Philadelphia Family Pride is a non-profit membership organization for LGBTQ+ led families in the greater Philadelphia region. The group is run by a 16-person volunteer board and one part-time paid staff person, the Executive Director (ED).
PFP is looking to hire a second, part-time staff person, an Assistant Director (AD), to work with the ED to fulfill the mission of the organization. Please read the following description.
If interested, please apply by the deadline of March 1, 2022 at this link.
This person will work closely with the Executive Director to meet or exceed the organization’s goals in the following areas:
The AD will be expected to attend all of the organization’s board meetings (8-10 a year) as well as all major events organized by PFP, and Philly area Pride celebrations. Working with the ED, the AD will work to attend as many of the group’s smaller events as possible, approximately 1-2 a month.
The ideal candidate is one who:
Pay is $400/month. The staffer would work as an independent contractor and be responsible for paying their own local, state and federal taxes.
The AD will work remotely and be expected to provide their own computer and internet connection.
PFP is an inclusive community for LGBTQ+ prospective parents and families to engage in social events, education and advocacy. We strive to create a fun, reflective and supportive environment where our diverse identities are valued and nurtured while working to promote a more just world.
If interested, please apply by the deadline of March 1, 2022 at this link.
While vaccination rates rise and the world begins to open up again just in time for summer, parents of young kids are facing difficult choices. Kids under 12 are still not eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, creating blurred lines on how families can move forward. Johns Hopkins epidemiologist and mother of three Keri Althoff spoke with the Hub about what she will be doing with her kids and how she is making decisions. Read the article here.
How are you and your family making decisions? Let us know in the comments below!
Find our collection of Covid-19 resources on our Covid-19 page.
“While we are relieved that this decision only applies to this specific contract, and hopeful that Philadelphia will be able to address the constitutional concerns the Court identified, we want to directly address LGBTQ youth in the Philadelphia foster care system.
Please know that you are loved. We will continue to work hard to make sure that there are loving, affirming homes for you. We’re behind you,and the city is behind you. You deserved an unequivocal win here.
To LGBTQ folks considering becoming foster parents - you are just as qualified to be foster parents as anyone else. There is no reason our families should be turned away from fostering children. We are working hard to make sure your family is respected and affirmed in the foster care system in Philadelphia as you seek to provide support for children in foster care.
PFP and our members would like thank our attorneys at the the ACLU, the ACLU of PA, and the City of Philadelphia."
Statement of PFP ED Stephanie Haynes, email@example.com.
Click here to read the ACLU's press release explaining the decision.
RSVP for the #DecisionDay town hall and rally tonight at www.decisionday.org.
Meet our Summer Intern!
Help us welcome Sara Banbury (she/her/hers) to the Philadelphia Family Pride team as a summer intern through the Bridging the Gaps Community Health Internship Program (BTGCHIP). BTGCHIP is an interdisciplinary program for graduate-level trainees in healthcare and social services which aims to deliver health-related support to marginalized populations across Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
This summer, Sara will serve as an organizational support for Philadelphia Family Pride from home four days a week, focusing on the Paths to Parenthood program for prospective parents and working on reconstituting our in-person community as we continue figuring out how to emerge from the virtual world! Additionally, Sara will spend one day per week with other BTGCHIP students in curricular sessions focused on improving healthcare delivery for vulnerable populations.
Sara is a rising second-year student at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. There she is one of the co-chairs of Penn Med Pride, is also involved in Students Opposing Racism in Medicine (StORM) and Family Connects, a virtual social needs response team in the CHOP Emergency Department.
Sara received her bachelor’s degree in Community Health from Tufts University in 2018 and worked as a field organizer for the Nevada Democrats, as well as in private and public education prior to attending medical school.
Her interests include pediatrics, dermatology and combining medicine with advocacy, especially as it pertains to underserved communities access to healthcare.
Sara spent time abroad as a child, attending the International School of Bangkok before returning to Westport, Connecticut for high school. She currently lives in Graduate Hospital with three other friends and medical students. She enjoys cooking, experimenting with gluten free baking, and beach days. She is looking forward to a great summer with Philadelphia Family Pride, her first choice placement with BTGCHIP!
PFP stands with Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and forcefully condemns the racist violence targeting Asians here and around the country.
Anti-Asian racism is not new and no matter the reasons given, a culture of racism and misogyny that treats the lives and bodies of non-white people, women, working class people, and especially sex-workers as disposable led to this violence.
As parents and caregivers it is our responsibility to interrupt narratives, language, or acts of hate. We need to engage our children in ongoing conversations about race and gender in which we both support their positive identities and teach the need to work for justice.
We would like to reaffirm that Philadelphia Family Pride is committed to continuing our work to root out racism and sexism in LGBTQ+ communities and call out these disparities, reminding folks of the value of every person.
