Saturday, February 27, 2016

Frank Lowe

Frank Lowe is a name that is quickly becoming synonymous with single gay dads all over social media and beyond. Frank Lowe is now taking his divorce, after 17 years of marriage, and doing something positive with it. The blogger and YouTuber is taking social media by storm with his story to offer support to other single or divorced gay dads.

It isn’t easy to go through a divorce, let alone with a child, but Frank is opening up his personal life to give advice and create a positive presence in the wake of a negative outcome. Frank discussed with me about just how passionate he is about the cause behind his social media fame, what he looks to do in the future, and what a truly nice guy he is.

Q: Let's begin with how you started out blogging and becoming an avid YouTuber that has quite the following. Was there a specific moment or occurrence in your life that led you to get involved with social media sharing your story and helping other gay dads?

A: My real start was on Twitter in late 2012.  I began the @GayAtHomeDad account to do two things:  1) create general awareness that gay dads exist    2) to dissolve stereotypes by using self-deprecating comedy.  I’ve always known that humor is the best way to make people feel comfortable with something they’re unfamiliar with, and gay parenting was a wholly new concept then.  I had no idea it would snowball the way it did, and I now have a following of almost 100K on Twitter.  My YouTube channel was kind of a side thought, but it’s something I will continue to grow in the next couple of years. 

Q: You seem to have quite the social media presence and guide, which I find to be pretty accurate, as I am heavily on social media myself. It seems everybody today has something negative to say at some point no matter how positive or negative our presence might be. Do you ever find yourself being harassed, questioned, judged, or even bullied online?

A: Fortunately, I have been blessed with a sharp tongue.  Yes, I have definitely had people try to “come at me” in various ways on social media, but I very quickly shut it down.  I actually welcome it, if that sounds bizarre, because I like to put the trolls on display and let my followers have at them as well.  In other words, when people try to bully me, I turn the situation completely around and showcase their hatefulness for everyone to see.

Q: Have you ever had any second thoughts or concerns about sharing so much of your private life with your son in the social media world, as many try to shield their children from it?

A: Not at all, for two reasons:  1) what you actually see is what I want you to see – it is highly edited down from real life and often I mix fact and fiction  2) social media is going to be relevant for his entire life, and rather than shy away from it, I embrace it.  He is 6 and knows what Instagram and Twitter are, so they won’t be some big surprise when he’s older.  I think that will help him keep his head wrapped around all of it.

Q: You were married for several years, and while most see nothing but the negative out of divorce, you seem to have turned that into something positive by what you do. Why do you feel it is so important to be out there trying to help other divorced or single gay dads?

A: I absolutely sought out the things I was grateful for – that was how I coped with the divorce itself.  Divorce is extremely stigmatized and that is unbelievably ridiculous to me as it effects half the married population.  It’s unreal.  Gay divorce is even more stigmatized because married gay men feel very privileged to have the ability to legally marry now.  As a result, I wanted to talk about it to try and erase some of those thoughts, and now work for as a weekly columnist.  It is titled “Let’s Be Frank:  The Diary of a Divorced Gay Dad,” and no topics are off limits!  It’s been extremely cathartic.

Q: Can you tease about or tell us what some of your future goals and plans might be or are you keeping that on the hush for now?

A: I am working on a book actually.  Not an autobiography, but more of a guide.  It’s something that has never been done and I’m very excited about it.  I also have a super top secret project that I can say zero about, but it could be huge!

Q: What is one pertinent piece of advice you feel you can give divorced or single gay dads out there?

A: Find yourself again.  Any way you know how too.  Don’t be afraid to try new things and make mistakes along the way.  Also buy a great pair of jeans (or four) that make your ass look perfect. 

Q: Besides what you are doing with your online presence, how had it been overall since the divorce and getting back into the world of dating?

A: Well, I had a boyfriend for a bit after my divorce, and basically did everything wrong in the book.  It was probably the worst timing ever and I still feel terrible about it.  It made me realize I have a lot to learn, especially considering that I haven’t dated since the 1990’s.  I’m taking things very slow right now, and focusing on me.

Q: You have a slogan, which I happen to find pretty catchy, is "I used to be a bitchy gay guy, now I am a bitchy gay dad." How much and in what ways did having a child change who you were before you had a child?

A: I love that you mentioned this because that was my first tweet, and it’s entirely a joke.  I actually am making fun of bitchy gay guys – which only some people realize.  In reality, I’m a super nice guy.  Having Briggs (my son), changed my life completely.  I can’t even begin to tell you, but the best part about having a child is relinquishing all of your selfish habits.

Q: You have stated that you are addicted to social media, which some find to be a controversial topic these days, especially when it comes to our children getting involved with all the bullying and hate that takes place online. Do you feel that people might be overly obsessed with social media? It seems some might even have issues distinguishing it from reality at times. What are your thoughts on that subject, especially when it comes to your son possibly wanting to take part as he gets older?

A: I’m sure millions of us are obsessed with social media.  I have a very laissez faire approach to it as I feel it’s just part of our culture now.  It technically is reality now, but you can’t take it too seriously.  That’s the problem – when people take it seriously.  It should just be fun, but oftentimes someone who is more insecure can’t handle it.  My opinion is that it depends on the person.  Some have the ability to deal with things, including online bullying, and others simply don’t.  I will absolutely hold my son’s hand and help him set up his accounts when he is at the right age.  I will monitor everything he does, whether he likes it or not, and flex my own social media relevance if I ever need to with him.

Q: In taking a look at your site, it is very inspirational. You seem to truly want to make a difference in more ways than one. Where would you like to see what your current social media presence take you, beyond what you are doing now such as blogging and your YouTube videos?  And what inspires you to keep pushing forward?

A: Fortunately, my top secret project will do exactly that!  So I’m currently in the process of evolving my “brand.” I want to expand on my writing as well, and continue to think of creative ways to play with social media.  My biggest inspirations come from my son, himself.  I want him to have the best life possible and feel that he is loved by many.  Also, occasionally I have followers tell me that I am their role model, which truly makes my day and makes me want to continue putting myself out there.  I feel like I started this crazy machine, and it’s only getting revved up – I have a lot of work to do. 
In getting to know Frank a bit more, some might be surprised to find out how down the earth he truly is. We tend to make judgements at times before really learning about a person. Though some might see him as his slogan, “I used to be a bitchy gay guy, now I am a bitchy gay dad, “ he is far more than that.

Frank Lowe is looking to continue being a great dad to his son Briggs, but also to raise awareness and help single gay dads during times of struggle. What better way to spread a positive message and turn around your divorce and create something good out of it.

This is why it is so important for us to always recognize that even in bad times, we learn lessons that can take us to heights we never would have otherwise realized was something that was part of our journey.

Follow Frank Lowe on Twitter:@GayAtHomeDad and you can also check out his website here:
Interview Conducted by 
Dana Jacoviello Owner and Founder of Bullies Keep Out
Instagram: bullieskeepoutllc
Twitter: Bullieskeepout

-Chris Avery Bennet