42 episodes

Daddy Square is a new weekly podcast for and by gay dads, joining the successful blog of the same name. Coming to you from West Hollywood, Yan Dekel, an independent web designer, and Alex Maghen, EVP Technology at Warner Bros., are a married couple with 3-year-old twins. In each episode they bring a guest and tackle an issue that arises in parenting in general and in gay parenting in particular. All of their interviewees are professionals in their fields and gay dads themselves.

Daddy Squared: The Gay Dads Podcast Yanir Dekel

    • Kids & Family
    • 5.0, 50 Ratings

Daddy Square is a new weekly podcast for and by gay dads, joining the successful blog of the same name. Coming to you from West Hollywood, Yan Dekel, an independent web designer, and Alex Maghen, EVP Technology at Warner Bros., are a married couple with 3-year-old twins. In each episode they bring a guest and tackle an issue that arises in parenting in general and in gay parenting in particular. All of their interviewees are professionals in their fields and gay dads themselves.

    3×14 Coming Out AFTER Having Kids

    3×14 Coming Out AFTER Having Kids

    Coming out after being married to a woman and having kids takes a certain bravery and strength. In this Season Finale we bring you two fascinating and new stories of men who tried to force themselves to live a straight life and eventually came to terms with who they really are.  

    Kade Bartlett comes from a small, extremely religious town in north Oregon, and for years suffered from homophobia, both self-homophobia and from his community.  He tried for years to ‘pray the gay away’ for years before finally coming out of the closet. “I had somebody who was very close to me, almost like a mother, she was very religious,” he recalls. “I came to talk to her with things like ‘my marriage is on the rocks’ and she said ‘you gotta lean into God more,’ ‘you gotta pray more’.”

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    “When it finally came down to it and she said it was a choice, I kinda lost it,” Kade said. “I said, ‘who in the hell in their right mind  would choose this s**t?! With all the baggage and the crap and the threats, even the murders that happens, who would choose this? Why would anybody want to choose that?!’”

    For Josh, who lives in Canada, the religious environment and various conversion therapies he went through (including medication to decrease his libido) caused serious trauma.

    “I volunteered myself for different therapies that were focused on dealing with what I labeled at the time ‘dealing with unwanted homosexual attraction’,” Josh says. “Conversion Therapy is kind of an umbrella term for a bunch of different therapies that proport to modify your sexuality, and I started in my very early 20s, maybe when I was 20 years old, and that was also a f****d up community because the first therapist I ever saw, he actually came on to me in session, and he was the one saying that these are bad feelings. I had to put a stop to that therapist.

    “And then I found an online group called Setting Captives Free, and I was engaging with a different online therapists, or so they call themselves, I highly doubt that they’re actually therapists. They would tell me basically, if you ever act on these feelings you’re on the road to becoming a pedophile. And so that’s what I was convinced would happen, I never had any attraction towards that population whatsoever, but I was terrified that that would eventually happen, so further came the need to suppress who I am.”

    The Wife's Reaction

    The difference between Kade’s and Josh’s stories is the reaction of their ex-wives. Even though Josh’s wife was extremely supportive and they have became friends, the scars from living life in the closet are not going away easily.

    “I’m debating going into trauma therapy,” he says, “because I felt immense shame over who I was, that really defined a large part of my relationship with my ex-spouse, because every decision that had major consequence in our lives, from my perspective, I was always going to relent because who I was, was a bad person and who I was, was illegitimate.”

    Not only are these men’s stories dramatic and in...

    • 1 hr 11 min
    3×13 Free Range Kids

    3×13 Free Range Kids

    Have We Parents Gone Nuts? When we were kids our parents let us run around the neighborhood alone at the age of 8 or 9 – some even younger. Now parents accompany their kids to playdates at those ages. Have we become so fixated on our kids’ safety and on the quality of their experiences that we’ve robbed them of the freedom to learn and grow on their own? We invited Lenore Skenazi on to talk about her philosophy of Free Range Kids.

