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Two Broadway Husbands Begin Their Journey to Becoming Broadway Dads

Meet Bret and Stephen of @BroadwayHusbands. Follow along as they vlog about their journey to becoming dads through IVF and surrogacy with RMACT.

Bret, a New York actor, and Stephen, a Broadway dancer, make up the dynamic duo behind @BroadwayHusbands. The two, who are no strangers to the theater, didn't know they had acting in common when they met in 2006. Their happily ever after began when they married in April 2011, and today they start the next phase of their relationship – becoming dads! Gays With Kids is extremely excited to have front row seats, as this theater duo vlog about the highs, lows, complications and revelations of their surrogacy journey.

Watch their first video to learn about their hopes and their worries, gain insight on their mindset about starting a family, and the factors that helped them choose surrogacy and, ultimately, their fertility clinic, Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT).


Meet Bret and Stephen of @BroadwayHusbands. Follow along as they vlog about their journey to becoming dads through IVF and surrogacy. Bret, a New York actor,...

If reading is more your speed, you can find a transcription below.

Bret: We are in the beginning stages of our surrogacy process. So we're learning a lot of the terms right now. We're at the beginning of our "journey" right now. And just so you know we're on vacation right now at Walt Disney World, so that's why you see Sebastian and Flounder behind us. Basically we want to have a baby so we can take him or her to Disney World!

Stephen: We're babysitting right now! That's why we're being quiet.

B: So we have been married for 7 years, and together for 11 years. I've been living in NY for 20 years, I'm an actor and singer, and have been in multiple Broadway shows

S: And I'm originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and I moved to New York when in 7th grade, and I became a professional ballet dancer with New York City Ballet. And some other dancing and acting things, and I still continue to do that

B: I have a brother who's autistic, on the spectrum, and it's a genetic thing that has been passed down in the family. So knowing how difficult that was growing up with a special needs brother, we wanted to reduce the risk of that happening as much as we can. With biological surrogacy you can reduce the risk, but not eliminate it

S: Another reason we went down this route, is that my dad is an only child, and it's just my brother and myself. So it's just the 2 of us, and he and his wife aren't planning to have any babies, and I thought if I could do something about that, then I would!

B: So we went to the LGBT Center on 13th street, they do these monthly informational things just like general information for LGBTQ parenting - on adopting or the surrogacy route. I have 3 brothers – the autistic one is the oldest, and then two other brothers. Each has been married, each with multiple kids. My coming out story is that it was not easy. I grew up in Southeast Texas, and it's taken a lot of time for my family to grow to accept me, but for most of my adult life they've been very open and very accepting. What I realized that's different about the baby thing is, I don't think they realize how difficult it is for two men to have a baby. Like it makes sense to me, but for them because they can just get pregnant they don't even think about it!

S: Well we keep trying!

B: Also, I think a lot of people have an idea what our lifestyle is as Broadway performers, and they think it's so vastly different from what other people do, and it's not! It's just not always steady.

So we found out through another couple that they had gone through this organization called Men Having Babies, so we applied, and qualified for GPAP Stage 1 financial assistance. (GPAP is the Gay Parenting Assistance Program created by Men Having Babies to offer financial aid to couples who qualify). So Stage 1 is basically the most minimal level in terms of a financial discount on services and we went "Oh wait this might actually be an option, we might be able to do this". Because when we found out how much it was originally we said, "We don't have that kind of money!"

So I went to a Men Having Babies event that Stephen couldn't go to -and it was on the Upper West Side and everyone (at least from my eyes because I'm comparing myself) are like bankers and lawyers and, "We live on the Upper West Side and we gave up our share on Fire Island so we could have a baby" and I'm like "That is not my life, and I don't know how we're going to do this, but we're going to figure it out." We're just going to take it one step at a time. So like I said I went to the Men Having Babies event and I met with a doctor at RMA of Connecticut – Dr. Leondires. Without Stephen, again…

S: I was working, to try to get the money to…get this going!

B: We had a meeting, and I just felt like I was in good hands. He just explained everything to me and made it seem like it was actually manageable. And I realized that we could do this in stages – the first step is you come in, you do this whole day of bloodwork, you do all these things, and we'll freeze our sperm. Get through that first. And then we'll find an egg donor and then we'll make the embryos… and Dr. Leondires said you can do it in stages so it's not all at once.

We were asked by Gays with Kids if we would document our journey as we go, so this is the first video as we do that. We're hoping you guys will be joining us as we go on our journey and have a baby. Right now we're using credit cards to pay for this process, but we have some jobs coming up that will help us budget and pay for it.

Something that makes me feel like I want to get this going is because I just turned 39 this past week and I don't want to be too old by the time my kid is in high school.

We're going to be in Charleston NC for the next year to see if this is someplace we could settle down.

