Connecting with other Gay Parents
Related page: Lesbian & Gay Support Groups
Does anyone know of any organizations that offer support groups for gay/lesbian parents or children of gay/ lesbian parents? I have a toddler daughter who is getting to the questions stage and I would like to get some support for my daughter and myself. She is only exposed to ''straight couples'' and i think it would be good for her to see other families like ours. Please help! lesbian mother
The downtown Berkeley YMCA is hosting a gay/lesbian family event some time this month (I hope it hasn't already passed). Give them a call for more info. I think they are a good resource for this as well. There are plenty of families out there like yours! Good luck! Lisa
Call PACT, and Adoption Alliance. Even though they are an adoption facilitator, they do a lot of placement with lesbian/gay couples and can give you good information. Their number: 510 243-9460. You can speak to Beth Hall, one of the co- director or anyone else there. m
Try the Our Family Coalition - http://www.ourfamily.org/ Anon
to start with, a good organization is colage: children of lesbians and gays everywhere: www.colage.org
from there, you will find all sorts of resources, families, groups, etc. for gay and lesbian families; there's a ton in the bay area! good luck! Lisa
There are a number of resources available. Colage.org is an organization for children of lesbians and gay men. Ourfamily.org is another great resource. My tact all along has been to be forthright, inclusive, and brief. ''There are lots of kinds of families-some have a mommy and a daddy, some have 2 mommies, some have 2 daddies'' etc. It's been easy with my now 3 year old--it may get more challenging a few years down the road, but we'll get there when we get there. Good luck! PS I get lots of support from his school. Brynn
To lesbian mother: When I faced the question about how to help my daughter, now 30, understand my sexuality, support groups weren't available. My ''strategy'' was to comfortably express myself both privately and publicly in the same way I would have had I been heteroseuxal. She didn't start to need language for my sexuality until she was 6 or 7, and by then she had a strongly positive sense of me. I remember her saying to an older boy whom she admired, ''My mom's gay; no, like REALLY gay!'' (Gay's still a word used in first grade to enforce social conformity.) And the teacher who castigated her for eagerly telling the class that her mother was gay when, in fourth grade, she eagerly volunteered that information after the teacher declared that ''the Pilgrims were happy and gay.''
My daughter has been interviewed by Cal students researching the effects of homosexuality on parenting and spoke several years ago at a conference on the subject. Her summary comment was this: My mother was first and last the character Rondi; that she was gay was no more important than any other fact about her. I would say that she benefitted directly from learning early on how to stand for what you know to be true.
I am currently fostering two black kids ages 2 1/2 and 6. My partner and I waited for several months before we told the 6 year old boy that we were gay, and after an initial ''yuck'', he seems more able to acknowledge his passionate friendships with other boys. The younger child is jealous of our connection but has the great benefit of seeing two loving adults daily expressing partnership.
There's a great film about the tolerance of children (I forget the name...) You daughter is so lucky to have a lesbian mom! Rondi
There is lots of support for your family starting with Our Family Coalition. It is a non-profit that offers social networking, education and much more. Log onto the internet at http://www.ourfamilycoalition.org or call 415-981-1960. It's a great organization. Terri
There are LOTS of organizations for queer parents! Here are a few that we've participated in.
1. ''Our Family'' puts out a monthly newletter and elist of Bay Area activities for queer families. I think it's $20/year to join. http://www.ourfamily.org
2. ''Mamas & Papas'' is a new group for queer parents with kids 5 and under that meets at the new queer center in SF. You can contact Julia Friedlander jmf2 [at] mindspring.com for more information.
Both these overnight camps provide age-specific camp groups/activities for kids so parents get a chance to mingle.
1. Camp Tawonga/Keshet Camp is a 4-day long weekend camp for queer families. Tawonga is a Jewish camp, but everyone is welcome. (We're not Jewish.) http://www.tawonga.org/.
2. Camp It Up! is a queer family camp. (Can't find a listing at this time!)
One thing I did before my daughter was born was to join a queer parenting group that was advertised through the personals in the paper. You could do something like that, too. Post a listing here looking for queer families with kids your daughter's age who live near you! The group I've joined has been meeting the first Sunday of the month for almost five years now (for breakfast, rotating homes). This informal group has been a great source of support for us.
For lesbian families who are pregnant, Maia Midwifery offers childbirth classes. My group didn't bond AT ALL during the classes. However, we had a reunion after the babies were born, and we decided to meet monthly. Our kids are now turning three, and we still get together.
Good luck! Queer single mom and almost three year old daughter
Check the Downtown Berkeley YMCA -- they offer special get- togethers for gay and lesbian parents and their kids. Ann
Our Family Coalition is a membership organization that promotes the civil rights and well-being of familites with LGBT members. This past weekend, Our Family and the Berkeley Y hosted their 5th annual LGBT Family Night at the Y and it was a total hoot! The Y was crammed with LGBT folks and their kids, eating pizza, swimming, drawing, watching jugglers, and playing in the kindergym. Very supportive atmosphere for kids and parents. They sponsor other educational and social events throughout the year. Our Family Coalition can be reached at 415.981.1960 or at www.ourfamily.org. Janet
There is a good organization called our family coalition http://www.ourfamily.org/ that sponsors events has groups etc. I have been to a number of events and although people are very friendly have found it difficult to meet new people. At this point most of my 2 year old son's friends (childcare and neighborhood) parents are straight. Most of my friends don't have children. I am sincerely hoping to broaden the friends my son has but have found it very difficult because of time constraints etc. Mom of a toddler
I'm sure you'll hear from a lot of folks that a great group is Our Family.Their web site is http://www.ourfamily.org. julie
You might try contacting COLAGE -- Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere; they're based in San Francisco but I think they offer services in other counties as well. Our Family in Oakland is another good resource. Susanna