When Kordale and Kaleb Lewis, the black, gay, Atlanta-based fathers of three young children, faced intense homophobia and racism after a picture of them doing their daughter’s hair went viral, they initially avoided responding to reporters or on social media for their children’s safety.
But after continuing to receive media requests, the couple report that they’ve focused on the "larger picture,” ultimately deciding to use their experience to "spread a message of equality for all human beings," they told The Huffington Post. And now Kordale has gone one step further: he’s taken the story into his own hands by penning an inspiring memoir.
In Picture Perfect?, Lewis recalls emerging from an abusive childhood and struggles with absent parents, shame around his sexuality, and a suicide attempt to a successful adulthood and love with his three children and Kaleb, to whom he’s recently become engaged.
He explains on the book’s website that the "viral buzz" surrounding the photo "only scratches the surface" of his family’s life. Ever since its first appearance on Instagram, the photo has inspired copious speculation by strangers into the particulars of how the two gay men can successfully raise children together, or even into the veracity of black men engaging in non-straight couplings.
With Picture Perfect? and their subsequent openness towards media, the Lewises emphasize their focus on being the best fathers they can be. In a recent interview with Australia’s Studio 10 news, Kaleb recounts how they stayed positive: "Easy! We have three kids...Looking into [their] eyes and making sure they are still happy in our household was all we needed." Watch the interview below and check out Picture Perfect? on the Lewises' website.