Daniel Brandhorst / Ronald Gamboa / David Gamboa-Brandhorst
On this horrid anniversary the story of the Brandhorst-Gamboa family is both a heart-rending one. Daniel and Ronald met about 13 years prior to 9/11 while living on the US east coast. When Daniel got transferred to a Pricewaterhouse/Cooper office in Los Angeles, the couple moved to facilitate this and with Ronald eventually settling as a manager of The Gap store in Santa Monica.
The couple adopted a son, David, through a surrogate mother, looking after her during the pregnancy, birth and afterwards. Initially needing some help as all new parents so, they quickly settled in to become natural parents, Daniel becoming "Papa" and Ronald "Daddy" to the beautiful, bright, energetic and very caring young boy. Daniel was variously described as happy, inspirational, a good friend and generous, but was also the "serious one" in the relationship. Ronald was the joker who could apparently "make a rainy day look happy." Both parents have inspired their co-workers to greater things and are remembered fondly by many of them, some of whom have had their lives changed dramatically by the advice given by the two men. The one thing that can be taken from this terrible day is that in the end the loving family were together.
I would have been honoured to meet the trio who, even though they are gone, stand as examples to show the bigots still out there that a family is what individuals make it and does not need to be formulaic or standardised. Some of the best families are those which are chosen, not moulded. The Brandhorst-Gamboas are fine examples of all that a family can and should be and should be used as role models for gay marriage, gay adoption, happiness and good parenting.
To read an incredibly touching tribute to David Gamboa-Brandhorst please visit here.
Please also visit 2996 Project to read about all the other victims of this terrible day. Every one has a story.