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Single Gay Parenting Influencer Has Gone Viral With Humorous Posts

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday November 4, 2020

José Rolón, a single gay father and Instagram influencer, has gone viral for humorous posts about parenting, according to a feature by Today.

Rolón, known online as @nycgaydad on Instagram and TikTok, is driven by the need to provide LGBTQ youth with hope. As with any social media influencer, Rolón has had to deal with a few questionable posts. He responded to one particular question — asking if gay parents wish their children would turn out gay or straight —by way of a humorous video with his son:

Rolón: "Who's your queen?

Avery: "That's easy, Beyoncé."

Rolón: "Hmmm. I think it's Janet, but fine. Favorite milk?"

Avery: "(Politician and gay rights activist) Harvey Milk."

Rolón: "Good! Batman or Robin?"

Avery: "Thor."

Rolón: "You fell for the trick question! How do you say 'yes?'"

Avery: "Yaaaas, queen!"

Rolón: "Good. You're dismissed."

Elsewhere in the Today feature, Rolón discusses the impact of having been raised by a homophobic father and how that has informed his life: "I grew up in a machismo household with a father who yelled at me to 'walk like a man and not like a faggot. If you had pulled me aside and said, 'One day you'll have a big, happy family,' I wouldn't have believed you."

Rolón also talks about the heartbreaking story of how he lost his life partner in 2013, Tim Merrell, who died in his sleep. Rolón was not only left to be a single father to their infant son Avery, but a surrogate the couple hired was 11 weeks pregnant with twin daughters, Lilah and London.

Devastated by the loss of his husband, Rolón was struck by the realization, "Avery just lost his father. What if something were to happen to me?" He found support in those around him after announcing news of their upcoming twins at Merrell's funeral, saying "that was kind of my call for love and prayers. And I've been supported ever since. It really does take a village."

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.

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