Here's the list of board members we'll be voting in on Saturday, January 9th at our Virtual Town Hall for 2021. New members are marked with an asterisk.* Short bios to follow below.
Chair - Tariem Burroughs, he/him, Board Member since 2017
Tariem is completing his PhD in Sociology at Temple University. He lives with his husband, his son, two cats, and a dog in West Philadelphia.
Vice Chair - Jadzia Axelrod, she/her, Board member since 2019
Jadzia is a writer and cartoonist who lives in West Philly with her wife and daughter.
Secretary - Ruby Augustus, she/her Board member since 2017
Treasurer - Gina Cline, she/her Board member since 2016
Gina is the proud Mama to two gorgeous kiddos and also an executive at American Reading Company, a K-12 education company.
Chair, Membership Committee - Naomi Washington-Leapheart* she/her
Naomi is a faith organizer, was our conference keynote speaker in 2018 and led our keynote conversation in 2020.
Chair, Fundraising Committee - Katy Chatel, she/ze/her/hers Board member since 2020
Katy Chatel makes meaning in this life through connecting with others whether it is climbing trees with her family, social justice volunteer work, writing and editing stories, or checking someone on the roller derby track. She is currently looking for full time work that feels both meaningful and pays the bills.
Chair, Education and Advocacy Committee - Mikah Thomas, he/him/they/them Board member since 2020
Mikah Thomas is a transplant to Philadelphia by way of Alabama, currently working as the Trans Equity Project Recruiter at GALAEI. By promoting his lived experiences as a transgender person, Mikah strives to ensure opportunities for success for the TLGBQ+ Philadelphia community.
Chair, Event Planning Committee - Lori Keslowitz, she/her Board member since 2019
Lori, Jen and Jude live in South Philly with their cat. Lori manages an Airbnb in the family’s home, nannies and is a Local Area Representative at Go Au Pair. Jen is the Associate Dean of the School of Dance at University of the Arts (UArts). Jude is an avid reader and lover of throwing breakable objects.
Members at Large:
Back-to-School Blues in the Age of COVID-19 and Considerations for Learners of LGBTQ+ Caregivers
Back to school time is quickly approaching, and although school may look different this year for many families, the typical stressors of this time will likely be exacerbated by the pandemic. Many parents are concerned about the safety risks involved in sending their children back to school.
According to a report by the University of Michigan School of Medicine, about one third of public school parents in Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio reported being unsure or planning not to send at least one of their children to school for in-person instruction. Parents of color were less likely to report they would send all of their children to school compared to parents identifying as white/non-Hispanic, and parents from lower-income households were the least likely to report that they would send all of their children to school than any other subset of parents .
The School District of Philadelphia recently announced a proposal whereby most K-12 students would participate in a hybrid model - the same group of students staying together with the same teacher for the entire school day and assigned to two days of face-to-face instruction, supplemented by three days of online learning .
Although the majority of staff and parents/guardians surveyed by the district reported feeling comfortable returning to school if all of the schools proposed safety measures were implemented, concerns remain for ensuring school cleanliness throughout the entire day, safety for students with asthma and other chronic conditions, and childcare needs for staff .
As of last night, the district remains in a deadlock as to whether this plan will actually take place, as six hours of criticism from parents, school principals, and teachers resulted in a delay on the school board’s vote on the plan. The issue continues to be fraught with fierce debate, with Superintendent William Hite, city Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farely, and the American Academy of Pediatrics urging schools to reopen in some capacity for the sake of the healthy development and well-being of the district’s most vulnerable learners. Parents and teachers cited concerns of maintaining proper sanitation in schools ridden by asbestos and other safety issues as some of the key reasons for their opposition to reopen .
The layers of complex uncertainties and concerns regarding sending children back to school this fall will certainly add to the typical stressors of this time of year.
Schooling challenges for Lgbtq+ led families
As if back-to-school time during a pandemic didn’t add enough anxiety to back-to-school time, starting a new school year is often much more stressful for LGBTQ+ parents than heterosexual parent families. The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education (GLSEN) network’s report on experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender parents and their children in K-12 schools found that more than two thirds (66%) of parents reported that they ever worried about their child’s safety at school. Over half (57%) of parents reported worrying that their child would have problems in school because of having an LGBT parent, and almost half (48%) reported that they worried about their child’s ability make friends at school .
Children of LGBTQ+ families do in fact experience mistreatment at school, with anxiety and levels of mistreatment increasing into and through adolescence. Teenagers of LGBTQ+ parents have reported peers using derogatory language and engaging in forms of violence against them due to their parents’ sexual orientation or gender identity . Lack of inclusion and representation are also concerning for schooling children of LGBTQ+ parents. Many LGBTQ+ parents do not feel supported at school, and therefore are hesitant to involve themselves in school activities. Additionally, most American schools do not include diverse family structures within their curricula and few textbooks include LGBTQ+ issues .
