Big Gay List LGBTQ Parenting

What do gaybies call their dads?

One of the things that initially got me excited about starting this blog was the fact that no one seems to agree on some of the simplest gay parenting questions.

One of the things that initially got me excited about starting this blog was the fact that no one seems to agree on some of the simplest gay parenting questions. For example: “what do babies call their gay dads?”

Google that. I dare you. You won’t find much.

Before I begin, a few caveats:

  1. As I write this sentence, my husband and I have not decided what we’d like our children to call us. Nevertheless, I’m going to do my best to lay out the options we have. Hopefully we can come to a consensus (comment below) or at the very least make individual decisions we’re each satisfied with.
  2. This conversation can be an uncomfortable one. I’ve received a few messages from friends and family since raising this topic, all highlighting the rude reality of gay parenting. For example, the role that the word “Dad” plays in Western society. Whether we (the gay community) like it or not, teachers will ask our children “what does your Dad do for a living” and our children will have to jump through an additional hurdle (not a difficult one if you sit them down and have a rational conversation with them) to answer it. Which forces the question: is any choice other than Dad “less than” in comparison? Does having a “Dad” and a “some-other-name-that-isn’t-Dad” mean that one is more masculine or more important than the other?
  3. I haven’t fully convinced myself that this even matters. The reality is, straight couples have decades of precedent to follow and we simply don’t. So while we have the unique opportunity to help write the chapter on gay parenting, there’s no need to overthink it. Simply have a conversation with your partner, make a decision that you both feel proud of, prioritize the happiness of your children, and own the decision that you make. Because those are the only things that really matter.

Now that all those caveats are out of the way, onto my very first (but definitely not last) Big Gay List. Here are the pros and cons of each and every option I could think of (with a little help from my Facebook community):


  • Pro: Easy for kids to say, adorable to hear, and perfect if you’re from the Middle East.
  • Con: Not ideal if you (or your loved ones) don’t speak Arabic.


  • Pro: Duh. Sometimes it feels good to hop on the bandwagon, doesn’t it?
  • Con: It’s (probably) already taken by your husband. And if that’s the case, you deserve your own special title.

Dada or Dadda

  • Pro: It’s adorable when little kids say it.
  • Con: It’s no longer adorable when said kids grow up.


  • Pro: It’s cute.
  • Con: It’s cute.


  • Pro: It’s very “I’m a hip modern dad who was influenced by the rise of digital.”
  • Con: Having a number attached to your name is, well, strange.


  • Pro: It’s perfectly literal.
  • Con: Sounds a bit too Downton Abbey for my liking.


  • Pro: It’s cute, short, and familiar to most people.
  • Con: It’s probably already taken by your father.


  • Pro: Fun to write, say and hear. And it’s what Hispanic people call their dads.
  • Con: A little too Hispanic if you’re a non-Hispanic.


  • Pro: Downton Abbey.
  • Con: Downton Abbey.


  • Pro: It’s really fun to say, to write, and to hear.
  • Con: It lacks a bit of gravitas, don’t you think? Also, it’s the name of a cereal, a delicious ice cream or cake treat, and in some parts of the United States, a can of soda.


  • Pro: Traditional and very polite.
  • Con: A little too formal for my liking. Is he the Commander-In-Chief of the house?

Names that didn’t make the cut (sorry, Facebook family): The Dude, Supreme Chancellor, King, Captain, Daddaroo, Daddio, Di-da, Dad 2: The Dad-ening & The Zeppinator.


It’s your turn now! Did I miss one? Which of these do you think pairs best with Dad? Or does Dad not make your list at all? Comment below with your feedback and I’ll make sure to update the post!

Until next time, stay crafty.


19 comments on “What do gaybies call their dads?

  1. Hey guys, what a great article! It’s made me think that’s for sure. I like Papa and Dad. But that’s just my two cents.
    Loving the blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. David Woods

    I called my mum by her name (Sade, Sadie) since the age of nine or 10 as we were more friends than parent/child. I’m sure you’ll both develop your own bonds & nicknames. Besides, any plan you have will be scuttled by the time the twins can talk. The best laid plans…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Christine

    Maybe your babies will come up with something special. My nephews call my mom “Garby” because they didn’t say Grammy right and it just stuck. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Patti Gleason

    So I know I already had my say! Lol but to go off of what Christine said above… My parents are Papa and Buddy to all the grandkids! My Mother became Buddy when Matty the oldest of the 8 1/2 grandkids was little my mom always called him her little Buddy! Well he took that and ran with it! We all loved it just as much as she did and we couldn’t imagine a different name for her! So yes you can plan as much as you want but there are times you just won’t have a say in the matter! Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sarah Wamble

    Love love love the blog!

