Father’s Day is that time of the year to acknowledge the fathers in our lives and if you’re a gay father yourself, what a wonderful time to wake up beside your hubby and get warm hug and kiss from the kids.
With changes in civil partnerships for same-sex couples to gain opportunities for adoption or have kids through surrogacy, it’s hard to imagine how far we’ve gone through when it comes to celebrating Father’s Day.
While we’re still working towards against bigotry and for social acceptance, I believe we’ve come a long way in helping LGBTQ+ parents be recognized as fit to raise families.
In 2001, the UK screened the first ever gay wedding live on air.
In 2012, JC Penny released an ad featuring gay dads and their children. Two years after, Hallmark released its first ever same-sex eCard that featured two gay dads each with a bouquet of colorful flowers while being embraced by their lovely daughter. (Fun fact: it was designed by an Asian-American transgender artist!).
And in 2014, a lesbian couple was recognized as the legal parents of a child in Australia, which is a first in the country.
A year after, President Obama was recognized for being the first president to explicitly announce that no one should be discriminated against becoming foster or adoptive parents based on gender identity.
And in 2020, Nevada became the first state in the United States to constitutionally protestors same-sex marriage.
It’s in these milestones that we find a reason to celebrate our civil partnership, having a baby and making sacrifices every single day that makes fatherhood tiring but very satisfying and find a reason to shout out, “Happy Father’s Day!”
Father’s Day is bittersweet for us. We welcomed Maya into this world but at the same time, we were all grappling with the realities of the pandemic. But for any consolation, we were featured in this Father’s Day article together with other gay dads in Canada.
Celebrating Father’s Day just like any other dad is a huge opportunity for us not just for the sake of being recognized as dads, but having the opportunity to tell the world that while dads may differ from each other, they’re all bonded by the same love that we all share when it comes to fatherhood.
As we go about our lives as complete families, we bring to the world more love and affection as we learn what it takes to be responsible dads one dirty diaper after another.
Many gay dads come from straight relationships too who then muster the courage to come out when their kids are already grown up. But there’s a fear of rejection, especially from their kids who might not bow to reason.
But when the family comes to terms with their father’s decision, things eventually fall into place and they realize that it’s still the same father they grown to love, only this time, he’s more honest to himself and to the people around him.
And for dads who have accepted their children who came out, we relish this occasion to appreciate their kindness and compassion of the person that each child has become. No ifs, no buts, no excuses — just pure love. We thank them for having the courage to proudly tell the community the they’re proud allies of the LGBTQ+ community.
For sharing the world with your heaven-sent kids
For not getting tired of dealing with poopy diapers and messy floor littered with toys
For getting up at midnight to do your dad duties and spending weekends on childcare at home
For having the courage to be more visible and ready to reach out to other dads dads struggling in their situation
For being authentic when it comes to feeling the great joy of being a parent
For building memories that will your children will cherish when they’re all grown up
For being part of our growing community and sharing your stories
For celebrating what you have accomplished after all the adversities and prejudices
For taking the time to begin conversations that promote understanding and acceptance
For making society realize that dads go by any other name
For the cook, the homemaker, the house doctor, the sports coach, the best friend, the best father all rolled into one.
So, to all fathers, gay, straight or whatever gender orientation you have, here’s to us celebrating the highs and lows, the joys and frustrations, the sleepless nights and long mornings. Happy Father’s Day!