Change the World

Posts From Gay Dads That Remind Us What the Holidays Are Really About

Three gay dads took to social media to remind us the true reason for the season.

With all the marketing and consumerism we are bombarded with in our daily lives - even more so around the holidays - it can be quite commonplace to forget the true reason of the season. And everybody's reason can be different, but the true emphasis is on celebrating our loved ones, cherishing the special moments, and giving as opposed to receiving. Here are three dads whose social media posts reminded us, about the true spirit of the holidays.

Happy Holidays everyone!


"Merry Christmas my babies"

Michael Duncan lives in Winston-Salem, NC, where he moved eight years ago after separating from the U.S. Navy. "After serving overseas in the military, it was important for me to have a family of my own," shared Michael. "I had seen so much violence, missed so many holidays and experienced a lot of loss as a widow." Michael's late husband, whom he had met at age 5 in Kindergarten, was killed on their one year anniversary. "We had promised to start a family together," continued Michael. "He bought me a "Father's Day Card" for our anniversary which was his way of telling me he remembered our promise to one another."

Michael kept waiting to find another love but after years in the Navy, he decided he could no longer wait and started the journey to fatherhood on his own. "I started working with our local Department of Social Services to foster. I was approved as a foster parent and my sons were my first placement in my home. We fell in love with one another and really clicked from the very first moment we met. I started the process of adoption and 14 months later welcomed them into our forever home."

Reading Michael's Facebook post above, is a wonderful reminder of the important things in life, and for many of our families, it can be having an adoption finalized, a foster journey moving forward, or a family last name being formalized.

"Holidays for me is about family! Having children of my own to share my life and traditions with," says Michael. "Giving love to others as a family unit and ensuring we bless those around us who are in need. It is the simple acts of love that matter most in our home."

***

“With your support, we are donating over $90,000 to the beneficiaries including over 2,500 teddy bears to Children's Health!"

Jason Hanna, dad of twin boys through surrogacy and husband to Joe, lost his mother after a courageous fight with lung cancer. When they first found out about her diagnosis, Jason sprang into action. "In honor of the battle she was just beginning, I wanted to do something to give her the strength to push through all of the treatments, so I did a teddy bear drive and donated those teddy bears to children in the local hospital who were going through the same type of treatment."

Sadly the first event of its kind in 2011 was the only one Jason's mother was able to attend before she became very ill and passed away only a few months later, but her legacy continues to live on year after year. "We continue the Teddy Bear Party in memory of her and all of the other loved ones lost or impacted by cancer while we continue to advocate for the LGBTQ community and our families."

Since 2011, it's been incredible to see the Teddy Bear Drive grow every year and see the kiddos that benefit. "These teddy bears comfort each kiddo throughout their hospital journey and for years to follow."

"For our 'Magical Victorian Christmas' we had 60 kids come and receive first from Mr. & Mrs. Claus from our kids toy drive" 

Brian Splater and Austin Karnatz became dads when they adopted their great-niece and great-nephew in 2018. The family of four live in Superior, Nebraska, and call a very important local landmark home. "Since we live in an 1885 Victorian home and one of the, if not the, most iconic home in our town, we decided to have an Annual Magical Victorian Christmas Open House. Since our kids knew Santa would be there they wanted him to hand out gifts to the underprivileged kids in our community. That is how "E and J's Magical Toy Drive" began. We thought we'd get 30 USED toys but we ended up with 275 NEW toys on 18 days!"

They family ended up with so many toys left over, their 8-year-old daughter suggested they give them to sick kids, and so the family drove to the Children's Hospital in Omaha to deliver the 183 new toys. Their act of kindness caught the attention of WOWT6's local news anchor, Brian Mastre, who met them at the hospital. (Watch the clip here.)

But this family's kindness doesn't stop there. They have started a page called Ambassadors of Kindness. "We created the page to share everyone's acts of kindness they witness or do. Because of the toy drive, it inspired us to create the page."

We look forward to following along with this family and their future acts of goodwill and kindness - something so important, not just around the holidays.

***

Share your own story, or someone else's, of kindness or holiday cheer, and we'll share to our social pages.

Happy Holidays to all!

Show Comments ()
Personal Essays by Gay Dads

A Painful Christmas Taught This Dad the Meaning of Home

Erik Alexander spent Christmas 2005 in Los Angeles after being displaced from his New Orleans home after Hurricane Katrina — it was a painful experience, but one that taught him the meaning of home.

Everything that happens in our lives is meant to teach us something. These experiences — good, the bad, and the ugly —accumulate to help us grow into the people we are. I see how true this is with each passing day.

In 2005, my life was turned upside down. Katrina blew everyone's life to hell and then we had to pick up what was left and learn to live again. After becoming a 'refugee' in Memphis, I decided to move out west because I had always wanted to live in LA. I had stars in my eyes and dreams of making it big. FEMA money in my pocket, I loaded up my little blue Mazda Protege and started my journey across the country to become a famous pop singer. It was just after Thanksgiving when I moved, and I was lucky enough to have a couple of sweet friends to meet up with when I arrived. Christmas time was quickly approaching, but I wasn't ready for it.

