Gender

Despite Hurdles, Trans Dads Celebrate Pregnancy

If you passed Owen Miller on the street, at first, nothing might stand out.


“I'm fortunate. I'm a smaller guy, a smaller build, and I'm carrying all in the front. It actually looks like I have a beer belly," he says, laughing. “We're coming out of winter, too, so I get away with wearing big sweaters and heavy clothes."

Beneath that big sweater, Owen, a transgender man, is seven months pregnant with his first child, a baby girl that he and his husband, Blue Montana, are eager to welcome into their lives.

Owen, 31, first met Blue, who is also transgender, 12 years ago on social media. The two dated on and off, until Owen moved out West. They settled in Las Vegas and married just over a year ago.

The two men always dreamed of kids, but identifying as trans — female to male — they never expected their journey to fatherhood to look like this.

“If you had talked to me a year ago, I never would have thought pregnancy was something I wanted to do or was possible," Owen says.

Like most LGBT people, they assumed that adoption would be their surest path to fatherhood.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would be able to happen like this," Blue says. “We planned on fostering to adopt — and we're still considering that for the future. But I always wanted my own family and my own kids."

Blue, 41, first dreamed of becoming a parent in 2006. He had just left the Marines after 13 years and decided to transition because “every time I looked in the mirror, it shattered my heart." That was also the year he became the guardian to his newborn niece. Holding her, only hours after her delivery, made him believe in having his own, biological children someday.

But that's not all that motivates the couple. “It's about authenticity," Blue says. “We want to teach our daughter that she can do whatever she wants in life. It would be hypocritical if we taught that and not tried to do it ourselves. It's OK and valid for trans people to choose pregnancy. It's not abnormal; it's just a different opportunity at having a family."

Blue (left) and Owen

While online and in their local LGBT community, where they are both activists, Blue and Owen received much support, they also experienced a fair amount of pushback.

“We don't hide the fact that we are pregnant," Blue says. “And a lot of resistance came from the trans community. They asked, 'Why did you even bother to transition?' and 'What kind of men get pregnant?' This was a personal decision that we have to live with. Don't judge someone else's personal choice just because it's not for you."

Says Owen, straight to the point: “Society just isn't ready yet to accept pregnant men."

The two men experienced that firsthand with their own families. Both weathered tough relationships with their families after coming out — Blue with his father, Owen with his mother. Neither family was completely willing to accept them as trans men, let alone two men married to each other. But the pregnancy has offered Blue and Owen a slight bridge back to their families.

“It took my mother about 10 years to come around and start talking to me again after I came out," Owen says. “But after the first ultrasound, she's been really excited. This is her first grandkid. She still sees us as a 'straight' couple in her head. And I say, she can do whatever she wants. Whatever makes it easier for her."

Blue's father, who is in his 70s, doesn't see Owen as transgender and also views them as a 'straight' couple. The two men admit that they chafe a little at being boxed in. As activists in their Las Vegas community, they know how important identity is. But Blue wants his daughter to know her grandfather, and he accepts that “there are other battles to fight."

The men were considering adoption when Owen, who was taking injectable testosterone, began using a lower, “maintenance" dose. As they were exploring becoming foster parents, Owen started menstruating again. A friend offered to be their sperm donor, wishing to remain anonymous and letting both Owen and Blue be the only dads in their child's life. To their joy and surprise, Owen's later pregnancy test showed that miraculous plus sign.

“When we first found out, I wanted to buy more tests," Blue says, laughing. “I wanted to go buy the whole store's worth of pregnancy tests."

Afterward came doctor visits, hearing the heartbeat for the first time—and now, only a few short weeks away from the delivery date, the two dads are anxious to bring young Finley home. The opportunity, even after seven months of pregnancy, still seems surreal.

“They're letting us take a baby home," Blue says, true awe in his voice. “Like, who lets us do that?"

Read "Real Men Give Birth"

And "Paths to Gay Fatherhood: The Trans Dads"

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Entertainment

How Fatherhood Has Impacted Tom Daley's Diving Career for the Better

British diver Tom Daley, and new-ish gay dad, is looking to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in South Korea.

British diver Tom Daley is currently in the running to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in South Korea, his fourth if he competes, at the young age of just 26.

