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What Parenting With Pride Means to 14 LGBTQ+ Parents

They raise their children with love, and share their stories to inspire and educate others.
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By Lauren Barth, Associate Content Director, Lifecycle
Updated June 8, 2023
two gay dads having fun with their daughter outside during the summer time
Image: Westend61 | Getty Images

Being a parent is arguably the toughest—and most rewarding—gig on the planet. Raising small humans is not for the faint of heart; it can fill your days with intense joy and immense challenges. LGBTQ+ parents know this truth all too well. In addition to the normal trials and tribulations all families face, they’re subject to outside stigma and judgment. But they choose to rise above the hate for the sake of love—and share their stories to inspire, educate and empower others. Here, 14 LGBTQ+ parents reveal how they’re parenting with pride.

Image: Courtesy Johnny Lee

“Parenting with pride means treating all who may have misconceived ideas of our family with patience and grace.” - Johnny Lee, @johnnyleeny

Image: @brittanygidley | Instagram

“Parenting with Pride means leading with love both in our family and in the way we interact with others. It’s showing by example that love is what makes a family and it’s what unites people, no matter their differences. - Melissa Connelly, @missyhalle

Image: Courtesy Jake and Hannah Graf

“For us, parenting with pride means being proud of who we are and of all the other amazing diverse families out there. It means giving much needed visibility to trans parents and hope to the next generation of trans people and young folk that they can have families and be parents too. And finally, it means never shying away from telling our baby exactly how she came into this world and how hard we fought to bring her to us!" - Jake and Hannah Graf, @jake_graf5 and @hannahw253

Image: Courtesy Vanessa Alvarez-Crandall

“Parenting with pride means showing our kids that some families look different, but all are bound by love!” - Vanessa Alvarez-Crandall, @vnessadoll

Image: Jesse Tyler Ferguson | Instagram

“Pride starts with yourself and being proud of who you are, and being vocal and open about your pride, about yourself and your family. Those are certainly things I hope to pass along to Beckett and Sullivan. I hope that they’re proud not only of themselves, but of the family that they’ve been born into. I hope to teach them compassion. I hope to teach them about inclusion. I hope to teach them that there are all different types of families.” - Jesse Tyler Ferguson, @jessetyler

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Image: Courtesy Genavieve Jaffe

“Parenting with pride is loving beyond limits, beyond genders, beyond stereotypes and ‘norms.’ It is loving your children for who they are, as they are. It is showing up as a non-traditional family with confidence and joy and love to show others what unconditional love looks like in all its forms and colors. This world needs a whole lot more love, and it is our responsibility as parents to be the example.” - Genavieve Jaffe, @genajaffe

Image: Courtesy Daniel and Dennis Marzoa

“Parenting with pride allows us to shine our true colors, and give us a chance to celebrate our family.” - Daniel and Dennis Marzoa, @daniel.marzoa and @dmarzoa

Image: @alionsfear | Instagram

“Parenting with pride means taking what others feel makes my family different and turning that into something special. Turning that difference into pride.” - Aydian Dowling, @alionsfear

Image: Courtesy Kaila Strickland

“To us, parenting with pride means loving our son under zero conditions and raising him to know that, in our home, he is free to be unapologetically himself.” - Kaila Strickland, @Kd_strick

Image: @adityamadiraju, @thisisamitshah | Instagram

“Parenting with pride, I think the most important thing out of that phrase would be teaching love and acceptance to the kid. That’s something that you learn from the first school in your life, which is your home. I think that’s very important to us, being kind and being with an open mind to learn things. Even if you don’t understand it, try to understand it. And if you fail to understand it, learn to respect that person and their choices.” - Aditya Madiraju, @adityamadiraju

Image: Courtesy Krystian Gabrielle

“Standing up for each other and other families like ours no matter what. We have promised to always remain true to ourselves and to our children.” - Krystian Gabrielle, @krystian_gabrielle

Image: Courtesy Jonathan and Thomas West

“Allowing our kids to be proud of their individuality gives our dynamic family the groundwork to live life authentically. Being a transracial LGBTQ+ family also gives us many opportunities to parent with pride and show that love always triumphs over hate.” - Jonathan and Thomas West, @daddyandpapa

Image: Courtesy Chloe Millar

“Parenting with pride for me is raising kind children who love and accept everyone for who they are. I think it’s so important to teach our future generations that all families can look different! Representation matters, and I’ll always strive to normalize our two-mom family.” - Chloe Millar, @thelittleislandyogi

Image: @@broadwayhusbands | Instagram

“Parenting with pride for me is really about knowing that all families are different—all families look different. And finding the space to hold love and affection for all of those families. Family values aren’t exclusionary. Family values are inclusive—and our family matters.” - Bret & Stephen Shuford, @broadwayhusbands

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