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!"

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Change the World

In the Philly Area? Attend 'Family Pride' On October 5th!

Philadelphia Family Pride is hosting their 10th Annual "Family Matters" Conference on October 5th for LGBTQ parents, prospective parents, and their kids!

Guest post by Stephanie Haynes, the executive director of Philadelphia Family Pride

On Saturday, October 5, 2019, Philadelphia Family Pride will hold their 10th Annual Family Matters Conference from 9am to 3:30pm for LGBTQ parents, prospective parents and their kids of all ages at the University of the Sciences in West Philadelphia. The theme this year is "Telling Our Stories." Registration is now open!

In an interactive keynote, Anndee Hochman, author of the Philadelphia Inquirer's weekly "Parent Trip" column, will share highlights from her work as a journalist and memoirist. She'll invite conversation about the stories that shape us—what tales do we share? who does the telling? who is left out?—and how those stories, added up, are changing the world. Read her bio.

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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.

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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!

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Gong Hei Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year!

As we usher in the year of rat, we asked some of our dads how they honor this special time.

Today we're celebrating, alongside our families, the Chinese New Year! As we usher in the year of rat, we asked some of our dads how they honor this special time, what they do to celebrate, and how they're instilling these traditions in their kids. Here are some of their responses.

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Indiana Court Says Couples Using Sperm Donors​ Can Both Be Listed on Birth Certificate — But Ruling Excludes Male Couples

The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in the case, a major victory for LGBTQ parents — but the Attorney General may appeal to the Supreme Court.

On Friday, a US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling from a lower court that said that both parents in a same-sex relationship are entitled to be listed on the birth certificate — previously, the state of Indiana had required the non-biological parent within a same-sex relationship using assisted reproductive technologies to adopt their child after the birth in order to get her or his name listed on the birth certificate, a lengthy and expensive process not required of straight couples in the same situation.

It's a double standard LGBTQ parents have long been subjected to in many states across the country. So this represent a major win. As reported by CNN, this ruling "takes a lot of weight off" the shoulders of LGBTQ parents, said Karen Celestino-Horseman, a lawyer representing one of the couples in the case. "They've been living as families and wondering if this was going to tear them apart."

The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals deliberated the case, according to CNN, for more than two and a half years, which is one of the longest in the court's history.

However, because all the plaintiffs in the case involved female same-sex couples using sperm donors, the ruling left open the similar question of parenting rights with respect to male couples. Indiana's Attorney General, moreover, may also appeal the case to the Supreme Court.

We'll be following the case closely and be sure to keep you up to date. For more on this recent decision, read CNN's article here.

Personal Essays by Gay Dads

As a Gay Dad, What's the Impact of Letting My Son Perform Drag?

Michael Duncan was excited when his 10-year-old son asked if he could perform in drag for charity — but he also felt fear and anxiety.

As LGBT parents, we have all lived through some sort of trauma in our lives. For many it is the rejection of our family, being bullied, or abuse. We learn to be vigilant of our surroundings and often are very cautious of who we trust. As adults, we start to become watchful of how much we share and we look for "red flags" around every corner.

So, what effect does this have on our children? Does it unintentionally cause us to be more jaded with our interactions involving others? For some the answer may be a resounding "no." But as we look deeper into the situation, we often find that through survival our interactions with others have changed and we may not even realize exactly how much we are projecting on those around us.

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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.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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