Becoming a Dad in a Not-So-Typical Way

The Next Family

By: Don Todd


I guess I should tell you who I am before I tell you about the joys and experiences of my life. It wasn’t until my late twenties that I came to terms with who I really am. Like most, I was scared of how people would react to me being gay. I have always been a “guy’s guy” –outdoor activities, working on cars, etc. (In my industry, there are not many gay auto technicians. It’s assumed that we gay men refer to all parts of a vehicle as “that thingy”.)

I also dated a few women before coming out. I love women and really liked being in a relationship with one; I just didn’t really enjoy a certain portion of it. (Here’s a clue: it wasn’t the shopping.)

I found a great woman in my home town who I fell for after moving back to California. Things moved really fast with Ashley and me. I was excited, but confused at the same time. I really wanted to have that “normal” family, but after trying to live it for a month I decided I couldn’t do that to her or to myself. I knew that eventually my true self would come out and I didn’t want it to be years into a marriage. It wouldn’t be fair to either one of us.

So we stopped dating. Some time after, she contacted me, saying, “we need to talk.” I knew at this point that there would only be one reason that she would want to talk. She told me that she was pregnant and that she was going to keep it. It was a very confusing and stressful time for me. I didn’t know how to handle having a child and being a gay man. I thought it would be impossible to be in a committed relationship with anyone in the gay community and have a kid.

I did find that it was a great struggle, but it all worked out.
I am now the father of a wonder three-year-old daughter named Grace. She is the love of my life and I will do anything for her. From the day she was born, everything in my life has turned around. She saved me.
Grace’s mother and I have a great friendship and raise her as a team even though we live far away from each other. Grace lives with her mother and older brother full time in my hometown not far from my parents’ house. Grace stays with me routinely for extended periods of time. Just this last weekend her brother stayed, too.

I live in Orange County with my (soon to be) husband. We consider ourselves to be married, but California needs to get its stuff together first. We would go to another state, but we want all of our family and friends there with us.  He is definitely the man I have been looking for and need in my life. Before I met Gregg I was the guy who made fun of silly romantic movies and turned off the station with the sappy love songs. Now my iPod is full of them and I’m that guy, just singing along.

I am happy about where I am today and proud of how far I’ve come. The last two years have been the best years of my life! I have found who I really am and have the man of my dreams by my side to share my life with. Spending a Saturday at Disneyland walking trough the front gate with Gracie and her brother –the kids jumping up and down, me being overly paranoid about losing one of them, and Gregg with a backpack of snacks and sweatshirts –makes me as happy as can be. I know how truly lucky I am to have my little family.

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