News

The 'Real Dads of Melbourne' are Engaged!

Gay dads Jarrad and Michael Duggan-Tierney, of the popular Instagram page @the_real_dads_of_melbourne, recently announced their engagement!


Shared via a post on January 22, Jarrad Duggan-Tierney said, "With great excitement we are proud to announce we are engaged to be married! After 17 years of waiting and feeling as if this moment would never happen – It happened tonight. I proudly got on one knee in front of our son and asked the love of my life Michael to take my hand in marriage."

Jarrad and Michael have been together for 17 years and became dads to son Reid in 2010 via surrogacy in India.

"Reid was surprised and excited when I open the door revealing one of his favorite things in the world - balloons," Jarrad told Gays With Kids. "When I bent down on one knee he screamed 'I knew you were going to do this as I've been dreaming about it.'"

The proposal was kept a secret from both Michael and Reid, which was tough for Jarrad as they have a "no secrets" policy in the house. But this was one he really had to keep to himself.

Jarrad told Gay Star News about the details of the proposal.

"It was a big surprise. I spent weeks planning with a friend to propose. He thought we were calling into a friend's to get a gift. Little did he know we had emptied a room of her home and had it filled with balloons and images of our 17 years together."

Same-sex marriage was only legalized in Australia at the very end of last year, and although Jarrad and Michael were never sure they'd be able to marry on their home soil, they never doubted their love for one another.

"Personally for us it wasn't just about the marriage, it was about equality for everyone. We are proud of our relationship, and have amazing support from all our friends and family so it will be a great celebration of our love."

With the couple's heads still spinning, they're going to first focus on the engagement party, and then enlist the help of a wedding planner for their big day. And rest assured, when it does come time to start planning, Reid will be playing a significant part on their big day. Congratulations to this fantastic family!

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News

Ed Smart, Father of Kidnapping Victim Elizabeth Smart, Comes Out as Gay

In coming his coming out letter, Ed Smart, a Mormon, condemned the church for their "ridicule, shunning, rejection and outright humiliation" of LGBTQ individuals.

In a post on Facebook, Ed Smart, father of kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart, came out as gay. He also discussed his strained relationship with his Mormon faith, claiming he felt he didn't feel comfortable living as an openly gay man in a church with a difficult history with respect to its LGBTQ members. He and his wife, Lois, have filed for divorce.

"This is one of the hardest letters I have ever written," he began the letter. "Hard because I am finally acknowledging a part of me that I have struggled with most of my life and never wanted to accept, but I must be true and honest with myself." He went on to acknowledged a new set of challenges facing he and his family as they navigate a divorce and his coming out — in the public eye, no less — but concluded, ultimately, that it's a "huge relief" to be "honest and truthful about my orientation."

He went on to condemn The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for their "ridicule, shunning, rejection and outright humiliation" of LGBTQ individuals. "I didn't want to face the feelings I fought so hard to suppress, and didn't want to reach out and tell those being ostracized that I too am numbered among them. But I cannot do that any longer."

In an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, Ed Smart further discussed his reasons for coming out now, as a 64-year-old man.

"I mean, I knew that it would probably come out at some point, just because people can't leave things alone. I did anticipate that it would happen at some time, but my intention in writing it was to try to let my friends and family know, you know my extended family ... know where things were. So, you know, I was really concerned about how the rumor mill starts," he told the paper. "I knew that at some point in time, that would come out," he elaborated. "I didn't know when it would come out, and so I would rather have it come out the way that it did versus having some rumors going around, and you know the crazy way things can get twisted."

In 2002, Ed Smart's daughter Elizabeth was abducted at knife point by a married couple from her bedroom in Salt Lake City, Utah. She suffered physical and sexual abuse at the couple's hands, for nine months, until she was finally rescued by police. During the ordeal, papers — including the Salt Lake Tribute — speculated about Ed Smart's sexual orientation based on some fabricated information sold to the paper by tabloids like the National Enquirer. (The Enquirer retracted the story, and the reporters at the Tribute were ultimately fired.)

