Board of directors
Michael Doyle, MD, board member
Dr. Doyle is the founder of CT Fertility where he served as medical director for 25 years. During that time he was responsible for the successful surrogacy journeys of hundreds of gay men both in the US and abroad, and in his career helped in the creation of over 7,000 babies. He was an early advocate for safe and ethical surrogacy treatment and a strong proponent of non-anonymous egg donation. He also led one of the first and largest frozen donor egg banks in the US. After retiring from clinical practice in 2017, Dr. Doyle now devotes some of his time to several non-profits which are focused on educational access and community development, and he currently plays lead roles in both philanthropic and VC groups which invest in and assist social entrepreneurs around the world. He is thrilled to join the Men Having Babies board and hopes to focus on both development efforts and advocacy initiatives aimed at legalizing surrogacy anywhere where it currently faces opposition.
Andrew Li, PhD, board member
Andrew, who holds a PhD in computer science, currently serves as a Vice President at a major investment bank in New York City. Andrew and his husband first learned of MHB by attending the NYC conference and monthly meetings as intended parents. The couple is currently on their first surrogacy journey, looking forward to completing their family with a child soon. MHB has been instrumental in their journey so far and Andrew wishes to pay it forward to other intended parents. He strongly believes that being a parent is everyone’s right, no matter their socioeconomic or ethnic background. Andrew is of Asian descent and hopes to help MHB overcome language and cultural barriers to more effectively reach out to Asian prospective parents who currently have limited access to the full breadth of resources the organization offers.
Frank Nelson, board member
Frank Nelson is a High School Teacher, working with at-risk youth in Toronto, Ontario. Frank received his Bachelor Degree in Architecture from Ryerson University and his Bachelor of Education from the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Frank and his husband BJ have a son Milo who was born in June 2014 via gestational surrogacy. By some twist of fate, their birth photo went viral, and their surrogacy story was shared around the world. Since then, they have started their own website, familyisaboutlove.com, and they have also written a children's book called Milo's Adventures: A Story about Love, about their surrogacy journey. Frank believes that it is important to teach others about surrogacy, the importance of skin to skin contact and to show the world that family is about love.
Michelle Pine, board member, chair of the Surrogates Advisory Committee
Michelle Pine is a special education teacher for students with mild disabilities at an alternative high school in Klamath Falls, Oregon, having previously taught special education and Language Arts in Portland. Michelle holds two Masters in Education from Concordia University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Eastern Oregon University. When not working, Michelle enjoys reading and writing and spending time with her family exploring Oregon. Michelle is a two-time surrogate. In 2015 she carried boy/girl twins for a same-sex couple in Israel. She delivered a baby girl in September 2017 for a mixed-status same-sex couple from San Francisco. Michelle and her husband have three amazing children, all who played an important role in both surrogacy journeys and have enjoyed being a part of helping others become a family.
Ron Poole-Dayan, board member / executive director
Ron is the executive director and founder of Men Having Babies. He has over 20 years of experience in marketing and business strategy development both in the USA and internationally. Ron earned his Masters degree in political economy and comparative politics from Columbia University, and his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Ron is married to Greg Poole-Dayan, the COO of the Wartburg, a leading provider of senior healthcare and residential services in NY. The couple met in 1994, and are among the first same-sex couples in the nation to father children through gestational surrogacy. The twins, born in 2001, were conceived with the use of eggs donated by Greg's sister, and carried by a gestational carrier. Ron has been the MHB program coordinator since 2005, and was appointed as the Executive Director of Men Having Babies upon its incorporation in July 2012.
Asaf Rosenheim, board member / treasurer
Asaf Rosenheim serves as the head of Business Development for family owned real estate practice, Profimex in Israel. Prior to joining Profimex he was a VP at Ares and served in the Israeli Army as a Medic Staff Sergeant. He graduated summa cum laude from Rutgers University with a BS in Business and Finance and received an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. Asaf is married to Eric Patton and together they are parents to boy and girl twins born at the beginning of 2012 with the help of a surrogate who became a close friend. In the past, Asaf served at the Head of ‘Rutgers Newark Gay and Lesbian Alliance’, fostered and rehabilitated three rescue pit-bulls for ‘Earth Angels,’ a Bronx based non-profit canine rescue and taught yoga community classes. After speaking at Men Having Babies' workshop and facilitating in the formulation of The Gay Parenting Assistance Program and the 2013 New York annual seminar he joined the board in May 2013. Asaf is passionate about providing information and support to perspective parents on their journey to what he and his husband Eric see as the greatest gift that they have ever gotten, becoming parents.
Sherman L. Taylor II, Chairman of the board
Sherman is a technology manager in the Research & Development organization of Procter & Gamble, based in Cincinnati, OH. Sherman received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering and Colloids, Polymers and Surfaces from Carnegie Mellon University. Sherman leads of group of scientists and engineers to create new and improved consumer products; he has worked across a variety of brands in his career including Pampers, Vicks, PuR, Swiffer, Magic Erasers, Bounce and Downy. Sherman also leads the design of corporate training programs to accelerate the growth and development of New Hires upon entering the company. Sherman and his husband Andrew have two sons via surrogacy, born in 2013 and 2017.
Logan Ash, Finance Manager
Logan joined the Men Having Babies team in March 2019 as our Finance Manager. His primary focus is to oversee cash inflows and outflows while maintaining provider and vendor relationships. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. Logan has spent four years working as an accountant for the governmental and not-for-profit sectors and seven years in accounting positions. He currently lives in Queens, New York.
Jenny Congiardo, Operations Manager
Jenny joined MHB in October 2017 as the GPAP Application Coordinator, and was later appointed as Operations Manager. She brings her many years of non-profit and corporate communications experience to help facilitate the GPAP application process at both the Stage I and II levels. As Jenny is often the first MHB team member with whom Intended Parents interact, she strives to make the experience as pleasant as possible, drawing on her experience in the education field. She lives in Central Florida with her family, enjoying the sunshine and all of the happy faces.
Katelyn C. Jakobsen, LICSW, Social Worker
Katelyn joined the Men Having Babies team in October 2013 as part of the launch of the Gay Parenting Assistance Program. Her primary focus is conducting psycho-social assessments and helping IP’s and gestational surrogates to properly structure their surrogacy experience from the beginning. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker specializing in providing clinical support during the gestational surrogacy experience, Katelyn holds a Master’s of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan. Upon completion of her degree, she worked for social services in multiple states, specializing in foster care and adoption until she made the transition to surrogacy in 2008. Katelyn also works as a consultant at The Center for Surrogacy and Egg Donation in Southborough, MA, managing the surrogate screening process. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and presents at their annual conference on clinical aspects of surrogacy. Katelyn resides in a suburb of Boston, MA, wife to husband, Bjorn, and mother to two young, energetic and adorable boys, Carter and Bradley.
Sarah Beth Lardie, Fundraising and Development Manager
With more than a decade of experience in advancing the mission, vision, and goals of non-profit and socially responsible for-profit companies, Sarah Beth has helped to lead the financial growth and expansion of a wide range of successful organizations including The Jane Goodall Institute, United Nations Women’s Humanitarian Action Program, and the Mandela Scholars Program. Closer to home, Sarah Beth has worked with Pride at Work, Fifth Avenue Committee, and City University of New York. Sarah Beth was also a Co-Founder at Joshua Venture, a social venture fund for non-profit entrepreneurship that funded 16 projects across the United States. Her articles on impact investing and trends in global philanthropy have been published by The DO School, ZEIT Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, and others. She is a Mentor with MIT’s LaunchX program and routinely consults with social entrepreneurs and those seeking to support innovative projects in civil society.
Kent Lenzen, Events Manager
Kent Lenzen joined the MHB team in May of 2019. His responsibilities include planning and facilitation of MHB conference events along with varied tasks assisting the MHB team with their many responsibilities. Prior to joining MHB he worked as Director of Sales for the Lansing Center, in Lansing, Michigan and Program Manager for an automotive trade association. He brings a wealth of experience in event planning and non-profit association and hospitality management. Kent, most recently, enjoyed teaching children with cognitive impairments. He now lives in the Chicago, Illinois area with his partner of over 30 years.
