“Family like us”: Portrait of gay patriarchy (released in 2021)

When Bart Heynen appeared in 2015 at his family’s Brooklyn home, where he wanted to take pictures, his subject wasn’t completely ready. One dad was busy finishing the ironing and the other was cleaning the house. The newborn son had his arms crossed.

The scene hit him. As very normal, he himself is the father of two sons, Heynen. “They looked like other parents who loved their children,” he said.

The family was the first of many. Heinen planned to take pictures for a photobook featuring gay fathers and their children. His original idea was for each family to pose in the corner of the block and explain it. We are all over the city, “he said. However, after filming Brooklyn, he changed his notion to focus on his father, who is in the midst of everyday reality. He spent the next four years with 40 families across the country, summarizing their quiet moments in his recently released book. “Father.”

American culture is not particularly hungry for the image of gay fathers, especially in recent years.Celebrity like Anderson Cooper It has helped gay men normalize the idea of ​​raising children, and it’s no longer a surprise to see them on television, as they did when the “Modern Family” premiered in 2009.

Not very common, Mr. According to Heinen, it’s an image of a gay father who isn’t ready for Instagram. For example, two men are combing his daughter’s hair and playing soccer in the front yard. Capturing these honest and personal moments has not always been easy. He said his subject often wanted to present their family in their best clothes as traditionally as possible and with a smile on the camera.It’s an understandable urge, and among gay parents, their Ability as a parent It is constantly being questioned.

Eventually the family relaxed and he was able to capture their intimate moments. First, two bare-breasted fathers had skin-to-skin contact with a baby a few hours old. In another example, a white-haired couple is staring radiantly as their son kisses his fiancée. The image is not flashy, Mr. Heynen said, but rather it celebrates the daily life of a gay father.

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