Thursday, May 28, 2015

Mother’s Day Through A Gay Dad’s Eyes

Another Mother’s Day is right around the corner.
Our fourth since our son was born.
As any writer will tell you, especially a gay dad writer, this day gives birth (pun intended) to many articles about how our types of families handle this yearly event.
And let me tell you, that there are countless scenarios playing out all over this great big world of ours, this is just humbly.. mine.
Read full article HERE

A Gay Father’s Simple Hopes For Justice Sotomayor

So I would never use the word intelligent to describe myself.
I am far from a thinker or an over analytical man.
I am much simpler than that, more basic, I’m a feeler.
I trust my gut and my instincts and I make every attempt to move away from what what I perceive as pain and move towards what my spirit senses as pleasure. The pain/pleasure principle.
I also believe in making as many decisions as I can sourced from inspiration rather than desperation.
That little concept, I believe, can change lives.
Read full article HERE

Monday, March 23, 2015

After Eight Years A Gay Dad Can Finally Call His Boy, His Son. By Joey Troxel

Feb 5th, 2015.  We waited 8 years for this day.  When people ask me about my boy, I always say it’s a very complicated story.  Really, its not that complicated, but I don’t want to tell it in a way that makes anyone involved look as if they made mistakes or that somehow our boy was deprived in any way.  It all started 8 years ago when my sister realized she was pregnant.  She had always told me that she didn’t want kids, she just wanted dogs.  I am 18 years older than her so I have known her for her whole life. We talked about her options.  She was dating the child’s birth father and they really wanted to make it work between them, but it just didn’t.  Relationships are tricky.  Adding a baby to the mix at an early stage can really scare a new couple even thought these two knew each other from high school.  My sister had mentioned to me that T and I would be great dads.  I was somewhat shocked.  T and I were a gay couple in our 40’s, with very active Gym based lives, a historic home in Central Phoenix that we were in the middle of remodeling and we both had careers that we were excelling in.  I told her that I had never thought about kids before.  Of course, at that time, I had never thought about marriage also.  Who could have foreseen that coming just 8 years ago?  Still, the seed had been planted in my head.  T and I talked about it and it was a scary idea.  We really were just self-absorbed with our own well-being and why would we want to compromise that?

Still, my sister was going through something she knew she was not going to be able to follow through with afterwards.  As the months drew on, and we got closer to the due date, my feelings started to evolve.  T and I started getting excited about having a baby in the family. This would be my first nephew.  I wanted to give him everything.  My sister still talked about putting the baby up for adoption, but I was sure she would see his beautiful face when he was born and that would be the end of that kind of talk. 

October finally came and the birth day arrived.  Our little guy was born.  It was tough because I was the second person to hold him (After my mother of course) but once grandma passed him over to me, I was in awe.  I felt something inside of me that I could not have predicted.  I was overcome with joy for this little guy.  I was also crying for some reason.  I felt scared that something would happen to him and I felt excited for all the possibilities of being born in this great technological age.   There was so much I wanted to teach him.  This was tough for me.  While I was immediately attached to him, he wasn’t my son.  He was my sister’s son.  I kept my distance emotionally but still I was there every day to help him get through his new life .  As the first year went on, we watched my sister try and form a mother’s attachment to our new little guy.  But we came to a point where we all knew she was right all along.  This was not the life she wanted nor did she want to put a child through something that wouldn’t be anything but the best for him.  We decided to make the switch and our little guy came to live with us.  By this time, I had already given up my home office and converted it into the most awesome Thomas the Tank Engine room anyone has every seen.  Now that we had a child living with us full time, we realized that one of us would have to quit our jobs to stay home and be an at home dad.  I decided to give up my career as a computer network engineer so my partner could keep his job at the  hospital.  I got a real estate license which would allow me to work my own hours and from home.  We told my sister that we would keep him until she got to a point where she wanted him back.  When that time comes, she could take him.   We thought we had it all figured out.  Ill stay home with the baby, T will work, and I will do the domestic stuff.  I was all about baby bottles, diapers, cleaning the house, and making food for all of us.  No problem. 

