Gay Uncles Day is August 14, and "guncles" everywhere are celebrating on social media! The popularity of this day has been growing recently with the hashtags #guncles and #guncle.
Australian bobsledder and "guncle," Simon Dunn, is among those celebrating and is encouraging others to do so as well. He he spoke to NBC OUT about the holiday -- as well as his adorable niece and nephews.
Why did you decide to get involved with spreading awareness of Gay Uncles Day?
I love the idea of showing appreciation to gay uncles (and aunts). Having a day that your family acknowledge your value to them regardless of your sexuality but also at the same time show your sexuality is accepted by them is truly a powerful thing.
What does it mean to you to be an uncle?
Being an uncle is probably one of the greatest joys of my life. My niece and nephews look at me as the greatest person in the world. I’m motivated every single day not to prove them wrong. Also as much as I’d like my own children, part of me knows that this may never happen. So I want to be a strong role model for my niece and nephews.
How do you see the place of gay relatives in families has changed?
For centuries having a gay uncle has generally never been talked about or acknowledge by their families. Even today you hear stories were gay uncles are shunned from their families or their partners of many years aren’t welcome. As the LGBTI community slowly becomes more accepted our roles within our families will continue to grow.
How would you like to see that change continue?
I would like to see more openness and discussion within families about their Uncles' or Aunts' sexuality. Although not a defining aspect it’s a major part of who that relative is. Why should my partner be described as my “friend” and not my partner? This in itself is taking steps in breaking down homophobia in society. Generally, homophobia is attributed lacking exposure therefore having a human face to it and that face being a relative would work towards understanding.
People have been posting on social media about being gay uncles or about the gay uncles in their lives. Here are a collection of celebratory posts from Instagram.