Brent Almond, a self-described “lifelong doodler” wanted to do something memorable for his son’s first day of school so he drew Batman on a Post-It note with the words, “Go get ‘em, Jon!” and a phenomenon was born.
“He loved it and I loved doing it, so I kept it up posting them to Instagram,” Almond, a graphic designer and illustrator, says.
After the notes were featured on BuzzFeed, Almond’s popularity skyrocketed and he gained about 7,000 followers in two weeks. A spate of media coverage followed.
Almond began blogging on his son’s first birthday with the goal of sharing his experiences as a designer and gay dad. It started out being about product reviews, decorating and fashion tips and the like, but soon got more personal. He’s blogged about everything from taking his son to the Supreme Court the day same-sex marriage was legalized to meeting his son’s birth parents to going to weddings and taking trips and everything in between. Find him online at designerdaddy.com. Search for “superlunchnotes” on Instagram to follow him there.
Almond, a 48-year-old “Air Force brat,” says the most amazing thing to come out of his blogging is an “amazing community” of dads he’s met, many of whom overlap with the annual Dad 2.0 Summit he attends.
Almond lives with husband Nick Pirulli and their 7-year-old son Jon in Kensington, Md. Almond came to the area 22 years ago from Texas.
He enjoys singing, musical theater, geek culture, blogging, Netflix and “the occasional” dirty martini in his free time.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
Twenty-two years. Probably the 100 or so people I had to tell when I was removed from church leadership for being gay. That was in Texas, if it wasn’t obvious.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
Locally, Ruby Corado and the folks at Casa Ruby. The work they’re doing to help trans people is amazing and vital.
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
I’m know I’m showing my age here, but Tracks. It was one of the more mixed (queer/straight) dance clubs around and I loved being able to take a break on the back porch and grab a burger or watch the children turn it out on the runway.
Describe your dream wedding.
The one I had in 2014, in my backyard, surrounded by family and friends. Our 3-year-old son thought being the ring bearer had something to do with ringing a bell, so we gave him one to ring at the ceremony when we were pronounced as married.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
I’m on the advisory board for Camp Kesem, a summer camp for kids whose parents have been touched by cancer. I’m also a big supporter of Comfort Cases, founded by a dear friend and fellow gay dad. They provide overnight cases and other personal items to kids in the foster care system. In fact, we’re having a Comfort Cases fundraiser at Town in November, featuring Tatianna and Mrs. Kasha Davis from “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
What historical outcome would you change?
The invention of gunpowder.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
It’s a tie between “Star Wars” and Ellen coming out.
On what do you insist?
To be heard.
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
“Straight to Hell,” a new musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda and winner of every 2020 Tony Award.
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
“How to Draw Everything”
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
Not a damn thing.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
I’m taking the wait-and-see approach.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
Learn to recognize your privilege — especially if you’re white, male, cisgender, Christian, educated, wealthy or able-bodied — and then learn how to silence it long enough to hear what others are saying.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
My husband, my son and Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie FroYo.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
That we can or should be cured.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
L: “Bound”; G: “Priscilla”; B: “Cabaret”; T: “Paris Is Burning”
What’s the most overrated social custom?
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
Anything from my son that says “world’s greatest dad.”
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
That the people and the religion I was trying to please by staying in the closet weren’t worth it.
For the non-residents reading this, Washington is not the old, white dudes in all the old, white buildings — they come and go with some regularity. D.C. is similar to New York in that it’s the great American melting pot but with a much simpler subway system.