Gay, Black Fathers Ignite Controversy With Pictures of Loving, Normal Family Life
It's rare to see pop culture depictions of gay fathers. It's even more rare to see depictions that don't involve stereotypes and camp (think Modern Family ), and rarer still for any of these to involve individuals who aren't white. So how lovely and refreshing to be introduced to Kordale and Kaleb, a real-life gay couple with three children. The proud parents have been sharing snippets of their totally regular family life on Instagram and YouTube for the past few months, with hashtags such as #proudfathers and #gaydads.
The images challenge stereotypes in a number of ways. Kordale and Kaleb are both black men. Both are far from effeminate gay tropes — they're muscular, tatted up, masculine (and, frankly, really freaking hot). The family images they post are oh-so incredibly average. Helping their daughters with homework. Fixing their hair before school. Celebrating Christmas. Watching TV. And though it should come as no surprise that gay parents are just like us!, it's still a point of contention for many. So it's great to see this message of normality reinforced.
Of course, not everyone thinks so. Sadly/predictably, the couple have been facing a great deal of criticism, hysteria, and hate from homophobes and bigots incensed by their Instagram images. Even ostensibly positive comments belie negative views (things like "nice to see black men taking care of children"). But that just proves all the more why images like those of Kordale and Kaleb's family are needed in the public eye. As Mused Magazine's Beyond Steven writes, “The point is that Kaleb and Kordale are not unicorns. They are one of many.”
In a statement to Huffington Post, Kaleb and Kordale reminded critics that their kids are blessed to have three parents (including their biological mother) who love, care for, and support them. As far as the criticism, the couple says they're taking it in stride. "The picture was put out on social media for an opinion so we can't be mad when people give just that," they wrote. But gay parents "are just as educated and passionate about what we do and how we do it!"