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COLAGE Net News * June 7th, 2006  meredith fenton
 Jun 06, 2006 16:47 PDT 

June 7th, 2006

In this issue of COLAGE Net News:

COLAGE Updates & Announcements:
1. COLAGE Has a New Office!
2. Participate in the COLAGE Support Our Community Campaign- Almost
halfway to our goal!
3. Sponsor a COLAGE Family Week Event
4. COLAGE in the Media

COLAGE Events:

5. March in Boston Pride with COLAGE Boston
6. COLAGE World Premiere of MYTHSMASHERS in San Francisco
7. Register Today! Family Week in Saugatuck, MI
8. Act OUT: the National LGBT Family Conference- Call for Proposals

Actions, Opportunities and News
9. ACTION ALERT: Stop the Federal Marriage Amendment
10. ACTION ALERT: Make California Schools Safe for All Students
11. NEWS: Blogging for LGBT Families Day
12. NEWS: Only Five states remain neutral on Marriage Equality
13. Media Opportunity for 16 year old COLAGErs

COLAGE Updates & Announcements:
1. COLAGE has a new Office!

Please update your records as COLAGE is moving on to a bigger and better
office space!
The new COLAGE National Headquarters is at:

1550 Bryant Street, Suite 830
San Francisco, CA 94103

Our email, phone and website addresses remain the same.


2. Support Our Community! Become a campaigner, Strengthen COLAGE's

You still have time to join the 2nd Annual Support Our Community
Campaign. We are almost halfway to our goal of raising $10,000 to
support COLAGE! Last year the first Support Our Community Campaign
celebrated COLAGE's 15th anniversary. This year, our theme is "Strength
in Numbers." The campaign will run from Mothers' Day to Fathers' Day
(May 14th - June 18th, 2006).

Why is the theme Strength in Numbers?

There are between 8 and 14 million youth and adults with one or more
lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender parents in the United States.
We live in every state and more than 95% of U.S. counties.

Yet, 39 states deny us any legal relationship to our parents. 5 states
prohibit our parents from adopting us. Only a small handful of states
protect us from harassment and discrimination in schools.

To combat these and many other injustices we and our families face,
COLAGE needs your help! In order to change the face of family and
family values, we need to Strengthen OUR Numbers.

We would like to invite you to become a campaigner for the 2nd Annual
Support Our Community Campaign. In order to reach our goal of raising
$10,000 to support COLAGE's work, we need 40 campaigners to raise $250
each. Will you be one of the forty leaders who helps us reach our goal?

There are lots of ways you can reach your $250 goal! And of course, if
you want to set your goal higher, please do! Some of you may know two
people who can each give $125. But if not, maybe you know 16 people who
can give $15.

This year, COLAGE will once again have the ability to help you campaign
online. You can easily personalize a website, write a note about why
you support COLAGE (or how COLAGE has supported you) and plug in the
email addresses of everyone you want to ask. Click send and you're well
on the way to meeting your goal!

If you don't want to campaign online, no worries! COLAGE can send you
information and materials to help you campaign with a letter or over the

Interested in becoming a campaigner? Send an email to jca-@colage.org
and include your:

Preferred Email:
Preferred Phone:

As soon as we hear from you, we'll send a package to help you get
started on the campaign.

Thank you so much for your support and consideration, and thanks in
advance to all of this year's campaigners!

Have questions? Need more information? Call 415-861-5437 or email

3. Become a Family Sponsor of a Family Week Event

The 11th Annual Celebration of Family Week in Provincetown is only three
months away on July 29-August 5! Once again COLAGE is pleased to be
joining the leadership of Family Pride to offer an exciting line-up of
programming for youth with LGBT parents during this magical week.

Now, more than ever, our youth need opportunities to access safe,
supportive communities through COLAGE, to gain leadership skills to
affect change and to find their voices to speak out their truths and
experiences as youth with LGBT Parents. Help make this community a
reality for hundreds of COLAGE participants by being a family sponsor of
a COLAGE event during Family Week. To learn more about sponsorship
opportunities visit:

To learn more about sponsorship, contact dire-@colage.org.


4. COLAGE in the Media

A. Children of gays find a haven
By Eun Kyung Kim
St. Louis Post Dispatch
An article profiling the growth and members of COLAGE St. Louis as they
talk about the importance of COLAGE in their community.

To read the story visit:

B. In our parents' footsteps
By Fred Kuhr
The Advocate
This article talks about the experiences of 2nd Gen COLAGErs, adults who
have one or more LGBT parents and identify as LGBT themselves including
COLAGE Staff, Board Members, and Speak Out participants.

To read the story visit:


5. March in Boston Pride with COLAGE Boston

Please join us as we march in Boston's Pride Parade on Saturday June
10. We had a small group last year and we hope that you will all join
us this year!

A few important things:
1- We will be assigned a staging area for COLAGE marchers to line up in,
BUT, they won't tell us that spot until Friday so...
2- We (Monica and I) will be on the front steps of the Boston Public
Library from 10 am. We'll be holding a big purple and white sign that
says "COLAGE" so that's where we'll gather.
3- At a certain time we will have to leave the library and go to our
staging area, if its getting late and you can't find us, call one of our
cell phones 617 750 5043 or 617 913 1557 and we'll tell you where we
4- The parade happens (and it is fun!) RAIN OR SHINE! so...
5- Be prepared! wear comfy shoes, bring plenty of water and sunscreen
and/or an umbrella, and hope for sun - the forecast looks pretty good!
6- Get excited! COLAGE marchers seemed incredibly well recieved last
year and it was a fantastic day, I hope we have a lot of you with us
this year.
If you have questions, please email bos-@colage.org or call Monica
at 617-913-1557.

See you soon!

Monica and Elizabeth, COLAGE Greater Boston Chapter Coordinators

6. COLAGE World Premiere of MYTHSMASHERS in San Francisco

The members of the COLAGE Youth Leadership and Action Program (YLAP) are
thrilled to invite you to a special event celebrating the premiere of a
new play MYTHSMASHERS. Created by YLAP and Fringe Benefits, this play
will be used in middle schools to bust some common myths and stereotypes
about youth with LGB and/or T parents. An event for the entire family,
don’t miss out on the fun. We’ll feature food, a silent auction, a
staged reading of the new play, and lots more fun for kids and parents
of all ages.

June 15th
7-9 PM
at the Brava Theater
2781 24th Street in San Francisco.

For more information or to RSVP contact Ember at emb-@colage.org or at
415-861-5437 ext 103.

7. Register today! Family Week in Saugatuck, MI

Family Week 2006 is gearing up to be another week of amazing
connections, community and youth programming for COLAGE.   At the same
time, 2006 promises to be a challenging one for our community with more
states introducing legislation targeting and attacking our families than
ever before.

Clearly, it will be more important than ever before for LGBT families to
join together. What better place for you to connect to others with LGBT
parents than at:

Family Week in Saugatuck, MI
July 8th – 13th, 2006

Once again COLAGE is joining with Rainbow Families Great Lakes (an
entirely volunteer- run group of folks dedicated to making Family Week a
success) to plan for Family Week 2006. We’ll be on hand with amazing and
empowering programming for youth in addition to a whole schedule of
family events, meals, beach parties, parent workshops, recreational
activities and more.

Sign up your family to join us at this inspiring and unique event for
LGBT Families today. Go to http://www.rfgl.org/Register.html to make
sure you’ll be a part of Family Week 2006!


8. Act OUT: The National LGBT Family Conference
Call for Proposals

COLAGE is thrilled to announce our partnership with Family Pride on ACT
OUT: The National LGBT Family Conference. This fall, hundreds of youth
and adults with LGBT parents, LGBT parents and our allies will come
together in Dallas for a weekend of education, empowerment, and
celebration. We are looking for strong, innovative, dynamic, challenging
and fresh proposals for workshops/activities that will engage young
adult and/or adults who have one or more lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or
transgender parent/s.

COLAGE will offer two exciting tracks of programming during act OUT.
COLAGE Crew will be a series of activities and workshops for youth ages
9-13 with one or more lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender parent
that will use art, games, discussions, movies, and lots of fun to allow
youth to share their experiences and family backgrounds while meeting
new friends. The COLAGE Leadership Track will be a full track of
workshops for young adult and adults with LGBT parents focusing on how
we can use our voices and our actions to make a difference, educate
communities, schools, politicians and the media about people with LGBT
parents, the diversity of issues and experiences of queerspawn, and how
we can strengthen our skills as activists and leaders.

