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Happy Gay Uncles Day! Hug the 'Guncle' in Your Life Today

Yes, Gay Uncles Day is a silly, made up holiday — but underneath all the smiling photos of gay men with their nieces and nephews is an important message.

It all started three years ago in August: the Internet lit up with the hashtag #GayUnclesDay, accompanied by countless adorable pictures of gay men beaming for the camera alongside their nieces and nephews. And just like that, another fake holiday was born.

But National Gay Uncles Day is not just another silly social media antic — beneath all the smiling pictures is a message that is at best aspirational — from gay men who dream of parenthood but haven't been able to make it happen for themselves —and at worst, for the many gay men not allowed in the lives of their siblings' children, a reminder of how far we have yet to go.

So yes, it's a silly, made up holiday — but one we're more than happy to support. So a very happy Gay Uncles Day to us all!



"We have a responsibility to give them exposure to people / cultures that are different from them" 

Shane and Taylor from Saint Paul, Minnesota are the proud gay uncles to six nieces and nephews

"Our nieces and nephews are from rural areas in central Wisconsin. We love that we are able to teach them about diversity, other cultures, religions, political points of view, and the world outside their tiny bubble. We have a responsibility to give them exposure to people/cultures that are different from them so that they grow to be well-rounded humans who understand that diversity is what makes the world such a beautiful place!"

Do Shane and Thomas see children in their own future?

"Absolutely! We are now doing our research and weighing the pros/cons of surrogacy vs adoptions. We are so excited to see where this next chapter will take us and we can't wait it to be dads!"

"Only the best guncles get promoted to dad"

Joey from Long Beach, California is the proud gay uncle to one nephew

"I think my favorite thing is helping to teach the little one. He's 4 and really inquisitive so sometimes he'll ask me about something about what certain animals look like, or if he can see a real race car, and I'll get to show him videos and pictures and see him light up as he discovers something new."

Does Joey see children in his own future?

"Absolutely! That wasn't always my answer. I think as I've gotten older I've gotten to appreciate the importance of marriage and family. Helping to take care of my great nephew made me realize, yeah, I could be a dad and it would be the ultimate joy of my life. Now, with dating, the most important thing I ask myself is could I see this man being dad to my future kids. I'm seeing a wonderful man now so stay tuned on that front. All I can say is only the best guncles get promoted to dad."

"I can't wait to be a daddy!"

Sven from Hamburg, Germany is the proud gay uncle to two nieces

"I love to play Barbie dolls with my nieces because I always have to be the blonde Ken with a six-pack! I imagine this is my twin! 😂"

Does Sven see children in his own future?

"Oh yes, I can't wait to be a daddy! I see myself with a house at the sea and my grandchildren will play at the beach around me."

"I love showing them that it's okay to be yourself"

Eric from San Diego, California is the proud gay uncle to three nieces and two nephews

"I love being a positive, uplifting influence to them. I love showing them that it's ok to be yourself."

Does Eric see children in his own future?

"I would love to have children of my own one day but I will not rush the process. Hopefully one day I'll be married with a couple children, traveling the world together. 😊"

"We'd love to have children in our future!"

Angelo and Kody from Raleigh, NC, are the proud gay uncles to one nephew

"We love having our nephew from California for two weeks over the summer and signing him up for various summer camps in the Raleigh area. This is our second year having him with us and we hope to continue this tradition for many years to come."

Do Angelo and Kody see children in their own future?

"Yes! We'd love to have children in the future—I think the debate between us right now is timing and whether to have one or two kids."

"Overflows my heart with love"

Miss Gina Tonic from Vancouver, BC, Canada is a proud gay uncle to one niece

"Watching my niece grow is pure magic. I love her tremendously and every second I spend with her overflows my heart with love. My husband (@chris.mak) and I love spoiling her too. 🥰"

Does Miss Gina Tonic see children in his own future?

"My husband and I are happy being guncles and aren't really thinking about kids of our own at this point; though we absolutely love kids!"

