Celebrate Father's Day by visiting Gays With Kids, a website designed to help gay dads navigate fatherhood. Launched by real life married couple, dads Brian Rosenberg, 49, and Ferd van Gameren, 54, Gays With Kids serves as a resource guide, a place to network, to offer or seek advice, and to share stories.
The website's press release states that "the online community aims to normalize the experience of gay parenting," which will include "in-depth reporting on topics of interest to gay dads, many of which are typically not covered in mainstream media. Gays With Kids also inspires a whole new generation of gay men who are interested in raising children."
Rosenberg and Gameren met in Boston in 1993. In 1999 they relocated to New York City, emigrating to Toronto in 2009 because they wanted to be legally married — Canada legalized gay marriage at the federal level in 2005.
"We got married on June 20, 2013," Rosenberg told SFGN by phone. "One week later, the Supreme Court threw out the Defense Of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 (California's gay marriage ban)." He laughed at the irony of their timing. Though happily ensconced in Toronto at the moment, Rosenberg said that a return to the States wasn't off the table.
The couple has three children. Levi, their five-year-old son, was adopted. Twin four-year-olds Ella and Sadie were conceived through surrogacy.
Rosenberg explained why they started the site.
"There was nothing out there about gay dads," he said. "We are the first ones to help gay dads navigate parenthood from finding the path that makes sense to becoming dads to raising their kids."
Gays With Kids is now open for business. "Phase one is to build the largest community of gay dads blogging about their experiences," Rosenberg said. "We've got fifteen bloggers on-site and should soon have five more. They're telling their stories of how they became dads, how they're raising their families, and their day-to-day experiences. We like to offer content which covers issues that are important for gay dads, but typically not addressed by mainstream media."
Site topics include networking with women in order to donate sperm, (Gays With Kids columnist David Dodge covers this topic) co-parenting, and being an HIV positive parent. "I'm one of the gay dads who've been positive since the 80s," Rosenberg said. He pointed to a site link called Positively Dads, in which he and Gameren share their personal journey toward fatherhood. Included is a great deal of information on how those with HIV can safely father their own children without transferring the virus to mother or child — it is possible. There's also Family Spotlight, where gay families can share their photos and stories.
"It's really important to point out that no two gay dads look the same," Rosenberg said. "The Family Spotlight Series shows the tremendous diversity of how are families came to be, where they live and what they look like. The more positive, loving adults that are in our children's lives, the better."
Visit GaysWithKids.com for more information.