FAMILY:

LGBT Family Resources, from “Lesbian Dad”

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Polly Pagenhart is the publisher of the website, Lesbian Dad. There, she describes herself at the “crossroads of mother and father.”

Curious, I asked her to expand on that definition, and here’s her answer:

As a “non-birth” mom and a grown-up “tomboy,” I find myself engaging in parenting “roles” played by both women and men. Many women and men experience a broad overlap in their parenting roles, particularly as parenting gets more and more equally shared. LGBT parents tend to experience far fewer predetermined, sex difference-driven divisions in their parenting labor.  As a result, I feel not just the latitude, but the need to examine and define my parental role organically and authentically. The meeting place between “mother” and “father” is where I’m most comfortable.  In other words, I pick up the kids from school and pick them up onto my shoulders; I shop for groceries and hardware supplies; my kids experience me very much as a bit of a mom and a bit of a dad. Which is why we came up with a transcendent third option for my name as well (Baba).

For a more in-depth explanation of Polly’s “crossroads,” she wrote a moving and eye-opening piece about what it’s like being a gender nonconforming parent, published in the Huffington Post. It’s a fascinating read for those of you seeking more nuanced insight into the experience of a lesbian family. Click here to read it.

Following, is an array of resources for parents and young kids to help keep up a healthy dialogue about nonconforming families, their children and their needs. Many thanks to Polly for this carefully curated list. — Laurel Moglen, Managing Web Editor, TMC

A trailer to the short film, What do You Know?

Produced by Welcoming Schools, this short film features kids, ages 6-12, from Massachusetts and Alabama. They talk about what they know about gay men and lesbians, what they experience at school, and how they’d like teachers to take it all on.

Picture books featuring family diversity for pre-K to early elementary school kids

  • The Family Book, by Todd Par (2010). Fun, easy, breezy, super kid-pleasing bright colors.
  • Who’s in a Family?, by Robert Skutch (1997). Helps lay a simple foundation that families come in many colors and configurations Who’s In My Family? All About Our Families, by Robbie H. Harris (2012). Interracial families, single moms, two dads, mom wearing a hijab, etc.
  • The Different Dragon, by Jennifer Bryan (2006). An imaginary flight of fancy of a boy and a dragon who is tired of being tough; happens to have two moms.
  • Donnovan’s Big Day, by Leslea Newman (2011). Donnovan’s two moms are getting married and he’s the center of the story. Sweet as all get-out, and rightly has the kid at the center.
  • Freckleface Strawberry: Best Friends Forever, by Julianne Moore (2011). Focus is the friendship of two kids (a boy & a girl) who have differences but a ton in common; one has two moms.

Useful websites 

http://www.familyequality.org/

Family Equality Council is changing attitudes and policies to ensure all families are respected, loved, and celebrated – especially families with parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

http://www.lgbtmap.org/

An independent think tank that provides rigorous research, insight and analysis that help speed equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

http://www.welcomingschools.org/

A project of the Human Rights Campaign, Welcoming Schools offers tools, lessons and resources on embracing family diversity, avoiding gender stereotyping, and ending bullying and name-calling in elementary schools. It offers an LGBT inclusive approach that is also inclusive of the many types of diversity found in communities.

Polly Pagenhart is editor-in-chief of lesbianfamily.com. Her personal blog Lesbian Dad, has been recognized with awards from the Weblog Awards, the Bloggies, About.com, Red Tricycle, Circle of Moms, and Babble. She lives with her partner and their two elementary school-aged children in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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The Mother Company aims to support parents and their children, providing thought-provoking web content and products based in social and emotional learning for children ages 3-6. Check out episodes of our “Ruby’s Studio” children’s video series,  along with our beautiful children’s booksappsmusichandmade dolls, and more.

Posted in: Family, Gay Parenting, Identity, Modern Parenting, Parental Wisdom

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