"Seeing what they like and don't like"

Kyle who lives in Chicago, Illinois is the proud gay uncle to two nephews

"My favorite thing about being a guncle (lol), would probably have to be putting different foods in front of them and seeing what they like and don't like. Also, paw patrol."

Does Kyle see children in his own future?

"I would say potentially yes, I'm pretty single at the moment so maybe in the future. I would love to adopt at some point. I'm only 29 so not until late 30's most likely though."

"We are excited to share our love of education, boating and travel with our own someday"

Anthony and Bill from Detroit, Michigan are the proud gay uncles to one niece and one nephew

"We have a unique perspective on life that we are able to share with them that is different than their parents. Being that they are still very young, we are looking forward to introducing them to community events and concerts."

Does Anthony and Bill see children in their own future?

"We do plan on having kids of our own and currently we have had one adoption consultation in order to start the process. We are excited to share our love of education, boating, and travel with a few of our own someday. For now though, we will enjoy being 'guncles' to two amazing little humans."

"Show them a positive role model"

David from Washington, D.C., is the proud gay uncle to two nieces and two nephews

"My favorite part about being a guncle is getting to be a part of my nieces' and nephews' lives and show them a positive role model. I love to spoil them all, each in their own special way, and make sure they know that they are loved no matter how far away I live from them.

Does David see children in his own future?

"I absolutely see myself having children in the future! One thing I love about coaching as a profession is getting to have a long lasting positive effect on their lives and the person they become. I don't know how many kids I will have, but I've had a lot of experience raising other people's children and I am ready to raise some of my own!"

"Showing them different types of love"

Rodney from Providence, Rhode Island, is the proud uncle to four nieces and nephew

"My favorite thing about being a guncle is showing them different types of love. On my darkest days my nieces and nephews are the brightest rays of sunshine ☀️. I love them so much."

Does Rodney see children in his own future?

"I see myself raising a big family. At least 2 children. And I will raise them to love each other and everyone else no matter what. We will recycle positive energy."

Erik from Toronto, Canada, is the proud gay uncle to one niece and one nephew

"My favorite thing about being an uncle is watching these two amazing young humans grow! It shocks me how fast time goes by, and how quickly the change, but seeing them smile, and sharing them love makes me a better person!"

Does Erik see children in his own future?

"I do see myself having children in the future, but I have always said that I will probably adopt a bit later in my life. I want to travel and live my dreams before settling completely down. I am not sure where I will settle down, and with whom yet, but I look forward to raising a couple children of my own and showing them what an amazing thing the human life can be!"

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Gay Dad Family Stories

Gay Dads Forced to Flee Russia Find Refuge in Seattle

After fleeing Moscow last spring, this family of four has started new lives for themselves in Seattle.

For almost ten years, Andrei Yaganov, 45, and his husband Evgeny Erofeev, 32, managed to live a fairly ordinary life in Moscow, Russia. The two men both held down respectable office jobs. And their two sons — Denis and Yuri, now 14 and 12 respectively — went to daycare and school without issue. Despite being headed by a same-sex couple in a country with notoriously aggressive laws and attitudes towards the LGBTQ community, the foursome went about their lives just like any other family.

Adoption by LGBTQ couples, like same-sex marriage, is illegal in Russia. But the couple managed to circumvent the ban by having Andrei adopt as a single parent. Andrei became only the third single man in Moscow, he was told during his placement process, to do so.

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Popular

This Gay Uncle is on a Mission to Provide His Nieces and Nephews With as Much Culture as Possible

Mike Adank isn't a dad (yet!) but that isn't stopping him from introducing his nieces and nephews to all New York City has to offer.

Mike Adank, who lives in New York City, has been a "guncle" for 19 years to Dylan (19), Emma (17), Laura (12), Alex (8), Katie (6), and Lizzie (3). His Instagram account reveals him to be a fun uncle who thinks the world of his nieces and nephews, and someone eager to share with them his life and passions. He's attentive, enthusiastic, and, dare we say, probably the favorite uncle.