Here is what I didn’t count on.  Our 2-bedroom house with a POOL of all damned things to have with a child around was now so small, it made me become crazed!  I could not move left or right without stepping on something.  I couldn’t put something away without it being dragged right back out again.  Our two bedrooms had no place for computers, printers, scanners, and all that home office stuff now that we no longer had a home office.  Our pool was a looming angel of death that scared me in my dreams every damned night because once our little guy starts walking, he’s making a beeline for that thing and he’s going to drown.  It was obvious we needed a new home.  But, as you may remember, the market was so bad that we were upside down in our house.  We could not sell it yet we couldn’t stay in it.  I started to shake as I realized I was about to lose something I worked my whole life to protect.   My credit.  

2 years goes by and after multiple attempts at mortgage modifications, we had to move on from our old house and used what cash we had to buy a bigger place and in a much better area of town near the best school district in the state.  While the market worked against us with our old house, it worked in our favor in getting a new house for dirt cheap.  Thankfully, this one didn’t have a pool.  I started sleeping better at night.  As time went on, our boy became potty trained, started kindergarten, became a blue ribbon swimmer (ironic, isn’t it?) and has a very happy and healthy life.  He has all the video game stuff you would expect an 8yr old to have as well as his Ipad, fish tank, friends, and cousin to keep his life busy. We do homework right after school, study spelling words for his weekly tests at school and we spend every weekend doing family stuff.

While this is going on, we started thinking about adoption.  We now have quite a few years invested in this along with a long history of financial decisions we had to make along the way.  I have given up my career, my credit, my single gay guy figure (Really!) and my personal space. We also have a college account going for him and weekly tutoring.  We had kept an open dialog with my sister about adoption.  We finally decided to start the process.  I told her we wanted to adopt him and I asked her how she felt about it.  Her response was this.  “I would never take him from his home.  He is very happy with you two and I have always wanted what was best for him.  That has been and always will be with you two as his parents”.  She signed the papers giving up her official parental rights as did the boy’s father.  His response was basically the same as hers.  As I mentioned at the start of this story, I don’t like to answer questions about this subject because of what people might say.  I am sure there are some who think, “A mother hangs onto her child no matter what”.  No, a mother makes the best decision she can for her child, no matter what.  In this case, that’s exactly what my sister did.  She knew this wasn’t for her and she was able to see something in me that she knew she wanted for her son.  Maybe its because when she was growing up and our parents wouldn’t give her things she needed like attention, she would call me up and I would be there for her.  I had her back and I would provide things my parents wouldn’t.  We have always been close because of that.  I also worry that people will say “That poor boy”.  Well, don’t feel sorry for my boy.  He is an excellent student, a fantastic swimmer and he likes baseball, music and art.  He has many friends that are constantly wanting to hang at our house and play video games and all of his friends parents are our best friends.  He has a dog he loves, parents that are on him about brushing his teeth, using his manners and treating others with compassion.  He is not poor in any sense of the word.  He’s happy.   And what about his birth parents?  We have no contact with his dad.  We never really did.  We didn’t hassle him and there are no questions on our end.  His mom is of course my sister and we all love her.  She sends him birthday cards, holiday cards, presents, etc.  She visits ever year for over a week (She lives in another state). She loves him and he loves her.  It’s his mom and she made the best and hardest decision for him that anyone ever had to make.  How could he not love her.  Everyone is happy and 8 years ago, everyone did what was best for one little boy.  No one in our house has ever used any negative words to describe either of his birth parents.  When my boy gets old enough to really understand what happened and why he is not with his birth parents, I will be telling him this:  “From the moment you were born, we all knew that you would be with the two of us (Your two dads).  You were loved then by everyone, and you are loved today by everyone.  Your life is a happy one today because of the decisions that 4 people made who will love you forever” Nobody has any regrets.

On February 5th,of 2015, we went in front of the judge and our boy became ours permanently.  Up to that day, I never called him my son.  I always said “my boy”.  I never wanted to use those words because I was always somewhat afraid that he could be taken from me. 

Everyone, today I would like to proudly introduce you to our son. 

"Who am I? That’s simple. I am a gay parent that’s treated like a second class citizen and I am done taking it. 
Every day I am in the battlefields, in my kid’s school, PTA meetings, swim team, birthday parties with
other parents and I am forcing people to meet me.

