In January of this year, two gay fathers made waves across the Internet with a simple photo of the pair helping two of their three children get ready for school.
Kordale and Kaleb Lewis are two proud dads who developed a substantial following on social media in the months leading up to the viral photo. However, this Instagram photo reportedly sparked a wave of homophobic backlash through Twitter users who took issue with the idea of two gay black men raising children together.
Now, Kordale Lewis is releasing a memoir titled Picture Perfect? with the intention of answering some of the many questions he got when the picture went viral.
The Huffington Post chatted with Lewis this week about Picture Perfect? and his life since the photo went viral.
The Huffington Post: What's happened since the backlash from your photo?
Kordale Lewis: Since the backlash of our photo, Kaleb and I have received many requests from the media to discuss our lives. While we wanted to stay quiet and focus on our family, we ultimately decided that our experience could help spread the message of equality for all human beings. Like a lot of gay people, we want the same rights as heterosexuals: marriage equality. Recently we became engaged and we would like nothing better than to marry in our home state of Georgia. We would like to help give the gay community a positive image and give everyday people a real view of how most gays live their life on a day-to-day basis. That’s why I decided to write a memoir about my life. My book tells the story of how I was abused as a child and the many other challenges of growing up in the ghetto. So far, readers have told me that they found the book very entertaining and inspiring. We are both very excited about the book and I feel really proud that I was able to write a book that people are really enjoying. We have created such a buzz that we have also been approached by networks to have our own TV show!
What have you learned from the experience?
From this experience Kaleb and I have learned "the bigger picture of it all" so to speak. We now understand that there are a lot more people in the world that are just like us who want the same things with their partners. It is a beautiful thing and we have true aspirations of delivering this message worldwide!
How has the experience impacted your family?
Thus far, this experience has brought our family much closer. This just does not include our immediate family but also extended family. More of our aunts, uncles and cousins have extended their love and compassion. They said they are very proud that we are open and honest with our lifestyle and impressed with the way we have handled the backlash. My Aunt said I was “brave and honest” and those words were very comforting when we received so much hate mail.
Why did you decide to write the memoir?
Truthfully, I never thought that I would write a memoir at such a young age; I never thought that I would write one at all. After speaking with close friends, as well as my fiancé, they encouraged me to share my story because they knew about my abuse, my Dad’s incarceration and my mother’s drug addiction. After going viral, I took that as a great opportunity to let the world into my life. I decided that openness and honesty might be helpful to others. While we were confronted with so much negativity, initially we chose to focus on the positive remarks about our lives and how we raise our children. Letting people into our lives will help shed light on our beautiful home life and hopefully counter negative attitudes about homosexuals and raising children. I believe my book will help the average person overcome obstacles life throws at you. This book WILL help people achieve a better understanding of the gay community as well as the life Kaleb and I live. Kaleb and I are more than thankful for the people who have taken interest in us and our story. Just wait, there is more to come!
Picture Perfect? is available in both print and digital versions on most online retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony, and Apple. For more information, visit the author’s website here.