Gay Dad Life

"We Have a Tribe Now" Cheyenne Jackson Tells Us on His Twins' First Birthday

Cheyenne Jackson, best known for his roles on Glee and American Horror Story, has recently taken on one of his most challenging and rewarding roles yet: being a dad to twins, Willow and Ethan, along with his husband Jason Landau. We caught up with the talented actor and singer on the occasion of his twins' first birthday to learn a bit more about how life as a new dad is treating him.


Gays With Kids: Have you and Jason always wanted to be dads?

Cheyenne Jackson: I've wanted to be a dad as long as I can remember. Jason has said he didn't know if he wanted to have kids until he met me. And I didn't pay him to say that :).

GWK: How early on did you two discuss the idea of having kids?

CJ: Seems like it was right away. Our love was instant and undeniable and we saw a future with a family right away.

Cheyenne Jackson and Jason Landou on their wedding day

GWK: You and Jason used a gestational surrogate/egg donor, and implanted two embryos, one from each of you. Were you hoping to have twins?

CJ: We wanted a healthy baby and didn't want to hopefully go through the implantation process too many times. We were advised to up our chances of getting pregnant by implanting two. Obviously we knew that there was a small chance both would take and we would have twins. I kind of wanted one to begin with but Jason always wanted twins. Then when we implanted, both took on the first try. So we got used to the idea of twins pretty quickly!!!

GWK: How has it been in the last year going from a family of two to four over night?

CJ: Shocking. Beautiful. Exhausting. Jarring. Perfect.

GWK: What has been the best part about this first year of fatherhood for you and Jason?

CJ: No way to pick just one thing or part. Our whole lives have changed in every way. We have a tribe now. It's not just us anymore. It's deep and crazy and just so powerful.

GWK: What about the hardest part?

CJ: Lack of sleep and fatigue. For sure. It's otherworldly. Not for the faint of heart

GWK: The most surprising part?

CJ: How perfectly imperfect it all feels. You are not in control. Repeat as needed until the end of time!!!!

GWK: What was your/Jason's reaction when you found out you were having twins?

CJ: I had to take a moment and breathe and wrap my head around the idea. From zero babies to two babies? It's huge. Jason jumped up and down and we cried and hugged and told our family.

GWK: How are Willow and Ethan's personalities the same/different?

CJ: Willow came out first and was dominant from the get go. She also is very introspective and stares you down like she has been here many times before. Ethan is much more in awe of the world and surroundings. Very sensitive. Both love music, Willow dances and laughs constantly and Ethan is a ham. Basically they are both like both of us, lol.

One of the many adorable pics Cheyenne posts to his Instagram page

GWK: You've said previously that you took 6 months off to be a stay-at-home dad. How were those months at home with your kids?

CJ: Heaven. Best decision I ever made.

GWK: Now that you're back at work, what's it like maintaining your busy schedules as new dads?

CJ: It's an adjustment but we have a wonderful nanny who helps during the week when I'm at work and they come and visit on set whenever possible.

GWK: Have you had to spend much time away from your family?

CJ: I've only been away from them for 48 hours in a year.

GWK: Have you noticed people treating you and/or Jason any differently as dads on account of your sexuality?

CJ: A couple times I've heard comments or seen people staring in restaurants, trying to figure out where our wives are, etc. Some rude comments on social media sometimes, like "Where's their mom?" and " I feel sorry for those kids not having the female touch." And that's so preposterous that I don't even give it one second of my time. These kids are so loved and showered with affection and attention from everyone in their lives, most of which are women, by the way. So all is well.

GWK: What advice would you give to other gay men considering surrogacy?

CJ: It's an emotional intense beautiful expensive experience, but it is pure magic.

GWK: Have you had any advice/support from any of the few other out gay celebrities who are dads?

CJ: Oh sure. Lots of our friends are dads and we share our experiences and stories. It's the new normal. Ricky Martin gave me good twin advice and it's been so nice to share our lives with each other. We all learn from each other.

GWK: What do you have planned for the twins' first birthday this year?

CJ: Family and friends at the house and the kids will be having their first cake. And our dog will be eating most of it off the floor I'm sure.

GWK: Having a high profile example of a gay couple like you and Jason successfully raising kids is a powerful thing for the LGBTQ community. And fortunately for us, you provide your fans with an intimate (and adorable) peek into your family life each week on Instagram. Do you feel a sense of responsibility to maintain a degree of visibility on social media as a famous gay man raising kids?

CJ: I don't think of it in broad terms like that. I look at it this way. I share my family experience because I am so bombarded with love and joy on a daily basis that it's almost too much for us to take. Seriously. It's so profound. Sometimes we just sit and stare at them and cry because the love is so strong. so we want to share our love with others. People are invested in our story and our kids and we hear it every time we are out with them. It's nothing but love. What could be bad about that?

GWK: We're loving the current season of AHS, and know you've been working on a new project, American Woman, set to premier in 2018. Anything you'd like to say about that series, or any other projects you have coming up?

Thanks. Yes, I only work on shows with American in the title now, ha! Proud of my work in both of these shows and excited for the future. I'm just beginning!

GWK: Anything else you'd like to add?

CJ: The Book Baby Wise was our bible and made everything possible. Sleeping schedule is a must.

