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Life lessons from 'Gay At Home Dad'

By Emanuella Grinberg, CNN
updated 5:25 PM EST, Thu December 4, 2014
'Modern Family': Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet as co-dads Mitchell Pritchett and Cameron Tucker, with their niece Haley, played by Sarah Hyland. 'Modern Family': Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet as co-dads Mitchell Pritchett and Cameron Tucker, with their niece Haley, played by Sarah Hyland.
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Same-sex parents on TV
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Same-sex parents on TV
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Frank Lowe is the "Gay at Home Dad" on Twitter, and his feed is a hoot
  • Lowe has amassed 81,000 followers with his acerbic posts on culture and fatherhood
  • He uses humor to normalize the concept of gay parenting

(CNN) -- Frank Lowe's 5-year-old son may not be able to write his name yet, but he can tell you if your shoes are ratchet.

OK, that's not really true, but it's funny, which is the point of Lowe's Twitter persona, @GayAtHomeDad: to use humor to normalize the concept of gay parenting and show mainstream America that "gay is OK."

"I think when people are uncertain or uncomfortable about something, humor is the best way to break down some of those barriers, and gay parenting is definitely a new concept to a lot of people," he said.

Not long ago, Lowe was a fairly normal gay man working in fashion. Then he moved to Connecticut with his partner, adopted their son, Briggs, and became a stay-at-home dad.

That's when he transformed from a "bitchy gay guy" to a "bitchy gay dad" and began deploying sardonic wit in 140 characters on timely topics in parenting, pop culture and politics.

Lowe launched the Twitter persona in 2012 in response to what he perceived as "a significant lack" of gay fathers in the media and pop culture, except for Cam and Mitchell on "Modern Family." To riff on the gay dad stereotype, he started @GayAtHomeDad as both a "self-deprecating joke" and a way to encourage gay youth to be comfortable in their skin.

It took off, thanks to the compelling username and outlandish comments such as "When my kid scrapes his knee, he gets a Prada Band-Aid," or "As IF I'm going to ruin his hair using s****y tears-free shampoo. He can cry."

Frank Lowe and son Briggs
Frank Lowe and son Briggs

"I thought 'what's funnier than an outlandishly crazy, lewd gay dad?' and literally there's nothing," he said.

He also wants to put out the message to the gay community that being a gay parent doesn't mean you have to be a perfect parent. "Gay parents are expected to behave a certain way, because heaven forbid we mess this up, and I think that's bulls***. I am definitely a lot more cautious now that I'm a parent, but I still am the same person I was before having a kid."

His 81,000 followers seem to like his style, engaging in his musings on such topics as marriage equality, the ice bucket challenge and some of his favorite performers. And his range is growing, with a YouTube channel and a feature on the "Today" show.

He also really likes "American Horror Story," especially Jessica Lange, whose presence imbues much of his time line.

But @GayAtHomeDad is an online persona, he says. The real Frank Lowe is a lot less brassy and flamboyant.

"My sense of humor is still sharp and inappropriate, but I don't walk around with resting bitch face," he said.

He's gay, but he's a father first and foremost — on Twitter and in real life.

"There is nothing like the relationship I have with my son, and I love him more than anything on this planet," he said. "Once we adopted him, I had to relinquish a lot of my selfish ways, and that was very cathartic and healthy. He constantly makes me want to be a better person and a better father."

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