What’s a network like ABC to do when they’ve got the No. 1 show about gay families? Invite some real-life modern families to Good Morning America. The Berman-Cotlar family of Boulder, for instance, have two gay moms. And a gay dad.
In what’s probably a gentle mix of drama and comedy, the Berman-Cotlars have a story of heterosexual marriage, homosexual marriage, coming out, and donor sperm.
It took a long time for the Berman-Cotlar family to come together. More than 30 years ago, Marcia Cotlar met Frank Zwinklis in Rhode Island. But when they hit their 20’s, life took them separate ways. “It was the end of our senior year in high school. I was a short order cook and Marcia was a waitress,” said Zwinklis. Cotlar got married to another man and had a daughter. But as years went by, eventually both Zwinklis and Cotlar realized they were gay. Fifteen years ago, Cotlar met Berman, and their relationship as a couple began. “I feel like I found the person that has been able to help me be the person I’m supposed to be. And I can support her to be able to be who she’s supposed to be,” said Cotlar.
They got married in 1998, and there was one thing they immediately wanted to do – have children. “When we were looking at having children we were looking for a donor who we wouldn’t know,” said Marcia. But Zwinklis volunteered. “Frank was there was to hold them first and he looked in their eyes and said, ‘we have to figure out a schedule, I have to be here,’” said Cotlar. So Jaron and Seth have two moms and a dad – three gay parents and a stepsister Lauren. They are one big happy family.
“They have six grandparents they have many many many cousins,” said Berman. “My family [is] like everyone else ’cause I do what every other 10-year- old in the USA does… I wake up get ready for school go to school do stuff after school…even though I have gay parents that does not affect what I do at all,” said Jaron. Frank lives nearby and spends every Sunday alone with the boys. He is very active in their lives. Being a father has been a very moving experience for Zwinklis. “They are the most important things in my own world,” said Zwinklis. “My dad’s an awesome dad,” said Jaron. “I’m happy he’s my dad.”