    We're all trying to do our best as parents, and one of the things that is keeping us from doing our best and turning us just into frantic fanatical parents is the fear of hearing somebody say to us, 'You Suck!'

    But the truth is you're great. Nobody is going to get it right. "If there was a perfect formula we would all have one book and we would all read it and do it," says Lenore Skenazi, who was called 'World's Worst Mom' for letting her kid ride the subway alone. She started Free Range Kids to fight the belief that our children are in constant danger.

    "Parenting is so confusing," Lenore says, "and we've imbued it with like everything we do. There're gazillion of moments before they hit 18 and they can't all be perfect, they won't all be perfect. In fact, it's better if they're not all perfect so they'll end up rolling with some punches. They'll be like 'dad isn't perfect either so I don't have to be so hard on myself'.

    "We just have to take a step back and say, it's going to be okay. The kid is going to be okay. Give them some freedom, give yourself some freedom and it's going to be okay."

    When to Start?

    "When parents are wondering about an age, like, what age can kids play outside or walk to school or run an errand or babysit, I ask them just to think back on their own lives," says Lenore. "If you were walking to school at age 5 and you were in a neighborhood that isn't more dangerous than when you were growing up - there's no reason that your kid can't be doing what your parents allowed you to do oof you think it was good for you back then and if you appreciate the freedom that you were given."

    "Our goal at Let Grow is to really change the what you see as normal because this new normal that we have of only constant supervision it's not doing kids any favors and parents have to spend every single second not doing anything except chauffeuring and watching them, it's not great for them either. I mean, we all love spending time with our kids but it doesn't have to be every single second."

    Our Guest: Lenore Skenazi

    A journalist by trade, Lenore spent 14 years at The New York Daily News as a reporter-turned-opinion columnist, and two more at The New York Sun. In 2008, after her column "Why I Let My 9 Year Old Ride the Subway Alone" landed her on every talk show from The Today Show to Dr. Phil, Lenore founded the book and blog “Free-Range Kids.” These launched the anti-helicopter parenting movement and garnered her the nickname, “America’s Worst Mom.” She got a promotion of sorts when Discovery Life tapped her to host the reality TV show, World’s Worst Mom. Lenore has lectured internationally from Microsoft to DreamWorks to the Sydney Opera House, and been profiled everywhere from The New York Times to The New Yorker. (She was even on The Daily Show!) Over the years, she has written for everyone from The Wall Street Journal to Mad Magazine. Yes -- Mad. After 10 years of watching parents nod along as she described how our culture has force-fed them fear, her aim at Let Grow is to turn agreement into action, making it easy and normal to give kids the same kind of freedom most of us had -- and loved. Lenore received her B.A. from Yale and her Master's Degree from Columbia. She lives in New York City with her husband and beloved computer...

    • 53 min
    3×12 Gay Dads of Color

    3×12 Gay Dads of Color

    Do gay dads of color need to be more visible? Is being a gay dad of color a “thing” that needs to be discussed on its own? This week we tackle – ok, perhaps “approach” is the better word - racial issues with two gay dads: actor Joe Aaron Reid and activist Greg Yorgey-Girdy. We talked prejudice and extra-levels of sensitivity and difficulty on one hand, and on the other, setting an example, drawing from diverse and rich cultures, and educating the straight, black community.

    Gay dads of color draw special attention just by walking into a store with their kids—especially when their kid is not the same color. “People would think that I took [my daughter] from someone or I was, like, a housekeeper,” says Greg Yorgey-Girdy, a father of three kids through adoption. 

    “Except for one lady, she was an older black woman, I remember her coming to me and saying, ‘your daughter is absolutely beautiful.’ I think what she meant by that is ‘who’s that kid?’ – she allowed me to say ‘thank you’ or allowed me to say ‘no that’s not my kid.’”

