These gay dads and their kids are the real life Brady Bunch.
Wayne Perez and Gus Magallanes both married women before they realized they were gay. They settled down, with Perez having two sons, Lucas and Logan, and Magallanes having a daughter, Eva.
Then they realized they were gay and came out to their respective wives.
A few years later, Magallanes and Perez met via social media and began chatting regularly online. They started dating long distance as Perez lived in Iowa and Magallanes lived in Nebraska.
After a while, they fell in love and bonded over the similarities of their previous marriages and Perez decided to move to Iowa.
Over time, Eva moved to Iowa too, but Perez shares custody of Logan and Lucas with his ex-wife. The gay dads have the kids every other weekend and during the holidays.
On their current relationships with their ex-wives, Perez said: ‘All relationships are amicable and friendly.
‘This was very important to help the kids adjust and to also create a positive environment on both sides,’ he added.
Gay dads: ‘We hide nothing from our kids’
The gay dads have now been together for four years and even got engaged last year. They plan to marry in the fall of this year.
On the adjustment period for their kids, Perez said: ‘Eva had a hard time adjusting to me at first but after I explained I wasn’t trying to replace or be her dad, she grew to accept us.’
He added: ‘We hide nothing from the kids and show our love like any other couple in front of our kids. The openness has shown our kids that gay is ok and that there’s more to life than just a male and female relationship.
‘When the kids have questions, we answer them and show them another view of the world,’ he said.
The gay dads believe being parents is such a special thing for them.
Perez offered some advice for people who may be struggling with their sexuality, but are in marriages they’re not happy with.
He said: ‘I would advise men who already have children that are coming out of the closet to try to find another partner who shares a similar story and history. Or even a gay man who has children and is seeking new relationships.’
He added: ‘This makes things more relatable and financial situations easier to understand.’
‘There is no such thing as normal’
The gay dads believe one of the hardest things in their situation is blending the two families together.
Perez also said another big struggle is ‘having to explain to other people who are curious about our family.’ He says their family is unlike many other families.
He added: ‘But we are very happy and all the struggles have made it worth it in the end. At the end of the day, what matters is that we love each other.’
The gay dads want to break the stigma when it comes to LGBTI couples starting and raising families.
Perez said: ‘Families can be different and [we want to disprove] gay guys can’t stay together and have children and make life work.
‘The most exciting thing to come is being able to teach our children to accept everyone and let them know that there is no such thing as normal,’ he said.