Every day I stand right next to them and even if it’s just in my mind, I say “ Look at me will you! I am a gay man, right in front of you. 

I have a partner of 8 years and a 6r old boy. 

My kid is in your kid’s class and will be for the next 11 years. 

I am not going away so now would be as good a time as any to accept me and everything that comes with me."
Joe also blogs at 1 regular joe

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Gay Dad: “I Am An Assimilating Gay”

I recently read a comment about a truly important world event, the wedding of Lance Bass to now husband Michael Turchin.
Okay, so world news might be a bit of an overstatement but the comment was extremely interesting and got me thinking.
The commentator basically stated, and I paraphrase, that he found the fact that E News was going to be airing a show called “Lance Loves Michael: The Lance Bass Wedding” not merely nauseating but he also referred to the happy couple as “Assimilation Gays,” a term that I have seen popping up all to often.

Read the full article HERE

Gabriel Blau, Family Equality Council's Executive Director to write the forward for "Dads Behaving Dadly: Truths Tears and Triumphs of Gay Dads."

Family Equality Council's Executive Director Gabriel Blau to write the forward for our upcoming book "Dads Behaving Dadly: Truths Tears and Triumphs of Gay Dads." 

Gabriel, was recently named one of The Advocate magazine's 40 under 40, a Dad Fighting for All Dads. His tireless efforts as a representative for all LGBTQ families and our children makes him the perfect activist, warrior and gay dad for the job.
We thank Gabriel for all he does and continues to do and are so proud to have him join this project.

Be a part of history, be a part of the book. For submission information go to

Gabriel Blau, 34
New York, D.C., Boston
During the big Family Equality Council events, executive director Gabriel Blau and his family often end up in photographs projected on giant screens. He and his husband and son are just one of the many families Blau is fighting for in his everyday work.
But that enormous photo on display is also a reminder of what he really does, which is volunteer his family for the scrutiny of those who oppose our marriages and our families. If you ask Blau, visibility of families is integral in the way the victories for marriage equality have unfolded.
He often highlights the fact that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, during oral arguments over whether to scrap Proposition 8 in California, cited the "voice of these children" of same-sex parents as a big reason the law is unfair.
Family Equality Council has gone on to file what it calls the "Voices of Children" amicus briefs with the 10th, Sixth and Seventh Circuit Courts of Appeals, which put it at the center of legal battles about marriage equality in Utah, Virginia, and Oklahoma — states with cases that could potentially head to the U.S. Supreme Court.
But even with all the advances for marriage equality, Blau is a vocal reminder that gay-headed families are often the target for discrimination.
Blau, 34, is one of the leading voices in reclaiming the word "family" from the right wing, which so often uses it as code for promoting its antigay values. The politely named Family Research Council, for example, is actually designated a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Family Equality Council finds itself going head to head with FRC, most recently over a bill FRC helped propose in Congress that grants a religious exemption to adoption and foster care service providers that want to discriminate against same-sex couples.
"This work is intense, tiring, and challenging. It’s also exhilarating. So when I need to recharge I go home, or at least call home," says Blau, who is often on the road. "I speak to our 6-year-old, listen to that sweet voice, and think about why this work is so important — because millions of children and families rely on what we do every day."
re-posted from ADVOCATE
Be a part of history, be a part of the book. For submission information go to

Thursday, January 22, 2015

To Be a Dad. A Lesson in Fatherhood by Toyota, Yes I Said Toyota.

By Henry Amador

Toyota launched a beautiful new campaigne called "The Bold New Camry."'
Okay before go any further forget what I just said, 
forget that this video is somehow tied into to buying a car, 
forget that it was created to make a buck. 

Forget all of that and sit back and watch this wonderful testament to fatherhood.
I am one of those dads that when asked "how do you know you can be a good dad considering your childhood?" answers the same way, with the same tear rolling down my cheek, "I'm trying."

When each of these kids are asked how they know their dads love them not a one of them answers based on the things they have, they all answer based on the words they hear, the kisses their fathers give them, the amount of love they are shown and the fact that these dads are present in their childrens lives.

Yeah, this video really caught me by surprise, no matter what we came from we all still have the choice and the ability to do better, to be better, to be the dads we wished we'd had.