Shelly Marsh, Marketing Manager
Shelly joined the Men Having Babies team in December 2017 as our Marketing Manager. Her primary focus is help promote our organization while growing the attendance and visibility of our conferences. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Communications. Prior to joining our team, she worked at a California based fertility clinic as the Marketing Manager for over five years. Shelly is also a three-time surrogate mother to same sex male couples both domestic and international. She lives in Southern California with her wonderful husband and two children.
Lisa Schuster, GPAP Program Manager
Lisa joined the MHB team in January of 2018 as the Stage II GPAP Case Manager, and was later promoted to GPAP Program Manager. Lisa’s responsibilities include development of ongoing partnerships in support of the assistance program, development of practices and initiatives to further the scope and reach of the program, coordination of the selection and matching process of Stage II candidates, and managing their journeys and budgets until they become parents. Lisa’s professional background is in business development and government contracting, and she also served as treasurer and financial planner for a local non-profit. Lisa was a gestational carrier twice for an international same sex male couple, and she lives with her husband and three children in Maryland.
Surrogates Advisory Committe
Stacey Ashe (SC)
As a surrogate mother, Stacey has carried three sets of twins for three families, including for a same sex couple from the Netherlands. She lives in South Carolina with her husband and their three children, included one who was adopted. Stacey received her master’s degree in nursing from the University of South Carolina and she currently works as a family nurse practitioner.
Corbie Dimopoulos (IL)
Corbie and her husband have 4 boys aging in range from 3 months to 14 years old. She was a gestational carrier in 2013 for a same sex couple in NYC. Corbie is a senior designer specializing in residential design at an architectural millwork company in the northern suburbs of Chicago
Amber Gaskil (TX)
Amber and her husband have three children and she had been interested in being a surrogate for several years, but lived in a state where it isn't legal; when her family moved to Texas in 2010, she began to pursue surrogacy. She was matched with a NYC same sex couple and completed her first journey in 2014. Amber since agreed to help the couple again for a sibling journey.
Nicole Lewakowski (IL)
Nicole and her husband have two children ages 9 and 7. “Shortly after completing our family we decided that we wanted to help another family to be as lucky and happy as we were!” Nicole proceeded to become a gestational surrogate for a same sex couple from Spain, and carried two girls for them, now 4 and 2 years old.
Lisa Regula Meyer (OH)
Lisa from Ohio helped create 4 families through egg donation, and both gestational and traditional surrogacy for gay couples in Massachusetts and upstate New York. Lisa has a PhD in Ecology from Kent State University, and she currently works as a biology Instructor at University of Akron.
Rachelle Myers-Nelson (CA)
Rachelle and her husband have one son who is 7 years old. Rachelle is a surrogate mother who has completed two journeys for two different gay couples from Italy. She delivered a singleton boy in April 2013 and twin boys in March 2015. She loves sharing about her relationship with the intended parents, minimizing the use of injectable medications, the support she received from her husband, friendships lost and gained, and really anything surrogacy related. Rachelle has served as an advocate and public speaker on matters including surrogacy, gay marriage and gay parenting, and in 2016 gave several media interviews to Italian and Belgian media on these subjects.
Melissa Rahe (PA)
Melissa and her husband Bill have six children including some which were adopted. She has been a gestational carrier three times and has completed a sibling journey for a same sex couple from Belgium. Melissa has served as an advocate, trainer and public speaker on a variety of subject matters including surrogacy, adoption and the foster care system.
The MHB Advisory Board was established in 2016, and includes leading professionals from the surrogacy field. It is a unique forum for discussing legal, medical, financial, and social issues that are of relevance to surrogacy and gay parenting among knowledgable and caring professionals, parents and surrogates. This advisory board meets bi-monthly at our conferences and it already proved as a source for significant improvements to our programs.
