Are you a Philadelphia gay dad family? Ivory Tree Portraits is hosting a special Gay Dad Family Day and offering all the attendees a complimentary photoshoot and digital print! Put May 4th in your diary, meet other local gay dads and their kids; make memories and keep them forever in the form of a digital print of your beautiful family. Click here for more details.
We're working in partnership with Ivory Tree Portraits to bring you the stories of some of their gay dad clients. The dads had this to say about their experiences in the studio: "At Ivory Tree photos, Marcy worked until she got the shot that she knew would make us happy and beyond," said Greg Yorgey-Girdy. "Marcy had the kids pose certain ways, but also let them be themselves. It was a wonderful experience. Even though we didn't have the pleasure of meeting Lara in person, she reached out via email to ensure our photo session was a positive and fun experience. We absolutely recommend Ivory Tree to anyone looking for a great photo studio who has a talented photographer, responsive, friendly, and extremely professional."
Paul and Greg Yorgey-Girdy have been together for over 12 years and married since March 19, 2014. Paul, a Philly local, was born and raised in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, and Greg came to Philadelphia to attend law school. They met in a bar rather serendipitously. "Paul happened to have on a Texas t-shirt, and I'm a big Longhorn fan," said Greg. "So I approached him and asked him did he go to University of Texas, and he said "no" … didn't even know he had a Texas t-shirt on; he said it just matched his shoes."
Paul and Greg are dads to three kids through the foster care system – Bella, Xander and Trevor. They also recently became guardians to eldest son, Raymond, who joined the family in 2018.
Both dads have chosen to raise their kids in Philly because of its diversity. "We love being advocates for the community to facilitate positive changes and to ensure that life is better for all families," says Greg. The husbands both feel that the city is committed to actively protecting, serving, and supporting their queer families and community. The became dads thanks in part of to Christian Johnson, who is based in Philadelphia. "She has single handedly provided opportunities to create our beautifully diverse family when others dismissed us as two gay guys."
Greg is currently on the Philadelphia Family Pride (PFP) Board and their family has been active with PFP for approximately 6 years. [PFP is an inclusive community for LGBTQ+ prospective parents and families to engage in social events, education and advocacy.] "We strive to create a fun, reflective and supportive environment where our diverse identities are valued and nurtured while working to promote a more just world." Other Philly dads, take note: there's an annual family trip to Wolf Lodge being organized by the PFP right now!
Greg says that he has found being a gay dad in Philly definitely easier that being a gay dad family in Texas or even in other parts of Pennsylvania, but admits that being a gay dad family anywhere can have its challenges. "I feel that folks question our ability as a two-dad family to raise a girl," he said. "I usually respond by saying the same way a single parent raises his / her kid – with love."
Greg and Paul believe visibility is the one the most important things they can do as a family to change prejudice. They're active on their Instagram account and share their story in their own words via their blog.
This family is proud to call Philly home.