Guest post written by Sandis Wright
Family Week 2018 is July 28 – August 4. For more information and to register to attend 30+ events during the week organized by Family Equality Council, visit www.ptownfamilyweek.com. As a special offer to Gays With Kids readers who have not yet registered for Family Week, use promotional code "GayswithKids" when registering for a 5% discount.
We're so excited … and it's almost palpable in our house right now – it's THAT time of year – it's almost time for Family Week in Provincetown, MA!
Each summer for the past eight years, my husband and I, our two daughters, and a nanny or two along the way, have made the trek to the iconic LGBTQ oasis known as Provincetown. Family Week is organized by two organizations – Family Equality Council and COLAGE.
I find it hard to fully describe the magic of this tiny town on the tip of Cape Cod, or all that is Family Week, "the largest annual gathering of LGBTQ-headed families in the world", where 2000 other LGBTQ parents and their children gather each year, coming literally from all corners of the globe! Family Week is truly like nothing else I or my family has experienced anywhere else. We look forward to it all throughout the year, much more than any holiday or birthday celebration. It has become even more than a tradition, it energizes us. It reminds us of what we hope for, for our future, our children's future, our friends … our world. Especially now. And it's about even more than acceptance. It's about just being.
Dads Sandis (left) and Brent Wright with their two daughters
Given all that is happening in our own small town in Massachusetts, let alone in communities across the country, where almost every day it seems more and more like we are taking steps backwards on issues like equality and anti-racism, it's even more important than ever for our family to come together with our community at Family Week 2018. This is always a chance for us to be a part of something that's bigger than any of us individually; this is our movement; this is what lifts up our families. For an entire week, we will be part of a community that's "the norm", the majority, no matter what you do or where you go. For an entire week, our family is embraced and celebrated with no judgements or fears or questions.
There are so many things to love about Family Week, but here's my personal top 10:
1. The excitement and anticipation leading up to Family Week. Even the small things become exciting, like when we cross the Sagamore Bridge, wondering where everyone else is on their journey.
2. Meeting new friends and seeing those familiar, much-loved other faces from prior Family Weeks.
3. Letting the outside world literally melt away during a relaxing at a day the beach with friends.
4. Roasting s'mores on the beach at the annual Camp Fire night – EVERY member of our family agrees – this is a blast! Words cannot capture the feeling of seeing hundreds of families who look like our own, stretched as far as the eye can see. The entire beach that night is just filled with kids laughing, and splashing in the ocean, while parents enjoy each other's company, before another breathtaking sunset.
5. Celebrating our families at Family Equality Council's annual Clambake reception. My husband works with Family Equality Council, so I know well the tireless work that goes into the week. But we as a family also are committed to supporting the work as donors and love gathering at the Clambake with others who help provide Family Equality with those critical resources to keep advocating for our family.
6. Experiencing the power of personal narratives and the stories of youth with LGBTQ parents during the annual Teen Panel.
7. Marching in the parade and showing our family's pride as we're cheered on by the Ptown locals, business owners and other visitors.
8. Hearing the updates and feeling more empowered as an advocate within the LGBTQ community at the annual State of the Movement session.
9. It's all about the kids – when I ask our girls what they like best about Family Week, they talk about all the fun and love they feel from their family, their friends, and an entire town.
10. Attending the end of the Week's Family Dance, seeing the wrap up video, and experiencing a whole range of emotions – the happiness from the Week, coupled with feeling sadness that another Family Week has come to an end!
There's no better way that I can think of than to spend our summer vacation at Family Week!