Guest post by Jon, Triton, Sophia & Ava Bailey-Klugh
When our first daughter was born 19 years ago, we felt like pioneers. Although not the first same sex couple to start a family, we were on the forefront of a modern movement that was still a novelty to many. After having tons of gay fun first single and then together, we were settling down into a whole new life – and it sure was different from the cocktail parties, jet setting and late nights we had been used to! Poopy diapers, crying babies, Sesame Street and SO.MUCH.DISNEY. kept us on our toes as both our daughters grew up and taught us so much along the way.
When our daughter Sophia wrote her now-famous letter to President Obama, it launched us on to a global stage in the most meaningful of ways. Their exchange of letters touched the hearts of so many around the world and helped prove the point that same sex couples deserved marriage equality. On the day the U.S. Supreme Court announcement was made that we could legally marry, we were at Disneyland with the kids. Amid tears of joy, I dropped down on one knee in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and asked Triton to marry me in front of our two daughters and a huge crowd of people in Mickey Mouse ears. (The peer pressure was so great he had to say yes!) We were married the following year in front of 250 of our closest family and friends. It was a spectacle.
We started 2 Dads With Baggage as a platform to raise awareness of families like ours – two dads raising two daughters we adopted at birth. Now Sophia is 19 and Ava is 17 and same sex families are more common these days, but when we started our family things were less accepted. Not that we wanted to be role models, but we wanted to share our lives to help normalize our experiences with what we consider to be the same as every other parents’. Triumph, pride, fear, heartache, frustration, joy, impatience, kindness – but most of all, love.
Although travel is a family passion and we still share a great deal of content about family and LGBTQ travel, our areas have focus have broadened. The more we heard from and talked with families like ours with two dads or two moms, we realized our community needs more voices representing us out in the world. Regardless of content focus, we talk about our family openly. It’s not always at the forefront, and we don’t feel it needs to be. We’re not trying to be a poster family or make huge political statements (mostly!) but instead show that our family is just like any other. Above all else, we’re parents raising our children in this modern world, consuming products, living our lives, making our homes, working our jobs, helping our kids thrive.
What’s been so gratifying to learn is the huge amount of support we have received from our audiences – LGBTQ and otherwise. After all, love is love. People around the world seem to embrace that message, and we’re so proud to help spread the word!