Gay dads often face stereotypes, including homophobic ones, but also somewhat uncomfortable stereotypes from moms, and even from childless gay men in our very own community. In this episode of Daddy Squared, we brought Neal Broverman, editor of The Advocate and OUT magazines, to try and break down the stereotypes, and see if there’s something we can do to avoid them. This is part 1 of a double-episode special, celebrating 100 episodes of Daddy Squared.

“Society is more used to women being with children, and when you have men with children there’s just judgement and some of it is not good,” Neal Broverman says on Daddy Squared. “So yeah, I do think there’s pressure on us to be stand out people and kind of represent the best all the time.”

This is part 1 in a special double-episode, celebrating 100 episodes of our podcast discusses stereotypes and judgement of gay dads. In part 2, also dropped today, we discuss bullying. In both episodes we saw how the two subject are weaved into each other.

“If you’ve had a negative situation as a gay male parent, I think almost all of us have had at least one, it kind of colors your experience and you’re on edge,” Broverman says. “You can kind of make situations that aren’t inherently negative negative. As I’ve grown older as a parent, I’ve done my best to filter out other people’s looks, expectations, reactions to my kids.”

Broverman himself made the news last year, after he and his family faced a harsh homophobic harassment in an Amtrak train in San Jose that ended only after police intervention.

“This lie [that drives hate towards gay men] has been going around for decades,” Broverman says, “and now it’s been magnified by people like Margory Taylor Green and all the people that want to refer to us as ‘groomers.’ It’s a cynical tactic.”

“I can be father of the year – and I’ll still be an abomination in the eyes [of the person on the train]. There’s nothing I can do. There’s so much judgement with gay people, and it’s just a war you’re not going to win and I care what my kids think of me, I don’t care what strangers think of me.”

In the podcast, we also discuss the contribution of social media to the judgment and stereotypes.

“I follow gay dads on Instagram and I follow opposite sex couple,” Neal tells us. “There’s definitely a representation being put out there of all our kids are dressed perfectly all the time and their hair is blown out, and, you know, we’re tanned and we have abs and we’re in Maui every other weekend.” 

“I mean – everyone who’s a parent knows that’s not the case, we usually running around trying to get our kids to school and hold our jobs and feed the dog and afford to put over a roof and feed them so I take it with a grain of salt. Every parent I know is struggling, and it’s not that they don’t love the idea of being parent, it’s just hard. When I’m on Instagram I understand that this is marketing for people, they present themselves in a very specific way… I know that Instagram is not reality.”

Our Guest: Neal Broverman

Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today.

Neal lives in the Los Angels with his husband, Robbie, their children, and their chiweenie.

Men Having Babies Corner

Men Having Babies is a nonprofit organization that helps gay men who are interested in becoming fathers through surrogacy navigate the sea of information and overcome the financial barrier. In this episode, Executive Director Ron Poole-Dayan discusses misconception and stereotype of surrogacy – often revolve around the surrogates’ motives.

Episode Credits

Co-Hosts: Yan Dekel, Alex Maghen
Guest: Neal Broverman
Opening Theme: Hercules & Love Affair, “Leonora” buy here
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