"Dad, I'm Pretty Sure You're Gay."

Photographed by Gabriela Herman.
The Supreme Court ruling in June on marriage equality was a major win for civil rights. But we still have a ways to go when it comes to achieving equality in other areas. For example, there are still some states that don't allow adoptions for same-sex couples. The idea that adoption by same-sex couples is bad for kids lingers, despite the Supreme Court having gone on record to say that it's not. A new project from Brooklyn-based photographer Gabriela Herman may provide the perfect response to those who still believe children ought not be raised by gay parents.

Herman's photo series "The Kids" tells stories of people raised by same-sex couples or a gay parent, a project inspired by the artist's own experience. Her mother came out when Herman was in high school. "My parents soon separated, and eventually, she married her longtime partner in one of Massachusetts’ first legal unions," she told Refinery29 via email. "It was a raw and difficult time," Herman said. "I hardly spoke to her for a year while I studied abroad. It felt like a fact that needed to be hidden, especially among my prep-school classmates."

Five years ago, when she was 29, Herman decided that it was time to stop hiding — and start photographing. "Despite living around the world, I had never encountered anyone else raised by a gay parent," she said. Herman found dozens of other people who wanted to share their experiences with her.

Though many artists use their projects for a particular mission, Herman said she didn't really have a goal in mind with this one. "It was more for selfish reasons, to meet other people like me, where each interview ended up becoming my own therapy session," she said. "In sharing our stories, though, the kind that have yet to be really heard, I hope it shows that their are any number of family structures, and for people to be more accepting of that." She also hopes that her project can serve as an entry point for other people to share their narratives. See Herman's moving photo series and her subject's personal stories, ahead.
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Photographed by Gabriela Herman.
Lauren Harper, 31
"The fact that my parents were divorced way overshadowed the fact that my dad was gay. I think it's great for [my son], because he's growing up with two grandpas and will never know the difference. My dad is not more of a grandpa than [his partner]; he's growing up with both of them, at the same time — they're both equally as much grandpas."
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Photographed by Gabriela Herman.
Zach Wahls, 23
"I think the operative word in describing our family is not 'LGBT,' it's in 'family.' If you look at the vast majority of things that define who my moms are, or who my family is, it's really no more accurate to say that my moms are gay married than to say they are Packers-fan married, or work-in-health-care married. They're both really just about as accurate in describing who my moms are."
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Photographed by Gabriela Herman.
Jamie Larsen, 27
"I was raised by my mom and her different partners, but a lot of her past partners and friends were in my life, to the extent that I feel I was raised by a lot of different women."
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Photographed by Gabriela Herman.
Aaron Sachs
"My moms split up when I was about 7, because my biological mom fell in love with a man. I knew my family was different, but it wasn't weird different, it was just a different kind of family."
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Photographed by Gabriela Herman.
Elizabeth Castellana
"He said, 'It's time for me to confront my identity,' and I asked 'Are you gay?' and he says, 'Well, I haven't had any experiences to be sure.' And I think the next words out of my mouth were, 'Dad, I'm pretty sure you're gay.'"
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Photographed by Gabriela Herman.
Moshe Alpert, 25
"Me and my moms have always been super close, but of course there was that young teenage phase of hating her. But now she's like my rock and always there for me. I love her."
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Photographed by Gabriela Herman.
Lucas Goodwin
"My mom being gay was always really easy for me to accept, because I was brought up in a way to accept all people. It was unusual, but it wasn't hard at all. If the situation was worse for my mom, if it was harder to be gay than it is for her, then I probably would be more determined to fight for her rights."
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Photographed by Gabriela Herman.
Dori Kavanaugh, 34
"I slowly started to come out to people [about my mom] after college. It went from like a fourth- or fifth-date conversation to like a first-date conversation."
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Photographed by Gabriela Herman.
John Sheehy, 30
"The first time it was ever spoken about was when my mom bought this book, Daddy's Roommate."
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Photographed by Gabriela Herman.
Zack Jones, 23
"Everyone in my family is adopted. I had less trouble with two moms and more issues with finding myself, you know, with race and ethnicity."
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Photographed by Gabriela Herman.
Karen Nagy
"Living in New York has made me more accepting. It makes it easier to talk about it. Where I grew up, no one was gay — nobody talked about it. But here, everyone you meet is gay, and everyone talks about it, and it's a great thing."
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Photographed by Gabriela Herman.
Hope Steinman-Iacullo, 28
"I knew that there [were] other structures of families, because I would see my friend's families and my aunts and uncles, and I knew that people had something called a mother that I didn't necessarily have, but I didn't really think that I was so much in the minority. I wondered about my birth family and my birth mother, in particular, but in terms of my own development, I don’t feel like I suffered because of it. I think that my parents did a fantastic job of helping to raise me to be a strong woman, but in terms of that question piece about where did I come from — sometimes I still wonder that, and then other times, it just kinda disappears in terms of its importance."
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Photographed by Gabriela Herman.
Robin Marquis
"In college, I was in a class about social justice, and there was a guy there who brought up the fact that he has two moms. And I was like, 'Oh my god!' Actually, my initial reaction was that I was kind of upset, because at that point it felt like my own thing. And I was finally being okay with having been so isolated, that finally finding someone in my community I was like, 'Wait a minute, that's the thing that sets me apart!' But of course we got to be really close, and it was really amazing."
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Photographed by Gabriela Herman.
Kerry Cullen
"I remember a conversation with my mom where she was talking about how she would like to marry another woman. When I was really little I wanted to marry my best friend, so I was like, 'Oh, it's like me and Sarah?' She was like, 'No, not like you and Sarah.'"
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