LGBTQ Pride Month is almost upon us. I like to think of this time of year, however, as Parenting Season, the span between Mother's Day and Father's Day. It can be a challenging time for LGBTQ parents and our kids, since we don't fit into those two categories in the traditional way -- but it can also be a great time to celebrate and raise awareness about our families.
I'm proud to see the growing presence of LGBTQ families in the media, including drama and comedy as well as the news. ABC's Modern Family, which includes gay dads in its ensemble cast, is one of the most awarded comedy series of all time. Sister network ABC Family's The Fosters, about two moms and their mix of biological, adopted and foster kids, has won critical acclaim, including Television Academy Honors "for using the power of television to bring awareness to important social issues." Even better, the show has garnered an avid audience of youth who follow the storylines of the teen characters.
Both The Fosters and Modern Family have aired the weddings of the shows' same-sex parents. Season-ending weddings are a television trope. Season-ending weddings of same-sex parents means we've arrived, at least in some pop-culture sense. I happen to believe that pop culture is a leading indicator for legal and political change, though, so that's not a frivolous statement.
Although our pop culture inclusion is new, it was built on a long history of LGBTQ parents and our children. It's a history that is still being set down, in films like Debra Chasnoff's Choosing Children, about the first generation of lesbians to become parents after coming out, and books like Daniel Winunwe Rivers' Radical Relations, which charts the history of gay and lesbian parents since World War II. I'm reminded of the old saying (sometimes attributed to Winston Churchill) that "history is written by the victors." We haven't won quite yet, but things are looking hopeful. Our history will root us as we grow into the future.
Despite our progress, neither pop culture nor marriage alone will give us full equality, even if the U.S. Supreme Court rules favorably in the coming weeks. Not all states -- even ones that allow same-sex couples to marry -- protect people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Not all states allow all LGBTQ people to be legal parents to our children, or do so only after a long, costly process. Not all schools include books, other curricular materials, or administrative forms that are inclusive of LGBTQ people and our families. Not every parent knows how to talk about LGBTQ people with their kids.
While legal progress and media representation can help, much change comes simply from telling our stories. Stories both strengthen our community and help others to better understand us. That's why I'm very excited about Blogging for LGBTQ Families Day on June 1, the annual event that I've been hosting at my blog for the past ten years. Participants have included LGBTQ parents, prospective parents, the childfree, our children, and allies, sharing their stories to remind us of how we're all alike -- and how we're all different.
To join us, simply post at your own blog in celebration and support of LGBTQ families (however you define them) and submit the link at Mombian, where I'll compile and showcase the master list for all to see. If you don't have a blog of your own, you can write at a group blog, upload a video to YouTube or another video-sharing site, or simply leave a comment on the master post at Mombian that day. You can also participate by tweeting with the hashtag #LGBTQfamilies. Posts may be personal anecdotes, political commentaries, book reviews, photographs, or anything else related to the theme.
Some of us blog about LGBTQ families regularly; others rarely. But I encourage you to do so on June 1 to help build community and bridges. Even if you don't contribute, I hope you'll help spread the word about the event and come by to read some of the many wonderful posts -- a great way to start a month of Pride and a proud feeling to last all year long.
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