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Parents & Families

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bulletTexts:  Queer Parenting
bulletTexts:  Queer Families
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 Out of the Ordinary : Essays on Growing Up With Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Parents
 Losing Matt ShepardLosing Matt Shepard by Beth Loffreda

The murder in October 1998 of a twenty-one-year-old gay University of Wyoming student ignited a media frenzy. The crime resonated deeply with America's bitter history of violence against minorities. While the details of the tragedy are familiar to most people, the complex local context is not. This book explores why the murder still haunts us - and why it should. Beth Loffreda is uniquely qualified to write this account. As a professor new to the state and the straight faculty advisor to the campus Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Association, she is both an insider and outsider to the events. She draws upon her own observations as well as dozens of interviews with students, townspeople, journalists, state politicians, activists, and gay and lesbian residents. The book shows how the politics of sexuality - perhaps now the most divisive issue in America's culture wars - unfolds in a forgotten corner of the country. Loffreda succeeds brilliantly in capturing daily life since October 1998 in Laramie, Wyoming - a community in a rural, poor, conservative, and breathtakingly beautiful state without a single gay bar or bookstore. Rather than focusing on one person - Matt Shepard - she presents a full range of characters, including the locals (both gay and straight), the national gay activists who quickly descended on Laramie, the homicide investigators, and even a cameo appearance by Peter, Paul, and Mary. Her book not only recounts the typical responses to Matt's death but also the surprising stories of ordinary people whose lives were transformed - individual voices ignored in the media frenzy.

About the Author
Beth Loffreda is assistant professor of English at the University of Wyoming and faculty advisor to the campus Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Association.

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Lesbian and Gay Parenting HandbookThe Lesbian and Gay Parenting Handbook: Creating and Raising Our Families by April Martin

In the past, most children of gay or lesbian parents were born into heterosexual families that later broke up. Today, more and more lesbian and gay couples are making the decision to have and raise families together. The Lesbian and Gay Parenting Handbook by April Martin is an indispensable resource for lesbians and gay men who are thinking about, or involved in, parenting. Martin, a psychologist and lesbian parent of two children, has compiled advice and information from almost 60 families and has drawn on her own experience. She touches on every aspect of gay and lesbian parenting, and where she doesn't go into depth, she refers readers to further resources.

The Lesbian and Gay Parenting Handbook covers a vast array of subjects about creating a family, from decision-making to alternative insemination to surrogacy. It includes details on adoption, gay men making babies, co-parenting, and legal issues. Martin discusses family roles, dealing with anti-homosexual bias, dealing with family crises, and how to handle issues children may have about growing up with gay or lesbian parents. This book should be an essential component of every gay or lesbian parent's--or parent-to-be's--library.

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Family Pride Coalition 

In 1979 a group of gay dads created the Gay Fathers Coalition. This group later became Gay and Lesbian Parents Coalition International (GLPCI), a grassroots organization whose primary purpose was to connect with and support local gay and lesbian parenting groups. Today, GLPCI has become the national non-profit, Family Pride Coalition. We operate with an excellent volunteer board of directors and a small full-time staff.

bulletOur members are individuals, families and parenting groups across the country and across the world. A wonderful mixture of men and women who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered.
bulletOur members are straight spouses, heterosexual allies, LGBT friendly organizations, grandparents, professionals and students.
bulletOur members are formerly married, considering parenthood, pregnant, parenting, and awaiting adoption. Our families are adoptive, foster, co-parented, step-parented and blended.


Families Like Mine

Abigail Garner is a writer, speaker, and advocate for children with parents who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (GLBT). She speaks from her own experience of having a gay father who has been out to her since she was five years old. Combining her own stories with those of other young people, Abigail brings a strong voice to a population that often seems invisible. Speaking to schools, churches, and other organizations since 1995, Abigail reaches audiences that have ranged in size from 15 to 300.

This web site is dedicated to decreasing isolation for children with parents who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (GLBT), and bringing voice to the experiences of these families.


Gay Parent Online Magazine

Gay Parent is published every two months online and in print. Print version is available at gay-friendly bookstores, community centers and other establishments across the U.S.A. or by subscription.


