The inaugural meeting for the Gay Fathers Coalition of Richmond was on April 1, 1997. When the four founding gay dads arrived at the church that day to prepare for the first meeting, they had no idea how many guys would walk through the door. Seven men showed up for the first meeting. For Richmond, that was quite remarkable for 1997. And in the following month there were 11 interested dads. We have been welcoming new faces to the GFC RVA for over 20 years. Our membership has grown to over 80 fathers. Some have come and some have gone, some have been part of the group since its inception.
The GFC RVA has been a part of the Richmond community in various capacities. We have been a support organization to help fathers face the challenges of being gay and a father. We have been a partner in the community to support LGBTQ events and platforms. We have been a social organization to provide fellowship and friendship to gay fathers in Richmond.
We bring social change by our example, by living out our lives as fathers and as gay men with honesty and integrity. The fact that GFC Richmond exists is a solid testimony that there are gay men who take their role as fathers seriously, and who are discovering that living as a gay or bisexual man and being a loving and attendant father are not mutually exclusive paths in life.
THE NEXT 20 YEARS
Over the 20 years of the GFC RVA, the make up of our group has evolved into a dynamic group of amazing dads that have overcome the many challenges of balancing fatherhood, our professions, and our personal lives as gay men. Over the past 20 years, the social, political and legal landscape has evolved for LGBTQ equal rights and gay marriage. Being a gay father is no longer considered a social anomaly, but more of an accepted parenting model and vision of unconditional love.
There are fathers in the GFC RVA that have children from marriages to women. We have fathers that are raising children that were born through surrogacy. We have fathers that have children through adoption. Each story is an incredible testimony of love and commitment to our children, as well as the ability to live our lives authentically and honestly.
In 2018, the Gay Fathers Coalition changed our name to the Gay Fathers Community of Richmond. We wanted to re-brand the GFC RVA to recognize our growth, expand our membership to include gay fathers from all backgrounds, and to reconnect with the Richmond community.
We look forward to the next 20 years and the evolution of the GFC RVA. We look forward to meeting new fathers, their children, partners, families and supporters. We look forward to continuing to socialize, network, and inspire.