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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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After Suffering a Violent Homophobic Attack, This Gay Dad Turned to Advocacy

After Rene suffered a brutal homophobic attack that left him hospitalized, he and his family have turned to advocacy to heal

Guest post written by Rene and Nejc

We are Rene (35) and Nejc (29) and we come from Slovenia, Europe. I was an avid athlete, a Judoist, but now I am an LGBT activist and Nejc is a writer, who published a gay autobiography called Prepovedano. He was also a participant in a reality show in Slovenia (Bar) and he is an LGBT activist too. Nejc and I met by a mere coincidence on Facebook, and already after the first phone call we realized that we are made for each other. Nejc and I have been together as couple almost one year. We think we have been joined by some energy, as we have both experienced a lot of bad things with previous relationships and now we wish to create and shape our common path.

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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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If you have ever been out late on a Saturday night, you may have high hopes of meeting a handsome stranger, but you probably wouldn't expect to meet your future husband. Angel Mario Martinez Garcia, 45, surely didn't when, five years ago on a very early Saturday morning in Barcelona, he casually approached Dan's Mouquet, 40, and asked him, over many gin and tonics, what he wanted out of life. The nightlife setting notwithstanding, Dan's told Angel he ultimately wanted a quiet life, with a partner and children.

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Politics

Gestational Surrogacy Legalized in New York State

The Child-Parent Security Act, which legalizes commercial surrogacy in New York State, was included in the 2020 New York State Budget signed by Governor Cuomo

Yesterday, a years-long battle about the state of compensated gestational surrogacy came to an end in New York when the Governor signed into a law the Child-Parent Security Act in the 2020 as part of the state budget.

The effort stalled last year after opponents, including several Democrats, successfully argued that the bill didn't go far enough to protect women who serve as surrogates — even though it included a surrogate "bill of rights," the first of its kind in the country, aimed at ensuring protections.

"Millions of New Yorkers need assistance building their families — people struggling with infertility, cancer survivors impacted by treatment, and members of the LGBTQ+ community," the Family Equality Council said in a statement about the victory. "For many, surrogacy is a critically important option. For others, it is the only option. Passage of the Child-Parent Security Act is a massive step forward in providing paths to parenthood for New Yorkers who use reproductive technology, and creates a 'surrogate's bill of rights' that will set a new standard for protecting surrogates nationwide."

Opponents, led by Senator Liz Krueger, had once again attempted to torpedo legalization efforts this year by introducing a second bill that would legalize surrogacy in New York, but also make it the most restrictive state in the country to do so. "A bill that complicates the legal proceedings for the parents and potentially allows them to lose their genetic child is truly unfortunate," said Sam Hyde, President of Circle Surrogacy, referencing to the bill's 8-day waiting period. He also took issue with the bills underlying assumptions about why women decide to serve as a surrogate. The added restrictions imply that "they're entering into these arrangements without full forethought and consideration of the intended parents that they're partnering with," he said.

The bill was sponsored by State Senator Brad Hoylman, an out gay man who became a father via surrogacy, and Assemblymember Amy Paulin, who has been public with her experiences with infertility.

"My husband and I had our two daughters through surrogacy," Holyman told Gay City News. "But we had to travel 3,000 miles away to California in order to do it. As a gay dad, I'm thrilled parents like us and people struggling with infertility will finally have the chance to create their own families through surrogacy here in New York."

"This law will [give intended parents] the opportunity to have a family in New York and not travel around the country, incurring exorbitant costs simply because they want to be parents," Paulin said for her part. It will "bring New York law in line with the needs of modern families."


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Editor's Note: This is the third in a series of excerpts from Joseph Sadusky's new book, Magic Lessons: Celebratory and Cautionary Tales about Life as a (Single, Gay, Transracially Adoptive) Dad. The book contains many stories about my life as a dad, as well as lessons learned, and we're excited to share several excerpts from the the book over the course of the next few months. Read previous installments here!

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There's nothing quite like father-daughter relationships, and when it comes to single dads, your little girl likely holds a very special place in your heart. From the moment she's born, it's as if you can see every moment of her life in front of you, from her first steps to walking her down the aisle at her wedding. You'll be the first man she'll know and talk to, and you'll be her biggest example of what a loving man looks like. She'll come to you for advice on how to navigate challenges, be independent, treat others and grow into herself.

Your relationship with your daughter may be shaped by your personal history, whether you've been through a difficult divorce or breakup, you've transitioned out of a straight relationship, or you made the courageous decision to pursue surrogacy on your own. Whatever your situation is, studies have shown that children with involved fathers excel more in school and have fewer behavioral issues in adolescence.

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