Joe Riggs and Jason Hanna with their sons, above, and having some “dads time” atsea, below.

These ‘2 Dallas Dads’ document an authentic queer family journey

RICH LOPEZ | Staff writer

Joe Riggs and Jason Hanna have taken their parental experience to the next level. With a variety of posts that include pool adventures, ice cream outings and vacation breaks as well as just quality time at home, the Dallas couple and their 8 year-old sons have amassed an Instagram following hovering above 76,000. Along with their day jobs, raising their family and community efforts (the two men are the force behind the annual Teddy Bear Party fundraiser), they have also grown into influencers.

Via email, the two discussed their paths on social media and how it intersects with their family life.

Dallas Voice: On your Instagram alone, you have — to date — 76.4K followers at @2_Dallas_Dads. What was the inception of the account? Two Dallas Dads: Jason changed the name of his personal account to 2 Dallas Dads in 2021 and started getting much more active with social media. We try to post every day, but we skip a day every so often.

What was the point at which you discovered that you were influencers over merely posting? Does that term have any specific meaning to you? It has been an interesting “influencer” journey as we didn’t consider ourselves ones at first. We would just post random family pictures, and folks would start asking us about random products — how we like them, where we got them, etc.

After a few months of increasing our Instagram presence, we started getting approached by marketing firms, and then we started getting much more serious about it.

How would you describe your goal and the tone of Two Dallas Dads? Instagram is our main account. We are on other platforms, like TikTok, but aren’t nearly as active there. We drafted a mission statement to share our journey to help bring awareness of loving families like ours. We want to keep our tone positive and uplifting and focused on our relationship and our family in an authentic way.

What do you like about sharing that with your followers? We love sharing our family journey and all the quirks that go with having kids. As dads, it’s incredible to be able to relive our own youth and watch their eyes light up with new and exciting adventures.

How do you find balance between posting your family stories and what you keep to yourself? We want to post about things we feel are relevant and important as a two-dad family, but also, as gay men, we try and strike a balance between family posts as well as lifestyle posts for us as gay men. We are visible with our family, but we are trying to ensure we maintain a certain level of privacy for the protection of our family.

You’ve grown enough to have sponsored posts. Congratulations on that! Is there a process for your sponsored posts in terms of which products/companies you partner with? We are fairly open on the products we work with if they are great products and fit our brand, which is family- and lifestyle-focused. We have been approached by some brands that don’t necessarily fit our page or that we simply don’t like, so we kindly decline.

Are you guys able to make a living through this or are there still day jobs? We both have full-time day jobs. It was never our intention to make social media a full-time income, but it has generated income for us. We love the opportunities this has given our family, as we are using that income for the boys’ college fund. It has become a part-time job for us with our boys on the payroll, so it’s also teaching them financial responsibility at an early age.

What do you want your sons to take away from this online/social experience? The goal is to have fun. We take pictures almost every weekend, and it’s fun when we get to be silly and capture the boys and all their silliness. We will cherish these moments for years to come and have all of these great pictures of their childhood.

Has this enhanced your family bonding? For the most part, yes. We want to keep it fun and light-hearted as we want to capture their full personality. However, there are some frustrating moments when they are too silly and not focused, and all we want to do is get a good picture — haha!

Any tips/advice for other queer families who may want to follow in your footsteps of @2_Dallas_Dads? Our advice would be to follow your heart. Don’t let someone tell you what you can and cannot do. Stay focused on your goals and ensure you are taking the right steps to accomplish them.