Change the World

What Does Pride Mean to Gay Dads?

Gay dads reflect on how far we've come in the 50 years since Stonewall, and how far we have yet to go.

We caught up with 12 gay dads from across the country to ask them what pride celebrations mean to them as members of both the gay parenting and LGBTQ communities.


Aaron and Ben, Orlando, Florida

"It is so very important to me to feel represented. To see families I look like. To have my daughter interact with other LGBTQ families. To see allies stand strong with us. There is no hate. Only love."

Ben and Aaron celebrated Pride by attending the "Red Shirt Day " at Disney's Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida. "It's the perfect day and I'm thankful for those who have fought the fight to allow me to feel "normal" and heard."

Alex and David, Los Angeles, California

"Pride to me is about letting go of any internalized homophobia, remembering those who have paved the way for us to be out freely and safely — but most importantly, it's about spreading a message of "look how much better it gets" so the next generation knows that there is such a thing as a happy ending."

John and Corey, Michigan

"Pride to our family establishes the love and strong support with have with our community which allows us to shine our true colors as a family."

John and Corey are going on a 2-month adventure camping and exploring National Parks before they begin fostering again. They plan to take this opportunity to spend time bonding with their two sons, and chatting about Pride it what it means to their family.

Arin, Phoenix, Arizona

"Pride means to me honoring the people who sacrificed to build our equality foundation, supporting those who continue the work today, and raising diverse, open-minded humans to lead us in the future."

One way Arin celebrates Pride month is by learning about the leaders of the past like Marsha P. Johnson and Harvey Milk. "We read their stories and talk of their impact on our freedoms today."

Matt and Robert, Denver, Colorado

"50 years ago Pride started out as a riot. 10 years ago we never thought we would become parents - let alone being proudly out. But today we have the greatest gift we could have ever asked for with our daughter Claire. It truly shows how far we've come in acceptance and love. Marching with that in mind, our hope is to continue the message for those that were brave enough to share their voice so that they will continue to be heard - love wins."

Matt and Robert walked as dads for the first time, accompanied by their daughter, in the Denver Pride Parade.

Adam and Josh, Portland, Oregon

"To us, Pride means having our little gay family out, visible, and unabashedly proud. There aren't as many gay couples with adoptive gay teens out there, so we are happy to be an example of love, commitment, and being there for each other during good times and when life is at its most challenging. This year we celebrated pride by going to local events in Portland, and marching in the annual parade with The Living Room, an LGBTQ+ youth organization. The Portland Pride parade is extra special since it also falls on Father's Day, and our kiddo has 2!"

Dads Adam and Josh celebrated by walking with their son in the Portland Pride Parade.

Moses and Bob, Long Beach, California

"Pride = I'm a proud gay man for 36 years, a proud husband for 16 years, and a proud gay dad for 10 years. I came out at the age of 16. I was blessed to have had great gay role models that taught me to become the person that I'm today. I'm so proud to belong to a community that has struggled and fought for our rights to love who we wanna love."

Moses and his family celebrated Pride by marching in the Long Beach Pride Parade.

Sean and Spencer, Maplewood, New Jersey

"Being proud means to me being proud of my queer identity and of those who paved the way for us. I'm proud of being an openly gay, married, father to twin boys. I am proud to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community, which is a strong, diverse, loving community."

For the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, Sean and Spencer have been celebrating all month with their sons and attending different pride events in New Jersey and New York. "It is important for us to show our boys, that even at a young age, that having gay dads is something to celebrate and be proud of!"

James and Andrew, Washington Township, New Jersey

Photos by Tara Mander

"Pride is the chance to CELEBRATE… our family diversity. I often wish my younger self had the chance to meet me now, 20 years ago I never could have imagined I would be lucky enough to live the life I live. I have a husband that I adore, 3 beautiful children and I am a PROUD gay man who has much support from family and friends for just being who I am.

There are many who have come before us who fought for where we are today, PRIDE month is a chance to remember them and be thankful for what we do have and because of them I can be me, we can be us, we can be a family. There is still a long way to go, but PRIDE month is also a chance to set the foundation for our future… My hopes in showing our Family PRIDE is that the youth of today can see that LOVE truly does make a family and everyone, EVERYONE deserves that!!!"

This year James and Andrew celebrated Pride by attending their second annual Pride Parade in Philadelphia. "There was so much LOVE it was infectious!" said James about the day. "Our kids never looked happier, and it's so great to see more and more families that are like ours, come out and CELEBRATE!!!!"

Kunal and Jason, San Diego, California

"For us, Pride means to be proud in our skin and our true self and show our daughter that she can be anything, anyone she wants as long as she is nice to others. We also think Pride is still as relevant as 50 years ago. Of course huge strides have been made because of pioneers, but we still need Pride because people need to understand transphobia and homophobia is still rampant. And Pride is the answer to show everyone we still need to stand up against hatred."

Kunal and Jason are excited to walk in San Diego's Pride Parade next month as a family.

Kevin, Salt Lake City, Utah

"This month, my boyfriend Darin and I took the kids to see Delicate Arch in Arches National Park. It's a mile and a half hike from the road to the Arch. Together we helped the kids up the hill, climb over rocks and even carried the little ones on our backs when they were tired. At times Darin and I held hands and at the end of the hike we kissed under the 52 foot high arch in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Truly a picture perfect experience for us.

But we both recognize this experience may not have been possible without the many LGBT people and allies that fought for acceptance over the decades."

"So for me, Pride is gratitude for others who have worked hard to change a culture so we can be ourselves and have experiences like this without fear of how other people will react.

Happy Pride!"

Kevin and Craig, Dallas, Texas

"Pride means love. Love of self, love for who God created you to be, love of your family and love of your family of choice. In our younger years, we never dreamed parenting was an option because we were gay. Now as fathers to a wonderful son, we are able to be examples of living out God's truth to the next generation."

Kevin and Craig celebrated Pride by taking their son to the family Pride event this year, as well as "celebrating our love for each other!"


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.

Personal Essays by Gay Dads

5 Reasons Why We Love Gays With Kids!

Our longtime blogger Erik Alexander breaks down five reasons he loves Gays With Kids to celebrate our 5th birthday!

Photo Credit: BSA Photography

In the divisive and polarizing environment that gay dads live in today, what would we do without Gays With Kids? Honestly.
Just think about it. GWK gives the gay dads of America and across the world an outlet to feel a sense of belonging and inclusion that, for many, is difficult to find. Furthermore, GWK is primarily about us—gay dads.

With that being said, this is GWK's 5th anniversary! So how better to show my appreciation than to list My 5 reasons Why: We Love Gays With Kids!

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Photo Essays

Pics of Gay Dads (and Kids!) Celebrating Pride Around the World!

From Salt Lake to São Paulo, gay dads have represented the LGBTQ parenting community in pride celebrations the world over this month!

We have loved seeing your pride celebration pics! From Salt Lake to São Paulo, gay dads and their kids donned their very best rainbow outfits, threw some glitter over their shoulders, and marched in gay pride celebrations all over the world, representing the LGBTQ parenting community in style.

We at Gays With Kids couldn't be more proud of our growing community of gay, bi and trans dads (and dads-to-be!) So from all of us to you, we wish you a happy pride season! Check out these dads

Keep reading... Show less
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?

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:

Keep reading... Show less

Fatherhood, the gay way

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

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse