Same-Sex Celebrity Couples Who Are Parents

Though 520 anti-LGBTQ+ state bills have been introduced in 2023 (as of August, according to the Human Rights Campaign), there are plenty of communities where different sexual orientations and gender identities are accepted and valued. And because of this increased acceptance and the diminishment of archaic stereotypes, it's become more normalized for same-sex people to do "traditional" things such as marry and have children. 

Academic research shows kids who grow up with parents with differing sexual orientations or gender identities develop just as well or better than those in homes with heterosexual, cisgender couples — a fact that has allowed more queer people to have families than ever before. Per the U.S. Census Bureau, there were roughly 1.2 million same-sex households in America as of 2021, and about 15% of them had at least one child.

Many of our favorite queer celebrities are parents, but here we chose to focus on couples, which means we did not include famous gay dads like Andy Cohen or his bestie Anderson Cooper (even though Cooper parents with his ex). We also left off divorced or separated queer parents, like Rosie O'Donnell, B.D. Wong, Sara Gilbert, and Ricky Martin. And for the sake of uniformity, we stuck to couples raising kids together rather than those who raised their kids with someone else and then remarried, such as Melissa Etheridge or Jodie Foster. Even then, we couldn't fit everyone on our list, so apologies to Alec Mapa, Samira Wiley, Greg Berlanti, and their spouses, who almost made it. Here are 14 other same-sex celebrity couples who are proud parents and raising children.

Matt Bomer has three teenage sons with husband Simon Halls

Matt Bomer is one of Hollywood's highest-profile gay actors, but also one who keeps his personal life mostly under wraps. He used to post the occasional family photo online, but Bomer's Instagram currently has no trace of a family — no solo picture of husband Simon Halls, a big-time Hollywood publicist, let alone children. 

Still, thanks to interviews, we do know some about Bomer's life with Halls, whom he married in 2011. "It was very chill," he told Out magazine of the wedding. "Very small — only our nearest and dearest. There's a security, a validity of knowing that it's legal. It's hard to put into words. It's just a feeling, I guess — something about saying vows in front the people around you who love and support you. I think it was good for our family."

Bomer — who first rose to fame playing a con artist and thief in "White Collar" — had a somewhat difficult time with his parents after coming out, as they were religious and not immediately accepting. We have no doubt that's impacted the way he approaches parenthood as a dad of three boys, to whom he seems to offer unconditional love. Bomer and Halls used a surrogate to have their oldest son, Kit, in 2005, and twins Henry and Walker three years later. The couple wants them to wait before getting into any aspect of the industry. "I want them to have a nice, normal childhood," Bomer told People.

Elton John and husband David Furnish became dads after decades together

Elton John is an older dad — and people have strong feelings about that — but if straight celebrities like Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino can have kids at 79 and 82, respectively, then queer ones should be able to have late-in-age babies too. Plus, John wasn't quite that old when he became a dad. He was 63 when he welcomed his first son, Zachary Jackson Levon, in 2010. In Hollywood, that's not even super weird. It helps that, like those straight celebrities we mentioned, John has a much younger parenting partner. His husband David Furnish is 15 years his junior.

In addition to Zachary, John and Furnish are parents to Elijah Joseph Daniel, born in 2013. Both boys, who go by the surname Furnish-John, were born via surrogate. "I thought I was too late to have children but actually they came at the right time in my life, and it's taught me so much," John told The Guardian in 2021. "God, I love my children so much. I have a purpose in life." 

By the time they became dads, John and Furnish had been together for over two decades. They first met at a dinner party in 1993, went on a date the next day, and have been together ever since. They entered into a civil union in 2005, but decided to marry once same-sex marriage became legal in the U.K. in 2014.

Brandi Carlile's wife and kids sweetly introduced her at the 2023 Grammys

If you watched the 65th Annual Grammy Awards in February 2023, then you already know that one of the best moments was when musician Brandi Carlile's family introduced her performance. "Introducing Brandi at The #GRAMMYs with our children was one of the greatest honours of my life," wrote Carlile's wife Catherine Shepherd on YouTube. "Queer domesticity isn't represented on prime-time TV very often ... Representation matters." 

Shepherd and Carlile certainly do their part to increase representation, appearing on red carpets and in magazine spreads with a positivity that is palpable. "She's my best friend," Carlile explained on "The Howard Stern Show." "Absolute best friend, and arch-rival, and the person that I love to be around the most, and the person I hate to leave a room, and the person I argue with late into the night."

The nine-time Grammy winner met her now-wife in 2009, when Shepherd, who worked at Paul McCartney's charity, called her for work purposes. Sparks clearly flew since they kept talking by phone before eventually meeting in person the following year. Carlile and Shepherd wed in 2012, and welcomed their daughter Evangeline Ruth two years later by way of IVF treatments (Carlile's eggs were implanted in Shepherd). The couple had their second daughter, Elijah, in 2018, this time using IUI treatment. "Evangeline was born to two mothers on Father's Day, but she made it clear right away that she only needed us," Carlile wrote in a Parents essay. "The rigidity around gender roles in parenting is indeed a construct."

Neil Patrick Harris and husband David Burtka are highly visible same-sex parents

Neil Patrick Harris has been in the public eye since he was a kid himself, so it's a little eerie for those who remember him as "Doogie Howser" to think about the actor being all grown up with kids of his own. Still, celebrities age like all of us mere mortals, and Harris is no exception — he's just done it in front of the world. Though Harris famously played a womanizer on "How I Met Your Mother," he is in reality a highly visible gay man with a beautiful family unit. This includes his husband David Burtka, and their 12-year-old twins Harper Grace and Gideon Scott — who are only a couple of years away from the age Harris was when he made his on-screen debut in 1998 film "Clara's Heart."

Harris and Burtka started dating in 2004, two years before Harris publicly came out of the closet in a People magazine article. They didn't appear together in public until 2007, when Burtka accompanied Harris to the Emmy Awards. They got engaged in 2011 after the passage of New York's Marriage Equality Act, and married in 2014. Harris and Burtka — whose twins were born via surrogate — have openly shared family photos on social media and haven't shied away from discussing their childrearing in interviews. "We approach parenting in very different ways, but they complement each other, so it's the best of both worlds. I'm very emotional and he's very analytical, so we meet in the middle as parents," Burtka told People in 2023.

Cynthia Nixon and wife Christine Marinoni have a beautiful blended family

Cynthia Nixon became a household name in 1998 when she starred as Miranda Hobbes in "Sex and the City." She's kept herself visible over the years — namely through high-profile acting projects on screen and stage, activism, and a 2018 run for New York City Governor (no biggie) — but Nixon's personal life is quite different today than it was when she first rose to fame. 

Back then, the star was in a long-term partnership with a man, Danny Mozes, and presumed to be heterosexual. Nixon and Mozes were together for five years and had two children, Samuel (a.k.a. Seph) and Charles. After breaking up with Moses in 2003, Nixon's began dating activist Christine Marinoni, the first woman she had so much as kissed. Though she at one point identified as bisexual, Nixon now describes herself as "queer."

Today, Nixon and Marinoni are a shining example of same-sex parents who make their blended family work for them. Though they started dating in 2004 and got engaged in 2009, the couple waited for marriage equality in New York before walking down the aisle, which they did in 2012. Not only did Marinoni become a stepparent when she married Nixon, but by then the couple had already welcomed a third child to the world. Marinoni gave birth to their son Max in early 2011, after several miscarriages. "Being a mother was something that I always knew I was going to do. I went into parenthood thinking, 'This is something I'm really up for'," Nixon once told People.

Dan Bucatinsky wrote a book about adopting kids with husband Don Roos

There doesn't seem to be a lot that Dan Bucatinsky can't do. Most people recognize him as an actor, known for appearing in films like "Air" and TV shows like "Scandal" and "Web Therapy." Bucatinsky appeared in the latter show alongside his close friend Lisa Kudrow, with whom he founded the production company Is or Isn't Entertainment. Together they have produced projects including acclaimed celebrity genealogy series "Who Do You Think You Are?" In addition to acting and producing, Bucatinsky has written and directed television, as well as authored a book. "Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight?: Confessions of a Gay Dad," was published in 2012 and focuses on his experience as an adoptive father in a gay relationship.

Bucatinsky was set up with his spouse Don Roos (also a writer, director, and producer) at a game night party in 1992, and they've been together ever since. The couple — who married in 2008 — have two teenage children, Eliza and Jonah, both adopted at birth. In 2012, Bucatinsky told the Los Angeles Times that he never thought he would have kids until Roos took him to a gay couples' joint wedding/baby-naming ceremony, which opened his mind to the idea. "I was overwhelmed by something so conventional, something so normal about the two of them standing there with their daughter and having some kind of a ceremony," he said. "That was the first time I thought, oh, my God, this is really possible, in my lifetime."

Jesse Tyler Ferguson's husband helped him realize how much he wanted kids

Jesse Tyler Ferguson played a gay dad on "Modern Family" for many years, and eventually, life imitated art. The actor became a first-time dad in 2020 when he and his hubby Justin Mikita welcomed their son Beckett Mercer via surrogate. They had a second son, Sullivan Louis, two years later, also via surrogate. Ferguson was appearing in the play "Take Me Out" at the time and missed only two shows — a dedication to his career that helps explain why Ferguson has said he and Mikita are too busy for more children. 

Two is plenty, though, especially for someone who wasn't even sure he would have kids. "It did not always feel like an option for me, but it was something I desired," Ferguson told Insider. "I didn't know I desired it as much as I did until I met my husband, Justin."

Ferguson, 47, couldn't envision a world where queer parenthood was in the cards when he was growing up, like many gay men and women of his generation. Mikita is a decade younger, and has certainly helped Ferguson open new doors. The couple met at a gym in 2012 and got married the following yearand we love the way the couple approaches parenthood now that it has happened. "My parenting mantra would be, 'Let's talk about tomorrow,'" Ferguson told SheKnows. "... It's a lot about communication with Justin like, 'Okay, we got through this day, let's talk about tomorrow.'"

Da Brat's pregnancy was featured on her reality show with wife Jesseca Harris-Dupart

Though many speculated about Da Brat's sexual orientation in the years after she dropped her first album back in 1994, the rapper-turned-radio host didn't come out of the closet until she was 46. She did it in a birthday Instagram post for the woman she loves, Kaleidoscope Hair Products CEO Jesseca "Judy" Dupart (now Harris-Dupart, as Brat's given surname is Harris). 

"I've always felt like being private is the better way to go, because then you don't have so many people in your business," Brat told Variety. "I was fine staying quiet, but my partner is a social media mogul — that's how she became who she is. And when you get with somebody, you have to meet in the middle."

Brat and Harris-Dupart first met in 2017, but they didn't start dating until 2019. After going public the next year, they quickly got engaged and then landed a WE TV reality show called "Brat Loves Judy." The couple's marriage was documented on Season 2 of their show, and the third season largely revolved around Brat's pregnancy. It was a surprise for fans, since even Brat said she thought she was not going to be a mom before meeting her wife. "I just thought it wasn't in the cards for me," she told People. "I've had a great career, a full life. I felt like, because I didn't get pregnant earlier on, then it just wasn't going to happen for me." The couple welcomed their son, True Legend, in July 2023.

Tom Daley feels pressure to be a model parent with Dustin Lance Black

One of them has an Oscar and the other has an Olympic gold medal (and three bronze ones), so clearly Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black know how to go for what they want — including parenthood. The couple met at a dinner in 2013 and, despite their 20-year age difference, went on their first date on Daley's 19th birthday. Daley, the Olympian, announced he had a boyfriend seven months later without labeling himself, and then officially came out as gay in 2014 (people had assumed he was bisexual). 

Daley and Black were married in 2017 and had their first child, son Robert Ray, via surrogate the next year. At the time, the couple did not know which one of them was the biological father. Though Daley and Black (who became Pampers brand ambassadors) expressed how much they loved being fathers, they waited until March 2023 to have their second child, Phoenix Rose. They have also been upfront about some of the challenges of raising kids as a same-sex couple. 

"Being same sex dads, I felt a lot of extra pressure to be good parents and to be doing the right thing," Daley said on the "Happy Mum Happy Baby" podcast in 2022. "You do always feel a bit judged when you're out in public because you want to be showing that you're doing the best you possibly can, and I think it can be weird sometimes for people to see two dads and a baby."

Cheyenne Jackson and husband Jason Landau love to document their adorable family online

Both Cheyenne Jackson and his husband Jason Landau are very active Instagrammers, and since they love to feature their kids, we've found it impossible not to fall in love with their adorable family of four. Whether it's something simple like hair braiding at the kitchen table or documentation of their elaborate family Halloween costumes, the family's spirit of fun and fabulousness often leaps off the screen. "There really are no words to describe the love I have for my family," Jackson told The Advocate. "I miss them when I'm with them. They go to bed every night and I look at pictures of them from the day even though I just spent all day with them."

Jackson and Landau met at an Alcoholic Anonymous meeting in 2013, and together they got sober. They got married in 2014 and welcomed their twins, Willow and Ethan, two years after that. Despite his thriving acting career, Jackson took six months off to be at home with his newborns and husband. 

The kids are now at the age where they are beginning to better understand their father's sexuality and what that means. "Our kids came out. As straight. We were eating dinner and out of the blue, Willow says, 'I don't think I'm gay'," Jackson said in a now-deleted Instagram video (via Queerty). "Then, Ethan, without missing a beat and without looking up from his food goes, 'Yeah, I'm not gay either. But I want to go to the parade.'"

Nate Berkus and husband Jeremiah Brent have two kids and a joint TV career

Nate Berkus tragically lost his partner Fernando Bengoechea in 2004, while the two were on vacation in Sri Lanka and a devastating tsunami hit. Few of us can imagine the pain of losing a partner so young and in such a manner, which is perhaps why it was so amazing to see Berkus find love again. 

The interior designer — who started his own firm at 24 — fell for another designer, Jeremiah Brent, and the two have not only built a family together, but also a television career. Of course, Berkus was already famous due to his regular appearances on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" (and subsequent career in television and business) but together with Brent, he has co-hosted multiple programs including "The Nate and Jeremiah Home Project," "Nate and Jeremiah: Save My House," and "Nate & Jeremiah by Design."

Berkus and Brent met in 2012 on a furniture shopping trip with their mutual friend Rachel Zoe, who Brent was working for at the time. The connection was immediate, and they were engaged in less than a year. After marrying in 2014, the couple decided to start a family rather quickly, welcoming daughter Poppy in 2015 and then son Oskar in 2018, both via surrogate. "Jeremiah would love more kids, [but] I'm 47," Berkus told Us Weekly in 2019. "I don't want to be the guy who is hobbling after, like, a toddler. I'm barely there now, so we're done." Brent seems pretty content too, telling House Beautiful that parenthood "is a gift I never thought I'd be given."

Wanda Sykes wasn't sold on having kids until meeting her wife Alex

Wanda Sykes first met her wife Alex on a trip to Fire Island in 2006 when, after spotting her on the ferry a day earlier, the pair were introduced by a mutual friend. While Wanda was out in her personal life at the time, she was not publicly open as gay until after she wed Alex in 2008. Her coming out one month after the wedding was totally unplanned and happened in an off-the-cuff speech she gave while at rally for marriage equality, shortly after California's Proposition 8 was passed. 

Even before they got married, Alex was very clear about wanting babies. "When I met my wife, that was her thing. 'Look. Right up front, I want kids,'" Wanda told NPR's "Fresh Air." "And I was like, 'Well, can you give me, like, six months to think about it? And let's just continue dating, and then, we'll see."

Wanda obviously came around — and rather quickly, too, since the couple welcomed twins only six months after marrying. In April 2009, Alex gave birth to their daughter Olivia Lou and son Lucas Claude. Over the years, Wanda has been open about how she and Alex parent their kids, as well as the challenges of having twins. "As parents, we're a team. Whenever there is an area where I might be lacking, she covers me, and vice versa. We always have each other's backs, and I think that's been really huge in our relationship," she told InStyle in 2021.

Denis O'Hare and husband Hugo Redwood took seven years to decide on adoption

Some of Denis O'Hare's most memorable on-screen appearances have seen him playing evil characters — like vampire king Russell Edgington in "True Blood" or con-man Stanley in "American Horror Story: Freak Show" — but in reality, O'Hare is a family man who appears to be quite nurturing and have a deep level of commitment. The Tony Award-winning actor has been with his husband Hugo Redwood for more than two decades, ever since they met in an AOL chat room in 2000. They got married in July 2011, four days after marriage equality became legal in New York, and in 2014, adopted their son Declan, who they had been fostering since he was five days old. The couple specifically wanted to adopt a Black boy after finding out they are the hardest to place.

Though fatherhood was not the original plan, O'Hare and his hubby slowly began to warm to the idea — but it took seven years. "If it weren't for Hugo, I don't think I would have become a parent," O'Hare told HuffPost. "It's not that I didn't have the desire but I didn't have the imagination. You know, for me it's been a sort of weird form of homophobia. Internalized homophobia where I thought I wasn't allowed to be a parent. I never imagined myself as a parent." In that same interview, O'Hare expressed how grateful he was for his son and encouraged other queer couples to have kids, even if they did not feel 100% ready — because no first-time parent ever can be.

Ryan Murphy and husband David Miller has their first son less than six months after marrying

Since we just discussed Denis O'Hare, what better way to end our list than with his frequent collaborator Ryan Murphy? O'Hare has appeared in multiple Murphy projects including "The Normal Heart" and eight seasons of "American Horror Story" (including the one premiering in September 2023). 

Murphy, as one of the biggest TV producers in Hollywood and a gay man, has made a habit of casting LGBTQ+ actors and people from other diverse groups — and once you are in with him, you tend to be invited back again and again. Like O'Hare, Murphy also became a father in his late 40s, although the similarities end there. Murphy and his husband have three kids, all born through surrogacy.

Murphy first met his husband David Miller at a gay bar in the 1990s, but it was 15 years before they started dating. They got married in 2012 and very quickly got to work on starting a family — not a huge surprise for Murphy fans who may have noticed he discussed having kids in interviews leading up to it. Though Murphy had a rocky childhood (his parents even sent him to therapy to try to "cure" his homosexuality), he has described himself as a lenient parent who caves in too much. Murphy and Miller's youngest son Griffin Sullivan was born in 2020, joining brothers Logan Phineas and Ford Theodore (born in 2012 and 2014).