But he also has another concern that most young gay men his age couldn't fathom—fatherhood. He and his husband, filmmaker Dustin Lance Black, recently welcomed Robbie Ray via surrogacy in June 2018.

In an interview with the Independent, Daley explained how fatherhood has changed his routine and training, which he says is often for the better.

"It has changed my life completely in all of the best ways possible," Daley said. "It has changed my perspective, the way I think about things. [My son] is the most important thing in my life, everything I do is for him, everything I think about he is at the forefront of everything."

With respect to his diving career, Daley continued, "if you have a bad day at training, or a good day, you are grounded immediately when you get home through the door because you are having cuddles or you are having to change a dirty nappy. It is the first time that I have been able to leave diving at the diving board and not think about what I need to the next day in the pool."

Whatever the challenges he faces while training, he said, "I can leave it there because you don't have time to think about diving when you are looking after a kid under one."

The strategy seems to be working in Daley's favor. He recently enjoyed his most successful FINA Diving World Series ever this past Spring in Canada, winning 12 medals across five events. And barring any major catastrophe, he is overwhelmingly expected to qualify for South Korea 2020.

And we can't wait to cheer the young dad on!

Change the World

One Gay Dad's Fight Against Hate in Superior, Nebraska

Brian Splater is refusing to let homophobic and transphobic elected officials in his town go unchecked

Millie B. Photography

Guest post written by Brian Splater

No one ever should feel they will have a very lonely and secluded life as a child. But that is something me and many other gay kids believe as they are growing up.

The truth of the matter is there are people who will try everything in their power to have our rights go back in time instead of forward. It is very disheartening when these people are elected officials, or they are people who use their place of employment to spread their disgust and hate.

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Politics

America's First Gay Dad Governor Heads Into the Lion's Den

Colorado Governor Jared Polis recently became the first elected Democrat to speak at the annual Western Conservative Summit in Denver

Last Friday, American's first gay dad Governor, Jared Polis, became the first elected Democrat to speak at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, where he urged the Republican crowd to help him build a "Colorado for all."

"While we should never gloss over the things that divide us, there is a lot more that unites us," Polis said. "When we close ourselves off from discussion or debate, and we reject the possibility of hearing and understanding other perspectives, it threatens the fabric of our democracy."

If he was hoping for a Kumbaya moment, he didn't exactly get it. As he was called to the stage, he was greeted with a smattering of applause—while others booed and shouted for a "recall" of the Governor.

"It was almost unbearable for me to sit there to listen to his talk," Abby Johnson, one of the event's attendees, told the Denver Post. "And I'm going to tell you why. He kept talking about equality for all persons, yet we live in a society where 60 million innocent human beings have been slaughtered in the name of choice. Where is their justice? Where is their equal rights?"

Polis was also criticized from his left flank for attending the same event that refuses to let the Log Cabin Republicans, a group of gay GOP members, participate—and that featured Donald Trump Jr. as a speaker the same day. "To me it feels like vanity," Katie Farnan, a staffer with progressive group Indivisible, told the Denver Post. "He can go and be a hip Democratic governor who isn't afraid to go into GOP sanctuary. Or maybe it's recall insurance. But unless he was there to hold them accountable for their support for fascist and racist policies, what's the point?"

In response to the criticism from both sides of the political aisle, Polis told the Colorado Sun: "I think it's very important that Coloradans of different ideologies, different races, different geographies, different orientations and gender identities all really celebrate that we're all part of what makes Colorado great."

The event is hosted each year by Colorado Christian University to bring together conservatives from around the state, and the larger West.

What do you think, dads? Was Polis's decision to speak at the event a savvy political move or mere pandering?

Entertainment

Hate Group Boycotts 'Toy Story' for Featuring Lesbian Moms—Hilarity Ensues on Twitter

"One Million Moms" announced a boycott of the latest Toy Story movie for *very briefly* featuring lesbian moms. Twitter's response was swift and hilarious.

One Million Moms, which is affiliated with the anti-LGBTQ American Family Association, recently called for a boycott of Toy Story 4 for (very, very briefly) featuring (interracial!) lesbian moms in the animated film. The angry, hateful moms affiliated with this group must have watched the film VERY closely because you could easily blink and miss the moment that apparently "blindsided" viewers.

The Internet reacted with a collective facepalm to the ridiculous boycott. Here are some of our favorite hilarious Twitter reactions to the hateful group:

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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