The Accidental Gay Parents


The Accidental Gay Parents

The second Trystan spotted John, a pink-haired guy in a black bandana, he was smitten. For a year, Trystan and John spent their weekends clubbing, partying in Vegas, and making out on the beach.


Then, one Friday, John got a call.

It was a social worker. She said that she’d be putting John’s sister’s two young children into foster care at the end of the weekend. Unless, of course, John took them.

So John and Trystan got in the car and drove to the sister’s house. And John gave Trystan that two-hour drive to decide whether or not he was ready to commit to becoming a dad.

This is this story of a couple of twenty-somethings going to court against family to become the legal guardians of two children in desperate need of a safe home. (Hint: extra hard when you are gay.) This is also a super romantic love story. Side note: Trystan is trans, which adds a whole other interesting element to the episode. Tune in to hear all of the surprising details. For now, some pictures of Trystan and John’s life with the kids:

Toenail painting is a favorite pasttime in Trystan and John's household

Toenail painting is a favorite pasttime in Trystan and John’s household

Riley, the older child, adjusting to his new life

Riley, the older child, adjusting to his new life

Trystan and John's wedding

Trystan and John’s wedding

Trystan, John + the kids in their wedding shoes

Trystan, John + the kids in their wedding shoes

P.S. We’re going to be following up with John in a couple of episodes!

UPDATE: John’s story is now up! Listen here.

Resources for Raising Kids in a Nontraditional Family
Trystan says he’s found the Facebook group Aunts and Uncles Raising Nieces and Nephews to be an invaluable resource.

He also has enjoyed reading the blog Papa Bear, about a trans dad giving birth—something he is considering in the future.

We asked our own LGBTQ listeners what trans-parenting resources they like, and they answer was, “Well, there’s not a lot.” We did, however, get a lot of recommendations for S. Bear Bergman’s books, especially Blood, Marriage, Wine, & Glitter. People also like the books Trans Bodies, Trans Selves by Laura Erickson-Schroth and The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson. And the website It’s Conceivable Now.

Do YOU have a nontraditional family?
Tell your story in the comments! Share your favorite resources! It’ll help other people feel less alone.

Top photo: Lisa Yagoda

Our sponsors for this episode are Thirdlove , Little Passports and Bombas. Use the promo code LONGSHORT at checkout for a special discount.

118 thoughts on “EPISODE #60: The Accidental Gay Parents

  1. I just discovered this website because a friend of mine highly recommended me to listen to this particular podcast!
    I am hooked now, not only it is really interesting and very heartwarming, it is so eye-opening and positive.
    I LOVE it!!!
    Thank you for sharing your amazing story with the world!!!!
    And congratulation on your parenting work, it is the most important work in the world and it is so hard and wonderful at the same time!

  2. I heard a portion of this podcast on CBC (Canadian NPR basically) on a show called Podcast Playlist, where they sample various podcasts and let you hear what’s out there. The show plays on Saturday afternoons and Thursday nights at 11. Well, I was fortunate enough to be coming home late from a squash game and I caught this episode.

    I was so touched by the emotion and caring that you could tell was conveyed in this podcast. The part about having to go into the shower and clean themselves up and then being overcome by this feeling of anger that “they” said he wasn’t capable of raising a child.

    Well…it struck me that I’m “they” but only on paper. I’m a white, straight, male, age 45.

    You sound like such wonderful parents and like a fantastic family and I can’t wait to listen to the second part and hear how you’re doing. Thanks so much for sharing your story!

    1. Glad you found our show, Greg. After part 2, you can hear our new updates — parts 3 & 4, which just came out. Enjoy! –Abigail, LST producer

    2. This was very moving. Trystan, you are doing the most important work there is as a parent. Your anger is justified, and humbles me to work harder at being an ally.

  3. Someone recommended I listen to this episode. I’d never heard of this podcast before and I’m hooked. This was beautiful. What a wise man. Wise beyond his years. And what great parents and even greater human beings. Thank you.

  4. I bawled throughout this episode. Thanks for sharing your story John and Tristan. You touched so many lives by saving 2.

  5. I’ve just recently been introduced to LST through a search of podcasts. This show is honest and refreshing; it is a nice break from all the negative we hear in mainstream media today. I love it and wanted to take a moment to say thank you.

    I gave birth to a beautiful baby last September and am so far loving (almost) every bit of being a Mom! My wife is 11 years older than I am (though we joke that she’s the one who keeps ME young) and we live in a pretty traditional/conservative area. I have to say, it is really tough at times to be gay parents in our society. Heck, it’s hard enough being a parent for the first time in general! Hearing your story really touched my heart. Thank you for being loving, caring and responsible human beings that help give the gay community a good name. I wish mainstream media would broadcast more stories about people like you to help advocate for us and to show the world that we’re not all that bad as they think we are. =] Thank you again!

  6. Thanks for sharing your story. It touched my heart and I’m inspired knowing there are people like this in the world — those kids are blessed.

  7. This is my favorite episode ever! My husband and I laughed so hard at, “he thought I had a dead tooth.” We say it every now and then when we need to break the ice or a laugh.

  8. To this typical female whose in a traditional marriage you sound like an amazing human, with a huge heart. Those children scored gold when they became yours.

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