    Turns out that many in the black community see gay fatherhood as a ‘white’ thing - mainly because of a lack of visibility of gay dads of color. “It’s very easy for, let’s say, a black church to see a couple of gay white dads and say, ‘well that’s what they’re doing.’ But if they see a couple of gay black dads, or an interracial couple, something that’s a little bit closer to home, maybe there’s the kind of understanding of ‘oh, it’s not a them thing.’ There’s so much of ‘this is them and we’re us’ and I think that representation matters.”

    According to Yorgey-Girdy, it was in his African-American family culture to hide the fact that he was gay and not discuss it, even after he got married. When the kids came along, it forced the family to normalize his relationship, and now they have different conversations. 

    For Joe, the path to fatherhood was via surrogacy. He and his husband, an interracial couple, ended up using a mixed, “half-black Half-white, donor,” he says.

    “We thought we’d end up having some sort of shades of caramel, and it would look like what would happen if two men could have a baby. That’s not what happened at all – my daughter looks exactly like me and my son looks exactly like my husband.”

    “So I’m out with my son, a blonde-haired, blue-eyed white boy, and he has a tantrum in the middle of the store or whatever, screaming ‘no, no,no’ and theres a 6”2’ black man grabbing him. People are like ‘who are you to this child?’ and you have to deal with the tantrum and explain who you are at the same time.

    “That boils down to a bigger conversation, like, the idea of racial constructs in our society and what does that mean,” Reid continues. “I think that gay dads of color should be out and vocal, because there are many gay dads who are white or white-appearing and I think that that’s predominantly the culture of gay parenting nowadays. Gay dads of color have so much to offer, their culture and upbringing, values and things that are specific to our culture, and I think that it’s important to pass that along.”

    “Our job as gay dads is to educate, is to be open and vulnerable and put ourselves out there because how do we expect people to normalize something that we’re not willing to put out there as normal”

    Our Guests

    Gregory Yorgey-GirdyGregory maintains an active agenda of philanthropic undertakings, which include, his role as Co-Chair of Liberty City Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club, Committeeperson for Ward 48/Division, Treasurer and Board Member of Philadelphia Family Pride, President of the Philadelphia Texas Exes, and as an active member of the Philadelphia 1st Police District’s

    • 1 hr 1 min
    3×11 Gay Adoption: Start Here

    3×11 Gay Adoption: Start Here

    If you are a gay man or a couple looking to adopt, the first step you have to figure out which route you want to take. One is adopting through a non-profit agency, an agency that in addition to adoption services also helps dozens of pregnant women without means every year. We spoke with Tara and Jean-Charles from Friends in Adoption, about adoption; how much it costs, what is the process and what happens if the pregnant woman changes her mind.

    If you are looking into adoption as a gay single or couple, there are three ways that you can adopt

    1. Foster-to-Adopt (the government route)2. Private Attorney3. Private Agency 

    The third option, which is the most common, divides into two types of agencies: an agency that is a business, and an agency that is also a non profit organization. The difference between the two is where the “agency fees” that you pay as part of the cost go. To a non-profit organization there is a charitable side, which helps pregnant women who have no one to turn to. “We receive inquiries from about 300 individuals a year who are pregnant or parenting,” says Tara Stalis, Executive Director of Friends in Adoption, a non-profit adoption agency. “[We help people] from all over the country to consider their options, we provide counseling, support and education, we provide help with housing if they need that help to stabilize them. We also provide [access] to a doctor, to appointments, food and things like that so that they can really be in the best place possible to look at all of their options, one of which might be adoption. Out of those 300 inquiries a year we do about 30 placements. So part of the agency fee helps provide case management services to individuals who may not decide on adoption, but we literally helped hundreds of people to truly look into their options and decide what's best for them.”