S: I'm nervous about being a gay parent anywhere, to be honest. I think that that's inherently because being gay, I've grown up a little nervous to be in new settings or new situations in general.

B: But I'm excited. What I love about being with kids is their imaginations, to play along with their imaginations! I'm excited for Easter and Christmas and for our nephew to have a cousin.

S: I'm excited to extend our family! What we have and to pass it down in every way that we can, and I think that being on this journey allows us to do that.

Gay Parents To Be®

Gay Parents To Be® is the leading international fertility program serving the LGBTQ community. Our full-suite of fertility services was founded by our Medical Director, Dr. Mark Leondires, a gay dad through surrogacy and egg donation, and leading advocate for the LGBTQ family-building community. Gay Parents To Be® is a single-source destination with a trusted partner network, including surrogacy and egg donation agencies and reproductive attorneys. We are the only East Coast IVF Clinic designated as a fully-inclusive LGBTQ Healthcare Leader by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) .

When you're ready, we're here to welcome you: https://www.GayParentsToBe.com

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Gay Dad Family Stories

This European Couple Became Dads Through a U.K.-Based Surrogacy Program

Janno, from Estonia, and Matthias, from Belgium, were accepted into the "Childlessness Overcome Through Surrogacy" Program.

Janno Talu, an accountant, and Matthias Nijs, an art gallery director, were born in different parts of Europe. Janno, 39, is from Estonia, and Matthias, 28, is from Belgium. Their paths crossed when the two moved to London, each from their different corners of the European Union.

Janno relocated to London earlier than Matthias, when he was 24, and his main reason for the move was his sexuality. "Although Estonia is considered one of the more progressive countries in Eastern Europe, when it comes to gay rights, it is still decades behind Western society in terms of tolerance," said Janno. "And things are not moving in the right direction." In 2016, same-sex civil union became legal, but the junior party in the current coalition government is seeking to repeal the same-sex partnership bill. "In addition," Janno continued, "they wish to include the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman in the country's constitution. Even today, there are people in Estonia who liken homosexuality to pedophilia, which is why I decided to start a new life in the UK, where I could finally be myself."

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A Gay Dad Asks: Is Destroying an Embryo Similar to Abortion?

It's a question many LGBTQ parents using advanced fertility treatments will need to face — what to do with "left over" embryos.

Let me start off by saying that I have always been pro choice and support all laws that allow people to have full reproductive rights including safe and legal abortions. This is a complicated subject and not one that I ever thought I would really have to deal with on a personal level, especially being a gay man.

I remember a very heated discussion on abortion in my biology class back in university. I was young, idealistic and had very strong convictions about abortion. I was debating with a female classmate who was pro life. She felt there was no reason for an abortion ever, not even if raped by your own parent or sibling. I could not really understand her position, then or now. Don't get me wrong, I still don't agree with her, but now that I'm older and wiser, and also a parent, I have come to respect and accept opinions other than mine.

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What's It Like When You're NOT the Bio Dad to Your Baby

Lauren Mello of Circle Surrogacy breaks down some of the challenges facing the gay dad who will *not* become the biological parent.

If you're a gay couple considering surrogacy, one of the first decisions you'll need to make together is who is going to be the biological father. When it's time to create your embryos with your egg donor's eggs, you have a few choices when it comes to which dad will be providing his biology: one dad only can provide his biology, both dads can provide their biology and leave the fertilization to chance, or both dads can provide their biology and fertilize half of the embryos with each dad's sperm. Some gay dads choose this third option if they plan to have twins, or more than one baby through surrogacy.

Once embryos are created, you'll decide which embryos will be transferred into your surrogate mother. Hopefully a pregnancy results, and you'll be on your way to fatherhood!

The question is: what's is like when you're NOT the bio dad to your baby? We spoke with a few dads through surrogacy from Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation, about the emotions surrounding being a bio dad...and not being one.

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A Gay Chiropractor Explains Why He Came Out to His Patients

After Cameron Call, a chiropractor, came out to his family this past year, he knew he had one more step to take — he had to come out to his patients

Fear is an interesting thing. It motivates when it shouldn't, shows at inconvenient times, and is the author of stories that do nothing but hold us back. I would argue though, too, that fear has some good qualities. I believe it helps us to feel. And I think it can be a great teacher as we learn to recognize and face it.

For years fear prevented me from embracing my truth and accepting a large part of who I am. I know I am not alone in that regard. But for so long my fear convinced me that I was. Fear is what kept me from ever telling my parents or anyone growing up that I am gay. Fear mingled with strong religious teachings, embraced at a young age, which led me to believe that I could cure myself of my attractions to the same gender. And fear is a part of what kept me in my marriage to a woman for over ten years.