Although the prospect of home learning may appear to mitigate these effects, more time online also means more opportunities for cyberbullying. Research suggests that teens who are “different” are at higher risk for bullying, including cyberbullying. According to GLSEN, 48.7% of LGBTQ+ students report experiencing electronic harassment, including bullying via text messages and/or social media . Although research is limited on rates of cyberbullying for children of LGBTQ+ parents, even students who deny overt bullying experience microaggressions related to their parents’ sexual or gender identity, including verbal insults or social snubbing . This can certainly be exacerbated online, where anonymity allows for the opportunity to harass and bully youth with lower chances of consequences than bullying at school. Luckily, many organizations are fighting for better schooling experiences for LGBTQ+ parents and their children, as well as LGBTQ+ youth, by providing guides and resources to help parents find the best school fit for their children in addition to providing trainings for educators and administrators on how to make their schools more LGBTQ+ inclusive. We have compiled some of this information below which we hope you find helpful. We have also included some books and videos that represent a variety of LGBTQ+ families.
Be on the look out for upcoming information about PFP's virtual book fair with Big Blue Marble Bookstore!
Washington Post - Queer families and back to school
The Next Family - Tips for LGBTQ+ parents on picking a school
Lesbian moms - How to talk to teachers about your family
Lesbian moms - Back to school (LGBT parents spoof)
Queer Kid Stuff Just 4 Grown Ups - 5 tips for making your classroom queer-inclusive
Human Rights Campaign - Learning about school policies
Human Rights Campaign - How to exercise your rights
Human Rights Campaign - School resources for parents
Human Rights Campaign - Cyber bullying resources
BOOKS AND VIDEOS
7 LGBT books for kids
LGBT family books for adults
Books about raising children as an LGBTQ+ parent
Mombian - Books, music, and more
Pop'n'Olly - LGBTQ+ edutainment for kids
Welcoming Schools - Great LGBTQ inclusive picture and middle grade books
- Post written by Taylor Goldberg, PFP Intern
Legal, medical, and societal advances have allowed for enormous expansions of options to build families led by LGBTQ+ parents. The prospect of becoming a parent, a gift unavailable to the LGBTQ+ community for centuries, is both exciting and overwhelming. Through my time here at PFP organizing and helping to facilitate our summer series of prospective parenting classes, I have learned just how complex this process can be physically, legally, and financially. Gaps in family planning between LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ people are narrowing, with 48% of LGBTQ+ millennials (18-35) reporting a plan to grow their families compared to 55% of non-LGBTQ+ millennials. However, young LGBTQ+ individuals are relying even more on methods outside of intercourse for building their families than previous generations of LGBTQ+ folks, with 63% looking to foster care, adoption, and assisted reproductive technology (ART) to grow their families . These methods often include complex legal, physical, financial, and socio-emotional challenges that are distinct and challenging compared to conceiving via intercourse. Additionally, some of these methods, such as private adoption and ART, are financially impossible for many LGBTQ+ folks, who face poverty and gaps in health care at a rate much higher than their cisgender, heterosexual counterparts .
The endeavor can be even harder for LGBTQ+ folks of color, as evidenced by a 2018 study outlining the experiences of queer women of color within the family formation space. Qualitative interviews of 13 self-identified parents of color who used donor insemination to conceive their children reported feelings of hopelessness while interacting with sperm banks, citing a lack of anonymous donors of their racial identity to choose from. Many were also concerned about transracial adoption and anonymous donors, citing concerns for their potential child’s future racial and cultural identity development. Most parents chose donor insemination by a known donor over adoption or anonymous donor insemination for this reason, citing cultural beliefs about knowing one’s origins . Transgender parents also report barriers to family building, citing unique challenges such as feelings of being rushed into making decisions about physical transitioning without receiving sufficient information and options for preserving fertility or reproductive organs . Thus, the most important strategy for combating these challenges appears to be preparation, information, and support. The more knowledge acquired about the complexities and nuances surrounding building a family as an LGBTQ+ prospective parent including costs, affirming providers, methods, and legal considerations can help make the process smoother and more positive. Please see our recordings of our virtual prospective parenting classes on our Facebook page (also linked below) which will hopefully aid in providing some of the vital information needed to make your family planning process as positive as possible. Additionally, we have compiled resources below regarding building your family as a member of the LGBTQ+ community which we hope you find helpful.
