More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
Story for Father's Day: Dan Allen and David DeGiralamo
In less than three months, David DeGiralamo and Dan Allen of New Jersey will have completed an ongoing, nearly nine-year journey to realize their dreams of each fathering a child and raising them together as a family. The couple always wanted a family, something they discussed shortly after they began dating in December 2002. David and Dan decided to pursue surrogacy. While the process has had its struggles, both financially and emotionally, David said their experience has been extremely gratifying. Their son Dominic is happy, healthy and truly loved by his fathers. Now, the two dads are eagerly awaiting the birth of their daughter, whom they will call Juliet, from the same surrogate and donor who brought their son into the world.
When discussing fatherhood, David emphasized that his priorities are no different from those of any other parent. He noted that anyone who has ever been a parent knows that raising children has nothing to do with who you love. Rather, being a parent is about making decisions that benefit your child. David asserted that he and Dan are preoccupied by the same thing on every parent’s mind: making a positive contribution to their child’s life. Along with the pressures facing all parents, both men are aware that their path to fatherhood has been unique in many ways, and David began chronicling their experiences through emails with friends and family. After friends of friends began approaching the couple and telling them how moving these narrative updates were, David decided to compile his writings into a book, titled And You Are Love. The book, for which they are still seeking a publisher, is more than a story about the surrogacy process; it also contains passages from friends and family members, including one from their surrogate Jenn, that speak directly to Dominic. David is content knowing that even if the book is not published, their son will have a record of how he came into their lives and a collection of wise words from the people who love him.
As Dominic and Juliet grow up, David and Dan are happy to know that they have the support of their families. As parents who are gay, they are aware that things may not always be easy for their children. In an article published in The UK Times earlier this year, David spoke frankly about Dominic, saying, “Yes, he and we may encounter prejudice, but we’ll face it. We won’t become victims of it. The reality is he has two loving parents, which is more than a lot of kids have...and we hope he takes something more positive than negative from that.” Dan and David plan to celebrate Father’s Day with their families, whom David said have made a point of giving him and Dan gifts in commemoration of the special day. GLAAD wishes David and Dan a very Happy Father’s Day!