Why did you decide to start a podcast with your husband?
It was actually a one-thing-leads-to-another kind of thing. When my kids turned one, I wrote an article for the Huff Post about my first year as a dad. I received many comments from people after this, and I also realised that I have more to say about it – so I started the blog, Daddy².
I ran with the blog for about a year-and-a-half, and parallel to that I was thinking about having a podcast. I’ve done some radio before, and I also run Pop App Radio, but there was something magical to me about making a podcast. Will Young and Chris Weeney’s podcast ‘homo sapiens’ really inspired me to bring my radio and blogging worlds together into this podcast.
I also thought that if a podcast for gay dads was hosted by a couple of real – and deeply flawed – gay dads it could be more authentic and interesting. I also thought that it could be funny, with the chemistry between Alex and myself – we discovered in couples therapy that we can be funny together.
So, I asked Alex to do this with me, and there wasn’t much convincing necessary for Alex to talk publicly.
How do you decide on the topics that you’re going to cover?
Before the season was aired, Alex and I sat down for a brainstorm to list issues that we ran into in our lives as dads, and what could be interesting for prospective gay dads to hear. We thought about issues that arise in our discussions with other gay dads, about questions that we get asked, and we came up with a list of subjects.
It’s important to emphasise that we’re not experts, nor are we trying to be. Both Alex and I see ourselves as gay men, a gay couple, who struggle with parenting. The podcast is pretty much our journey.
We receive a lot of ideas from listeners for topics that we haven’t thought of, and we’re definitely going to cover some of these in the next season of the show. But the podcast is as much about helping us figuring out parenting, as it is for our listeners.
When do you find time to record the podcast?
It’s funny, because we just had a fight over this yesterday. All the scheduling is done by me, and the recording is done during the days when our kids are at preschool, so I’m trying to minimise the damage to our daily work.
It really varies, but it’s most certainly not at night. We tried once and it was lacking energy. We both sounded like Coast to Coast AM. Also, we record the interview with our guests in advance, and record the intro and outro as close as possible to the release day of the episode.
What sort of responses have you had to your podcast?
Let’s start with the good feedback. The gay dads community are nice to us, and we receive feedback on a daily basis. But I’m extremely taken by the comments from prospective dads. We receive a lot of comments about how the podcast has been helpful to them, and they also ask questions which, in most cases, I forward to our interviewees on the podcast. We recently went to record an episode from the Men Having Babies convention in New York, and the interest in the podcast from the attendees of the convention was phenomenal. When I first started the podcast, it was a dream for me to be able to facilitate the connection between the new generation of gay dads and the older one – to be able to create a resource where gay men who have become fathers help those who want to do it. To see that it helps people means the world to me.
Then there’re the homophobic comments. I’m trying not to get upset and be like Alex who laughs about it, but the ones that hurt me the most are those who write that gay fathers molest their children – some of the commenters describe this with a great deal of imagination, which is scary. We get a few comments like this, plus, you know, the run-of-the-mill type who say that we’re not a family and that we should burn in hell. I’m not sure if these people’s minds will ever be changed, but I do believe that the visibility of our family can help people who lean that way to recognise how normal and happy and loved my kids are.
What are some of your goals and ambitions for the months ahead?
On Christmas, we’re going to have the ‘finale’ of season 1 of the podcast, which is very exciting. Then, we’re probably going straight into planning season 2, with the help of the GaysWithKids.com team, which we recently partnered with. I’m really hoping to create a world-wide community of gay men who are somewhere on their journey of parenting – the journey starts long, long before you actually have kids! I think that the best way to be updated about our podcast and the Daddy Square community is to join our mailing list – oh, and of course, listen!