This post originally appeared on Gays With Kids.
By David Blacker.
From sports and politics to pop culture and human interest stories, writers like me shine a spotlight on the things that matter most in our lives. And for me that thing is fatherhood. It’s the reason I contribute articles to this website every month. And I’m happy to report that in the short span of just three years — since I began writing for Gays With Kids — there has been a major shift in both the awareness and presence of gay dads. These days, we’re not just represented, we’re celebrated. Or maybe it just feels that way because of how this website has become the conduit for all of us to share our stories, helping to normalize and validate the very thing we’ve all fought so hard for — our families.
Six years ago, back when my husband, Alex, and I started our family, we were considered to be going rogue. Remember, this was before gay marriage was legalized. Having a child wasn’t the common next step for gay men, or at least not in our social circles. But it was something we always knew we wanted. And so once Max came into our lives, we had so many friends and colleagues reaching out to ask about our process. They explained that fatherhood didn’t seem like a real possibility until they saw how our family came together. And now, almost seven years later, some of those very same people are now proud parents. That’s how transformative our stories can be.
I am just one Dad who made the idea of parenting seem a little more accessible to a handful of friends. There was something far more significant going on that had a profound impact on tens of thousands of men all over the world. And that thing is Gays With Kids.
When this website launched in 2014, our stories received a permanent home. A home that would welcome men from all over the world. What started off as the brainchild of one determined pair of gay dads quickly went on to garner huge visibility, connecting fathers — and aspiring dads — from every corner of the globe: Spain, France, Germany, Ireland, Russia, China and the UK.
For many of us, GWK was the first real exposure we’ve had to gay dads since watching episodes of Full House in the 1980s. (Three feathered-hair men raising kids in San Francisco? In the words of Michelle Tanner, “Oh, ple-ease.”) GWK gives a much-needed voice to countless Dads in rural America who have little to no contact with two-dad families. Had it not been for this website, these small town fathers would otherwise lack access to our stories. GWK has become not just an outlet for enjoyable reading, but a necessary resource for millions of men to learn from and be inspired by.
And at a time when the rights of our families are being challenged by anti-LGBTQ activists in the highest positions of power (#impeach), our community support for one another is more important now than ever before. Our stories have captured our collective fears and our combined strength. And as long as we’ve got our voices, we’ll come out the other side stronger, louder and more powerful than ever before.
We owe GWK — and the men behind it, Brian and Ferdinand — a big, heartfelt thank you. Thank you for unselfishly donating your time, your heart and your money to create a vessel for which we get the privilege of telling our stories, and therefore, advancing the conversation about gay parenting. On a personal front, I have made countless valuable friendships, sought advice from dads around the world and have been able to work through my own parental challenges by putting pen to paper and sharing my stories, and reading the open and honest stories beautifully written by other GWK contributories.
Brian and Ferdinand are not the only ones who have garnered my respect. I’d also like to thank all the parents and hope-to-be parents for contributing to this community. For many, this is the first group or team we were welcomed to join with open arms. And let me tell you, not getting picked last feels pretty damn great.
To the entire GWK team, keep up the great work. You have no idea the impact you’ve had on all of our lives.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got next month’s article to write.
With love and gratitude,