Only so much growth and learning can occur when we limit ourselves to our fears. If people never did anything they were afraid to do, life would be incredibly boring and far too predictable. At some point we must face the things we fear and just go for it not knowing what will happen next.

After finally coming out to my ex-wife after ten years of marriage (see previous articles for that story), and eventually telling my family I knew there was one more step I needed to make.

I am a business owner. I am a structural chiropractor and am highly specialized in my field. Nearly four years ago I opened my own clinic, Horizon Chiropractic Center, in Phoenix, Arizona. I poured my whole heart, body, and soul into the creation of my practice and its growth. Opening a business fresh out of school is no simple task and I worked hard to build my practice with close relationships and word of mouth referrals. I established myself as an expert and built a strong reputation as a family man, and my ex-wife and kids were the face of my practice.

I loved and do love every person who has ever come into my office and treat them like family. We laugh together during visits, celebrate wins, cry together, often hug, and cheer each other on regarding various things in our life. That's also a large part of who I am: a people person. I enjoy spending quality time with those I am privileged to help. No one comes in my office and only sees me for 2-5 minutes.

Even though there was so much good that I had built into my brand and reputation fear eventually found its way into my business too. I was afraid of what would happen if people found out the truth. Would they be okay with having a gay chiropractor? Would they still trust me to be able to help them? Of course, the story in my head I was telling myself was much bigger and badder than it needed to be.

When we decided to get a divorce, I felt strongly that I needed to face these fears and begin telling a number of patients the truth of what was happening in my life. I know in reality it is no one's business but my own. However, I felt like I needed to let my patients who had become like family to me truly see me for who I am, and who I always was. And so slowly, case by case, I began to tell a select number of people.

I'll never forget the first patient I told. She had been coming in for years and was bringing her son in to see me who is on the autism spectrum. It was the day after my ex-wife and I decided to get a divorce and she could tell something heavy was on my mind. I eventually came out to her. The first words out of her mouth were "I am so proud of you!" We cried and hugged and it was the complete opposite of what I ever expected. And it was perfect. I felt loved. I felt accepted. I felt seen.

As time went on it got easier. And overall the responses were all completely positive and supportive. Out of all the patients I told and those who found out from other circles, only three stopped coming in to see me. Since coming out, my office has grown tremendously. My reputation hasn't changed. If anything, it's solidified. I can't help but think that part of that is due to finally embracing all of me and allowing others the same opportunity.

I read somewhere once that you never really stop coming out of the closet. And I've noticed that too. Sure, not everyone needs to know; it isn't everyone's business. And I hope that one day we live in a time period where fear doesn't prevent anyone from being seen. I want to contribute to the upward trajectory I think our society is headed of understanding, acceptance, support, and equality.

I would love to be able to say that after coming out publicly I no longer feel fear; but I do. And I think in some ways I always will no matter what. But that's part of life, right? Recognizing fear when we have it but then choosing to move forward out of love – love for others, but maybe more importantly love for ourselves.

Personal Essays by Gay Dads

A Gay Dad Gains Clarity After a Health Scare

A recent health scare helped give Erik Alexander clarity.

Sometimes fear can cripple the mind and hinder ones judgement. Having children of my own, I have come to grips with accepting the things I cannot change and learned to take action when there is no other choice. When it comes to my own personal health, the future and well being of my family gives me all the clarity I need to make the right decision about any kind of health scare.

This episode is dedicated to all the parents out there that are going through or have gone through similar situations.

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Surrogacy for Gay Men

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If you're in the Bay Area this weekend, two major events are happening that will be of interest for dads-to-be and surrogacy advocates: the Men Having Babies San Francisco Conference, and the SF Advocacy and Research Forum for Surrogacy and LGBT Parenting (ARF)

If you're in San Francisco or the surrounding area, clear your calendar this weekend. Two events are happening simultaneously that are significant for dads-to-be AND surrogacy advocates: the Men Having Babies San Francisco Conference, and the SF Advocacy and Research Forum for Surrogacy and LGBT Parenting (ARF). For an outlines of both events, check out below.

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A couple months ago, Trystan Reese, a gay, trans dad based in Portland, Oregon, took to Instagram to share a moving, if incredibly concerning, experience. Reese, who works with Family Equality Council, was speaking at an event in Boston, and learned before his appearance that a group of protesters were planning to attend.

"As a trans person, I was terrified to be targeted by anti-LGBTQ people and experienced genuine fear for my own safety," Trystan wrote. In response, he did what many LGBTQ people would do in a similar situation — reach out to his community in Boston, and ask for their support. "And they came," he wrote. But it wasn't just anyone within the LGBTQ community that came to his defense, he emphasized — "you know who came? Gay men. Gay dads, to be exact. They came, ready to block people from coming in, ready to call building security, ready to protect me so I could lead my event. They did it without question and without reward. They did it because it was the right thing to do."

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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