Y'all, I loooove the Holidays. I always have. There are so many things about this time of year that are special to me... the decorations, the cheerful people, and most of all my family. I didn't realize how big of a role family played until I moved. I had to relearn how to enjoy Christmas.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Photo Essays

These Dads and Kids Came to Sleigh (Their Santa Photos)

Our annual roundup of gay dads and their kids sleighing their family photo with Santa!

Christmas is never complete without trekking to your local mall for a quick pic with Santa! And these dads and their kids didn't disappoint. Check out this photo essay of gay dads and their kids serving some major lewks alongside Saint Nick!

Keep reading... Show less
Entertainment

Christmas Movie Has Gay Dads In One Version — Straight Parents In Another

Two Christmas movies from 2004 are identical in every way — except one very queer one.

Tis the season for made-for-T.V. Christmas movies that you will likely never see — but some sleuths on Twitter found at least one good reason to pay attention to two of them: Too Cool For Christmas and A Very Cool Christmas, which both came out in 2004, are exactly the same in every way, except one version cast gay dads as the parents of a 16-year-old girl, while the other swaps out one of the husbands for a wife.

The gay version (Too Cool for Christmas) is available on Amazon Prime, while the straight one (A Very Cool Christmas) trades out one of the gay dads for a female actor and is on Hulu.

The plot of the movie is nothing spectacular. A teenaged girl wants to go on a ski trip with friends over the holidays rather than spend time with her family. (Will she learn a valuable lesson along the way? Watch to find out!)

Both films were directed by an out gay man, Sam Irvin, who spoke to Buzzfeed about the reasons behind filming two versions:

"Back in those days, there was a little bit less open-mindedness to having gay characters. [Filmmakers thought] they would have better chances of selling [the straight version] to those more lucrative markets, but also be able to do an alternate version."

Irving said at the time, during the late 1990s and early 2000s, he worked closely with Here TV, an American television network for LGBTQ audiences — but that it was difficult to get funding to finance entire movies on an LGBTQ platform. So they created two versions in order to make the project possible.

"The executives at these companies decided, if we could have some gay content in a movie that could run on Here TV that would satisfy our subscribers that are expecting gay content, but we could also repurpose it and do a quote-unquote straight version and try to sell that to Lifetime or those types of networks, that would be beneficial," Irving told Buzzfeed.

Twitter, of course, had a field day posting videos of the two versions running side-by-side with the Freaky Friday parent switch:

Others wondered what it would be like to have "choose your adventure" casting options for everything we watched:

Despite all the fun at the expense of these movies, we give major props to anyone willing to go to lengths such as these to increase positive representation of gay dads in the media — particularly back in 2004!

Personal Essays by Gay Dads

Just Like Dad: Ways My Kids and I Are Alike

Joseph Sadusky recounts the ways he and his adopted sons are cut from the same cloth.

Editor's Note: This is the third in a series of excerpts from Joseph Sadusky's new book, Magic Lessons: Celebratory and Cautionary Tales about Life as a (Single, Gay, Transracially Adoptive) Dad. The book contains many stories about my life as a dad, as well as lessons learned, and we're excited to share several excerpts from the the book over the course of the next few months. Read previous installments here!

Keep reading... Show less
Expert Advice

4 Tips for Single Gay Dads Raising Daughters

Here are some ways to create a safe space for your daughter to discover who she is, with you by her side.

There's nothing quite like father-daughter relationships, and when it comes to single dads, your little girl likely holds a very special place in your heart. From the moment she's born, it's as if you can see every moment of her life in front of you, from her first steps to walking her down the aisle at her wedding. You'll be the first man she'll know and talk to, and you'll be her biggest example of what a loving man looks like. She'll come to you for advice on how to navigate challenges, be independent, treat others and grow into herself.

Your relationship with your daughter may be shaped by your personal history, whether you've been through a difficult divorce or breakup, you've transitioned out of a straight relationship, or you made the courageous decision to pursue surrogacy on your own. Whatever your situation is, studies have shown that children with involved fathers excel more in school and have fewer behavioral issues in adolescence.

Keep reading... Show less
Change the World

After Suffering a Violent Homophobic Attack, This Gay Dad Turned to Advocacy

After Rene suffered a brutal homophobic attack that left him hospitalized, he and his family have turned to advocacy to heal

Guest post written by Rene and Nejc

We are Rene (35) and Nejc (29) and we come from Slovenia, Europe. I was an avid athlete, a Judoist, but now I am an LGBT activist and Nejc is a writer, who published a gay autobiography called Prepovedano. He was also a participant in a reality show in Slovenia (Bar) and he is an LGBT activist too. Nejc and I met by a mere coincidence on Facebook, and already after the first phone call we realized that we are made for each other. Nejc and I have been together as couple almost one year. We think we have been joined by some energy, as we have both experienced a lot of bad things with previous relationships and now we wish to create and shape our common path.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

10 of Our Most Popular Posts Featuring Single Gay Dads

Happy Single Parent's Day! To celebrate, we rounded up some of our most popular articles featuring single gay dads.

Did you know March 21st is Single Parents Day? Well now you do, and you should mark the occasion by checking out our round up of some of our most popular articles featuring single gay dads!

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