Throughout the season we’ve interviewed gay men from countries around the world, but all of these countries could easily be argued incredibly supportive of the LGBT community and of LGBT parenting. Not so much the three countries that we are focusing on in this episode

The Not-Such-Great-Places-to-be-a-Gay-Dad Episode

This season, Daddy Squared has (virtually) flown from country-to-country around the world talking to gay dads and experts about what it’s like to be gay and become a gay dad in places like Ireland, South Africa, Argentina, etc., etc. The countries we’ve covered have had all kinds of important variations in LGBTQ rights, parental rights, laws regarding Surrogacy and IVF, etc., etc. But one thing they all had in common was a basic belief in the right of a gay man to live openly – and have a family.

For our season finale, we decided it was time to deal with the rest of the world: the many, many countries where not only is being a gay dad impossible, but homosexuality itself is forbidden or persecuted. For obvious reasons, our guests on this episode could not come to us live from the countries of their origin. Instead, X, Y and Alex joined us representing Taiwan & China, Russia, and Iran, respectively. It’s a fascinating and meaningful talk.

And yes, we know: Way to end the season on a high note! But actually, having just listened to the episode ourselves, we’ve realized that the perseverance held by members of the LGBTQ community everywhere in the world is nothing short of miraculous – and ultimately, we shall overcome!


LGBT people in China face legal and social challenges that are not experienced by non-LGBT residents. According to the Constitution of China, same-sex couples are unable to marry or adopt, and households headed by such couples are ineligible for the same legal protections available to heterosexual couples. No anti-discrimination protections exist for LGBT people.


Iran’s government structure is parliamentary. It has a “democratic” layer with a tripartite separation of powers, above which looms the “theocratic” layer with the Guardian Council and Supreme Leader. LGBT people in the Iran face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. While people can legally change their assigned sex, sexual activity between members of the same sex is illegal and can be punishable by up to death. Bottom line: it’s scary to be gay in Iran.


Russia has long held strongly negative views regarding homosexuality. Although same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults in private was decriminalized in 1993, homosexuality is disapproved of by most Russians, and same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples are ineligible for the legal protections.

Our Guests

Eddie Chen, an entrepreneur born and raised in Taiwan, moved to the United States in 1990 at the age of 16. He graduated from USC then founded a few businesses including a wearable heated clothing company called VENTURE HEAT.   With ongoing business in China and some family members in Taiwan; he travels back to Asia frequently. This allows him to stay connected to his heritage and familiar with current social climate.  He currently resides in Orange County, California with his loving husband of 5+ years.  They welcomed their first son in 2019 through surrogacy in California and they have a second son due in 2021.

Dimitry Kostantinov moved to Los Angeles from Russia, and raises his 14-months son, born through surrogacy, with his husband, Casey.

Life for LGBT People in China, Iran and Russia: Related Articles

Episode Credits

Co-Hosts: Yan Dekel, Alex Maghen
Guests: Dimitry Kostantinov, Eddie Chen
Opening Theme: Hercules & Love Affair, “Leonora” buy here
Articles Related to this episode:

Listen to previous seasons of Daddy Squared
Join our Facebook group
Connect with us on Instagram