Great job Toyota, I may just go for a test drive.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Henry Amador-Batten, One of The DADsquared Founders to Co-Author New Gay Dads Book.

Henry Amador-Batten is proud to announce that he will be co-authoring an exciting new book that will shine a light on gay dads like never before.

Award winning author Hogan Hilling, who to date has published six books on fathers and parenthood invited Henry Amador-Batten to join him on the third "Dads Behaving Dadly" book.

"Dads Behaving Dadly: Truths Tears and Triumphs Of Gay Dads" will feature gays dads, worldwide, as they share their beautiful and unique stories of fatherhood.

"With more and more gay men joining the ranks of fatherhood, there has never been a better time to share these dads, these families and these stories with the world. It has become my honor and my obligation to become a storyteller for these dads, It is my sincere wish that this book will build bridges, touch hearts and help to solidify our place within the global parenting community."
 Henry Amador-Batten

Amador-Batten and Hillings invite all gay dads to share their stories and to be a part of this project.
For submission information go to or click HERE

About The Co-Authors

Henry Amador-Batten lives in Durham, North Carolina and is a strong advocate for the LGBTQ community. Henry is also a contributor to Dads Behaving Dadly II. He lives with his husband and their three-year-old son. He and his husband were the first same-sex couple to jointly adopt a child in Broward County Florida —setting legal precedence for other same-sex families.  He is a certified Holistic Life Coach and specializes in teaching advanced life skills. He is the founding mind behind the parenting blog, DADsquared and has developed it into an amazing resource and support destination for gay dads and dads to be.

Hogan Hilling is a dad, Author of Dads Behaving Dadly and six other parenting books, fatherhood expert and has appeared on Oprah.  Hilling has co-founded and helped establish several fatherhood networks in the USA since 1992.  He is also an expert on creating father-friendly environments in the community and available as a speaker. Hilling lives in Crestline, California.

For more information you can contact the authors at:
Henry Amador-Batten:
Hogan Hilling:

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Man Down! A Gay Dad Waves His White Flag

By Henry Amador

Tired, irritated, angry, distant, envious, tired, overwhelmed, tired, judgmental, did I say tired?

These are some of the ways I have been feeling lately and that really has me feeling, well... tired, irritated, angry, distant, envious, overwhelmed, judgmental and tired, really tired.

I was recently featured in an article on Buzzfeed about how dads balance work and family.
I apparently wrote my contribution under the influence of an alter ego or perhaps a nice Riesling or through a pair of rose colored glasses or a sunny day in Winter, I'm not quite certain, but it made me feel like a fraud.

Read full article HERE

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Five Things This Gayby Doesn't Want To Hear

By Dara Fischer

Henry Amador recently wrote an excellent article for The Next Family entitled, "Eight Things These Gay Dads Don't Want To Hear" The article was so clever and hit the nail right on the head.  After reading the blog, I got to thinking about all the questions I have been asked over the years being raised by gay parents, yes, a gay mom and a gay dad!
I have picked just a few to share.

1. Are you adopted?

No, I am not adopted.  I am genetically 50% my Mom and 50% my Dad.  Though depending on which parent I had ticked off that day, those percentages would increase or decrease.  I also have two non-biological parents, my Terri, whom I have written about before and my Mom’s partner.  I do not differentiate between my parents.  Though I will admit to liking Terri more than my Dad most of the time.  Dad can cook but Terri was a hairdresser who could not only perm my hair but brush it without ripping it out.  Terri’s talents were greatly appreciated during the big hair fad of 1992. 

2. Are you gay since your parents are?  Isn’t homosexuality genetic?

My Dad and I have a lot in common down this alley.  We both appreciate a good looking man.  Since I am female, that means that I am straight.  I have never been in a same-sex relationship or had the inclination to do so even though I have always viewed gay relationships and straight relationships as one in the same.  Now, I will admit to there being a few little details that genetics have blessed me with.  While I am heterosexual, I would identify as androgynous.  We have a joke in our family that I look like my Mom and act like my Dad.  Physically I am a good sized woman.  I tower in height over most females and I am built solid.  Back home we call that corn-fed but in California, it means you are a big girl.  Luckily Keith likes beefy chicks.  I am not classically feminine, either in appearance or behavior.  Because of this, I am mistaken for being a lesbian quite often but on the upside, I have been hit on by some pretty hot chicks.  If I swung that way, I bet I’d have some really great stories to tell.

