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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Foster/Foster-Adopt

This Gay Couple Was Inspired to Become Foster Dads Thanks to the Show "The Fosters"

Matthew and Brian say they used to feel like "unicorns" as gay foster dads. They're happy to see more LGBTQ couples take the plunge into the foster system.

Matthew Hamparian and his husband Brian Lawrence have been together for over 18 years and live in Columbus, Ohio. "We had talked about children for a long time," shared Matthew. They were inspired by the show "The Fosters," and watched it regularly as one of the staffers of the show was a friend of Brian's. In one of the episodes, Matthew remembers a conversation between a foster child and the biological child of his foster parents. The foster child asks if he was okay with the fact that he had to share his home with foster siblings. He responds that he is okay with it, because he and his family have enough of everything.

"It was very meaningful to us as we were both raised that when you got up the ladder, you threw the ladder back," explained Matthew.

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Terrell and Jarius need your help. Earlier this week they were made aware of an act of discrimination against a male transgender student at Johnson High School in Gainesville, Georgia

"Dex Frier was elected by the student body to run for prom king but is now facing backlash from the school's administration," shared the dads via their Instagram. "The school's Superintendent is forcing Dex to either run as prom queen or not run at all. This is very unjust and does NOT reflect the opinion of the parents nor the students."

Watch their video below:

Dex, 17, who came out identifying as male in his sophomore year, spoke with Gainsville Times about being nominated by the student body. "Frier said he kept his emotions in check while at school, but 'the moment I got home, I immediately started crying. I've never been shown so much support before,' Frier added."

He was later informed by school officials that his name had been withdrawn and he could only run in the prom queen ballot.

Sadly, there have been rival petitions started in support of Dex's nomination being withdrawn, and he's received backlash from those who believe he shouldn't be able to run.

Although Terrell and Jarius do not know Dex personally, they were made aware of what was happening through Jarius co-worker who is a parent at the school. "He's such a brave kid and is standing firm in his beliefs, and we should support him," said Jarius.

These dads are asking all of us to take a minute and sign this petition and share with friends and family, or anyone you think could help.

Surrogacy for Gay Men

Learn How These Dads Used Social Media to Find Their Surrogate

In the latest "Broadway Husbands" vlog, Bret and Stephen discuss the rather unconventional way in which they found their surrogate: through a Facebook group.

In this, the Broadway Husbands' sixth video, Bret Shuford and Stephen Hanna discuss the rather unprecedented process they went through to find their surrogate. The lucky couple also chat about winning an "Intended Parents" competition, which granted them the free services of a surrogacy agency who is now helping guide them (and their new surrogate!) on their journey.

In the first video below, get caught up to speed with the dads-to-be. Plus: there's bonus footage! Ever wondered about the financial side of their journey? In the second video, Bret and Stephen talk candidly about how they're managing to afford their dream of fatherhood.

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Gay Dad Life

Gay Single Dads Defend Andy Cohen's Right to Be on Grindr

After the Internet rushed to judge Andy Cohen for signing onto Grindr a couple of weeks after welcoming his newborn son home, fellow single gay dads rushed to his defense.

Last week, we wrote a post about reports that "What What Happens Live" host Andy Cohen had been "spotted" on gay dating app Grindr several weeks after welcoming a newborn into his home. This has some of his followers on social media all worked up"

"Get off Grindr and start being a dad," said one follower who appeared to think single parents must take a vow of celibacy the minute they start changing diapers. "You're sad, that kid has no chance," said another.

Well, suffice it to say that this judgment from people who are presumably not single gay dads of Andy Cohen certainly struck a nerve with our gay dad audience! We received well over 100 comments on this post on Facebook, the vast majority of them coming to Cohen's defense. We caught up with two fellow single gay dads to find out why the story struck a nerve.

"We don't have to live like monks!"

One of the most liked comments on our piece came from Owen Lonzar, who wrote the following:

"I have always been a good single father to my biological son who came to live with me when he was 7 years old. He is now 25 years old and we are very close. I used Grindr and dated while he lived with me. I never had anyone sleep over and he certainly never saw some man he didn't know hanging around my home. Single parents have to date responsibly and with sensitivity to their child but that doesn't mean they have to live like monks!"

We asked Cohen to elaborate a bit more on why the backlash against Cohen bothered him. He had the sense, he said, that much of the criticism against LGBTQ parents comes from gay men without children. "Gay men without kids have a lot to say," he said. "And all of it is ignorant, because they have no idea what it means to actually be a father." He said he was particularly disappointed in gay critics, given our shared history of discrimination. "You would think with all the prejudice we have faced that gay men would be less judgmental themselves," he said.

"Are we supposed to be celibate?"

Another commenter, Josue Sebastian Dones-Figueroa, who is a divorced father of five, questioned what Cohen's critics would prefer him do. "So what, parents are supposed to become celibate because they have kids?" he asked.

We followed up with Josue to ask him to elaborate a bit more: "The idea that just because he is a dad that he would need to stop being a man," he said, questioning why Cohen should have to put his life hold and stop dating, or having sex, just because he's now a father. "If the child is cared for loved and not neglected what is the problem? Life goes on right?"


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