Change the World

Top Ten Reasons Our Family Loves Family Week in P-Town

Each summer for the past eight years, Sandis Wright and his family have made the trek to P-town. Here's what keeps them coming back!

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!

Wright family

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Change the World

Hungarian Company Raising Money for LGBTQ+ Organization with a LEGO® Heart

Startup WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD is helping combat misinformation and prejudice in Central and Eastern Europe

Guest Post from WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD

WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD is an innovative startup venture that sells LEGO® parts and unique creations. The core values of our company include social equality regardless of gender identity or origin. As LEGO® is a variety of colors and shapes, so are the people.

We all know that LEGO® is a brand that nearly everyone knows and likes between the age of 3 and 99 so this gives a great opportunity to connect unique LEGO® creations and Pride. We started a fundraising campaign for a Hungarian LGBTQ+ organization who's aim is to bring people closer to the LGBTQ+ community, they help to combat misinformation and prejudice regarding LGBTQ+ issues in Central- Eastern Europe since 2000.

You might know that gender equality and the circumstances of LGBTQ+ people is not the easiest in the former communist Eastern European countries like Hungary so this program is in a real need for help. For example a couple of month ago a member of the government said that homosexual people are not equal part of our society.

The essence of the campaign is when one buys a Pride Heart, a custom creation made of brand new and genuine LEGO® bricks the organization gets $10.00 donation so they can continue their important work. This Pride Heart is a nice necklace, a decoration in your home, and a cool gift to the one you love.

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Change the World

4 Tips for Using Instagram to Connect with Gay Dads Offline

We asked gay dads who have successfully met up with other LGBTQ families offline for some of their tips

Last week, we ran a story about several gay dads who did the unthinkable: meet other gay dads IRL after connecting on Instagram! We get MANY questions from gay dads wondering how they can meet up with others in their area, so we decided to dig a bit deeper this week to get their advice. What can gay dads do to meet others off the 'gram?

1. Be kind — share others' excitement in parenting!


From @twinlifedads Ben and Andy:

"Be kind. That is absolutely it. Be kind to each other and don't be afraid to reach out. Respond to each other when you can. Share in excitement for each other. There is no reason to bring someone else down who might be excited about how they are parenting."

2. Drop a couple comments and likes before reaching out!

From @brisvegasdad Tim and Nic:

"I think drop comments now and then on their posts and instastories and see where things land. Chances are, if you're commenting on a post and it is a heartfelt response, they'll click through to your account, look at your photos and connect with you. And that's when the magic happens - you can introduce yourself, talk about your lives and how things are being a parent... and after a while, if you're in the same neighbourhood, you meet up and grow your friendship organically. That being said, I'm obsessed with Bobby Berk from Queer Eye and his husband Dewey Do - if they ever had kids, I'd probably be completely unsubtle and leave strange awkward comments on their instaposts saying, 'GAY DADS MEET UPSSSSS'."

3. Go in with no expectations

From @stevecsmith Steve and Ben:

"I always try to reach out without any expectations – mostly just to provide a positive comment. I like to leave it up to the other parents to comment or message back before suggesting meeting up or a playdate. Every family is different, so how each person is going to respond is different too."

4. Keep trying!

From @theconways13 Ricky and Jeff:

"Reach out to other families, start a light friendly conversation. Get to know each other and let conversations happen organically. If they lead to a play date great! Our first experience in meeting another lgbt family (not through ig/gwk) was very awkward cause there wasn't a whole lot of conversation happening before hand. The conversations leading up to the play date will help make the first play date with the family go a lot smoother and fun. Don't be afraid of not connecting with the other families. If it isn't successful the first time, continue reaching out to to other families- don't let it deter you from reaching out to others."

Change the World

How Gay Dads Are Using Instagram to Connect

Meet the gay dads from around the world who are using our Gays With Kids Instagram account to connect with other gay dad families!

It can be easy to dismiss Instagram as nothing more than a place for us to pretend our lives our perfect — smiling families, exotic vacations, maybe a FaceTuned pic or two — but for gay dads, it's more than that. Sure, we share our perfect family pics, too. But for LGBTQ families, who still face discrimination all across the country and world, sharing a picture of two gay dads, smiling happily and proudly with their kids, is also a political act. And it provides us an opportunity to lift up and support one another, wherever our families are, in cities and towns big and small.

And we're proud to provide an avenue for these families to meet and connect via our Instagram page (which just reached over 100,000 followers!!)

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First, there was Roy and Silo — the two male penguins in the Central Park Zoo that served as inspiration for the famous children's book And Tango Makes Three. Then Magin Sphen got together in Sydney, where aquarium keepers gave the cocks (Calm down, that's what a male penguin is called!) a foster egg to care for.

And now, please welcome Skipper and Ping in Berlin to the latest list of gay dad penguins! As soon as the two emperor penguins arrived at the city's zoo, they set about trying to start a family, said Berlin Zoo spokesman Maximilian Jaege to DPA news.

"They kept trying to hatch fish and stones," Jaeger said.

So the zookeepers loaned the penguins an egg from a female penguin, who is apparently uninterested in hatching eggs on her own, according to the BBC.

Unsurprisingly, the gay penguins are killing it as parents. "The two male penguins are acting like exemplary parents, taking turns to warm the egg," Jaeger said,

Read the whole article on DPA here.

Entertainment

Single Gay Dad Featured on Season Three of GLOW

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But GLOW is helping represent a gay character that rarely gets time in the limelight:the single gay dad. In Season three of the hit comedy — which stars Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, and Marc Maron — actor Kevin Cahoon joins the case as Bobby Barnes, a single gay father who plays a female impersonator. (80s divas only, of course — Joan Collins and Babs among them)


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A single gay dad AND drag queen on television? It's about damn time if you ask us.

Read the full interview with Cahoon here.

Politics

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The Utah Supreme Court found in favor of a gay couple attempting to enter into a surrogacy contract.

DRAKE BUSATH/ UTCOURTS.GOV

Earlier this month, the Utah Supreme Court ruled that a same-sex couples can't be excluded from entering into enforceable surrogacy contracts, and sent a case concerning a gay male couple back to trial court to approve their petition for a surrogacy arrangement.

As reported in Gay City News, the case concerns Utah's 2005 law on surrogacy, which was enacted prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state. As a result, the content of the law is gendered, saying that surrogacy contracts should only be enforceable if the "intended mother" is unable to bear a child. When a gay couple approached District Judge Jeffrey C. Wilcox to enter into a surrogacy arrangement, he denied them, arguing that the state's law only concerned opposite sex couples.

"This opinion is an important contribution to the growing body of cases adopting a broad construction of the precedent created by Obergefell v. Hodges and the Supreme Court's subsequent decision in Pavan v. Smith," according to GCN. "It's also worth noting that same-sex couples in Utah now enjoy a right denied them here in New York, where compensated gestational surrogacy contracts remain illegal for all couples."

Read the full article here.

Personal Essays by Gay Dads

Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Working:​ One Father's Plea for Gun Reform

One gay dad's plea to our leaders to enact sensible gun control

My articles on GaysWithKids aspire to be lighthearted, helpful and humorous. This one won't be any of those things. Because I'm feeling heavyhearted, helpless and sad. Last week I woke up to news of yet another mass shooting. This time at a family-friendly Garlic Festival in northern California. I don't know if it's because this one hit so close to home, or if it's because the headline included a picture of the innocent 6-year old who was among those killed, but I am overcome with emotion. But mostly I am angry. And I don't know what to do with my anger.

Then, just a few days later came two additional horrific mass shootings that stole the lives of at least 32 more innocent people, many of them children. And then there's the "everyday" gun violence that plagues American cities like Chicago, where guns injured another 46 people this past weekend alone… creating so much turmoil, a hospital had to briefly stop taking patients.

How does one verbalize the collective sadness felt around the world? One can't. And that's why I am asking everyone reading this article to commit to getting involved in some way, to help end this epidemic once and for all. Even though the solution is so obvious, we can't allow ourselves to become numb to mass shootings. Because becoming numb isn't going to save anyone.

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