Two gay dads who achieved global notoriety after a photo of them with their newborn child was hijacked by anti-gay hate campaigns have released a children’s book about gay families.
Canadians Frankie Nelson and BJ Barone shot to global attention when a photo of them at the birth of their son, Milo, went viral. While the immediate internet response was positive – with the likes of BuzzFeed running it in their ‘Cute’ section – the photo was later used to promote anti-LGBTI policies in Ireland and Italy.
Anti-gay hate campaigns use viral photo without permission
The photo, taken by the surrogate mother’s friend, Lindsay Foster, in 2014, was used in hate campaigns by the conservative Italian Fratelli d’Italia-Alleanza Nazionale party and independent Irish politician Mary Fitzgibbon – without the photographer’s permission.
Now, married gay dads Frankie and BJ are having their say with their new book, Milo’s Adventures: A Story About Love.
The 36-page book talks about surrogacy, different types of families and the uniting force of love, all from Milo’s perspective. It is an inspiring response to the hatred they have faced.
Children’s book about LGBTI families for school and homes
In a recent interview, Frankie said: ‘We thought this book is a good way to let people know Milo is well loved.’ He added that he hoped the book would ‘inspire people to embrace and appreciate all different types of families’.
For BJ, the book was the right response to the scrutiny he suddenly found his family under. He said creating a children’s book that encouraged acceptance was his way of keeping the experience positive, adding that he hoped it would also be used in classrooms as well as homes.
In a statement, BJ said: ‘Family is about love, and we will continue to teach that and lead by example.’
Find out more about the book here.