3. Does having gay parents make your relationships more complicated since your parents weren’t married so you didn’t see a “normal” marriage?

No, in fact, I think it has made it easier.  My parents may not have been officially married but they lived as married couples.  I witnessed all the same things my friends did but with the understanding that a piece of paper does not make a marriage, the relationship does.  Keith and I are 11 years into our relationship and we are not legally married.  Not only are we not legally married, neither of us consider that to be an issue nor do we have any plans in the immediate future to change our marital status.  My parents taught me that I don’t have to be bound by tradition or other people’s expectations of me.  Just like my parents, Keith and I are not bound by a legal document, we choose to be together because we love each other.  A piece of paper is never going to be more valuable to us than the dedication we have to one another and our children.

4. Were you bullied for having gay parents?

Yes, very much so.  I love my parents and just like any other kids, I will defend their honor (well, what’s left of it anyway) to my last breath.  Most kids got into fights for someone calling their Mom fat but I had to deal with such lovely terms as: faggot, dyke, pansy, queer, and my personal favorite…..butt pirate.  Though in all fairness, I didn't understand the butt pirate comment until I was much older.  I was bullied, a lot.  Even though it was horrible at the time, what I took away from it was valuable.  I have never been one to stand for bullying.  I stood up for my friends when we were kids on a regular basis and I don’t allow my children to participate in bullying, either as the victim or the perpetrator.   A while back I found out that my daughter had been involved in bullying another girl at our local Boys and Girls club.  I know most parents would speak privately to their children about the issue but I didn't take that route.  I intentionally chastised my daughter in front of her little group of friends for being a bully and a person that nobody actually likes.  I had a few parents that told me I was wrong for doing it but by and large I got positive feedback.  While my method wasn't conventional, it achieved what it was meant to.  My daughter had to feel what her victim was going through and wouldn't you know it, we haven’t had an issue since.

5.  Who was the Mom and who was the Dad in your family?

When I was a kid, this question perplexed me.  Luckily by the time I was an adult I realized that what I was being asked was what gender roles my respective parents played in my formative years.  I always thought it was interesting that the question was posed in reference to my Dads more often than my Moms.  My Dads were men.  Terri was a little softer spoken, as is my Dad’s current partner Richard, but they were still guys.  My Dad is a guy’s guy.  He watches football, farts, and scratches places I don’t even want to think about.  In fact, most people don’t realize my Dad is gay when he’s not with Richard.  I can’t count how many times I have watched women hit on my Dad…including in gay bars!  Though I do feel odd seeing females pick up on my Dad, it just seems more natural to me when he gets hit on by men.  I didn't field too many questions concerning my Moms but I think that’s because for some strange reason, people seem to view female homosexuals are more acceptable than gay men.  Though my guy buddies in high school appreciated my two Moms but I think for a whole different reason.

Dara Fisher. A 33 year old Mother of 3 amazing children with her Prince Charming Keith.  
They live right outside of Palm Springs, California. Dara has degrees in Anthropology, Liberal Arts, and Business Administration.  
She works full time in the Hospitality Industry and attends college classes in pursuit of her MBA when she's not busy being Super Mom.   
She spend her spare time crocheting, quilting, and making a mess with pretty much anything she can get my hands into.  She is a huge Doctor Whofan and  can't eat while watching The Walking Dead. 
Oh and she also happens to be the daughter of gay parents and the Mother of a child with Asbergers  Syndrome and ADHD

8 Things These Gay Dads Do Not Want To Hear.

1. When are you going to tell him he's adopted and do you think he will take the news well?

We're not, we are planning on waiting until he is either eighteen or just senses that he's different to SURPRISE him with the news. Adoption is not a bad word, we have used the term since he was born. Firstly we are two men, as soon as the birds and the bees fly into our home he might start to get an inkling but by the time that rolls around he will be very comfortable with the idea of how our family was created.
Read the full article HERE