Last year for "Gay Uncles Day" he shared the post below on Instagram with his niece and nephew, with a caption that read: "who needs your own kids when you can just borrow your siblings'?!"

As much as Mike loves being an uncle, however, this message was a bit tongue and cheek: he's begun thinking about having his own family one day in the maybe not-so-distant future.

Mike is the manager of VIP guest experiences at Jujamcyn Theaters, a major Broadway landlord and producer. He lives and breathes Broadway, loves adventures and is a proud New Yorker.

Mike takes his status as a "guncle" seriously and has played a large role in his nieces and nephews lives since they were born. Although they live far away in Wisconsin, Mike travels back two or three times a year, and they make the most of their time together: hiking, camping, gossiping and eating. He also makes sure they see the annual summer musical in their hometown, and plans to give each of them a paid for ticket to New York upon their graduation from high school. "I want them to be well rounded and provide them with as much culture as possible," he said.

As a gay man, Mike also feels it's his responsibility to teach them about tolerance and respect. "Or at least demonstrate it and be an example of how successful you can be if you stay true to yourself and follow your dreams." Recently, he was an even prouder uncle when his niece stood up to a teacher who was allowing hate in the classroom.

Mike has been seeing someone whom he meet via Chappy for the past four months, and although everything is going very well, it's still too early to bring up the conversation of kids. But Mike has begun researching regardless as he's still open to being a single dad if he hasn't found someone who shares the same dream.

In terms of a choosing a path, Mike is keeping his options open even though he's very keen to become a foster dad."Fostering is at the top of my list," said Mike. "I love the idea of sharing my love and life with a child that may be experiencing some rough times, or may not have been as fortunate this far in their life. Everyone deserves to find that one person they can count on, look up to, learn from, and feel safe with, [when] they need it most." Ideally Mike would like to foster to adopt, but he'd also be happy just fostering those in need.

Becoming a dad doesn't come without some fear on Mike's part. And those fears are tied up with his sexuality. "I'm a little scared of them not liking me because I'm gay; I don't want them to feel short changed." But on the flip-side of his concerns, Mike knows that his sexuality could also be a real asset, and help him educate his children on the importance of compassion and love.

As Mike gets closer to celebrating an exciting milestone - the big 4-0 - which is still a couple of years away, he's getting more and more excited about fatherhood, but still wants to be young enough to have fun his kids. The goal is in 5 years time to not only be a fabulous guncle, but also a loving and doting dad. We're excited to watch this space!

Mike with his nephew Dylan

Gay Uncles

Happy 'Guncles' Day! Have You Thanked the Gay Uncle in Your Life?

To celebrate the important role gay men play in the lives of their nieces and nephews, check out these adorable pics below!

Two years ago, on August 14, the Internet lit up with the hashtag #GayUnclesDay, accompanied by countless adorable pictures of gay men beaming for the camera alongside their nieces and nephews. The social media sensation was all in good fun, of course, and we're supportive of any holiday that leads Olympic bobsledder Simon Dunn to post this picture on his Instagram, but it's worth noting that not every gay uncle felt celebrated that day:

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Personal Essays by Gay Dads

'A Gay Man's Wife': One Couple's Co-Parenting Journey

The podcast 'A Gay Man's Wife,' explores how one woman makes her marriage to a gay man work for her — and their family.

Guest post written by Michael and Tawyne, hosts of A Gay Man's Wife

Michael: Growing up, I always knew I was different. I knew that what my family perceived as normal wasn't who I was. Only when I hit a certain maturity in my teenage years did I understand that I was gay. Still, I didn't know what that meant for me at the time. When I was 16 I met Tawyne (15) and immediately felt something that I didn't quite understand. She was wild like a tornado and captivated me. Throughout the first year of our friendship we fell in love.

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Politics

Supreme Court to Hear Major Case Concerning LGBTQ Foster Care Parents

The Supreme Court agreed to decide whether cities are allowed to exclude tax-funded adoption agencies from foster care systems if they refuse to work with gay couples.

