For Fathers' Day this year, GLAAD is celebrating the voices of LGBT fathers, father figures, and fathers of LGBT families everywhere. Gay, trans, and ally advocates have shared with us their experiences as fathers and with fathers:
Kayden Coleman: Being a father has changed our whole perspective on life. The word love pales in comparison to the emotion that fills our hearts every time our daughter smiles (not so much when she cries, though lol). We are very new at this parenting thing, but we are learning as we go along. And although it's tough, we wouldn't change a thing!
Ross Murray: My dad has always a strong and steady presence in my life. His support of me has given me the strength to be myself and do the best I can in the world. His quiet and calm demeanor has also pulled me through the challenges that I have faced. He was able to calm me as a crying child, and continues to share his wisdom with me today. As someone growing up gay in a small town, I've realized that I'm the happy and healthy person I am because of that support.
Alexandra Bolles: When I was little, I would brag to everyone that my dad knew everything about everything. I still do brag about that, I suppose, because it's true. The man is ridiculously smart, well-read, and intellectual. You can learn a lot listening to him talk about things like history, politics, culture, and media. You can also learn a lot from him about how to care for the people you love. If there's one thing my father cares most about in this world, it's our lil' family unit. I am very lucky, and often amazed, at my dad's ability to love, defend, and selflessly serve my sister, my mother, and me--even when I'm being an ass. He does nothing short of support his children in everything we do, every passion we explore, every intellectual pursuit, and every person who is important to us.
Jeremy Hooper: I once heard someone say that you know you're in love when all of those hokey songs about romance start making sense. With parenting, I think it's when all of the mommy and daddy clichés start proving true. "Your life will forever change," they'd say. "It feels like your heart walking around outside your body," suggests another popular saying. It turns out that all of these lines (and more) are quite true! And while the phrases might be trite, their resonance is quite profound.
Kit Opatut: When I was younger, I remember father’s day was coming up. I was in kindergarten and we all had to go around and say something about our Dads. I remember telling my teacher so vividly that I had a “Jojo,” the name that I use to refer to one of my two Moms, the one whom I consider more of a paternal figure in my life. My teacher laughed and later told my Moms because she thought it was so funny. I think I struggled a bit when I was younger because we live in a world where people assume I have a dad and so I would feel left out. I have two wonderful moms and I’m so thankful to have them in my life. Happy Jojo Day!