Dr. Bankowski is one of the most-respected and experienced physicians helping LGBTQ intended parents build their families through donor egg surrogacy in the USA. He is a board-certiﬁed reproductive endocrinologist with extensive experience in IVF, egg donation, surrogacy and genomics. He has practiced at Oregon Reproductive Medicine (ORM) since 2005. He and his partners at ORM have helped LGBTQ intended parents from across the world build their families. Dr. Bankowski is passionate about providing ORM’s patients the best care and the highest chance for success on their first attempt, while looking after the genetic health of their family. His vision lead to the formation of ORM Genomics, ORM’s industry-leading reproductive genomics program and in-house genetics laboratory, as well as the integration of advanced genetic screening of all donors in the ORM Donors program. He is committed to helping LGBTQ intended parents using donor egg surrogacy benefit from the latest advances in genetic screening to help them have the best chance of a healthy baby on their first attempt.
Dr. Daneshmand of San Diego Fertility Center is an internationally recognized fertility specialist with extensive experience in providing third-party reproductive services. He serves on the board of several surrogacy advocacy groups. He has collaborated to develop in vitro fertilization (IVF) protocols to improve pregnancy rates, including PTEC (post-thaw extended culture), one of the most successful IVF regimens currently available. These groundbreaking findings were published in the internationally respected medical journal, Fertility and Sterility, where he served as a reviewer. Dr. Daneshmand completed his fellowship and residency at UCLA. He is specialty board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and sub specialty in Reproductive Endocrinology. Among his achievements, Dr. Daneshmand is the recipient of the Eileen Pike Medical School Valedictorian Award and the PCRS Fellowship and Practicing Physician Research Award. He served as the President of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, is a member of the Decherney Society, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE). He speaks French, Spanish and Farsi.
Dr. Jerald Goldstein is the founder of LGBT Fertility, a division of Fertility Specialists of Texas, which he founded in 2005. He has helped thousands of couples achieve their dream of having a child and has extensive experience in surrogacy and IVF. His passion for helping gay men achieve their goal of having a child combined with the excellent success rates of the IVF laboratory at FSTX has made the IVF/Surrogacy program of the practice one of the most successful in the nation. A native Texan with more than 15 years’ experience in the field, Dr. Goldstein received his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas. He is specialist board certified Obstetrics and Gynecology and is subspecialty board certified in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Dr. Goldstein was an assistant professor in the division of reproductive endocrinology at Washington University Medical Center, St. Louis. He is a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Society of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.
Kristen Hanson is the Co-Owner and Executive Director of Finance and Contracts at Simple Surrogacy. Kristen oversees the financial aspects of Simple Surrogacy, as well as managing the escrow accounts of our clients. Kristen’s legal responsibilities include working with associate attorneys to determine state laws and required legal proceedings; locating separate legal counsel experienced in surrogacy law for Client and Surrogate; review and assist in negotiating the surrogacy contract between Recipient Couple and Surrogate; and overseeing all necessary legal filings and procedures (such as pre-birth orders and step parent adoptions) to establish parental rights for Intended Parents. Kristen’s escrow responsibilities include overseeing the escrow and managing the account; monitoring and authorizing disbursements in accordance with your contract; and sending intended parents itemized monthly statements of the escrow activity. Kristen’s first priority is to make sure all of our client’s money is handled in the most responsible way, that our Surrogates never receive a late payment, and that our clients are assured that their money is well managed. Kristen is an experienced Egg Donor, and has extensive first-hand knowledge of the donation process.
Victoria T. Ferrara, Esq.
Victoria Ferrara is the Founder and Legal Director of Worldwide Surrogacy Specialists, LLC, a successful surrogacy matching agency, through which she has helped many couples and individuals have children. One of her achievements is the landmark decision of Raftopol v. Ramey, 12 A.3d 783 299 Conn. 681 (2011), a Connecticut Supreme Court case that essentially created a new way to establish legal parentage in Connecticut, i.e., by being a party (Intended Parent) to a valid gestational agreement regardless of genetic connection to the child to be born to the gestational surrogate. Attorney Ferrara appears frequently in courts throughout the State of Connecticut for all matters in involving assisted reproduction law, pre-birth orders, and adoptions, including co-parent and step-parent adoption matters. She is a member of the Academy of Assisted Reproductive Law Attorneys, the Family Law Institute, the National Gay and Lesbian Bar Association, the Connecticut Bar Association, and the Greater Bridgeport Bar Association.