In 2018, city officials in Philadelphia decided to exclude Catholic Social Services, which refuses to work with LGBTQ couples, from participating in its foster-care system. The agency sued, claiming religious discrimination, but the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit unanimously ruled against the agency, citing the need to comply with nondiscrimination policies.

The case, Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, follows a 2018 Supreme Court decision regarding a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. In that case, the court narrowly ruled that the baker bad been discriminated against, on religious grounds, by the state's civil rights commission. It did not decide the broader issue: whether an entity can be exempt from local non-discrimination ordinances on the basis of religious freedom.

The court — whose ideological center has shifted to the right since the addition of Justice Brett Kavanaugh in fall 2018 — may choose to do so now. Advocates quickly called on the court to consider the potential impact on the more than 400,000 children currently in the foster care system:

"We already have a severe shortage of foster families willing and able to open their hearts and homes to these children," said Leslie Cooper, deputy director of the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project. "Allowing foster care agencies to exclude qualified families based on religious requirements that have nothing to do with the ability to care for a child such as their sexual orientation or faith would make it even worse. We can't afford to have loving families turned away or deterred by the risk of discrimination."

"It is unconscionable to turn away prospective foster and adoptive families because they are LGBTQ, religious minorities, or for any other reason unrelated to their capacity to love and care for children," said HRC President Alphonso David. "We reject the suggestion that taxpayer-funded child welfare services should be allowed to put discrimination over a child's best interest. This case could also have implications for religious refusals that go far beyond child welfare. The Supreme Court must make it clear that freedom of religion does not include using taxpayer funds to further marginalize vulnerable communities."

The court may choose to override a 1990 decision, Employment Division v. Smith, which created the current standard for carving out religious exemptions. In that case, the court ruled that laws that target a specific faith, or express hostility towards certain beliefs, are unconstitutional — but this standard has long been abhorred by religious conservatives, who think it doesn't offer enough protections for religions. If the court does overrule Smith, it could have far-ranging consequences. " As noted on Slate, "it would allow anyone to demand a carve-out from laws that go against their religion, unless those laws are 'narrowly tailored' to serve a 'compelling government interest.'"

The four members of the court's conservative wing — Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh —have all signaled an openness to reconsider Smith. The ruling's fate, then, likely rests in the hands of the court's new swing vote, Chief Justice Roberts.

For more, read the full article on Slate.

Gay Dad Life

Dads Tell Us Their 'Gayest Moment Ever' as Parents

We may be dads — but we're still gay, dammit! And these "gayest moments ever," sent to us from our Instagram community, prove it.

Did your child know all the lyrics to Madonna songs by age 3? Do your kids critique all the red carpet lewks from the Tony Awards? Do you often have baby food, diapers, sparkling white wine, gourmet appetizer, and fresh cut flowers in your shopping cart — all in one trip? If you answered 'yes' to any of the above, you just might be... a gay dad.

We asked the dads in our Instagram community to share their gayest moments as a dad, ever, and their responses were just as hilarious as they were relatable.

Here's a great way to start the week...

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News

What's it Like to Be a Child of the 'Gayby Boom'?

Tosca Langbert, who grew up with two dads, writes a piece for the Harvard Business Review about what it's like being among the first children of the "Gayby Boom" to come of age.

We've previously written about the pressure on LGBTQ parents to appear perfect, given that so many in the United States still feel out families shouldn't exist in the first place. And we know this pressure trickles down to our kids. But In an article for the Harvard Business Review titled 'The Gayby Boom Is Here to Stay," author Tosca Langbert eloquently writes, from her perspective, about the experience of beingone of the first children to come of age during an era when LGBTQ parenthood is far more commonplace. She and her two siblings, she notes, "were raised in a family that was an impossibility only decades ago."

In the article, Langbert said she knew from a young age that her family was different from those of most of her peers, who had one a father and a mother. But otherwise, she writes, she didn't feel like her family differed much. "Like any other parents, Dad sat in the carpool lane after school and taught us how to ride our bikes," she writes, "while Papa took us to the movies on the weekends and separated the whites from the colors."

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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