    Adoption: How Much It Costs

    The average cost to adopt whether you decide to adopt with a private licensed non-profit adoption agency, or even adopt privately using an attorney and not using an agency, is about $45,000. “There is a wide range and a lot of it does depend on the situation, the pregnant individual that you're matched with and what her needs are as far as expenses,” Tara explains.

    “Part of it covers an agency fee, and the rest of the expenses are, for example, your attorney, attorney for the birth parents that you're working with, counseling fees, home study fees plus placement fees. Agency fees really cover case management services, if someone wants to adopt they will have a case manager from the time they reach out to us, right through deciding to work with us, and right through [the process] and becoming matched with the pregnant individual and the placement. And we're also a life-long resource, we keep in touch with the adoptive families…”

    Wait Time

    Waiting time can be another key factor in choosing your adoption agency for some gay parents-to-be. “Our average wait time is about 14 months,” says Tara, “and the way we measure that is between when you become active until you become matched, so if you decide to work with any adoption agency, you would have to go through the home study process and have a home study completed and you would have to create an adoption profile. Once those two things are done in Friends in Adoption you're considered “active” - we post your profile on the website, pregnant individuals can find you, you're active. So the average is 14 months but I will say that in the past several years people have been moving through more quickly and most people don't wait longer than a year, so the good news is that people are not waiting as long as they used to, but it could happen.”

    Guest Co-Hosts

    • 59 min
    3×10 Imperfect Parenting

    3×10 Imperfect Parenting

    None of us is born a parent, and so we look for the knowledge to "fill the gap.” Facing our kids' growing pains and wanting them to be kind, empathetic, responsible, attentive kids with  high emotional intelligence and a good sense of problem solving. We turned to psychologist and parenting coach Dr. Courtney Bolton, to coach us on some of the problems we face with our toddlers, including tantrums, lying, and facing homophobia.

    Dr. Courtney Bolton offers free consultation session for Daddy Squared listeners. To use that please go to drcourtneybolton.com/daddy-squared and use the coupon code: DADDY2

    Raising children is a creative endeavor, an art rather than science. And when it comes to parenting - it's not about learning tips and techniques, authority and rules. It's about the special, unique relationship you form with your child. 

     Sometimes that’s rough when you lose your belief in your parenting abilities - often in comparison to other parents for whom it always *seems* to be going great! 

    "We live in a culture right now of presenting that perfect image of parenting and really posting those things that are wonderful and even in our moments when it's not wonderful, we'll make light of it on Instagram. What we don't show are those times of when we're yelling, crying, losing our minds - feeling terrible regret.

    One of the hardest things for children, especially at a young age, is finding their boundaries. If they are being told that there’s something they can’t do or can’t have it can very possibly result in tantrums or other unwanted behavior. Dr. Courtney sees these moments as great opportunities to teach - and learn ourselves.

    "We want to help our kids create a little bit of flexibility and a little critical thinking,” she says. “So we help them with problem solving skills, [like] creating redirection, or 'what can we do if we don't have that... it's really something that you do, I mean, even adults sometimes need facilitation in that way. We just get into that moment where we think 'oh my goodness, I don't have this. I'm done!' And then there's 'actually, wait, is there something else that I can do.' So we just walk them through that and give them the options."

    Our Guest: Dr. Courtney Bolton

    Courtney Bolton Ph.D. is a psychologist and parenting & child development expert. She has worked with parents and school districts for the past several years to help ensure children thrive in their home and school environments. After earning her BA from Vanderbilt University and a PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara, she served as a postdoctoral fellow and clinical instructor at UCLA in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences where she conducted research, mentored graduate and undergraduate students and provided therapeutic services to youth and their families. Here, she developed her love for parent coaching and sharpened her skills in how to effectively work with parents to tailor evidence-based advice for their families. She has published papers and articles on child development, educational readiness and resilience and has been a key note lecturer on building friendship skills, belonging and stress management. Dr. Bolton is a mom of four, avid coffee drinker, bibliophile, and loves spending time outside year round.