- Post written by Taylor Goldberg, PFP Intern
Gender roles within LGBTQ+ led families tend to model much more variation than the heteronormative structures largely represented within U.S. culture. A common myth about LGBTQ+ parenting includes the false narrative that children without distinct cisgender male and female parental role models will experience detriments to their development, particularly within gender identity and sexual orientation. Of course, this is far from the truth, as evidenced in several bodies of literature. A 2010 study examining differences in psychosocial development and gender identity between children in lesbian parent families compared to children in heterosexual parent families found no differences in psychosocial adjustment between the two child groups. Furthermore, they found that children with lesbian parents felt less parental pressure to conform to gender stereotypes and were less likely to view their own gender as superior than those with heterosexual parents . Additional evidence has shown no differences in knowledge of gender stereotypes or preference for current or future activities based on parental sexual orientation . It is suggested that divisions of labor have more influence on gender-based occupational aspirations of children than the gender roles or expressions of their parents. In a study examining these influences, children whose parents practiced equal divisions of labor within the household and had more liberal attitudes about gender were shown to be more flexible in their own career aspirations and gender stereotypes than children whose parents practiced unequal divisions of labor and conservative views of gender roles, regardless of parental sexual orientation .
These behavioral patterns appear to hold true regardless of same-sex parent family make up, as evidenced by a 2018 study which observed gender-typed behaviors related to toy preferences in preschool children. In this study, researchers found no significant differences in gender-typed behaviors between sons of lesbian mothers, daughters of lesbian mothers, sons of gay fathers, or daughters of gay fathers, and that, on average, self-reports and observations of gendered behavior in each of these groups were more likely to reflect gender conformity than gender nonconformity. This held true into and through middle childhood, as evidenced by similar observations in the same children five years following the initial assessment, suggesting that factors outside of parental sexual orientation, such as age and gender, have greater influence on gender development in children of homosexual parent couples . Although the studies mentioned above focus on effects of parental sexuality on gender development, there is also no evidence to suggest that having a transgender parent has an effect on a child’s gender identity, sexual orientation development, or any other developmental milestones . Clearly, children are more drawn to social representations and parental and societal attitudes about gender and gender roles as models for their own behavior than the sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression of their parents. Additionally, it appears that children with parents who identify outside of the hetero-cisgender space are actually less distressed about their gender because of the flexibility their parents have demonstrated in attitudes toward gender identity and roles. Thus, the literature surrounding the influence of having LGBTQ+ parents on a child’s gender identity development and understanding of gender roles suggests that there is much more involved in these processes than the simple reality of having a LGBTQ+ parent. We have compiled the following resources which explore navigating gender in LGBTQ+ led families in addition to suggesting strategies for discussing gender with your children.
Lesbian Moms - What do your kids call you?
Queer Kid Stuff - NO MORE GENDER ROLES!
Queer Kid Stuff - What do you call queer parents?
Queer Kid Stuff Just 4 Grown-Ups - How 3 queer parents handle kids and gender
New York Times - How same-sex couples divide chores, and what it reveals about modern parenting
Harpers Bazaar - I live with a woman – we’re not immune to emotional labor: How LGBTQ couples navigate gender roles at home
Parents.com - Explaining nonbinary: How to talk to kids about gender
Post Written by Taylor Goldberg, PFP Intern
Reproductive technology and legal advances have allowed for a growing number of LGBTQ+ folks to create and build families. As of 2016, about 37% of those who identify as LGBT have parented children, and the proportion of same-sex couples with adopted children more than doubled between 2000 and 2010 from 10% to 21%. Although these strides have brought the gift of parenthood to our members and friends, being an LGBTQ+ parent brings unique challenges, many of which have been underrepresented in the media and understudied in scientific literature. Arguably, one of the most challenging aspects of queer parenting is the choice of disclosure of sexual and gender identities to children, family, school, and the greater community. Disclosure can have significant implications for children’s experiences among family and peers, particularly when the family identity is challenged. However, early communication with children about their family identity has shown to help children prepare for questions they may face from peers and others, and has been described as an ongoing conversation rather than a specific moment of “coming out". Each person’s coming out experience is unique to themselves and their family situation, and as such we have compiled a list of resources by LGBTQ+ parents and children of LGBTQ+ parents on the topic of coming out which may help facilitate the conversation across various settings and circumstances.
Gays with Kids - Coming out to your kids
COLAGE - What to do when your parent comes out
Ask the Therapist - How should I introduce my boyfriend to my daughter?
Ask the Therapist - My son wants a mommy, how do I respond?
Rainbow Relatives: Real-World Stories and Advice on How to Talk to Kids About LGBTQ+ Families and Friends
LGBT Parents - Telling your kids about your family
Stonybrook Medicine - Gay, lesbian, or bisexual parents information guide
The Body is Not an Apology - Talking to children about the trans* experience
New York Times - My mom never tried to hide the fact that we are a family
Queer Mamas of Color - All the ways people make families
Queerspawn Resource Page
Post written by Taylor Goldberg, PFP Intern