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[10 Nov 2008|04:04pm]

nodesignation

For immediate release

November 10th, 2008

 

Youth and Adults with LGBTQ Parents Speak OUT against Proposition 8

 

COLAGE denounces the passage of Proposition 8 in California. This proposition eliminated fundamental rights, rights that our families need and deserve, and that fact is detestable. By eliminating the marriage rights of gay and lesbian couples in California, Proposition 8 will have a deep impact on children, youth and adults with LGBTQ parents and all of California.

 

In recent days, we have heard from youth and adult COLAGErs from across the state- sharing their sadness, their fears, and their rage that our society still embraces intolerance and stereotypes about us and our families.  Sharing our disappointment and frustration is one step towards healing.

 

However, we also call on our community to move forward together. This is not the end of a struggle for justice; it is the beginning. All of us at COLAGE have been inspired to work with our members and allies over the past months. Together we have spoken to our friends and family about marriage equality. Together we have educated our communities about discrimination and homophobia. Together we have phone banked, raised money for No on 8 ads, and rallied. And together we will continue to share our stories, educate our communities, build a vibrant movement, and impact change.

 

Voices from COLAGE about Proposition 8

 

The following are responses to Proposition 8 from youth and adult Californian COLAGErs. We share them to illuminate the range of reactions and experiences connected to this struggle.

 

Erin Feisler from Castro Valley, CA lives with her lesbian mother, her mother’s wife, and her boyfriend. I grew up with my lesbian mother and am a straight person who helped organize rallies and events to fight Proposition 8. I could never imagine telling anyone who they can and can’t marry. People who used their vote to try and put a negative stigma on gay and lesbian people and families were selfish. I wish all children were taught about acceptance and love, no matter what their personal beliefs may be.

 

Camilo Ortiz is the adoptive son of two lesbian moms who lives in Orange County. At a rally in San Bernadino about Proposition 8 he took a stand as a straight Chicano man: Why do I deserve more rights as a heterosexual man than my mothers? I think I have turned out terrific from my family-if being a son who values fairness and open-mindedness is somehow bad for society, then I am not sure this is a society I want to be a part of.

 

Morgan Early, a recent graduate of UCLA who grew up in the South Bay with her lesbian mom and gay fathers, shared this message about what she wished Californians and the country new about our community: I want to teach them that healthy families require love, and gay couples are just as wonderful as parents as straight parents. The common denominator is the word "parents." I see every day how my mom and dad are parents first, and they just happen  to be gay. I also hope to show people that just because a family structure is unfamiliar doesn't mean that it is something to fear.  This election is all about unity and diversity and getting past those disabling fears. The Yes on 8 group, unfortunately, appealed to fears that weren't even founded on the truth, and unfortunately it worked. I truly believe that the majority of Yes voters would change their minds if they knew the truth about the Proposition, and the truth about our families. The most important thing to us is living in a society where our families are safe from teasing, harassment, and prejudice. I believe that eventually we will come together to recognize how fundamental and universal this safety is.

 

Sarah Gogin is a student at Loyola Marymount University, who got to celebrate her fathers’ wedding in August. This fall she has tirelessly spoken out against Proposition 8 as a member of the COLAGE Speak OUT program.  Learning that Prop 8 had passed saddened me.  I felt as if the country had turned its back on its people.  I felt that the country cared more about chickens than about the rights of human beings.  I felt that if only the country had the chance to meet my family then maybe they would change their minds.  I wish Californians knew that my family is like any other family.  My dads are amazing individuals who happen to have been in love for over 22 years.  They are a genuine, honest, and wonderful couple as well as fathers.  Even though Prop 8 has passed, we shouldn't give up.  We shouldn't stop trying to teach others about our families and we shouldn't stop sharing our stories.  In the words of our new president, "we have a lot of work to do.”

 

Shannon Bowman Sarkasian of Campbell, CA also shared her reaction to the passage of Prop 8: I felt heart-broken. I still do. The Yes on 8 campaign was run on lies, fear, and bigotry. It disturbs me that the old familiar "think of the children" hysteria was used—and that people bought it. There is nothing anyone can say that will make me believe my family isn't wonderful and amazing. Prop. 8 doesn't just hurt our families—it hurts California as a whole.

 

Morgan Falkenrath Green, a young adult who was born through donor insemination and raised by her lesbian mother and transgender father, shares this message with the COLAGE community in the aftermath of Proposition 8: We know our families and our experiences as the children of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender parents better than any person who is unfamiliar with queer families does.  We must make it clear to every unfamiliar person who will listen that it is no longer permissible to assume that our families are deficient, that we would prefer to belong to other families, or that we approve of prohibiting same-sex marriage in hopes of discouraging people like our parents from creating families like ours.  I actually feel well developed, privileged, proud and extremely grateful for my family.

 

A Request of our community from COLAGE

COLAGE calls on our members and allies to stand up against the scapegoating of voters of color in the passage of Proposition 8 in California. Some have publicly stated that the African American vote tipped the scales against marriage equality in California. African Americans represent only 6% of the CA population, while Anglo Americans represent 47% of the state population.  This means that the majority of people who voted for Proposition 8 are white. Let's reject racist scapegoating. Affirming racism while standing up against homophobia is never productive and lashing out against those who voted for Proposition 8 will not help educate or raise awareness to move our society forward.

 

Though we share our communities’ anger and sadness over this vote, looking for someone to blame is not the solution.  We want to applaud the leadership of our comrades at the California NAACP, the Jordan Rustin Coalition, And Marriage For All, and countless other African-American led groups that campaigned tirelessly against Proposition 8. At the same time, we call on our entire community to build multi-racial movements that combat not just homophobia and transphobia but all forms of oppression.

 

While I, like so many COLAGErs, queers, and allies of color, am disappointed and offended by the majority vote in favor of Prop 8, I would like this moment to stand as a reminder that we and our communities do exist not only at election time but all year long, commented Lauren Wheeler, an African American adult COLAGEr from Oakland. It is only through serious work to diversify the gay rights movement and to reach out to and build coalitions with people of color and white folks outside of our cities and like-minded political communities that real change will come--and stick. If nothing else, the wide reach of the Obama campaign should have taught us that.

 

The biggest demographic factor of Proposition 8 was actually age with 63 percent of voters under 30 opposing the ban and 59 percent of those 65 and older supporting it. This and the great strides we have made since 2000 when a homophobia, anti-marriage amendment passed in CA by a much larger margin, speak to the sure eventuality of full marriage equality for LGBTQ Californians. COLAGE remains committed to educating this and the next generation of young voters so that future elections will claim more victories for important social justice issues.

 

To set up media interviews with youth and adults with LGBTQ parents, please contact Meredith Fenton, COLAGE Program Director at 415-861-5437 or Meredith@colage.org.

 

COLAGE is a national movement of children, youth and adults with one or more lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer parents. We build community and work toward social justice through leadership development, youth empowerment, education and advocacy. www.colage.org

 

___________________________

Meredith Fenton

COLAGE Program Director

www.colage.org

 

415-861-5437 x102

1550 Bryant Street, Suite 830

San Francisco, CA 94103

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[03 Dec 2007|12:57pm]

karli_meaghan
Hi all, long time since my last post. I come bearing a request: I'm currently writing an article for my college magazine class on children with gay parents and I'd love to get some opinions from this lovely group. You're in no way obligated to do this, so think of it as a favour for me. I've already done extensive interviews with two other queerspawn, so there won't be a lot of questions to answer.

I don't need your real names, aliases or LJ names will do just fine, and you don't need to answer any questions you don't wish to. The article isn't going to be published, but treat it like it will be, since that's the way I'm writing it and how my teacher will read it (so don't tell me anything you wouldn't want hundreds of strangers to read.

How do you deal with homophobia towards you and your parents?

Do you notice any difference between being raised by straight parents and being raised by gay parents?

Are you involved in gay rights?

How have the recent culture wars on gay marriage and gay adoption effected you and your parents?
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Hi all! [07 Aug 2006|06:09pm]

siani
Name:Siani, (or Sian, or Sianed)

Age:24

State/Country: Michigan, US

How long have you known about your parent(s)? Well, my mom came out when I was 4, and met her partner, my other mom when I was 5, so pretty much I have grown up my entire life in the gay community. I think I must be one of the oldest kids who has actually been raised in the community, rather than having a parent come out when they were older, since the "gaybee boom" didn't really get moving till the 90s. All the kids of gay parents I personally know are under the age of 15, so it is cool to see some older folks in here.

Anything else you would like to add? Well, I have really run the emotional gamut of being a queer kid- not understanding the difference, thinking it was sweet, being embarrassed to be different, getting over it and thinking it was sweet again- not to mention the interesting process of finding my place in the community as an adult, and (mostly) straight woman. I like to think of myself as "culturally queer" now. So anyway, all that being said, if anyone wants somebody to talk to about being a kid of queer parents, or having a kid as gay parent, please, feel free to IM me or email me. Not to sound all pompous or anything, IM me or email me just to chat too! ^_^
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Noob. [06 Jun 2006|11:32pm]

scarlt131
[ mood | geeky ]

Hi there, I just joined. (A few minutes ago.)
Figured I should post..

Name: Kristina (Krissy)
Age: 21
State/Country: Washington State
How long have you known about your parent(s)? Since I was 6 years old.
Anything else you would like to add?
I was adopted by my two moms. My biological parents are straight, and are not happy with the fact that I was raised by a lesbian couple, but oh well. My moms are awesome. They have always been up front with me, and have been loving and supportive, just as any parent would be :D
There is one major perk to having two moms. Not having a dad.
but, there is one major downside.. double mom duty! You guys know what I'm talkin about lol. It's bad enough to have one mom worrying and nagging and breathing down your neck. Double duty makes it 10x worse. heh.


Anywho. Hi there :) Nice to finally be in a community where people know how I feel!

2 love give a little

[07 Mar 2006|06:26pm]

strigoitemplar
[ mood | apprehensive ]

Name: Vance
Age: 21
State/Country: Calgary, Alberta
How long have you known about your parent(s)?: 3 days after my 20th birthday my father came out to me, explaining that the discovery of his sexuality was a result of suicide counselling, which, let's be honest, didn't help my worldview all that much.
Anything else you would like to add?: My biggest frustration with my father's situation is that while he is generally out, he is closeted to the general world due to his prominent position in an arch-conservative business, at least until he can sell his company. Due to this, don't expect much personal info about him or my family. Sorry. It bugs me too.

2 love give a little

Want to contribute to a zine? [19 Feb 2006|11:35am]

hipsunderhands
I wasn't sure if this would be alright to post, so if it's not, the moderator can delete it with no hard feelings. :)

I'm in my third-year of university right now, and for one of my courses, I'm making a zine. To fit it in with the course content, I'm looking at the relationship between queer women and their bodies. Since I'm second-gen (i.e., I have two lesbian moms and a straight dad, and I'm gay myself), I'm going to spend part of the zine looking at the ways in which coming out can change how you see your own body and/or the bodies of other people. If anyone is interested, it would also be really cool to hear from other people who have had their parents come out, whether or not they also happen to be GLBT-identified. I'm specifically looking for other people with lesbian parents and/or people who identify as female themselves who have queer parents.

I'm looking for comics (especially badly-drawn ones!), short personal accounts, funny stories, lists of advice, and recommendations for books, movies, poems, etc. I posted a picture of some of the things I've collected for it so far here. I'm trying to have everything together for it by the end of February. If you're interested, I can either put your stuff in anonymously, with your LJ name, or with your real name (first or full). If I can work it into the logical structure of the zine, I can also send you a copy of the finished product, or if you'd rather not give out your mailing address, I can also (probably) scan the final product in and send you the links. It's going to be half-page size (i.e., fold a piece of 8.5 x 11" in half), in case that makes a difference. If you are interested, you can either respond to this entry directly or send me an e-mail (moldygrapesATmsn.com). I'm also happy to answer any questions. :D

Here are some questions to get you thinking, if you are interested
LJ cut so I don't break your Friends-lists!Collapse )
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Intro post [18 Feb 2006|10:40pm]

hipsunderhands
Name: Sarah

Age: 21

State/Country: Vancouver, BC, Canada

How long have you known about your parent(s)? My mom came out, told us about her partner (who is awesome), and announced her divorce from my dad on Easter when I was in grade eight -- and then we all realized that we had to go to a big family dinner that afternoon! I come from a family with excellent timing. :D

Anything else you would like to add? I'm second-generation, which means I'm gay, too. It took a lot of weird mental work to come out, but I'm really glad I did.
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[04 Jan 2006|09:07pm]

bushisanassface
Name: Lily
Age: 14
State/Country: Massachusetts, US.
How long have you known about your parent(s)? My whole life.
Anything else you would like to add? Hmm... I have four gay parents, and I'm 2nd gen. (Queer myself.)

I dunno if anyone uses this "community" anymore. But that's okay.
Yay.
-Lily
4 love give a little

New [31 Aug 2005|02:03am]
anna_ooo_banana
[ mood | cheerful ]

Name: Anna
Age: 14
State/Country: Kentucky, United States
How long have you known about your parent(s)? 6 years
Anything else you would like to add? My mom is a lesbian and was with the same person for almost 4 years until recently and now they talk like they are best friends but they act funny towards one another. I am a swimmer and I love to go camping

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[21 Jul 2005|07:53pm]

lost_cowboy
[ mood | tired ]

Hi....I am actually the spawn of non-queers, but I am a queer myself and seriously considering having children with my partner.

I hope no one minds that I joined this comm....if you do, just let me know! I am just curious to hear the opinions of those raised by queers, to see if you guys feel resentful or "different"...etc. compared to your peers.

I came out around age 15, so I know what it's like to be "different."

Anyway...intro stuff:


Name: Dean Dier
Age: 25
State/Country: California/USA
How long have you known about your parent(s)? I wish my parents WERE queer. :(
Anything else you would like to add? Please feel free to give me your open, honest feedback about wat it is to be "queer spawn"...SERIOULY! I know every parent/child relationship has it's issues, but I'd like to hear your specific issues! Any positive things that have happened because of your parent's queerness would be great to hear, too!

Thans a million!

Dean

5 love give a little

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