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GUNCLE
 

Why We Love Our Guncles
Absolutely Fabulous Guncle Photos

Uncle Frank on YouTube

In Praise of Gay Uncles and Lesbian Aunts

Today: Being a Guncle Changed My Life

Info: LGBTQ Siblings

GLAAD Interview: Cast of Uncle Frank

Guncle Gifts on Facebook

Psychology Today: Being a Good Guncle

Amazon Film: Uncle Frank

Being a Guncle and Setting a Good Example

Guncle Gifts on Esty

The Guncle Guide to Being Everyone's Favorite Family Member

Advocate: Gay-Themed Film, Uncle Frank

The Guncle Book on Amazon

 

Gay Uncle

 

"Guncle" is the term used to describe a Gay Uncle.  It is the obvious, but clever, combination of the words "gay" and "uncle."  Typically used as a term of endearment, it refers to the gay brother or brother-in-law of a straight couple who have kids who enjoy spending time with their uncle.

 

"Guncle" is similar to the term "Funcle," the Fun Uncle.  It reminds us of the happy-go-lucky, carefree bachelor uncle who loves his nieces and nephews and always shows them a good time.  However, guncles are oftentimes in romantic or married relationships, so a child might have two guncles.  Whether partnered or not, guncles bring gifts to the nieces and nephews, plays games with them, spend quality time with them, and give mom and dad a break.  Guncles have sometimes been described as that one person who is there to help a child get into mischief they haven't thought of yet.

 

Certainly, this relationship refers to lesbian aunts as well. Let's not forget the fun lesbian sister or sister-in-law that takes her niece or nephew on wild adventures. The female equivalent of a "Guncle" has sometimes been rendered as "Lesbiauntie."

 


 

Gay Uncles Day

Gay Uncles Day, also known as Guncles Day, is celebrated on the second Sunday in August. It was first celebrated in the US on a wide scale Sunday August 14, 2016.

The holiday was conceived and first promoted by Facebook user CJ Hatter, but received visual attention online when former rugby player Simon Dunn posted on his Instagram asking people if they wanted to celebrate "Gay Uncles Day" on Sunday, August 14.

Dunn remarked that everyone had someone in their family who was always the voluntary bachelor, but that visibility could help celebrate those people and allow them the comfort to come out.

The holiday is mostly celebrated online with gay aunts, uncles, and other LGBTQ relatives, posting pictures of themselves with their nieces and nephews, and other close, young relatives. It is also celebrated by the parents celebrating their LGBTQ siblings and sharing gratitude for their presence in the children's lives.
 

Why We Love Our Guncles
Absolutely Fabulous Guncle Photos

Uncle Frank on YouTube

In Praise of Gay Uncles and Lesbian Aunts

Today: Being a Guncle Changed My Life

Info: LGBTQ Siblings

GLAAD Interview: Cast of Uncle Frank

Guncle Gifts on Facebook

 

 

To Gay Uncles

Sometimes we may forget about the benefits of having a close relationship with a niece or a nephew, but the rewards of choosing to forge one can bring as much joy to us as to them. Of course, some gay men have complicated relationships with their families based on religious or political differences or family members’ homophobic attitudes. Still, even when this is the case, not every family member may fall into the same category and keeping an open mind and heart may have surprising benefits. It is prudent to take a couple of things into account as one moves forward in a relationship with the next generation:

Openness to Guncles

 

How old are your nieces or nephews? Their openness is, in part, developmental. Younger kids may be completely available whereas adolescents may not seem to be as appreciative. This may just come with the territory of adolescence! Be aware and attuned. You will know.

 

Young adults are busy discovering the world and your perspective may prove extremely helpful, but they may just think of you as another adult, another person who doesn’t understand. Your strategy should include making time to understand, starting with taking them to dinner or the theater, something you both can enjoy that will loosen defenses.

