Two Dads and a Kid is an award-winning LGBT and parenting blog by dads, Emanuel Kelly-Loulié and Darren Kelly-Loulié. Their blog features helpful tips and tricks for parents, as well as theatre reviews, motoring and heart-healthy recipes. In 2019, we featured them as one of our Top Daddy Bloggers to Follow for not only LGBT+ parents, but for anyone looking for guidance and inspiration on raising little ones. Now in honour of worldwide LGBT Pride Month, we sat down with Emanuel for a quick chat about what this month means to them as a family. We also checked in with them on how they're fairing in lockdown and what they are most looking forward to doing as a family once this period is over.
What does Pride Month mean to you personally, and as a family unit?
Pride Month is a period where I get to reflect on how it's no longer necessary for me to justify my existence as an openly gay man and hide who I truly am at the risk of being ostracised, marginalised or even physically beaten as a member of the LGBT community, although much of this still happens in our society today. It's a time where I give thanks to and remember the many LGBT activists before me, who refused to accept the status quo of the day and through protest and being vocal about gay rights, have allowed us to to live authentic lives today. As a result, I am able to marry whomever I chose, and have a family either through adoption or surrogacy, for example, and live a happy, 'normal' family life without hiding any aspect of my existence.
Will you be celebrating Pride Month in any way?
The month of June, although celebrated globally by LGBT communities as Pride Month, is not Pride Month in South Africa. Here, we celebrate our Pride during the warmer summer months, either early in the year (January / February) or later in the year (October to December).
Do you have any advice for parents going through the adoption process or considering adoption?
The adoption process in South Africa can be both short and long, so don't be anxious and allow the process to follow through. Find an adoption agency that you're comfortable with to allocate a social worker to you. Be honest and ask for honesty back from them. Ask the hard questions, even if it's not what you want to hear.
It's extremely important to be more than 100% sure that you're ready to become a parent as a couple if you're in a relationship, or as an individual if you're opting to adopt as an individual. Parenting is a life-long commitment, as you're choosing to care and love another human being. Parenting isn't like buying the latest pair of shoes and then deciding it doesn't suit your lifestyle so you choose to change it. So, be over 100% sure you want to become a parent and fully commit to the experience.
Father's Day is just around the corner. Do you have any pearls of wisdom to share with dads in particular about parenting?
We all lead busy lives. But once you've decided to become a parent, you have to be a parent that is present in your child's life and not a parent that fills your child's life with presents. Children require patience, nurturing, understanding and love. Never forget that they are unique individuals and not merely an extension of your self or your personality. Allow them the freedom to become who they are meant to be, even if that means they don't always live up to what your expectations might be.
How have you been keeping busy as a family during lockdown?
My son and I have been in lockdown for over 80 days now. I'm so proud of him because he hasn't once complained or made a fuss about being in lockdown. If anything, he has actually enjoyed having both his dads home with him 24/7. The first few weeks was our adjustment phase and saw us trying different things to see what worked for him and us as parents with our work commitments.
We've now got a routine that is working for us all that includes Zoom calls for all three of us, teaching our son at some point, balancing work and of course doing some form of physical activity, like going out for a run or working out with Johno and Jules from the JEFFTogether team. As much as we have a routine for school and work to function well, I relax by cooking and baking for the family, while my husband, Darren, and our son will be playing PlayStation or exercising by playing soccer or rugby outdoors. It's certainly kept the peace in our home.
What are you most looking forward to doing as a family once lockdown is over?
We had to cancel our Easter break because of lockdown, so being able to plan and go away to the coast with my boys is something we're really looking forward to post lockdown.
Visit the Two Dads and a Kid blog for more helpful tips on gay parenting, recipes to try in lockdown and to check out Darren's corner. You can also follow them on social media: