Kordale Lewis and Kaleb Anthony shot to notoriety a year ago when a photo of the two dads combing their daughters’ hair went viral.
The picture, which was posted to Instagram, instantly won over the hearts of millions, but it also drew homophobic backlash, and some even questioned their authenticity.
Last month Kordale, Kaleb and their three beautiful children, Desmiray, Malia and Kordale Jr., were featured in a heart-warming Nikon commercial, which also hit big on social media.
The couple sat down for an exclusive interview with theGrio.com in their Atlanta home to talk about the reactions, both good and bad, from their infamous family photo and new commercial. They also opened up for the first time about how they started their unique family.
“I was in a relationship with one girl only, and it was the mother of our children,” Kordale revealed. “At 16, we had sex, and she got pregnant. I didn’t know the first child was mine, because we really weren’t together like that. Desmiray was born when I was 17 years old.”
Soon, Kordale had a second child and an unexpected third, all by the time he was 19 years old.
He remained active in his children’s life until one day, when he was 22 years old, he got a phone call to come pick up his kids, and ever since, he and Caleb have had full custody.
“She got pregnant by her current boyfriend, and she was telling me how she was stressed out and she really didn’t want to have the baby that she has now, but she was going to have it anyway,” Kordale recalled while discussing his the mother of his children. “She was like, ‘can you just come get the kids.’ And I was like, ‘sure.’ That’s when she met Kaleb.”
Desmiray, Malia and Kordale Jr.’s mother is still in contact with her children, calls them on a regular basis and sees them twice a month.
“Every child deserves the right to know their mother and father,” he says.
Kordale and Kaleb believe that their family is no different than any other and are raising their children to believe that they are just like other kids.
“I explain to them, in this world you have five different type of parents. It can be a mom and a dad. It can be a dad and a dad, a mom and a mom or a single father or single mother,” Kordale said “There’s no difference.”
The couple currently are domestic partners and plan to wed as soon as gay marriage is legalized in the state of Georgia. In the meantime, Kodale and Kaleb plan on having a fourth child.
“Kordale and I have been planning to have a child. Our first child together,” Kaleb said. “It’s a little process called artificial insemination. We have a young lady, and she is going to do it for us.
In May 2014, Kordale released his first novel, Picture Perfect?, an honest, soul-bearing memoir that pulls back the curtain on the story behind a family picture that went viral after a Facebook post. In his book, Kordale describes his struggles with childhood sexual abuse, a drug-addicted mother, suicide and the trials of teenage fatherhood.
Last week, the couple launched a Kickstarter campaign to begin production on a film based on Picture Perfect?