 



Don’t Divide to Conquer

If you get along with the kids, but are experiencing issues with your siblings, their parents, be careful not to put the nieces or nephews in the middle. You can defend yourself (educate them) without throwing the parents under the bus. When the relationships need to be separate because of conflict, they need to be protected with good boundaries—and maybe one day the need for those kinds of boundaries will change too.


Closeness with family members can contribute to an overall sense of wellbeing. And even when the relationship with parents is strained, subsequent generations tend to be more accepting. Updating one’s sense of acceptance in a family can be very nourishing, and sometimes it is the younger members who can provide this opportunity!

Your Role As “Guncle”

Think about your own upbringing for just a moment. No doubt there were awkward times or moments when you felt ashamed or were shamed by others. Were there people outside of your nuclear family who supported you, even if they didn’t know it? Who made a positive difference in your life? Some folks recall a neighbor, teacher, a friend’s parent, or an aunt or uncle.

Now, you have the opportunity of being this special person for someone who is coming up in your family now. Whether a niece or nephew (or someone else) is gay or in some other way feeling isolated and different from the norm, your presence can make a huge difference. And this feeling of being significant (and embraced for everything you have been through and learned along the way) will be a boost to your spirit in a thousand ways. 

 



Perfectly Normal

 

One particular couple were proud "guncles" to a 4-year-old nephew and a 2-year-old niece. The best part of being an uncle, they say, is hearing the kids scream your name and insist on showing you their newest, most important toy. "It's also amazing just seeing them grow and learn, from these adorable little bundles home from the hospital to the fearless toddlers they are now. They're just incredible kids."

The most unique aspect of being a gay uncle is knowing that your niece and nephew will grow up not thinking have an uncle who is gay is any different than having a straight aunt and uncle. Or two aunts. "So for them to grow up just knowing that we are their uncles and that it's perfectly normal is something I think will make our relationship so successful."

DINK: Double Income No Kids

I tried to put the idea of children out of my head. I finally found the perfect partner when I reached 40 years old. Pretty early in our relationship, we discussed the possibility of having children and he said no.

But his arguments were solid: we were older and both of us had become too involved in work and volunteer projects to be able to provide for them. And don’t forget the allure of the DINK (Double Income No Kids). We’d be able to travel the world!

 



Despite that, there was still a nagging tug for kids. That’s when I discovered the new term “Guncle," short for “Gay Uncle.”  Both of my sisters had started to raise their own children and invited both Blake and me to be extremely involved in their lives. Suddenly, I was shopping for baby clothes, trying to plan play dates, and adding soccer games to my calendar! Quite a task when you have six nieces and nephews.

I became so good at Guncling that I started to reach beyond blood relatives to my best friends. To date, my partner and I consider ourselves Guncles to five other children in addition to my sisters’ kids, and were even tapped to be godfathers to two of the boys!

This has been a perfect symbiotic relationship for everyone involved. Think of it: while we get the thrill of helping to raise kids, the parents get outside help from people who are generally open-minded, have great compassion, and who have the time and resources to devote to their children. The kids get adults who are good listeners, who know how to have fun, and who don’t have to be disciplinarians.
 

Psychology Today: Being a Good Guncle

Amazon Film: Uncle Frank

Being a Guncle and Setting a Good Example

Guncle Gifts on Esty

The Guncle Guide to Being Everyone's Favorite Family Member

Advocate: Gay-Themed Film, Uncle Frank

The Guncle Book on Amazon

 

 

 

Guncle Stories

“My number one goal in raising my three daughters is that they grow to always love and accept others. When they watched their guncles marry this past January, I felt such immense gratitude that I was sharing such a beautiful event with them. I want them to always know they can love and be loved by whomever, ultimately knowing they were made perfectly perfect. My 8-year-old is autistic and both of her guncles truly listen to her, somehow turning her one-sided conversations into discussions with them. Being professional actors, they appreciate authentic creativity and Sofia has an imagination like no other! Our guncles are the perfect role models for teaching my girls to follow their heart and their dreams. To be their true selves.”

