program

Janno, from Estonia, and Matthias, from Belgium, were accepted into the "Childlessness Overcome Through Surrogacy" Program.

Janno Talu, an accountant, and Matthias Nijs, an art gallery director, were born in different parts of Europe. Janno, 39, is from Estonia, and Matthias, 28, is from Belgium. Their paths crossed when the two moved to London, each from their different corners of the European Union.

Janno relocated to London earlier than Matthias, when he was 24, and his main reason for the move was his sexuality. "Although Estonia is considered one of the more progressive countries in Eastern Europe, when it comes to gay rights, it is still decades behind Western society in terms of tolerance," said Janno. "And things are not moving in the right direction." In 2016, same-sex civil union became legal, but the junior party in the current coalition government is seeking to repeal the same-sex partnership bill. "In addition," Janno continued, "they wish to include the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman in the country's constitution. Even today, there are people in Estonia who liken homosexuality to pedophilia, which is why I decided to start a new life in the UK, where I could finally be myself."

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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