JCPenney has become quite the gay supporter recently. First they hired Ellen DeGeneres to be their spokesperson, then they featured a wedding cake with two little men on top in one of their wedding registry fliers, and now they've got a 2-page spread in their Father's Day catalog of gay dads playing with their children.
When I first saw the ad, which is circulating like crazy on the news and internet, I assumed the family pictured was composed of paid models. However, I stumbled upon an article from a website called Advocate where I learned that the family pictured is a real family. The man on the left is named Cooper Smith and he's the founder of a public relations and social media firm called Cooper Smith Agency. He's also the founder of an e-zine called Gay List Daily and the gay-parenting blog 2 Daddies, 1 Love / 2 Mommies, 1 Love. His partner of 13 years (on the right) is named Todd and their children are Claire and Mason, aged 3.
The experience of being in the ad has been a positive one for them. According to a quote in the Advocate article, Cooper said:
We’ve received hundreds of emails, Facebook posts, Twitter comments and cards in the mail from everyone from long-lost friends and classmates to complete strangers in remote parts of the United States and beyond, each filled with heartfelt sentiments of support and acceptance. Sure, there have been some pretty hateful comments and notes, too. But they’re nothing we haven’t heard our whole lives. More importantly, they’ve been eclipsed at least 100-to-1 by the positive ones. Personally, it’s warmed our hearts and renewed our faith that most Americans are fair-minded people and that there’s a helluva lot more love out there for families like ours than we ever knew. And that’s the greatest Father’s Day gift of all.With that being said, I want to wish all the fathers in the world an early "Happy Father's Day!"