|Image Courtesy of @GayAtHomeDad's Instagram|
Franke Lowe doesn’t shy away from the tough questions. After 17 years of marriage, the 39-year-old blogger and YouTuber of @gayathomedad fame divorced from his husband. Now the suburban househusband and devoted father is using his social media following to share his story with other single or divorced gay dads. He talked with us about how these dads can learn to laugh at the awkwardness, even pain, of their stories.
Out: Your new column, Let’s Be Frank, feels very authentic, while staying funny. Where do you find the humor in divorce?
Franke Lowe: Fun gay divorce jokes are hard to come by. But I’m not letting this divorce get me down. I’m trying to let this divorce empower me. I’m looking at myself and asking, How can I make myself a better dad? I’m using this chance to show everybody that my kid is okay. That wasn’t the original intent of being this "gay-at-home dad." It was supposed to be this cute kid and his sassy gay dad. But now I have this great opportunity to show that gay divorce is not terrible. It’s not this big monster like everybody thinks. It’s a part of life.
Do you ever sharing your story and your son’s story so publicly?
I’m an open book. I don’t mind sharing my life. I think the generation my son is growing up in— that is what they are going to be doing. People are sharing their lives all over the Internet, so I’m just trying to beat them to the punch. I don’t think it’s going to be a foreign thing for this generation. It’s not some Toddlers and Tiaras thing. I don’t feel like I parade him around. Besides, it doesn’t hurt for my son to go into middle school with just a hair of Internet fame.
Something that we are doing different from our parents is that we are working together for our kid’s sake. That’s the silver lining, that’s the gratitude that I have in this divorce, that we are still working together. The key is that we are proactive. I remember we just sat him down and said, Hey buddy, your daddies aren’t going to be living with each other anymore. He was taking it in, and we tried explaining the benefits as quickly as we could—two houses, two this, two that. You try to sell your kids on divorce, essentially.
And how has that worked out?
Since we split, we are focusing on the things we do best with him. So when he’s with my ex-husband, he’s out there kicking the soccer ball. So when he’s with me, we’re doing math problems and making YouTube videos and playing Mario. It’s a little bit divide and conquer.
How is dating? How does that conversation go?
I was thinking the other day which is worse to say—single or divorced. Either way, you go online and it feels like I have been transported through time into this sea of torsos.
What keeps you motivated?
It’s all sunshine and unicorns right now for gay men. It’s important to get that message out that you know what you’re getting into. With gay marriage could possibly come gay divorce. It’s the other side of the coin that somebody has to be ballsy enough to confront. Sometimes, I sit in my bed at night. I think, I’m a single dad in the middle of suburbia with a pool that needs to be cleaned. I think, Would it have been better to have stayed in my marriage? But I know everything worked out the way it was supposed to work out. And I look forward to seeing my son in the morning.
Tags: OUT EXCLUSIVES, LOVE, GAY DADS