Dads: Photographs by Bart Heynen that portray gay fatherhood in the United States
In Bart Heynen's latest series, Dads, we see more than 40 families portrayed by the acclaimed Belgian photographer, offering a very diverse group of fathers who have one thing in common; they are gay and they have children.
Ever since 2015, when same-sex marriage became legal across the United States, there's been a baby boom in the gay community. From New York City to Utah all these fathers are at the very beginning of a new era for gay men. Through adoption or the help of surrogates and egg donors, they are able to make their dream come true and start a family of their own.
Heynen offers us a window into that new and exciting world, taking us on a journey as the babies grow into adults and the fathers grow older throughout his series. It's certainly a reminder that families come in many different shapes, colours and sizes – but share much in common. There are even some shots of Bart with his partner Rob and their two sons, Ethan and Noah.
Brought together for a new book entitled Dads, Heynen's charming photographs shed a light on the daily lives of these families – the parents of which weren't able to be legally married until very recently. His book takes inspiration from the words of Harvey Fierstein: "Love, commitment, and family are not heterosexual experiences, not heterosexual words, they are human words and they belong to all people".
Bart Heynen received a Master of Arts degree at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and studied photography at the International Center of Photography in New York City. He works as a freelance photographer and lives with his husband and twin boys in New York City. Dads, published by powerHouse Books, is his third monograph and first publication in the United States.