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.