Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m unbelievably proud to be a gay dad, and I’m insanely proud of my family. I blog about it, I post on Facebook about it, I write this column about it. And I’m not alone. For Pride this year, I asked other LGBTQ Utah parents why they are proud, and how their family makes them proud.
Here’s what your friends, neighbors and families had to say.
“I am just proud being a parent. I always had an idea in my head of what it would be like and it is so much more! I’ve never loved another human like I love my man cub. I’m proud of the little person he is and how empathetic he is to me, and tries to state the positive in everything. He isn’t perfect but I love that he tries.” —Jax Vigil, mom of Jaxon
“I don’t think that I’m any more proud of being a gay dad than any dad would be. I’m proud of my kids. I’m proud that they seem to be happy and well taken care of. I’m proud that they are growing, developing, learning and becoming more and more of themselves every day. If it should make me more proud because I happen to be gay then so be it, but I’d imagine those things are what make any dad proud. When it comes to being proud of my family I’m proud that we seem to be thriving despite the odds being stacked against us. In a state where security is not guaranteed, rights aren’t offered, and the road blocks to even growing your own family are strong and omnipresent I’m proud that my family exists at all.
But in light of all that I think I’m proud that we not only exist but that we are having a great time existing.” —Weston Clark, dad of Xander and Zoe
“We’re proud to be LGBT parents because it gives us the opportunity every day to teach our children to love unconditionally and that all families are unique. Our children are even larger LGBT advocates than we, which is a big deal considering we have five children. They teach compassion in school to friends and colleagues alike. They’re our heroes and are changing the world. I am proud of my family for sticking through adversity and speaking our truth even when it’s not easy. In this way we inspire humanity to come together as one. ” —Jessica Finnegan and Kathryn Sharp, moms of Jacquelyn, Jasmyn, Jadyn, Kyler and Tayson
“I’m proud to be a gay dad because when I came out of the closet 11 years ago, I felt a need to hide the fact that I wanted children someday. I truly believed my family and friends would not accept that. Being a gay dad reminds me of the progress we have made as a society. I’m proud of my family because of all the love we have pouring in on those little boys.”—Blake Hoopes, dad of Kaeyvon and Kanyon
“There are many things that make me proud to be a queer mom. First and foremost is knowing our daughter will grow up knowing that family isn’t just blood but the people who love you. When she was just four years old, she was asked why she has two moms, and answered, ‘because I’m lucky.’ Last year we took her to her first Pride, I have never seen a kid so excited to be on a float then meet ‘families just like mine’ at the festival. I am also very proud to call Tawny my wife because with all the adversity she has faced she still keeps going. My family has given me the courage to be me, that is something truly to be proud of.” —Maggie Rose Perea and Tawny Ingledew, moms of Ralena
“While I’m just a dad first, the fact that I am gay brings unique elements and characteristics that will influence my child’s life. Those characteristics are the entirety of my experience in becoming who I am today. Experiencing a lifetime of being gay has been integral to my strength as a man. Who I am is what I can give her. As a single dad, life is busy; I am over-diapered and undersexed, and at the end of the day I can feel incredibly depleted. Then along comes my 2-year-old with a smirk or other certain look, and despite her inability to speak a full sentence, I will be checked back in to life, back into love. I am proud of her because she keeps it so simple, just by being her.” —Brett Bluth, dad of Maxx
The world would be a much nicer place if we had more families like these.
Happy Pride, everyone!