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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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11 Family Stories That Show the Depth of the Adoption Experience for Gay Men

November is National Adoption Awareness Month! To celebrate, we've curated some adoption stories that show the true depth and breath of the adoption experience for gay men.

November is National Adoption Awareness Month! And few people are more aware of the importance of lifting up and celebrating adoption in this country than the LGBTQ community. According to the Williams Institute, 21% of same-sex couples are raising adopted children compared to just 3% of different-sex couples. Despite the fact that we are a crucial part of the support system for children needing loving homes, we are currently facing an administration that is trying to make it legal for foster care and adoption agencies to discriminate against us on the basis of religion.

To help celebrate National Adoption Awareness Month, and demonstrate that religious beliefs should in never trump the ability for a loving LGBTQ family to welcome children into their home, we've rounded up several family stories that show the true depth and breath of the adoption experience — men who never planned to become dads, and woke up one day to find themselves responsible for little ones. Men who always wanted to become dads, and suffered through years of failed placements before finally making their dreams come true. Single men, who realized they were strong enough to adopt on their own. And men who adopted older children through the foster care system.

These are just a few of the inspiring stories of gay, bi and trans adoptive dads — we are literally sitting on a treasure trove of them. And, no doubt, there are countless more headed your way in the months to come.

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Popular

"We're Dads, the Greatest Thing We've Ever Been": Congrats to Gay Men Whose Families Recently Grew!

Wishing all of these gay dads whose families expanded a lifetime of happiness! Congrats to everyone in our community on their recent births and adoptions!

Gay men go through a lot of ups and downs on the path to parenthood. It can be one of the most emotionally draining times in our lives. But as each of these families who are celebrating births and adoptions this month agree: it's worth every hardship.

Congrats to the dads whose families grew this month!

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Gay Dad Photo Essays

Falling for Fall: 33 Photos of Gay Dads and Kids at the Pumpkin Patch

Oh my gourd, it's fall! To celebrate, we rounded up 33 pics (and whole lot of pun-kins) in our annual fall photo essay!

Don your checked shirt, grab them apples, and shine those smiles while perched on pumpkins — it's the annual fall family photo op! A trip to the pumpkin patch and / or apple orchard is a staple family fall outing, and we're here for it. 🎃🍎🍂👨👨👧👦

Thanks to these dads who shared their pics with us! Share your own to dads@gayswithkids.com and we'll add them to this post!

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Personal Essays by Gay Dads

A Gay Dad Speaks Out Against Trump's Attempts to Discriminate Against LGBTQ Adoptive Parents

Any business that accepts federal funding must NOT DISCRIMINATE says adoptive dad Erik Alexander.

Four years ago we received the phone call that changed our lives forever. We were told that in our own city of New Orleans, there was a newborn baby that needed a forever home. What we were told by the agency would likely take five or more years took mere weeks. We frantically started putting together her nursery and planning for her arrival. She was born 10 weeks early and needed to stay in the NICU to grow and gain her strength and weight before she was released. She was so tiny and delicate. We were almost afraid to hold her in the beginning because of how fragile she was.

Finally, the day arrived that we were able to bring her home and we were thrust into overdrive. We prepared by reading all the baby books and watching the videos, but all that goes out the window when you have a baby in your arms. Our little baby had trouble digesting her formula due to her prematurity. The look in her eyes due to the pain she felt broke our hearts. We felt helpless! All we could do was just try to make sure to do everything on our end to help alleviate any pain she may encounter while feeding her. It was terrible. We would hold her for hours trying to console our hurting baby girl. I remember thinking to myself while she was crying that I would do anything to make her feel better.

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Expert Advice

Your Foster Questions Answered by a Foster Expert and Foster-Adopt Dad

We asked our Instagram community to send us their questions about becoming a foster dad — and Amara's Foster Care Services Supervisor Trey Rabun responded.

Dad Trey Rabun (read his story here) recently shared his experience as a foster Expert and a foster dad with our Instagram community via a question and answer session.

Read Trey's responses below.

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Personal Essays by Gay Dads

Raising Grounded Kids in Crazy Manhattan

When it comes to raising kids in Manhattan, Dr. Evan Goldstein lives by this lesson — less is more.

There are several lessons that we all learn as we continue to age on this wacky place called earth. But I learned one of life's most important nuggets my first year of medical school, and it has never left me. I remember this one night in particular—it was late, and I had been studying when I realized I forgot an important book in the stacks of the library. Thankfully, a janitor opened the locked door and allowed me to retrieve my belongings. I remember it took him a while to open the locked section that I needed to enter, as he had so many dangling keys on his keychain. He responded to me gazing at the lock by saying, "Son, I may only be a janitor without any education beyond high school, but I have seen medical student after student enter this school for the past 25 years. Can I give you some advice?" "Of course," I said. "Do you see all these keys on this keychain?" he said. "Every single one holds a new responsibility. Less keys, less responsibility. Less is more! Remember that my friend." And with that, he was gone.

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News

United Nations Calls on Cambodia to End Criminalization of Surrogates

Cambodia's 2016 law criminalizes surrogacy — and requires women who work as surrogate to raise the children they conceived for intended parents as their own.

Last Friday, the United Nations Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) reiterated its support to end the harassment and criminalization of surrogates in Cambodia, according to Voice of America.

The report issued by CEDAW recognized growing international criticism of the unregulated practice of surrogacy around the world, which often leads to the exploitation of women who work as surrogates. However, since surrogacy became illegal in Cambodia, over 60 women working as surrogates — the very people put in danger of exploitation — have been arrested and subjected to criminal proceedings. The women were only released according to VOA, under the condition of raising the surrogate children until they are 18.

"The Committee is particularly concerned that such an obligation creates an additional financial and emotional burden on women who are in precarious situations, which led them to act as surrogates in the first place," the report reads, "and that they face discrimination and stigma from their families and communities for having acted as surrogates."

CEDAW called on the Cambodian government to repeal the October 2016 law — particularly the requirement of raising the children they conceived for other intended parents as their own. This punishment is particularly onerous given that many of these women entered surrogacy arrangement against their will, said Chak Sopheap, Executive Director of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, speaking to VOA.

"Surrogate women in Cambodia are likely to be at the sharp end of various economic and political hardships that caused them to make the decision to become a surrogate," she told VOA in an email. "We have seen, over the past year, women surrogates raided, charged with human trafficking, and detained, with no transparency from the authorities as to their wellbeing or that of the children they have given birth to."

Read more about this story here.

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