I believe this is the 4th annual blog swarm to educate readers about LGBT families. I met the editor of Mombian at the LGBT Blogging Summit we attended last December and have found her blog to be very interesting.
Now my nuclear family is Ledcat and myself as we do not have children. Still, as a former foster parent recruiter, I know how many children languishing in the adoption lists could benefit from what we have to offer. Now is not the time for us, but I certainly keep that possibility on the table. At this point, second parent adoption is legal in Pennsylvania due in part to the hard work of local LGBTQ advocate and attorney Christine Biancheria.
Pittsburgh has a small, but lively chapter of Families Like Ours. I'm on the email list and enjoy the exchange on very seemingly mundane topics that most likely thousands of other parents are discussing in other forums. The vast majority of the conversation is fairly universal with an occasional LGBT specific twist.
PrideFest has a children's section. Family friendly picnics are springing up. I'm not sure what is going on with the Family Fun Festival, but hopefully it will be back next year.
We also have resources for LGBT youth — Dreams of Hope, Persad's Youth programs, GLCC Youth programs, GLSEN Pittsburgh. These programs can provide wonderful resources for children with LGBTQ parents as well.
When I stop to think about how many LGBTQ persons I know with children, I'm amazed at how quickly their names come to mind. One family is embroiled in a custody battle for their adopted son and shares updates via texting direct from the out-of-state courtroom. Another set of biological parents are in a custody battle between themselves. I certainly know more than one family who have adopted and I am huge advocate of LGBTQ families pursuing foster parenting.
As for our family? When Ledcat's brother and his wife had children (3 1/2 and 1) they never missed a beat with identifying us both as aunties. Our niece is sort of confused that we live together, but she associates us as one unit. It would probably be easier if we had a child so she could put us into context as so-and-so's two mommies, but she certainly doesn't see anything amiss about us. The same with her little brother.
My brother and his wife live quite away, but they are conscientious of sharing photos and I'm hoping to go out to see them this summer.
This topic hits all of us. We need to know that children in LGBT families, gay or straight, feel their family is affirmed and welcome as with their straight family counterparts.
Here in Pennsylvania, this hits home. We need to pass HB 300 and the Allegheny County ordinance to ensure that families of all types have access to housing, employment and public accomodations. We need to put the “Marriage Protection Amendment” to bed once and for all so children are not exposed to the vitriole and bigotry that accompanies this debate. We need equality for all of our families.