"I think that in April I started feeling like I needed to prepare something," Smart told the Tribute. "Because during Elizabeth's ordeal, there were things said, and it wasn't what I wanted to say, and I was not going to allow that to happen again."

As to how his family has taken the news, Smart said they've been "very kind" to him. "I think it was very difficult to have this kind of come out of the blue. I don't think any of them knew I was struggling with this, so it was something they were, if you want to call it, blindsided by. I totally get that. They've really been very wonderful."

Congrats to Ed Smart on making the difficult decision to live his truth. Read his full letter here and his interview with the Tribute here.

Change the World

Two Clinics in Netherlands to Start Offering IVF Services to Gay Couples and Surrogate Mothers

At least two Dutch IVF clinics say they will serve gay couples in 2019 for the first time, according to a current affairs show

According to Pink News, the Netherlands will be the next country to offer IVF treatment to gay couples, starting next year. The news was first reported on a current affairs show De Monitor that undertook a survey of the country's fertility clinics. They found two facilities who have agreed to provide IVF treatment in the coming year.

This will add the Netherlands to the short list of countries in which gay couples seeking to use surrogacy to start their families won't have to look abroad to do so.

The article quotes a local clinician as saying on the show: "I think it's crazy that gay couples, but also women who have medical issues, have to go abroad to fulfil their desire to have children, while all medical and technical expertise and knowledge is in house."

Dutch gay couples may still face some legal headaches, however. According to Dutch Law, Pink News writes, the person that gives birth to the child is the legal parent. While the law was updated in 2014 to allow a non-biological lesbian parent to claim guardianship over her child, no such accommodation has yet been made for gay couples. They will still need to seek a court's approval before gaining legal parenting writes until the law is changed.

Read the article here.

News

Right Wing Pundit Tucker Carlson Allegedly Threatens Gay Dad at Country Club

"Tucker threatened me with physical violence and told me to 'Go back to where you came from," the gay dad said in a statement.

According to cell phone footage included in a story in the Washington Post earlier this month, Juan Manuel Granados, who happens to be a gay dad, was threatened by Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson at a country club last month.

Carlson can be heard yelling "You better get the f--- out of here!" repeatedly on the video dated October 13th of this year. A man with Carlson escalated the encounter by grabbing Granados by his collar. According to The Post, Carlson is not only denying the episode took place, he even admitted that his threw a glass of wine in Granados's face just before the video began. But Carlson is denying that any assault took place, maintaining that Granados provoked the scuffle by insulting Carlson's daughter.

"It took enormous self-control not to beat the man with a chair, which is what I wanted to do," Carlson said in a statement, who maintained Granados referred to his daughter as a "whore."

Granados, an LGBTQ advocate, is no stranger to the spotlight. According to The Post, Granados sued a Virginia-basedsports club back in 2012 when the company refused to give him, his partner and their son a family membership. His efforts resulted in the company ultimately changing their discriminatory policy.

Granados is being represented by Michael Avenatti, the same lawyer working with Stormy Daniels, the woman who was allegedly paid hush money to cover up a relationship with President Trump. Avenatti released statements from two eyewitnesses to the altercation, both of who said Carlson's versions of events were incorrect.

"Tucker threatened me with physical violence and told me to 'Go back to where you came from,' before another patron started filming," Granados said in his statement, according to The Post. Granados is reportedly considering pursuing criminal charges against Tucker for the threats.

Read the full story on the Washington Post.

Coming Out

My Gay Shame Is Officially Cancelled

After years of feeling ashamed of being gay, David Blacker has finally overcome it. And his son had a lot to do with it.

Scrolling through my social media feeds, reading all the posts about National Coming Out Day reminds me just how valuable it is for us to share our stories and be as open, vulnerable and authentic as possible. Warning: this article is about to get real AF, so now might be a good time to switch back to the Face-Aging app that gives Russia all your personal data.

Oh good, you stayed. Don't say I didn't warn you.

