Advice for and from LGBTQ parents, in their own words

“LGBTQ parents can be more open to recognizing depression, bullying, or even just holding back”

Just in time for Pride in June, “Rainbow Relatives: Real-World Stories and Advice on How to Talk to Kids About LGBTQ+ Families and Friends” (May 8, 2018) is a collection of intimate, real-life stories and advice about coming out to family members—parents to children, aunts and uncles to nieces and nephews, grandparents to grandchildren.

The concept for “Rainbow Relatives” was born when author Sudi “Rick” Karatas asked his sister if her children knew about his (their uncle’s) sexual orientation. She said they didn’t, as she hadn’t been sure how to approach the topic and wished there was a book she could read to help her have those conversations. So, Sudi wrote that book. He hopes Rainbow Relatives will make readers more accepting of all people and families, especially in the LGBTQ+ community.LGBT Parents advice

Two Moms, Two Dads, Today’s Families

On one hand, many families are already formed when a parent comes out and usually it is a surprise to the kids and many adjustments have to be made. On the other hand, many same-sex couples decide to adopt or have children through a surrogate or in vitro fertilization. Being a parent and raising a family is not easy. Is it harder if you don’t have a traditional family? Since I don’t have kids, I relied on the interviews and surveys to get a better understanding of the challenges these families face for Rainbow Relatives. I will leave most of the advice to them and let their answers speak for themselves.

LGBTQ Parents

If you could give advice to other gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender parents or same-sex couples with kids or thinking of having them, what would it be?

  • Andrew: I think that it’s the most amazing thing I’ve done . . . and the hardest. I’ve learned more about myself in this journey (both good and bad). Someone gave us the advice that if Oliver ever says, “I want a mommy,” to think about it as if he said, “I want a horse.” Our son doesn’t know what a mommy does versus his daddies . . . and it will keep us from feeling like we’re depriving him of something.
  • Thea: It’s awesome, but only do it if you are 100 percent sure. I always thought I wanted a biological child but I could not love my adopted kids more.
  • Bruce: Having kids, it’s the greatest thing ever.
  • Primrose: Adopt from foster care! So many kids in our own cities and states need parents.
  • Albert: Make sure you are both on the same page; it makes life better when you both know what the other is thinking.
  • Kathy: Join an organization such as Pop Luck Club (PLC), an organization in Los Angeles, California, made up of families with two dads and go to Maybe Baby (a fertility group). Seek out other gay parents. Visit with other families, be a camp counselor, go read to kids in schools, volunteer. If you have never been in charge of other kids, like mentioned above, then it can be tough; already knowing how kids act can really help.
  • Ted: Do it. It’s the best gift in the world.

by Sudi Rick Karatas, Salon.com, June 29, 2018

Click here to read the entire article.

 

Time For Families Celebrates The Wedding Party

IN 1999, a group of friends saw a need and acted – starting The Wedding Party.

The Wedding Party was an all volunteer nonprofit organization that celebrated same-sex partnership and assisted national and international media outlets with presenting images and video footage that draw national attention to and educate the public about the need for securing equal marriage rights for same-sex couples.

the wedding party

Executive Directors Renee Rotkopf and Anthony M. Brown

Our vision was to empower our community by honoring commitment in relationships, inspiring each other to live a life of dreams fulfilled.  And we did it!

Our goal is to foster understanding and tolerance of same sex unions and to educate the public on the need to secure the freedom for same-sex couples to enter into legally recognized marriages and be granted all the 1,138 federal benefits, legal protections and rights that civil marriage provides. In so educating the public our goal is to secure those freedoms for same-sex couples. We plan to change the climate of our country, ensuring equality for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Same-Sex Parents (and Our Kids) Speak Out

Same-sex relationship recognition is up for a vote in both Italy and Switzerland in the coming weeks—and same-sex parents are, not surprisingly, helping to push for equality. And in Australia, one 11-year-old girl is speaking out for her family.

Italy’s civil union bill comes up for a vote next Tuesday, and includes a provision that would allow for second-parent (or stepchild) adoptions. Martina and Julia, a same-sex parents of an infant live in Rome and were profiled in Vanity Fair Italy about their family. They discuss the 13 attempts in two countries (Denmark and England) to create their son, the community they found through the national organization for LGBT parents, Famiglie Arcobaleno (Rainbow Families), how they have tried to legally protect their family, and their response to those who oppose equality for families like theirs. (Google Translate does a decent, though not perfect, job for those who don’t read Italian.)

mombian

The New York Times, in its coverage of the Italian civil union debate, also led with a parenting story, that of Dario De Gregorio and Andrea Rubera. The men married in Canada, became parents of three children, then returned to their native Italy where their relationship was not recognized and custody of their children was divided because they could not adopt each other’s biological kids. The stepchild adoption provision of the civil union bill, however, may be “too far-reaching” for some legislators, the NYT reports.

CNN followed the NYT and a few days later dug further into De Gregorio and Rubera’s story in “Gay dads hope Italy approves law on same-sex civil unions and parenthood.” Rubera told CNN that opponents of civil unions say “You stole your kids, you stole your kids from their mother. You denied to your kids to have a mother, you bought your kids from the supermarket like watermelons.” He adds, “It’s difficult to imagine if you aren’t living in Italy … how strong and awful the public debate about civil unions has become.”

Click here to read the entire article.

Mombian.com, January 29, 2016