    One thing to keep in mind is that your baby isn’t going to be able to say all of those names right away. So even though I will ultimately be “mommy”, right now, my 18mo old can only say “mamma” – not to be confused with “ma”, which is her way of saying “more” when she wants more food.

    For that reason, I would recommend having you pick two names that are distinctly different in consonants and vowels. For example, if one of you is Papa and the other one is Dad, it will be easier for the babies (although you will likely be Pa and Dada in the beginning.) Versus if one of you is Papa and the other is Pops, you will both be Pa.

    Hope that helps!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Melissa Zani

    I like Dad and Papa and if either of your fathers wanted to be called Papa (or maybe already are Papa?) you could ask them to be “Papa Steven”. I agree that in the beginning the babies won’t be able to say it clearly, and they may create names, like Drew who became Bampy when Ellie tried to say Grampy. I’m Nana and my mother is Nana Paula and it works just fine. Either way, you guys have the right idea to do all this planning and then just go with the flow. I’m so happy and excited for you both! Love, JoeMama

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tia Anny

    in my family we added first names to the parent tiles sometimes to make them more personal – my Dad was “Daddy Dale”. My maternal grandmother was “Mommy Anne” cause my mom called her mommy and we grandkids just added her first name to that title. You could be “Daddy Joe” (Joseph) and Josh “Daddy Josh” … again I like the alliteration. When you sign cards “love you, Daddy Joe and Daddy Josh”❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My husband and I are going through the same thing. I think we will likely go with daddy and papa. Although to our friends refer to me as the “dad-mom”. (Still not pregnant, but hopefully soon)
    At first, dad-mom was insulting. I’m not a woman and do not need to be referred as such. However, the more I thought about it, it was really a compliment to me. I see it as “I’ll kick ass enough to fill what typically is considered a more nurturing roll”. So I will probably end up being papa.
    Your article is spot on in regards to gay parenting, there really isn’t much for our community, but I like to feel like we are the pilgrims who will pave the path for future generations. 🙂
    Good luck!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ethan L

    I might be late to this, and this probably has been suggested before, but I’m a fan of the “Dad Name1” and “Dad Name2” approach. Like I’d be “Dad Ethan”. You could even shorten it to just the first letter: “Dad E” (as long as your significant other doesn’t have the same first letter in his name).

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Anonymous

    My husband and I have yet to adopt but I wonder the same thing. I think we would both like to be called a Dad or Dad when our son(s) need something (yeah I think we will adopt boy(s) eventually.

    I grew up calling my biological Dad whom I referenced as Daddy Jim but called him Dad in his presence. I was raised by my legally adoptive father whom I also called Dad and referenced him as Dad. Then my Mother’s third marriage occurred when I was a teenager and I announced that I would call him Jim (not to be confused with Daddy Jim). Fun eh? I learned so much from all three of them to be who I am today. Except for the Gay part. Anyway, I think that if we adopt babies, we will let them call us both Dad as they learn how. I think differentiating will be an ad-hoc learned experience for all. I think we will be able to differentiate with Dad Eric or Dad Tim when we all need to. Just a note, none of my THREE Dads ever lived with me at the same time. They’ve all met and talked at one point or another but there have been very few awkward moments on my part as I was used to it. On their part I suspect there are some tough feelings when I call one of them Dad in front of the other but you know what? That’s how it is, how it has been, and how it will be. Kids adapt as I did and parents will too. I think if we adopt older children, say, around the age of 10 or early teens, we will have a specific discussion about it all and come to a conclusion that is comfortable for everyone in the house.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Again probs very late to make suggestions. But just in case anyone else has come here looking for suggestions. My partner is English so Dad for him. I’m welsh and the colloquial word for Dad in Wales is Da. So we’ll be Dad and Da.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. So my dad is Paw Paw to all the grandkids. We landed on Dad and Poppa/Pops for us, and I love being Pops because I don’t need a new name when our kids get kids.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What did your children end up calling each of you?

    Liked by 1 person

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