Diane Hinson, Esq.
Diane Hinson is the Owner, Founder and Managing Attorney of Creative Family Connections LLC, an international Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) law firm that focuses exclusively on legal issues pertaining to surrogacy and also helps match intended parents to gestational surrogates. Diane is recognized as a legal expert in the area of ART within the surrogacy community and as a leading family building resource around the world. She offers legal information to readers of the Surromomsonline Forum called “Ask Attorney Diane Hinson, Esq.” Diane is an elected Fellow of the American Association of Assisted Reproductive Attorneys (AAARTA), is an active member of the Reproduction Law subcommittee of the American Bar Association (ABA), and serves as a professional member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s (ASRM) Legal Practice Group. In support of LGBT, Diane provides surrogacy-related guidance and pro-bono services to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), regularly speaks at the Family Equality Council’s conferences, acts as a guest teacher for the “Maybe Baby” class, sponsored by Rainbow Families DC.
Mark P. Leondires, M.D.
Dr. Mark Leondires is founder and Medical Director at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT). After he and his husband Greg had two children through the complex journey of egg donation and surrogacy he realized the need for a more comprehensive concierge service for assisted reproductive team. Thus the birth of RMACT's LGBTQ-focused family building program, Gay Parents To Be. He is proud to enable members of the LGBTQ community to build the family of their dreams, as he believes all hurdles are surmountable and the joys of parenting are boundless. Dr. Leondires is board-certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN) and Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility (REI), and has been selected a Best Doctor in America, a Top Doc by Castle Connolly and the 2015 Path to Parenthood Visionary Award Recipient for his outstanding commitment to patient care and building families.
Samuel C. Pang, M.D.
Dr. Samuel Pang is the Medical Director at IVF New England (a Boston IVF partner), an award-winning fertility center in Massachusetts. Dr. Pang and his husband have two sons conceived through IVF with donor eggs and gestational surrogacy, so he fully appreciates the process of IVF with donor eggs and gestational surrogacy from both the patient and clinical perspectives. Since 1996, Dr. Pang has led IVF New England’s Third Party Reproduction Program, which provides IVF for patients who need to use donor eggs and/or a gestational surrogate. He has been treating gay male couples with IVF using donor eggs and gestational surrogacy since 1998, and has since treated dozens of gay male couples successfully. Additionally, he has been recognized by Boston magazine as Top Doctor in the field of infertility for three consecutive years. Dr. Pang completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Toronto and received his fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the UCLA School of Medicine.
Susanna Park, M.D.
World renowned for her fertility expertise, IVF success and excellence in medical care, Dr. Susanna Park has practiced as an infertility physician for the past 15 years. Dr. Park joined the San Diego Fertility Center in 2012 following her tenure at Columbia University in New York City. Her passion is to combine her extensive experience as an infertility physician with individualized care and compassion. Dr. Park is double board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. She graduated summa cum laude from Siena College and obtained her medical degree at Albany Medical College. Dr. Park completed her residency and her fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Dr. Park has developed a large international referral practice due to her excellent patient rapport and high success rates with a variety of treatments including IVF, donor eggs, egg freezing and gestational surrogacy. Dr. Park works closely with the leading surrogacy agencies to assist the LGBT community build families.
Guy Ringler, M.D.
In clinical practice for twenty years, Dr. Ringler of California Fertility Partners has developed a large international referral practice due to his excellent patient rapport and high success rates with a variety of treatments including surgical correction of disease, IVF, donor eggs, egg freezing and gestational surrogacy. Dr. Ringler has worked closely with the leading surrogacy agencies to help gay individuals and same-sex couples build families. He has helped LGBT people worldwide achieve their dream of having children. As one of the world’s first fertility doctors to help gay men become parents, Dr. Ringler is a family-building spokesperson for GLAAD and a contributor at the Huffington Post. Dr. Ringler is committed to patient education and is on the Board of Directors of the American Fertility Association. With the AFA he has increased public awareness of fertility options for people with HIV, and he has successfully helped HIV-positive people have children through surrogacy. Dr. Ringler is himself a gay man and lives in Los Angeles with his long-term partner.
Steven H. Snyder, Esq.
Steven Snyder is the founding and principal partner of Steven H. Snyder & Associates, Attorneys At Law and the International Assisted Reproduction Center (IARC) in Minnesota. Mr. Snyder attended law school at the University of Minnesota, graduating cum laude in 1982. Mr. Snyder successfully litigated the first and only contested Minnesota surrogacy case to date in 2006 in which he won sole custody of the child for a single gay father. He is a member of the American Bar Association (ABA), Immediate Past Chair of the Reproductive & Genetic Technology Committee of the Family Law Section of the ABA, Past Chair of the Minnesota State Bar Association Family Law Section, and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Mr. Snyder also serves on the national legal advisory committee of RESOLVE: The National Fertility Association, is past chair of the legal advisory group for the American Fertility Association (for education, support, and advocacy on behalf of infertile persons), and is a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (national organization of fertility physicians) and its legal professionals group.
Past board members
Anthony M. Brown, Esq., board chairman 2012-2018
Anthony currently is a senior associate at the law firm of Chianese and Reilly Law,P.C., heading their family and estates law division serving married and unmarried individuals, couples and families. Anthony is the Executive Director of The Wedding Party and has been a Board member since its inception in 1999. Anthony is the founder of TimeForFamilies.com, a web environment dedicated to assisting gay and lesbian couples create their own families. Anthony has worked as a law guardian at The Children’s Law Center, representing the legal needs of children in Brooklyn Family Court. Anthony also worked as a legal intern for Lambda Legal in the summer of 2002. Anthony was appointed as a board member and Secretary of the board of Men Having Babies upon its incorporation in July 2012 and has served as Board Chairman 2013 - 2018.
Dr. Jeffrey T. Parsons, board member 2012-2014
Dr. Parsons is the Chair of Psychology at Hunter College and conducts LGBT health-related research. Dr. Parsons received his Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of Houston in 1992. He was appointed to the faculty of New Jersey City University in 1992, where he remained as a professor until 2000 when he moved to CUNY. He and his partner of 19 years, Chris, are parents of Henry, born via traditional surrogacy in August of 2006. Jeff spoke at group shortly after Henry was born, and was on panel at the 2008 Men Having Babies seminar, discussing traditional and independent surrogacy. Jeff was a founding board member and Treasurer of Men Having Babies upon its in corporation in July 2012 and until May 2014.
Gregory J. Payton, Ph.D, board member 2014-2017
Greg is a Lecturer in the Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University and a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in New York City. Greg received his Masters degree in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University and his Doctorate from Columbia University. In his teaching, research and practice, Greg emphasizes the resiliency of the LGBTQ population and works to support their efforts at creating families. Additionally, Greg is an alumnus of the Point Foundation and currently serves as a Mentor and member of the Alumni Committee. Greg and his husband Robert Lafferty welcomed their daughter, Grace, into their family in 2013 and their son, James, in 2015.
Michael Wetson, board member 2016-2018
Michael is co-owner and Director of Professional Service Delivery for Inscio, LLC, a Dallas-based consulting firm specializing in connecting information with people via NetSuite and other leading solutions. Michael Wetson’s first experience with surrogacy began as he and his husband Shawn started their journey in 2012. Their twins, Olivia and Sawyer, were born via an anonymous egg donor and Gestational Surrogate in 2013. When not chasing the twins around the house or resolving employee and customer requests, Michael and Shawn enjoy running (or napping, whichever task wins the toss). Michael is a graduate of the University of Kansas, has mentored several gay couples as they began their own journey, and has been an outspoken advocate for gay families for the past several years.