Scroll To Top

Gay Dads Hope to Make A Difference on ABC's The Parent Test

Gay Dads Hope to Make A Difference on ABC's The Parent Test

Yan Dekel and Alex Maghen
Yan Dekel (L) and Alex Maghen with their children

Yan Dekel and Alex Maghen, who host Daddy Squared: The Gay Dads Podcast, found they had more in common with straight parents than they thought.


ABC television series The Parent Test returns tonight. The unscripted series looks at different perspectives of parenting through 12 families that are followed.

Hosted by Ali Wentworth and Adolph Brown, the families share their experiences in parenting as camera crews film the highs and lows of being a parent. The hosts help moderate the conversations between the families about their common goal: raising their kids the best and healthiest they can.

The show features a couple of queer parents, including Yan Dekel and Alex Maghen. They aren't new to discussing their parenting. The couple, who met in Tel Aviv in 2007 and were married in 2014, have been running Daddy Squared: The Gay Dads Podcast for five years now.

The two told The Advocate that it was important to them to appear on a parenting show alongside straight parents.

"We were approached to do The Parent Test right after 'don't say gay,' which was so devastating to me, passed in Florida. My heart broke for all the little kids there who may think they're gay and who will go to schools where who they are won't be discussed, won't be acknowledged. I've lived that shame. And it's devastating," Dekel said.

Dekel explained that while those who already are anti-LGBTQ+ won't watch a show about queer parents, maybe they would watch a show with a diverse number of parents that just happened to include gay ones.

"What if they see us on the same show? What if they see that the straight, Christian parents on the show really connected with us - and us with them? What if those people see that we are not monsters who destroy our children, but we are actually raising fun, kind, thoughtful human beings?" he said.

Maghen echoed that maybe the appearing on the show was enough to change people's opinions on LGBTQ+ parents.

"And while I am in awe of the activists, protesters, and politicians who have fought fearlessly for our rights, I have come to realize that some of the most powerful change has come from a softer side: getting to know the unknown, seeing each other" Maghen said. "If mine and Yan's presence on a lot of American living room TVs results in 10 grandmothers in Michigan or Pennsylvania saying, 'Oh, they seem like very loving fathers. Isn't that sweet?' I will feel this was worth it."

He told The Advocate that while he was expecting their sexual orientation to maybe change how they parented, they realized that their parenting was more similar than they thought.

"When we joined The Parent Test, we were excited that we'd be seeing all of these different types of families and how their backgrounds would dramatically affect their parenting, too. Our discovery? Not so much!" Maghen said.

He added that it was more like "subtleties of approach" than major differences.

"All of these loving families feel their way through, as do we, and do their best," he said. It's true that most straight parents deprive their children of a complete immersion in the music of Cher, and that is very sad for them, but other than that, though, we are all, it turns out ... parents."

The show is produced by Eureka Productions with Chris Culvenor, Paul Franklin, Eden Gaha, Anita Brown, and David Tibballs serving as executive producers. Charles Wachter serves as the showrunner and executive producer, and Brian Smith serves as director and executive producer. The Parent Test is based on Parental Guidance, the hit series in Australia.

Catch the trailer below. You can watch The Parent Test on Thursday nights at 9 p.m. EST on ABC or the following day on Hulu.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories