Coming out after being married to a woman and having kids takes a certain bravery and strength. In this Season Finale we bring you two fascinating and new stories of men who tried to force themselves to live a straight life and eventually came to terms with who they really are.  

Kade Bartlett comes from a small, extremely religious town in north Oregon, and for years suffered from homophobia, both self-homophobia and from his community.  He tried for years to ‘pray the gay away’ for years before finally coming out of the closet. “I had somebody who was very close to me, almost like a mother, she was very religious,” he recalls. “I came to talk to her with things like ‘my marriage is on the rocks’ and she said ‘you gotta lean into God more,’ ‘you gotta pray more’.”

FREE DOWNLOAD: Daddy Squared SEASON 3 Cheat Sheet!

Join our mailing list by filling in your name and email and we’ll send you a link to download!

* indicates required

“When it finally came down to it and she said it was a choice, I kinda lost it,” Kade said. “I said, ‘who in the hell in their right mind  would choose this shit?! With all the baggage and the crap and the threats, even the murders that happens, who would choose this? Why would anybody want to choose that?!’”

For Josh, who lives in Canada, the religious environment and various conversion therapies he went through (including medication to decrease his libido) caused serious trauma.

“I volunteered myself for different therapies that were focused on dealing with what I labeled at the time ‘dealing with unwanted homosexual attraction’,” Josh says. “Conversion Therapy is kind of an umbrella term for a bunch of different therapies that proport to modify your sexuality, and I started in my very early 20s, maybe when I was 20 years old, and that was also a fucked up community because the first therapist I ever saw, he actually came on to me in session, and he was the one saying that these are bad feelings. I had to put a stop to that therapist.

“And then I found an online group called Setting Captives Free, and I was engaging with a different online therapists, or so they call themselves, I highly doubt that they’re actually therapists. They would tell me basically, if you ever act on these feelings you’re on the road to becoming a pedophile. And so that’s what I was convinced would happen, I never had any attraction towards that population whatsoever, but I was terrified that that would eventually happen, so further came the need to suppress who I am.”

The Wife’s Reaction

The difference between Kade’s and Josh’s stories is the reaction of their ex-wives. Even though Josh’s wife was extremely supportive and they have became friends, the scars from living life in the closet are not going away easily.

“I’m debating going into trauma therapy,” he says, “because I felt immense shame over who I was, that really defined a large part of my relationship with my ex-spouse, because every decision that had major consequence in our lives, from my perspective, I was always going to relent because who I was, was a bad person and who I was, was illegitimate.”

Not only are these men’s stories dramatic and inspiring, they each share important lessons as they now reform their lives as gay men raising kids, co-parenting with their ex-wives.

“At the beginning I was so upset about the reputation of the man I had heard [my ex-wife] was dating that when I got my kids I would sit there and ask them a ton of questions about what was going on at mom’s house,” Kade says, “— don’t do that! I mean, Unless there’s an absolute threat to their wellbeing and to their lives, you need to butt out.”

“Remember that if you were equally able to care for and love those children when you were together you need to understand that the other parent can do the same without you. You’re not spending time with your kids, you’re spending time worrying what she’s doing,” he adds.

“It’s not shameful and it’s not wrong [being gay] and it’s not just about lust and sex like the Christian community makes you believe it is,” Josh says.

“It’s about life and living and being who you are and at least giving you an opportunity to find real love. If you are denying your sexuality, you really aren’t loving and you don’t know what the experience is like. It’s mindblowing and lifechanging, both loving yourself and who you are, and then having the chance to be in love with someone is worth every consequence.”

Our Guests

Kade Bartlett, 31, runs Turnapage Farm, a small scale co-op farm, built and ran with the many helping hands of like minded small scale farmers in the valley of Northeast Oregon. He was married to a woman for 6 years and have three kids ages 10, 8 and 3. He’s lives in Oregon with his fiance Daniel.

Joshua Pedersen is a 31 year-old Marketing Manager from Alberta, Canada. He co-parents with his ex-spouse a two year-old and a 3-month old. Following years of conversion therapy attempts, Josh came out as gay when his spouse found out they were pregnant with their second child. Follow him on Instagram at @joshped

Our Sponsor

ORM Fertility is proud to support our gay male patients’ journey to parenthood. Gay men wishing to build their biological family will need the help of an egg donor, gestational surrogate, and in vitro fertilization (IVF). Our ingrowing website offers information and resources to make it easy for you when you start your research on becoming dads.

For over 30 years, ORM Fertility has been at the forefront of fertility treatment, providing personalized patient care, cutting-edge technology, and some of the highest success rates in the industry. We are honored to be a trusted resource for the LGBTQ+ community.

Inclusivity is not just a buzz word to us. We pride ourselves in being a truly welcoming clinic and helping all families grow. Our expert team walks parents-to-be through every step of their fertility journey. Our treatments include intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization (IVF), donor sperm, donor egg, gestational surrogacy, genetic testing, and fertility preservation.

Episode Credits

Co-Hosts: Yan Dekel, Alex Maghen
Guests: Kade Bartlett, Joshua Pedersen
Opening Theme: Hercules & Love Affair, “Leonora” buy here
Articles Related to this episode:
Phillip Schofield comes out as gay – ‘I have been coming to terms with it’ (Sunita Patel-Carstairs, Sky News)
Listen to previous seasons of Daddy Squared
Join our Facebook group
Connect with us on Instagram

Tip: Bingewatch your favorite comedy. Ours is Cougar Town: