Dad Accused Of Not Being 'Manly' Enough After Sharing Videos Of Him Kissing His Son On The Mouth

There is no such thing as raising a boy to be "less of a man" by teaching him the importance of love and kindness.

Tom Leeds & his son @tom_leeds / TikTok

A father hit back at criticism after sharing a video of him showing his son affection.

In a TikTok video, Tom Leeds, a father to a 5-year-old son, defended his right to show love to his son after viewers felt a type of way at seeing him kiss his child. While many of the comments he received were incredibly rude and invasive, Leeds didn't back down from wanting to show his son love.

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He was accused of not being 'manly' enough after kissing his son on the mouth.

In the short clip Leeds shared, he had been replying to a comment left by a viewer who had complimented him and his son's striking eye color. While making the video, Leeds brought his son into the frame and gave him a sweet show of affection.



"Give me a kiss," Leeds instructed his son with a smile. Happy to oblige, his 5-year-old son had no issue leaning forward at his father's request. While the point of Leeds' video had nothing to do with the kiss, many viewers were left feeling uncomfortable by the act and accused him of going against the "rules" of masculinity.


“Man rule, you don’t kiss boy[s] on lips,” wrote one TikTok user who felt it was an issue. “Men should be men, grow up to be [men]. You say a lot, ‘As long as he lets me.’ You are imposing this on your boy."

In response to all of the hate, Leeds made a follow-up video, directly responding to another comment left by someone who wrote: "Just gorgeous, both [of you], but don’t kiss him on the lips."

Leeds pointed out that his initial video had nothing to do with how he shows affection to his son, and yet, people still found something to complain about.

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"I will kiss my son, my 5-year-old child, on the lips for as long as I deem necessary and as long as he lets me,” he strongly stated. "I love him to bits, and he’s my best pal."

Leeds acknowledged that there would come a day when his son won't want to be kissed, but until that day comes, he won't stop. “One day, he won’t want me to [kiss him on the lips]. And he probably won’t want much to do with me."

“So, for now,” he added, “I’ll carry on as I am.”


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Men showing affection to their sons will only further dismantle the idea of 'toxic masculinity.'

The one thing fathers should consistently do with their children, but more specifically with their sons, is to show affection as that is a crucial way of breaking toxic masculinity and promoting healthier emotional development.

There are a slew of men in this country who think that "being a man" means showing absolutely no emotion and holding it all in, but that will only lead to a decline in their mental health. 

According to the CDC, toxic masculinity has led to widespread depression among men and boys. Research indicates that 40% of men experience depression to some degree, but even more alarming is that men comprise almost 80% of all deaths by suicide in the United States.


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By expressing affection, as Leeds is proudly doing with his son, fathers can help their sons develop emotional intelligence and provide them with a supportive environment to explore and express their feelings.

There is no such thing as raising a boy to be "less of a man" by teaching him the importance of love and kindness. Instead, fathers can teach young men the necessity of establishing and maintaining healthy relationships.


Verbal affirmation, active listening, spending quality time together, and offering support are also important ways to express affection and foster healthy emotional development in sons. Fathers serve as important role models for their sons.

When fathers like Leeds show affection, they demonstrate that it is acceptable and desirable for men to express love and care openly. 

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.