    Co-Hosts: Yan Dekel, Alex MaghenGuest: Dr. Courtney BoltonOpening Theme: Hercules & Love Affair, “Leonora” buy hereArticles Related to this episode:Big Little Liars (Jessica Grose, The New York Times)ScreenTime: Diane Sawyer Reporting (selected clips on YouTube)Listen to previous seasons of Daddy SquaredJoin our Facebook groupConnect with us on Instagram

    • 59 min
    3×09 The Mom Role

    3×09 The Mom Role

    Newsflash: "Mom" is not a gender-- it's a role. And "the mom role" can be successfully played in a family of two dads. This week we asked Julia Dennison, executive editor of Parents.com and also a co-parenting single mom of a toddler, to join us for a discussion on gender roles and how they're changing, and about guiding your child to be comfortable with the differences in his family structure.

    The "traditional mom role" - or social stereotype of what is maternal - includes cuddling love, talking about feelings, sensitivity to the kids' needs, soft attitude (including on education). Can gay dads fill that role? Absolutely!

    "Of course we all have social stereotypes and ideas about what is maternal," says Julia Dennison, Executive Editor of Parents.com, "the word 'maternal' has all these connotations like, 'the caregiver,' 'the person that the kids run to if they need an extra hug,' there's all these ideas about what moms might do and in the past that included a lot of things like keeping up the house alongside everything, cooking and cleaning. Of course now those moms, these women, are at the work place just as much as men, these ideas of what makes a mom or what makes a woman, are really changing so that the rest of the world is starting to be just as confused or just as changing."

    In the developing discussion, we talked about the differences between men and women, even if we can't put our finger on what it is, is there a basic value to having both genders present in the upbringing of a Child. 

    Dennison thinks that the 'maternal' relationship with the child contributes a lot to the positive development of the child -- but this relationship doesn't have to be with a 'mother.'

    "If being a mother means talking about emotions and nurturing and the cuddling side, we see a ton of benefit from that," she says, "so whoever does that, it doesn't have to be [a woman], I think that there's a benefit to that maternal relationship between the parents and the children."

    Our Guest: Julia Dennison

    Julia Dennison is the executive editor of Parents.com. She co-parents her 3-year-old daughter Esme (and pughuahua) with her ex . With an amazing experience in digital and print media, Julia is a content strategist, covering a wide range of topics from health, parenting, and women's lifestyle, to pop culture, politics, food and technology. 

    Follow Julia Dennison:Instagram: @juliadennisonTwitter: @julsdennison

    Co-Hosts: Yan Dekel, Alex MaghenGuest Host: Braden SanfordGuest: Julia DennisonOpening Theme: Hercules & Love Affair, “Leonora” buy hereArticles Related to this episode:How to Make Your Marriage Gayer (Stephanie Coontz, The New York Times)Listen to previous seasons of Daddy SquaredJoin our Facebook groupConnect with us on Instagram

    • 1 hr 3 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
50 Ratings

50 Ratings

MeTooAK ,

Great for families of all kinds!

Oh my goodness! I am loving these guys! My wife and I are the 2 moms of our amazing 4 year old daughter and I wish Alex and Yan were our neighbors! I love the real life talk they bring into each episode. The topics are spot on and applicable to all parents. My wife and I actually send these episodes to each other to make sure we both listened so we can discuss the topics. This has led to some amazing conversations! Thank you so much guys! Live you both!

TannerS93 ,

Tremendously Resourceful

I’m a pretty new listener, but have quickly caught up! This is such a great resource for so many different reasons. Hearing the many different opinions surrounding parenting to the path in becoming a parent in its many forms has been such an eye opener! My husband and I have found it so fun to listen to together and spur conversations about our future family! Thank you so much!

IndigoFan76 ,

Great resource!

My husband and I are in the middle of surrogacy now - have loved this podcast for the community, perspective, and humor. Two thumbs way up!

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