OutFront: June 2007

Father’s Day: Fathers First Houston gay dads’ club + two dads create the Pride Family flag.

Fathers First Houston


Just like snowflakes, all gay dads are different: Some of them know they’re gay before they ever conceive of the idea of conceiving a child, but more of them find themselves fathers after walking down the aisle with a woman.

Designed for men who have sired children the old-fashioned way, Fathers First Houston offers confidential and anonymous support for gay men who are divorced, separated with the intention of divorcing, or still married with no intention of divorcing.

Pictured here are nine of the 60-some active members (counterclockwise from top right): Troy Merihew, William Flowers, Jim Evans, Javier Olivero, Jack Berger, Steven Ponder, Jeff Colwell, Remy Lopez, and Rob Scamardo. Fathers First meets on Mondays, 8 p.m. at Bering Memorial United Methodist Church. Details: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gayfathersofhouston.

Photographed by Nathan Haas


Steven Tesney and Grant Caplan with their daughter Cleo Caplan-Tesney and the Pride Family flag.

“The GLBT community has the leather community and the bear community and the lesbian community and this and that community,” Steven Tesney observed shortly after the birth of his daughter, Cleo Caplan-Tesney (now 18 months old). But he and his partner, Grant Caplan (pictured, with glasses), could find no symbol to identify another rapidly emerging faction of the GLBT community: same-sex partners raising children. The men asked their friend Jenny Conte, a local designer and owner of the firm SharpEgg.com, to create a flag incorporating the traditional Gay Pride rainbow colors with the image of a home embedded in a heart. “Jenny’s design captured the exact image we were hoping for,” Tesney said. “You just look at it, and you know right away it symbolizes GLBT families.” The Pride Family flag is available at www.PrideFamilies.com, Tesney and Caplan’s new website. The men hope the site becomes “a premier destination for GLBT families to celebrate their life journeys,” they say, offering not only infant apparel and merchandise, but also referrals for commitment ceremony venues, fertility clinics, and adoption agencies — all branded with the Pride Family Seal of Approval. On June 23, the Pride Family flag gets its official unfurling at the GLBT Pride Parade in conjunction with the Houston Gay & Lesbian Parents entry.

Photographed by John Conroy


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