Over the year, we brought you stories of hundreds of gay men and their paths to parenthood. Some made you laugh, some made you cry, and ALL helped increase visibility for gay, bi and trans dads. Thank you for sharing your stories with us! And here's to hundreds more in 2019...
The Unexpected Adoption: These Gay Dads Just Learned Their Daughter Has a Brother on the Way
Dustin and Yaser met at their condominium pool 6 and a half years ago. Dustin was new to the building and they began chatting. Fast forward to 2015, the two married on November 14. They're also the proud dads to daughter Lucy whom they adopted in 2016. Not long after, they learned Lucy's biological mother was pregnant with her brother, due mid-February.
As Gay Parents, It's Important to "Find Your Village," Say These New Dads
In 2011, Sean Gannon, then a 22-year-old fitness instructor in New York City, was going through profiles on the dating website OkCupid, when a photo of an attractive man in a pirate costume caught his eye. Sean got in touch with the swashbuckler, and a few days later the two had their first date in New York's Washington Park.
When Sean and Spencer Parker, a 30-year-old director, got to know each other better, they realized they shared a dream: They both wanted to have kids. As their relationship grew stronger, they became more serious about fatherhood.
Why I Came Out as a Gay Dad at 40
In Matt's own words:
When I came out, I felt completely alone. Like I was the only person in the world -- a 40 year old, newly-single gay dad with twin toddlers and a teenage son -- going through the coming out process. Obviously I wasn't the first, or the last, but it certainly felt that way while I was in the thick of it.
Now that I'm on the other side of coming out, I want to share my experience. I don't pretend to have all of the answers. But, perhaps I can provide someone contemplating coming out later in life some comfort, if not courage. Some experience, if not guidance. Maybe those who have already come out will be able to relate to my story -- we are not alone in this.
After Posting a "Boyfriend Application" to Myspace Twelve Years Ago, This Man Met The Future Father of His Daughter
"Children are full of love," beamed Ben. "We have experienced more happy interactions with our baby than we ever had without."
It's been a year since first-time dads Ben and Aaron Ptashinsky-Skinner adopted now 1-year-old Charlotte. And since then, they've been stopped numerous times by people who are full of praise for the family and want to hear their story. Charlotte is a gregarious toddler with a big smile and she's changed her dads' lives. "There is nothing like fatherhood; I'm living my best life because of my daughter."
Here's how a simple Google search of "gay adoption Orlando" made Aaron and Ben's world complete.
These Gay Dads Went Viral After 'One Direction' Star Niall Horan Tweeted This Photo
Earlier this year, two first-time gay dads wrote a courtesy note for their fellow airline passengers, informing them that this was their newborn's first flight and how she would "do her utmost to be on her best behavior to ensure that you have a peaceful flight." Little did they know that this note, its accompanying goodie bag and sweet photo would end up in the hands of fellow passenger and former One Direction star, Niall Horan. Horan tweeted a photo of the goodie bag and attached note, and the twittersphere exploded with heart-eyed smiley face emojis. The tweet pulled on the heartstrings of hundreds of thousands of people.
Here's the family story of two Danish gay dads whose trip home became a viral sensation.
When His Son Got a Tattoo, He Freaked Out. Then He Saw What it Was
A few weeks ago, Richard was at work when he received the following text message from his son, Jonathan, who had recently joined the navy:
"Guess what dad, I'm getting a tattoo."
"Don't you dare," came Richard's knee-jerk response.
But it was too late: Jonathan had already booked the appointment.
This Gay Couple, After Learning an Acquaintance Was Searching for Adoptive Parents for Her Baby, Became First-Time Dads Within Weeks
Tim and Clayton were preparing to become certified as foster parents when they learned, out of the blue, that an acquaintance was pregnant and planning to put her baby up for adoption. Two weeks later, they were dads.
These Gay Dads Via Surrogacy Have the Perfect Response When Asked, "When Did You Get Her"? in Reference to Their Daughter
Most of the time, gay dads PJ and Corey feel they are treated just like any other family. When they're asked questions like "when did you get her?" they simply respond, "she's ours."
The Best Part of Coming Out, Says This Gay Dad, Is Being an Out and Proud Role Model for His Daughter
Nate Wormington had lived much of his life not being true to himself. He had a beautiful baby girl, was married to his best friend and soul mate, but there was still no doubt in his mind that he was gay. Still, he chose to stay in a heterosexual relationship lifestyle, and it was making him incredibly depressed.
"For some that may be a sustainable life, but denying a core value of myself began to take its toll on me, and I had to own up to my own truth to salvage my life and my relationships with the people I love." Despite the difficulties in doing so, he eventually, he came out. Today, he's co-parenting with his ex-wife and they're still best friends. This November, he's getting married to the man of his dreams. But most importantly, he's proud to be a positive example to his 7-year-old daughter.
A Gay Dad, Raised Southern Baptist, Finds Happiness in Self-Acceptance
"I knew I was attracted to men at an early age, probably around 9 years old," shared Hunter Bigham, dad of three. "The Sears catalogue men's underwear section was the way I knew that. I finally figured out I was gay much later in my 30s."
As a devout Southern Baptist, Hunter did things the "right way." He dated a girl at school (whom he would later marry); they graduated college, moved to a new city, waited 4 years then had 3 kids.
"As a very devout Southern Baptist, I thought I was following a faithful path," said Hunter. "All the while, I was struggling with an internal division and a compartmentalization that wasn't maintainable."