-Sarah

“Both my brothers happen to be gay, so my kids are lucky enough to get four guncles instead of two! And because my kids were born with four uncles in their lives, love is love to them. They see two boyfriends, two fiancés, two husbands as part of everyday life and it’s as normal as my husband and me to them. Jay, Matt, Robert and Magu make my kids’ lives more full, fun and exciting!”

-Nicole

“I had a few guncles over my lifetime, but my first gay uncle changed my life. I was very young when he died and we only had a few photos taken together–which are currently lost. But those few years that we had, I treasure every single moment we spent together–right up until his memorial on the beaches of Cape May. He helped ensure my compassion and empathy for people regardless of our similarities or differences. He showed me that love was bigger than religious differences. He put a beloved face on an epidemic that was too often considered shameful. He showed me how to live your truth and find humor and dignity in death. His impact was lasting.”

-Lena
 

Why We Love Our Guncles
Absolutely Fabulous Guncle Photos

Uncle Frank on YouTube

In Praise of Gay Uncles and Lesbian Aunts

Today: Being a Guncle Changed My Life

Info: LGBTQ Siblings

GLAAD Interview: Cast of Uncle Frank

Guncle Gifts on Facebook

Psychology Today: Being a Good Guncle

Amazon Film: Uncle Frank

Being a Guncle and Setting a Good Example

Guncle Gifts on Esty

The Guncle Guide to Being Everyone's Favorite Family Member

Advocate: Gay-Themed Film, Uncle Frank

The Guncle Book on Amazon

 

Uncle Frank

 

Uncle Frank is a 2020 American comedy-drama film written, directed, and co-produced by Alan Ball. The film stars Paul Bettany and Sophia Lillis. Set in the 1970s, Uncle Frank is a road movie about a gay man who confronts his past. It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2020. It was released in November 2020, by Amazon Studios.

In 1973, 18-year-old Beth Bledsoe moves from her home in Creekville, South Carolina, to attend college in New York City. Her uncle Frank Bledsoe is a college professor there, and is the relative she feels closest to as he is more refined and thoughtful than the rest of the family.

 



Beth meets a boyfriend, Bruce, and shows up with him unannounced to a party at Frank’s apartment. Through events that happen at the party, she discovers that Frank is secretly gay and has been living with a man named Walid (“Wally”) for over ten years. Frank rejects the sexual advance on Bruce's part, caring for Beth when she gets too drunk. He pleads with her not to tell anyone else in the family his secret, and she agrees.

The next day, Beth’s grandfather and Frank’s father, Daddy Mac, dies of a sudden heart attack. Frank agrees to drive Beth back to South Carolina for the funeral. Wally asks to come along and meet Frank’s family, but Frank refuses, not yet ready to reveal the truth to them. However, Wally rents a car and follows them most of the way there; when Frank catches him, he agrees to let him come but stay in a motel during the funeral, fearful of what the locals might do if they discover their true relationship.

Along their journey, Frank has flashbacks to his teenage years and a sexual relationship he had with another boy named Samuel; his father caught them in bed together and called Frank an abomination against God. To cope with these memories, Frank begins secretly drinking; he asks Beth not to tell Wally as Frank is a recovering alcoholic.

 



Beth and Frank arrive home to attend the funeral. At the reading of the will, Frank learns he has been cut out of his inheritance, and the will exposes Frank’s homosexuality to the family. An emotional Frank flees, driving away erratically while drinking heavily. A panicked Beth rushes to inform Wally, who drives them to the nearby lake where he suspects Frank went. A final flashback reveals that Frank told Samuel they could not be together as it displeased God, and Samuel drowned himself in the lake shortly after. Wally and Beth discover Frank’s clothes sitting on a dock by the water, but Frank is nowhere to be seen.

