Trey McBride will likely get selected during the 2022 NFL Draft set to happen in Las Vegas in late April. McBride had a phenomenal final season at Colorado State, becoming the team’s first unanimous All-American and receiving the Mackey Award for being the best collegiate tight end in the country.
McBride will make history by becoming the first NFL player with same-sex parents. Trey’s parents, Kate and Jen, talked to TODAY about the imminent realization of their son’s lifelong dream:
“When your kid comes to you when they’re little and they say they want to be president, you’re like, ‘OK, honey, that’s great.’ He wanted to play in the NFL, and he’s going to do it.”
Kate and Jen were the first same-sex couple to set up in their conservative Colorado community
Kate and Jen started out as friends before starting a partnership that’s over 25 years strong. Jen didn’t object when Kate said she wanted eight kids – eight is Kate’s favorite number.
When the pair started their family in the 1990s, people still frowned upon same-sex partnerships. Despite Kate being in a relationship with Jen, her parents considered her single. Kate said on TODAY:
“They actually considered me a single mom. And I do remember telling my parents that I’m pregnant, and they said, ‘Why would you want to have a baby as a single woman?’ And I said, ‘I’m not a single woman. I’m in a relationship.’”
Jen and Kate moved to their Fort Morgan, Colorado, home in December 2003. The pair stood out like sore thumbs in the conservative community that previously had no openly gay couples.
Trey’s parents heard that the people of Fort Morgan might rally against them to the point of physical assault. However, the community embraced Jen and Kate as they proved their value as neighbors.
Jen and Kate have long volunteered for charitable causes, including the Meals on Wheels America Program, an initiative designed to combat senior hunger and isolation. The pair often fields questions from townsfolk about Trey’s progression in football.
Kate breeds white golden European retrievers, and Jen is a deputy sheriff in Morgan County. They appreciate the community’s acceptance of their family and believe they’ve positively impacted the people of Fort Morgan.
“It’s been a fantastic place to raise our kids,” Jen told The Athletic. “And open people’s eyes,” Kate added.
Kate and Jen introduced their children to wrestling to redirect their boundless energy
Jen and Kate fell three short of Kate’s target, settling for five children: Bryce, Toby, Trey, Dylan, and Taya. Kate had almost given up on her dream of raising a daughter when Jen convinced them to try again. The fifth time proved the charm: Taya, the couple’s youngest child and only daughter, was born.
Raising four sons with seemingly boundless energy was an adventure for Trey’s parents. The furniture, especially the drywall, bore most of the brunt of the boys’ household fights.
“The next thing I see is Dylan flying across the living room and putting perfect butt-print in the drywall,” Kate talked to The Denver Post about a memorable clash between Toby and Dylan. “We’ve replaced a lot of drywall.”
Trey’s parents signed the boys up for wrestling to redirect that energy to the discipline. “We started them with wrestling so they would be worn out and go to bed early,” Kate added. “We didn’t realize it would turn into a career.”
Kate hails from an athletic family, which could explain why the couple’s children were good at sports. The duo picked sperm from tall donors but didn’t ‘chemically engineer’ their children to be great athletes.
The McBrides fell out with some parents jealous of the natural talents of the boys. Kate told The Denver Post that every child worked hard to achieve success:
“We’ve been told that we chemically engineered them because there’s no way that one family can have all these great athletes. A lot of it is their hard work. Yes, there’s some natural talent in there. But these guys worked hard. They put in the hours. And put in the sweat and the tears.”
Kate and Jen’s children have consulted genealogy services and discovered European connections and family in the Colorado area. However, none has expressed a desire to search for their biological dad. Toby told The Denver Post:
“We’ve all pretty much decided not to go out and find our dads. I just haven’t had the drive to go and find out who my dad is. I was raised by my parents. Finding out who my dad is isn’t going to do anything different.”
Trey believes that his upbringing set him up for success in football
Trey McBride didn’t grow up in a traditional family, which often drew malicious comments from peers. The times have steadily changed, and people have become more accepting of same-sex unions, but Trey still gets ‘crap about it.’
“I don’t understand why,” he told The Denver Post. “And sometimes, you know, you’ve got to defend yourself. You’re not going to let someone punk you for something like that. It’s really no big deal.”
Toby told the outlet that he understands that the people abusing his family don’t know any better. When he didn’t know any better, he used to react angrily at the provocation. “But that was years and years ago,” he said. “And now the community has just completely embraced us as a family.”
The uniqueness of Trey’s family runs beyond his parents’ relationship. The McBrides have kept various animals, including ducks, geese, horses, llamas, emus, and twin goats.
“That’s my normal,” Trey added. “My parents are kind of like, ‘We’re just going to do our thing. We’re not going to worry about what anyone else thinks of us.’ It’s just normal for us.”
Trey feels that his upbringing provided the platform for his success in football. “They’ve done a great job of pushing me to be the best version of myself and just constantly giving support and love,” he told TODAY.
One of the most memorable moments in Trey’s career so far was when Kate told him he’d won the Mackey Award. “Having my mom be the one to tell me I won the biggest award in my career? Hearing that from her is so special,” Trey told The Athletic. “I think hearing that from her was really a lot for me.”
Trey’s parents have learned to ignore the hate that Trey receives
Kate and Jen knew that their kids would inevitably receive criticism for having lesbian parents. It came from everyone, including teachers and coaches. They dealt with the insensitive comments by talking about such issues with the kids.
“If they had questions about different things, we would absolutely talk about it,” Kate said. “We told them that they came from donors, and that’s part of who they are.”
Trey’s football has propelled him to national attention, exposing him and his family to all manner of online hate. Some comments irritate Kate, and she often writes responses but deletes them before clicking on send. Kate and Jen have opted to ignore the vile, no matter how much it incenses them.
The media will make a lot of fuss out of Trey’s background, but Trey doesn’t see anything unusual about his upbringing. He told The Athletic:
“I think it’s very cool and very special, but truthfully, really to them, it’s not going to mean anything. They did a great job of raising me and all my siblings. They are such tremendous parents, and I’m very thankful I have them. It’s just normal for us.”