Stonewall marks Father’s Day by calling on gay dads to come forward to help inform a major guide focusing on gay dads – how to become one, the legal situation and further support and advice on parenting. This follows Pregnant Pause – Stonewall’s guide for lesbians on how to get pregnant. The new guide will be released later this year.
Stonewall Senior Public Affairs Officer Sam Dick said: ‘At Stonewall, we know many gay men are dads. But we also know that many more think becoming a dad is beyond their reach. With this groundbreaking new guide, Stonewall aims to show that there are many ways of being a gay dad and encourage those who might have written off the prospect to re-consider.’
Stonewall’s recent Different Families research, conducted with Cambridge University, included interviews with the children of gay parents. Observations from children with gay dads included four-year-old Alfie who sees his family as different to his friends’ families ‘because it’s more nicer and more…better.’
The research also demonstrated how children of gay dads can experience homophobic bullying in school: William, 15, has experienced some homophobic bullying from pupils for having a gay dad that started in Year 8 at his Catholic school. He confesses ‘I wasn’t happy to go to school because I knew it would happen.’ His sister Lauren, 17, told researchers that she experienced homophobia from teachers at the same school when she was discouraged from doing a project about gay issues: ‘My teacher said, can you stay off the whole gay topic – we’re a Catholic school.’
Homophobia even affects the children of gay parents at primary school. Sian, 9 says: ‘I wish that people didn’t be rude about gay people.’ Mark, 8, told researchers how he gets teased for having gay parents: ‘They say I know what gay means, it’s two naked men dancing around on a boat.’
Gay dad Simon Harris-Dack says the one thing that’d make life better for same-sex parents and their children is ‘for it not to be an issue – for it to be a boring normality.’
If you’re a gay dad through fostering, adoption, surrogacy, co-parenting or you have children from a previous relationship, Stonewall would like to hear from you. We need case studies to help us with our forthcoming guide on gay dads. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on gay dads, click here
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