Wally and Beth return to the motel, where Wally grieves for Frank’s supposed death. However, a drunken Frank returns, claiming he just went for a swim. An argument ensues as Wally confronts Frank for his drinking; Frank punches Wally and calls him a faggot before fleeing again. They later reconcile at Samuel’s grave as Frank expresses guilt for his death. Frank laments that he has no family left; Wally reassures him that he is Frank's family. After an impassioned speech from Beth, Frank agrees to let Wally meet his family. While Frank’s brother-in-law is unable to morally accept the truth, his siblings and mother have no problem with the secret and warmly welcome Wally.
 

Psychology Today: Being a Good Guncle

Amazon Film: Uncle Frank

Being a Guncle and Setting a Good Example

Guncle Gifts on Esty

The Guncle Guide to Being Everyone's Favorite Family Member

Advocate: Gay-Themed Film, Uncle Frank

The Guncle Book on Amazon

 

 

The Guncle by Steven Rowley

From the bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus and The Editor comes a warm and deeply funny novel about a once-famous gay sitcom star whose unexpected family tragedy leaves him with his niece and nephew for the summer.

Patrick, or Gay Uncle Patrick (GUP, for short), has always loved his niece, Maisie, and nephew, Grant. That is, he loves spending time with them when they come out to Palm Springs for weeklong visits, or when he heads home to Connecticut for the holidays. But in terms of caretaking and relating to two children, no matter how adorable, Patrick is, honestly, overwhelmed.

So when tragedy strikes and Maisie and Grant lose their mother and Patrick's brother has a health crisis of his own, Patrick finds himself suddenly taking on the role of primary guardian. Despite having a set of "Guncle Rules" ready to go, Patrick has no idea what to expect, having spent years barely holding on after the loss of his great love, a somewhat-stalled acting career, and a lifestyle not-so-suited to a six- and a nine-year-old. Quickly realizing that parenting (even if temporary) isn't solved with treats and jokes, Patrick's eyes are opened to a new sense of responsibility, and the realization that, sometimes, even being larger than life means you're unfailingly human.

With the humor and heart we've come to expect from bestselling author Steven Rowley, The Guncle is a moving tribute to the power of love, patience, and family in even the most trying of times.

 

 

More Books About Gay Uncles

 

Auntie Uncle: Drag Queen Hero | Royce, Ellie
Apartment 1986 | Papademetriou, Lisa
Tiger Flowers | Quinlan, Patricia
Willow and the Wedding | Brennan-Nelson, Denise
The Best Man | Peck, Richard
Love is in the Hair | Ware, Syrus Marcus
My Chacha is Gay | Eiynah
Families | Willhoite, Michael
When Audrey Met Alice | Behrens, Rebecca
Tumble Turn | MacLeod, Doug
When Heroes Die | Durant, Penny Raife
The Skull of Truth | Coville, Bruce
Losing Uncle Tim | Jordan, Marykate
Too Far Away to Touch | Newman, Lesléa
My Two Uncles | Vigna, Judith
My Uncle's Wedding | Ross, Eric
Uncle Bobby's Wedding | Brannen, Sarah S.
Mini Mia and Her Darling Uncle | Lindenbaum, Pija
The Manny Files | Burch, Christian

 


 

Why We Love Our Guncles
Absolutely Fabulous Guncle Photos

Uncle Frank on YouTube

In Praise of Gay Uncles and Lesbian Aunts

Today: Being a Guncle Changed My Life

Info: LGBTQ Siblings

GLAAD Interview: Cast of Uncle Frank

Guncle Gifts on Facebook

Psychology Today: Being a Good Guncle

Amazon Film: Uncle Frank

Being a Guncle and Setting a Good Example

Guncle Gifts on Esty

The Guncle Guide to Being Everyone's Favorite Family Member

Advocate: Gay-Themed Film, Uncle Frank

The Guncle Book on Amazon


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