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!
We made the brave decision to live authentically...
One Dad's Plan to 'Co-Parent Like Crazy' with His Future Husband and Ex-Wife
When we asked 30-year-old Nick from Fort Worth, Texas, about his path to fatherhood, he told us it was a long story and to get ready. Nick became a dad through a previous straight relationship and only came out a few years ago, but a lot has happened since then.
Growing up, Nick was raised with the belief that he should, one day, become a dad and have a family. He was brought up Catholic, and was taught that his only option to have a family was with a woman.
We have paved the way for gay men in the future...
One Single Gay Dad's Trailblazing Path to Parenthood Via Surrogacy
"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."
We pay it forward...
LJay Ramirez, Who Was Placed in Foster Care as a Teenager, Just Became a Foster Dad Himself
"We've learned that a two year old is by far the hardest person to negotiate with successfully," said new adoptive dad LJay Ramirez, speaking about his daughter. "A six year old has so many questions that anyone would see as common sense but he genuinely is curious about the world he lives in."
Bay area dads, LJay and his husband Matt Ramirez, finalized the adoption of their 2-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son on January 5, 2019. They describe their parenthood journey so far as "crazy, fun, and exciting." They became dads through the foster care system, something LJay always wanted to do since having first-hand experience when he was placed in foster care as a young teenager.
We let nothing stop us from pursuing our dreams of parenthood — including borders
David and Ben Met on the Dance Floor — and Are Now Grooving Their Way Through Fatherhood
But becoming a gay dad in Australia is complicated by legalities. In Queensland, where the couple lived, adoption was not an option for them, and neither was surrogacy. However, surrogacy in the US did give the couple the best legal protections and meant the timeframe was far more reasonable. They'd heard about the possibility of surrogacy in the states from a British couple who had children via surrogacy in California.
And it wasn't just the legal issues that were difficult to overcome for David and Ben; like most couples, the other major hurdle was financial. The dads-to-be had to sell their house in the UK to go towards financing their journey to fatherhood.
We show incredible patience and resilience in the face of obstacles
'Fourth Time's a Charm' for This Foster Forever Family
On his path to becoming a dad, Steven Engle admits his biggest obstacle was himself at first. "In my mind, I had to be in a relationship or married to have a child," he said. Steven had wasted many years believing that simply as fact. "And yes, I realize how antiquated that is... I'm embarrassed to admit it." Then one day, he was out with a good friend who just said, "Why not do it on your own?" It was Steven's 'aha' moment. "Once I got past that, I was unstoppable."
Although Steven, who lives in Los Angeles, briefly considered adoption and surrogacy, he wanted to learn more about becoming a foster parent and adopting through the foster care system. Steven called up an old friend who had become a dad through a similar path to ask for advice and share his experience. His friend did so willingly and was happy to talk about adoption.
We have increased visibility for all LGBTQ parents...
This Single Gay Dad and Foster Care Advocate Was Featured on the 'Today Show'
Like many dads we feature on Gays With Kids, Philadelphia resident Eric Johnson always knew he wanted to be a father. His journey began in 2015 right after his relationship of five years ended. Although he didn't want to go through the process alone, Eric knew that this was his time, and after a few close to the heart conversations with close friends and family, he decided to take a leap of faith... which eventually landed him on the "Today Show."
We have reconciled multiple identities...
One Gay Dad's Path Towards Realizing Being Gay and Christian are Not Mutually Exclusive
Coming out in your 30s is difficult. But coming out while blending a family, parenting two kids, and reconciling faith and sexuality? Some may call that crazy.
For gay dads Matt and David Clark-Sally, that's just what they did. And they couldn't be happier!
"Having grown up in the church and more conservative circles, I was always scared to come out," says Matt. "While I wouldn't wish some of these challenges on anyone, I wouldn't change a thing. Meeting David was worth everything, and having our daughters is such a blessing."
We have provided loving homes to children who need them...
Their Hearts Were Stolen First, Say These Foster Dads; Then Their Last Names
Santiago Gutierrez, a 29-year-old digital moderator, and Cesar Espinoza, a 38-year-old technician, met 10 years ago while Santiago was working as a server at a restaurant. Cesar was there dining with friends, and even from afar, he was immediately taken by Santiago. He found out through another waiter that Santiago was single, so he left his name and number on a napkin, and a couple of days later Santiago texted him. After some back and forth, they met up for their first date. This past May 1, 2018, they were married.
Kids were always part of the plan for this San Antonio couple but an opportunity to become dads came into view a little earlier than planned. At the end of 2015, they found out that an acquaintance was pregnant, but did not want to be a parent. They raised the prospect of taking on that responsibility. "We were living a comfortable life and we wanted to share that with kids and provide happiness and love," said Santiago.
When responsibility comes knocking at our doors, we're ready...
Fatherhood Came Without Warning for These Two Young Gay Dads
When Johnny Guzman Tarango and Adam Tarango met in 2012, introduced by a mutual friend, they were both seeing other people at the time. What began as friendship quickly became passionate after breaking with their respective boyfriends to be with each other. Johnny was 20 years old and Adam was 21. The couple called Phoenix, Arizona home. Both were young, carefree, and very much in love.
Although Adam wanted to be a dad someday, Johnny was undecided. In January 2014, the couple were confronted with one of the biggest decisions of their lives: fatherhood.
And we are quite literally magic...
Two Illusionists Tackle Their Trickiest Act Yet: Fatherhood
When Chris was a little boy, he found a magic trick at the bottom of his cereal box and quickly became hooked on magic. Little did he know that this was to be the start of a career in the art of illusion. Ryan had a similar formative experience at a similar age when he received a magic kit for his birthday and started doing shows for friends and family. "Our hobby continued as we grew older and we were doing shows for schools, banquets, and corporate events," said Chris.
In 2005 they met in Michigan. "We were both performing separately and event coordinators double booked us for the same event," said Ryan. "So on the spot we created a two-man show and the result was amazing; we had chemistry on stage and off, and the rest is history."