PFLAG:  Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays promotes the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons, their families and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays provides opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity, and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity.


Support Groups for Gay and Lesbian Parents

Hundreds of support groups for lesbian and gay families exist throughout the country. The following list comes from The Gay and Lesbian Parenting Handbook.


Resources for Gay and Lesbian Parents

Browse through select chapters in a gay-parenting handbook, get contacts for advocacy groups or subscribe to the Family Next Door newsletter.


Gay and Lesbian Parenting

Read the results of a psychological study on the mental health and fitness of lesbian and gay parents and their children.


Like families headed by heterosexual parents, lesbian and gay parents and their children are a diverse group (Martin, 1993). Unlike heterosexual parents and their children, however, lesbian and gay parents and their children are often subject to prejudice because of sexual orientation that turns judges, legislators, professionals, and the public against them, frequently resulting in negative outcomes such as loss of physical custody, restrictions on visitation, and prohibitions against adoption (Falk, 1989; Editors of the Harvard Law Review, 1990). As with all socially stigmatized groups, the beliefs held generally in society about lesbians and gay men are often not based in personal experience, but are instead culturally transmitted (Herek, 1991). The purpose of this summary of research findings on lesbian and gay parents and their children is to assist psychologists and other professionals to evaluate widespread beliefs in the light of empirical data and in this way ameliorate the negative effects of unwarranted prejudice.

Charlotte J. Patterson, University of Virginia


Blended Family Resource Guide

Gay and Lesbian Parenting:  A type of family that is emerging.


While some gay couples decide to have or raise a child together in a "nuclear" family, other families headed by lesbians or gay men are blended families. Sometimes a parent in a heterosexual marriage may realize that he or she is gay, and goes on to a homosexual relationship. The gay partner may act as the stepparent of the child, although he or she may not have the full complement of legal rights and responsibilities that ex-spouse's new spouse may have. In other cases, a gay couple might co-operate in baby-making and childraising with another individual or couple. Below find some of the extensive web references I have found.

American Psychological Association

Lesbian and Gay Parenting


Lesbian and Gay Parenting: A Resource for Psychologists is a joint publication of APA's Committee on Women in Psychology (CWP), Committee on Lesbian and Gay Concerns (CLGC), and Committee on Children, Youth, and Families (CYF). In 1991 CWP and CLGC published Lesbian Parents and Their Children: A Resource for Psychologists, which was intended to provide assistance to parents, lawyers, and psychologists facing contested child custody cases involving a lesbian mother and a (usually) heterosexual father. When CLGC and CWP reviewed Lesbian Parents and Their Children: A Resource for Psychologists in 1993 with the goal of updating it, it became clear that contested child custody cases resulting from heterosexual marriages, while still a major concern, are now part of a larger picture.

More and more lesbian women and gay men are choosing to parent. They are adopting children, becoming foster parents, having biological children through donor insemination, etc., either as single parents or with other gay or lesbian coparents. To reflect the changes in the world outside psychology, the decision was made to not only update, but also expand the publication to include psychological literature on all forms of lesbian and gay parenting. CYF agreed to join CWP and CLGC in producing the publication. Lesbian and Gay Parenting: A Resource for Psychologists is the result.


Parenting Resources for Gay and Lesbian Parents

Parenting Info for Gays and Lesbians


The following list of links is for gays and lesbians wanting info on building their families. These resources should be helpful for those beginning their families through either adoption or biological parenting and for those who already have a family. We believe that every child should have a safe home with a loving parent or parents, and we would love to in our own small way help those with this dream in their hearts. Best wishes, Amanda and Jill


Stonewall Parenting Group

Contrary to what some people think, lesbians and gay men can and do have children. The Stonewall Parenting Group campaigns for equal rights for lesbian and gay parents.


Mystic Women

Mystic Women, a world of clothing and accessories designed with beautiful, empowering, and positive images and messages that reflect your family. For children of lesbian and gay parents, mystical/pagan families, and children of adoption - and plenty of stuff for their mommies and daddies, too! 


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