Interactions with other gay dads benefit both the dads and their kids: The dads can hang together and openly discuss — y’know — gay stuff, and the kids grow up witnessing other families similar to theirs. On this week’s episode we tackle gay dad groups with John Ireland, the president of Pop Luck Club, the biggest gay dad group in LA. Ireland, who adopted four kids (and fostered another 2) also discusses fostering and adoption as a part of the Raise A Child program that grew out of Pop Luck Club. Last but not least, a big message to gay couples thinking about becoming parents: you are already a member of the gay dads community.
Starting your own support group of gay dads in your city is much less complicated than what you might think.
“I am surprised how easy it is to start an grassroots organic [group] like this,” says John Ireland, the president of Pop Luck Club, “because if there’s a need people will show up.”
“Find a tree in a park, put out some blankets, bring on some food and then get it into the paper somehow so people understand that’s what you’re doing. Put up a sign, talk through local networks, coffee shops, flyers. I am constantly surprised how many people there are who want to start families…you have to be creative to get the word out.”
You can also write to us and we’ll help you set up an online structure.
We also invite gay couples thinking about becoming dads to become part of our community. We don’t want people to feel they only become ‘real’ when they have children.
“I think it’s very important to always create a safe space for people without kids,” John says. “Every email we ever send reminds them, this is also very focused on prospective parenting, when we march every year in the gay pride parade in west Hollywood, half of the group doesn’t have kids. I want people to understand that we’re on a path, you’re not just become a member when you get your child because the reality is it can take a while and sometimes it takes much longer than you anticipate.”
Remember: parenting is not as easy for some people as it is for others. This is why it’s important to become each other’s support group.
Tips and Recommendations Discussed in This Episode
You can start your own gay dads group with as little as two dads (or sets of dads), and build from there. Get on a WhatsApp group and add new dads as you meet them.
2. Find a tree in a park, put out some blankets, bring on some food and then get it into the paper somehow so people understand that’s what you’re doing. Put up a sign, talk through local networks, coffee shops, flyers.
3. If your kid refuses to do something (for instance: go to school), shoot a “photo diary” by documenting the process and send it to Shutterfly to create a book. When the process becomes a story it can be easier for your child to get used to that process).
4. In order to avoid conflict with toddlers it’s not a crime to sometimes give a vague answer, like “maybe later,” or “let’s do that other thing first and then we’ll see.” The answer doesn’t have to always be a defined “Yes” or “No.”
Virginia Mom Warns Parents After ‘Perfectly Healthy’ Toddler Nearly Dies From Teething Gel (People Magazine, 3/8/2018)
10 Infant Deaths May Be Related to Teething Remedies, F.D.A. Says (The New York Times, 10/18/2016)
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