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“Family like us”: Portrait of gay paternity

When Bad Heinen appeared in 2015 at his family’s Brooklyn home, where he wanted to take a picture, his subject wasn’t completely ready. One dad was busy finishing the ironing and the other was cleaning the house. My newborn son had his arms crossed.

The scene impressed Heynen, the father of his two sons, as a very normal thing. “They looked like other parents who love their children,” he said.

The family was the first of many Heinen to plan to take pictures for a photo book featuring gay fathers and their children. His first idea was for each family to pose in the corner of the block and explain it. We are all over the city, “he said. But after filming Brooklyn, he changed the concept to focus on his father in the midst of everyday reality. He spent the next four years with 40 families across the country, summarizing their quiet moments in his recently released book. “Father.”

American culture is not particularly hungry for the image of gay fathers, especially in recent years.Celebrity like Anderson cooper It has helped gay men normalize the idea of ​​raising children, and it’s no longer a surprise to see them on television, as they did when the “Modern Family” premiered in 2009.

It’s not very common, Heynen said. An image of a gay father who isn’t ready for Instagram, for example, two men combing their daughter’s hair or playing soccer in the front yard. Capturing these honest and personal moments has not always been easy. He said his subjects often wanted to present their family with a smile at the camera, dressed in their best clothes as traditionally as possible.It’s an understandable urge, and among gay parents, their Ability as a parent It is constantly being questioned.

Eventually the family was relaxed and he was able to capture their intimate moments. First, two bare-breasted fathers had skin-to-skin contact with a baby a few hours old. In another example, a gray-haired couple is staring radiantly as their son kisses his fiancée. According to Heinen, the images aren’t flashy, they celebrate the everyday life of a gay father.

“Family like us”: Portrait of gay paternity

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