***

Many thanks to Cheyenne Jackson and his family for sharing his story with us on his twins birthday! Be sure to check out his Instagram page, which is loaded with ridiculously adorable photos of Willow and Ethan with their equally adorable dads. Check out some of our favorite Insta-pics below:


Show Comments ()
Gay Dad Life

How Canada's 'Gay Dollar' Helped This Gay Man Reflect on His Biggest Regret—Not Having Kids

Canada unveiled a 'gay dollar' coin earlier this year, helping Gregory Walters reflect on the progress the LGBTQ community has made—and his decision to forgo having children children

Earlier this year, Canada unveiled a rainbow-stripped coin dollar to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the country's decision to decriminalize homosexuality. With the coins now firmly in circulation, Gregory Walters, who lives in Vancouver, wrote a moving essay for the Globe and Mail, expressing joy for how far Canada has come on the issue of gay rights, but how the coin is also a symbolic representation of the "greatest regret" of his life—his decision not to adopt children.

Gregory writes that he had hoped to adopt a child ever since his early career working with persons with developmental disabilities. "Several children I worked with were wards of the State of Texas," he wrote. "Their parents having relinquished all rights either owing to egregious acts of abuse or a lack of desire to raise someone with so many needs. There were days when I felt, 'If I could just take you home and raise you.' I knew there was a need for adopting persons with special needs but my own internalized homophobia got in the way yet again. Despite what is probably my own gift in working with children, I never felt worthy enough to be a parent. I always felt that if I were a gay dad it would create more of a liability for the child."

Gregory decision to forgo having children, he says, is his "greatest regret." While he takes responsibility for some of this decision, he also adds: "society's view of homosexuals and its opinions regarding gay adoptions also played a major part."

To critics of Canada's coin, some of who have said its a cheap political pander to the LGBTQ community, Gregory concludes with this thought:

"I don't care if the indulged majority who never had to question marriage or raising children or being secure in a job may feel the coin is frivolous. The coin isn't for them in the first place. It's an acknowledgment for those of us who repressed our true selves and felt oppressed. It is for gays who never lived to see rights and protections enshrined in law. It is for younger LGBTQ people to learn more about how far we've come and to gain a deeper sense of gay pride. For these reasons, the coin has value so much greater than any monetary designation. The coin represents both empowerment and normalization."

Read Gregory's full essay here.

Gay Dad Life

8 Pics of Ricky Martin Being an Adorable Dad Because Why Not?

Here's some pics of Ricky Martin being an adorable dad because we've ALL had a long week and deserve this don't we??

Earlier this year, in January 2019, superstar Ricky Martin and his husband Jwan Yosef shared a post via Instagram announcing that they'd welcomed a baby girl named Lucia into their family. With twin 9-year-old sons in the house as well, Ricky and Jwan now have a very full casa. Fortunately, the dads are giving us a little glimpse into their chaotic but fun-filled home lives via Instagram. We rounded up 8 of our fav recent parenting pics by the popstar because we've all had long weeks and we deserve this don't we??

Enjoy!

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

17 T.V. Shows Featuring Gay Dad Characters

Gay dads are all the rage on the small screen these days... here are 17 shows that prominently feature gay dad characters!

The 2019-2020 TV season will soon be upon us! In recent years, gay dad characters have been all the rage... will we see more representation this fall? We sure hope so! But in the meantime, we'll be content reviewing this list of 17 shows that have (somewhat) prominently featured gay dad characters!

Also we KNOW we're missing some, so drop us a line in the comments to tell us what we should add!

1. Grace & Frankie

In this Netflix original series, Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston play gay dads who come out to their wives and children well past their primes. Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda play the ex-wives, rounding out the star-studded cast. Now in its fourth season, the show has been well received and sheds an interesting light on the complications involved with fathers who come out later in life.

Change the World

Judge's Decision in NY 'Compassionate Surrogacy' Case Involving Gay Dad Overturned

Though compensated surrogacy remains illegal in New York State, "compassionate surrogacy" arrangements are remain legal

Last week, an unanimous four-judge panel, part of the New York Appellate Division in Brooklyn, New York, revived a gay dad's petition to adopt his son born via surrogacy. The dad, identified as "Joseph P." in court documents, had earlier been denied his petition to adopt by a Queens County Family Court Judge, John M. Hunt. The Queens judge denied the petition because compensated surrogacy contracts are illegal in New York. However, the child born to Joseph was born via "compassionate surrogacy," meaning his gestational surrogate was not compensated.

The Appellate court's decision, written by Justice Alan D. Scheinkmanm called Hunt's decision "clearly erroneous," and held that a new Family Court judge should re-hear the case.

Judge Hunt's decision is all the more confusing since Joseph had actually already become a father via surrogacy in New York—three times over. In each instance, he used donor eggs and a friend serving, voluntarily, as the gestational surrogate. He had his first child in 2012, and then twins the following year. In all three instances, a Family Court judge granted Joseph's adoption petition, given that each child was conceived via "compassionate surrogacy," meaning no money changes hands in the course of a surrogacy journey between carrier an intended parent. This type of surrogacy arrangement is not illegal under to New York law. The social worker in Joseph's latest attempt to adopt, Gay City News noted, also gave him a favorable review, calling him "a mature, stable, and caring person who intentionally created a family of himself, the twins, and John."

Gay City News notes: "Justice Scheinkman provided a careful description of the laws governing surrogacy in New York. The Legislature provided that surrogacy contracts are unenforceable and treated as void. However, the only surrogacy contracts actually outlawed are those where the surrogate is compensated. It was clear to the Appellate Division that the Legislature did not mean to outlaw voluntary surrogacy arrangements, merely to make them unenforceable in the courts. Those who enter into a compensated surrogacy agreement face a small monetary fine and people who act as brokers to arrange such agreements are liable for a larger penalty. There is no penalty for voluntary, uncompensated surrogacy arrangements."

Read the full article here.

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.

Keep reading... Show less
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?

Fatherhood, the gay way

Get the latest from Gays With Kids delivered to your inbox!

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse