theirTWOdads

For co-parenting couple Tyler Scoresby and Jonathan Ingram, every day feels like Father’s Day

A FAMILY UPSIDE-DOWN | Jonathan Ingram, left, with 6-year-old Brett and biological dad Tyler Scoresby, right, with 8-year-old Ella, show how a family with two gay dads can be a rough-and-tumble affair — and the kids seem to love it. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  | Life+Style Editor
jones@dallasvoice.com

The story of Tyler Scoresby and Jonathan Ingram, like all good gay love stories, started at the gym.

That’s where Ingram, a graphic designer, and Scoresby, a physician, met more than three years ago, not long after Scoresby came out and divorced his wife of seven years. Scoresby dated a few men before Ingram, “but he was the first to express a definite interest in meeting my kids.”

“Before he’d let me get involved with them, he kind of interviewed me!” Ingram says.

“I told him, there are times when I’ll have the kids but you may want to go out with friends. But he was really clear about wanting to be a dad with me,” Scoresby says.

And that’s exactly what they are now.

Currently, the couple (they legally wed in Provincetown, Mass., last September) share custody with Scoresby’s ex-wife, getting the kids — Ella, 8, and Brett, 6 — every Thursday, the first, third and fifth weekend each month, select holidays and all of July (“a traditional set-up,” Scoresby calls it). And they will have them this Sunday, June 19 — Father’s Day. But honestly, they don’t expect to make a big deal out of it.

“We have no major plans,” Scoresby says, 35. “We have fun every weekend. When there are two parents [in a heterosexual household], the woman usually the kids to celebrate Father’s Day. But it’s just us celebrating each other.”

“We keep them active all the time,” Ingram adds. “We do crafts, play on the trampoline, take road trips,” including one next month to California to see the Redwood Forest. And being that there are two fit, athletic men leading this household, roughhousing is the rule, not the exception. The kids seem to love it.

Scoresby calls Ingram “a perfect partner in parenting. Neither of us has a defined role. We don’t try to compare it to a straight relationship.”

The children have taken to Ingram whole-heartedly. They call Scoresby “Daddy” and Ingram “Jonathan,” but both act, and are treated, like full parents.

“A lot of times I think they like him better than they do me,” Scoresby jokes. “They respect him like a parent and he loves them like one.”

Ingram, now 41, had been interested in having children when he was younger, “but you put it aside when you come out. If I was going to have kids, it was not going to be an easy road.” He came from a fairly large family himself, which included one adopted sister.

Meeting Tyler, Ella and Brett presented an opportunity to be the dad he always wanted to be.

“Parenting comes naturally for me,” he says. “I get to do the same stuff as Tyler without dealing with the divorce. Everything else I deal with — motivating them, teaching them how to ride bikes, cleaning up after them, reading books to them at night or dealing with a nightmare — is the same.”

But they do try to operate under a different set of rules. Both had been reared in nurturing but conservative straight households that put an emphasis on values, and saw aspects of parenting they liked. But they wanted to achieve those goals their own way.

“When there aren’t set roles, it gives you a lot of freedom,” Ingram says. “For instance, there are many ways to be a moral person that are not tied to religion. So every Sunday morning [when we have them], we spend about an hour and a half on what we call ‘human time.’ We like to think of it as the next generation of parenting.”

BOUNCE | One advantage in a two-dad household? Lots of fun physical activities, like jumping on the backyard trampoline. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

They did worry at first about how to introduce Ingram as Daddy’s partner, though that has ended up being unexpectedly easy.

“Because they were so young [when we met], they really don’t remember what their lives were like before me,” Ingram says. “We certainly show affection around them like any straight parents would.” About a year into the relationship, they read Ella And Tango Makes Three, a children’s book about a family of same-sex penguins.

“Ella was already around clearly defined families and we wanted to make sure she could always tell her friends, ‘Yeah, I have two dads,’” Ingram says. “We said, ‘Do you understand our family is a little different, but that doesn’t mean we are less or bad?’ She pointed at the penguins and said, ‘That’s me, that’s you, that’s Daddy.’ It was like she already got it.”

That’s one reason you won’t hear the dads talk down to Ella and Brett. They explain honestly why someone is there to photograph them, and both kids pose like burgeoning runway models. And they are excited to start human time soon.

It’s all going so well, in fact, the couple have talked about having more kids, whether through adoption or surrogacy. But whatever they decide, one thing is certain: With two men in the house, every day feels like Father’s Day.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 17, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

2011 Readers Voice Awards: Nightlife

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DICK DANCER DESTINATION
The Tin Room

2514 Hudnall St.
Open Sunday­–Thursday till 2 a.m.,
Friday–Saturday till 3 a.m.
214-526-6365
TinRoom.net

We could sit here and pretend that the reason the Tin Room won as the top Dick Dancer Destination has something to do with the atmosphere, or the bar service, or the variety of cocktail options. Yeah, and we read Inches magazine for the articles. But less just ‘fess up: The reason we love the Tin Room is because it has hot, fit, tattooed young men who shake like the San Andreas on a trampoline. And they’re friendly. And we’re certain they are good people. And there’s a cage. And a shower. Yeah, we definitely could use a drink.

— Arnold Wayne Jones


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Open daily till 2 a.m.
After-hours dancing till 4 a.m.
214-559-0707
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We love that Sue Ellen’s moved into the big digs once home to TMC a few years ago: Dallas’ long-running gal-pal spot feels right at home in its current location. There are plenty of spots to hear live music (a longtime selling point for female and male patrons), lots of nooks to get all cozy on handsome sofas and chairs, spacious dance floors, even dandy spots for daytime laptop work while enjoying a beverage. It’s geared for the ladies, but appeals to men, too.

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Chill Sunday

House of Blues’ Foundation Room
2200 N. Lamar St.
2–6 p.m.
Facebook.com/SXSProductions

Truth be told, the gays cannot do a Sunday afternoon without a mimosa and a brunch menu. Thankfully, SxS Productions and Janus, the guys behind the monthly Chill Sunday, take it to a different level without the guilt of an overindulgent meal. Don’t worry. Lunch happens at Chill, but alongside the Bloody Marys and bottomless mimosas, the music by a rotating lineup of DJs is always a downtempo beat, which makes for a cool way to bring the weekend to a close.

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Daily 8 p.m.—2 a.m.
214-522-9611
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Open Thursday–Sunday till 2 a.m.,
after hours dancing Friday–Sunday
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Open Wednesday-Sunday till 2 a.m.
After-hours dancing till 4 a.m.
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SEXIEST BARTENDER
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Open daily till 2 a.m.
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BEST CLUB DJ
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Open Wednesday-Sunday till 2 a.m.
After-hours dancing till 4 a.m.
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DADDY DEPOT
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Open Sunday­–Thursday till 2 a.m.,
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Daily 8 p.m.-2 a.m.
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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 18, 2011.

—  John Wright