We are the Butson-Luthier family! Our family consists of two dads and a 9-year-old daughter that came into our family through surrogacy. We are also known as Le Fab Trois online -- which translates to The Fab Three -- and this month, we will become the first family with gay dads to appear on a reality-based Disney show.
First, a little about us: We are an international family! Papa Thomas (that's me) is from Paris, Daddy Davide is from New York (with Italian roots,) and our daughter Evelyn was born in India using an Indian egg donor. What's more, Davide and I met in Hong Kong.
At the time, Davide was in a six year ordeal to have a child. Coincidently, the two of us met the same week our surrogate was pregnant. When he told me that he was trying to get pregrant, I revealed my desire to also be a father. Once Evie arrived just 9 months later Le Fab Trois was created, a year and a half later, we all relocated to Davide's hometown of New York City, Thomas and Evie quickly felt at home and became official New Yorkers.
As soon as marriage equality became the law of the land in North America, we tied the knot on Fire Island amongst family and friends. Today our family lives and works in Las Vegas. This July we celebrated five years of marriage just in time for our big television debut.
Last November, Disney reached out to us through Instagram and asked if we would be interested in joining a family dance competition show called Disney Fam Jam. On it, every week two families compete against each other in a dance battle. At the end of each episode, the studio audience will vote for their favorite family, and the winner takes home a $10,000 prize along with a "Disney Fam Jam" trophy. We said yes to the opportunity right away!
The thing about being on set is that it was truly filled with love. There weren't any unrealistic expectations of professional dance ability or anything like that; it was truly about just having a good time for the kids. That was palpable from when we stepped on set.
The song we chose for the main performance was one that celebrated our daughter Evelyn, and where she comes from; Her Indian heritage was front and center. The performance highlighted our family's love for one another and our passion for dancing, which is the reason why we were competing in the first place -- well, and the fact that Evie dreams of becoming a professional dancer one day and is already training four days per week in tap, hip hop, ballet, and jazz.
For us, it was more than about just winning a possible $10,000. Going on national television by way of a Disney show was also about visibility. While there is some visibility currently for queer families with gay dads like Ricky Martin, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Andy Cohen, Anderson Cooper, and Mr. Joe Zee, all of whom have had children via surrogacy, we bring something different. We are an every day family, without any nannies, big dollar budgets, or headline names behind us. It's a sign of visibility that people can relate to, and is important in the spectrum of families that are available in the public domain today.
"At the end of the day it's all about awareness" Thomas, my husband says says. "Our daughter has faced remarks from other kids about her two dads and she quickly explains with extreme pride: 'Love is Love is Love...and my daddies love me, isn't that what matters?'"
The Disney Fam Jam episode featuring the Butson-Luthier will air on Sunday, July 19, at 8:24PM (EST/PST) on Disney Channel (please check your local listings as this may be subject to change).