It means going to school events and doctors' appointments and calming their kids' fears and celebrating their successes and sometimes, finding underwear on the kitchen floor and figuring out how it got there.
The fact Brian and Reggie are gay doesn't factor much into their daily lives. That wasn't always the case, but the couple from Colonie and other gay dads will celebrate Father's Day in a world increasingly more tolerant and welcoming of same-sex parents.
While there are no exact numbers for how many gay, bisexual and transgender Americans are raising children, research by the Williams Institute, a think tank affiliated with the UCLA School of Law that conducts research on sexual orientation and gender identity law, concluded 37 percent of lesbian, gay and bisexual people have been parents to at least one child in their lifetime, writes David Dodge, a contributor to GayswithKids.com.
A survey of the transgender community found a similar percentage. Gary J. Gates, the research director at the Institute, used estimates of the number of Americans 18 and older who identify as LGBT as well as national parenting figures to come up with a rough number — 3 million — LGBT parents. According to the 2013 American Community Survey, 8 percent of same sex male couples are raising a child. Just as there are with straight couples, there are a variety of ways for gay couples to become parents. Brosen and Monroe chose the foster parent system. Rob Meyer and Vinnie Rossi of Clifton Park wanted to adopt a baby and were present when their son, Luca, was born.
There is surrogacy, which celebrity couples like Elton John, David Furnish, Neil Patrick Harris and Neil Burtka have brought into the public eye, and then men who became parents through a straight relationship.
"The more visibility our families have, the more the typical mother and father understand and accept us. So gay dads are actually helping to create greater social acceptance of gay and lesbians," said Brian Rosenberg, the co-founder of Gays With Kids.