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Today is National Coming Out Day, and as we celebrate, we're sharing six coming out stories from dads in our community. Their personal stories are heartwarming, relatable, and empowering. Happy Coming Out Day, and remember, live your truth!

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Personal Essays by Gay Dads

Growing a Thicker Skin

Experiencing hateful and hurtful comments, Erik Alexander had to learn an important lesson: how to ignore the trolls.

Photo credit: BSA Photography

Twenty years ago when I came out, it was unbearably hard. As I have written before, I am from the Deep South. Anyone who dared to deviate from social norms was sure to be ostracized. It's not that these people were born hateful or mean; rather, it probably had more to do with them not being subjected to other lifestyles. Anything different from their own experiences sparked fear and confusion. Homosexuality, interracial relationships, religious differences – these were all unfamiliar territories to the average person I grew up around. Thus, growing up was particularly difficult.

I remember lying in bed at night when I was a little boy. I would pray and beg God to not let me be gay. Every single night I would end my prayers with "... and God, please don't let me have nightmares and please don't let me be gay." I remember crying myself to sleep many nights. I was embarrassed and ashamed. And I wanted God to cure me.

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Change the World

10 Inspiring Coming Out Stories From Gay Dads

Happy National Coming Out Day! To celebrate, we've rounded up some of our recent stories about gay men with kids coming out to live their most authentic lives.

Happy National Coming Out Day! To celebrate, we've rounded up some of our best articles of gay dads coming out to live their authentic lives.

#1. Former NFL Player Jeff Rohrer, and Father of Two, Comes Out as Gay and Marries Longterm Partner


Jeff Rohrer, a father of two teenage boys via a previous relationship with a woman, is the first NFL player to marry another man. Read the article here.

#2. Coming Out to His Wife Was Painful, Says This Salt Lake-Based Dad of Four. But it Started Him on a Path of Authenticity

After Kyle came out to his wife, with whom he has four children, "she listened, she mourned and she loved," he said. Read the article here.

#3. Gay Dads Share Their Coming Out Stories for National Coming Out Day

We asked several gay dads to share their coming out stories in honor of National Coming Out Day, whose stories are heartwarming, instructive, and everything in between. Read the article here.

#4. Gay Muslim Single Dad Writes Op Ed on His Path to Self Acceptance

Maivon Wahid writes about the challenges of reconciling three separate, but equally important, identities in an opinion piece for Gay Star News. Read the article here.

#5. One Gay Dad's Path Towards Realizing Being Gay and Christian are Not Mutually Exclusive

Gay dads Matt and David Clark-Sally talk about coming out, parenting as gay men, and reconciling faith and sexuality. Read the article here.

#6. Republican Utah Lawmaker, and Dad of Two, Comes Out as Gay in Moving Video

Nathan Ivie has many important identities he's proud of: Mormon, Republican, Utahn, father of two... and gay. Read the article here.

#7. How Coming Out Helped This Gay Man Find the Strength to Be a Dad

Steven Kerr shares the moment he came out to his ex-girlfriend. "From that moment on," he writes, "my strength and purpose have grown." Read the article here.

#8. Ed Smart, Father of Kidnapping Victim Elizabeth Smart, Comes Out as Gay

In coming his coming out letter, Ed Smart, a Mormon, condemned the church for their "ridicule, shunning, rejection and outright humiliation" of LGBTQ individuals. Read the article here.

#9. The Best Part of Coming Out, Says This Gay Dad, Is Being an Out and Proud Role Model for His Daughter

"I couldn't face myself in the mirror and think that I could be a good dad and role model for my child when I was lying to myself every moment of every day," said Nate Wormington of his decision to come out. Read the article here.

#10. These Gay Dads Via Previous Marriages Have Adopted a Motto Since Coming Out and Finding Each Other: "United We Stand"

Vincent and Richard both had children in previous marriages with women; together, with their ex-wives, they are helping raise seven beautiful kids. Read the article here.

Fatherhood, the gay way

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