Oct. 27-29, 2006
Fairmont Hotel
Dallas, Texas

COLAGE Leadership Track Call for Proposals

We are looking for strong, innovative, dynamic, challenging and fresh
proposals for workshops/activities that will engage young adult and/or
adults who have one or more lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender
parent/s.   All proposals must clearly have and explicitly state a
connection to queerspawn and related issues and be proposed by people
who themselves have one or more LGBT parent/s. People of color; youth
(under 25); people with disabilities; low-income people and people from
diverse queerspawn family backgrounds are strongly encouraged to submit

The deadline for submitting proposals is June 26th, 2006.

We are particularly interested in proposals that look at (in no order):
1. Leadership and Activism Skill Building for Youth and Adults with LGBT
2. Connections between queerspawn and other issues of social justice and
areas of oppression including but not limited to race, class, family
background, sex, gender identity, transphobia, disability, etc.
3. Movement building and skill building particularly as it relates to
topics of current import to the LGBT and family Movements, ie same-sex
marriage, adoption, safe schools, family formation, reproductive rights,

We also highly value workshops that are creative in format and
experiential in nature. COLAGE appreciates sessions that use games, art,
drama, video, and other mediums to further the discussion.

Proposals must include:

1. A one page detailed description of presentation, including how it
connects and relates to queerspawn and related issues; the topics and
activities the presentation will include as well as relevant experience
of presenter(s).
2. An abstract/description of your session that is no more than 75
3. Specific format of workshop/presentation (i.e., lecture with question
and answer, discussion group, brief presentation with
discussion/activity, etc.)
4. A list of all resources needed: audio/visual equipment, power point,
spatial requirements, limit of people, etc.
5. A bio and contact information for each presenter, including
information about their family background

Email your proposal to mere-@colage.org.
The deadline for submitting proposals is June 26th, 2006.

NOTE: COLAGE is exploring the possibility of scholarship and other
funding to make participation in this event possible for all COLAGErs.
If you need financial support to participate in Act OUT, please let us

Actions, Opportunities, and News
9. ACTION ALERT: Stop the Federal Marriage Amendment
The Federal Marriage Amendment (AKA "Marriage Protection Amendment") is
a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution. If passed, it would make
marriage for same-sex couples illegal everywhere in the U.S., no matter
what individual states want to do. It will also ban other forms of
partnership recognition, such as civil unions and domestic partnerships.

The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote in early June. NGLTF, Many groups
are individuals are organizing grassroots efforts to stop the amendment
from passing. Take action now -- contact your Senators and tell your
friends and family to do the same.

For more information about contacting your Senators about the FMA:

To send a postcard demanding that our families deserve equal rights:

The voices of COLAGErs are crucial in an effort to stop this divisive
amendment. Please act today!
10. ACTION ALERT: Make California Schools Safe for All Students
We need your help to make our schools safe for ALL students !
Calling the Governor's office to leave your feedback will take less than
a minute of your time.

The Christian Right is mobilizing phone calls to the Governor's office
(encouraging people to phone multiple times from their home, cell, and
office phones) in opposition to two important safe schools measures in
the state legislature, SB 1437 (Kuehl) - the Bias Free Curriculum Act &
AB 606 (Levine) - the Safe Place to Learn Act.    

Research shows that violence and discrimination against students who are
or are preceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) is
still rampant in our schools, but an inclusive and bias-free curriculum
that talks about the contributions of LGBT people to our society (SB
1437) and strong policies against discrimination (AB 606) can stem the
tide of that violence and harassment.

If there is to be any chance of reversing the Governor's announced plans
to veto SB 1437 or preventing the same fate from befalling AB 606 we
need people to phone the Governor's office in support of these important
bills NOW. The vast majority of Californians want our schools to be
safe for all our children regardless of their actual or perceived sexual
orientation or gender identity. Don't let a small hateful minority
dominate the discussion .

The Governor's office has set up their phone system to take in calls in
support and opposition to both SB 1437(Kuehl) and AB 606 (Levine), which
makes it easy for you to express your support for these important bills.

Here's what to do:

CALL the governor's office: 916-445-2841
press 1 for English
press 2 for legislation
press 1 for SB1437- Bias Free Curriculum Act
press 1 to support it!


CALL the governor's office again: 916-445-2841
press 1 for English
press 2 for legislation
press 2 for AB 606 - The Safe Place to Learn Act
press 1 to support it!

More Information on the Bills:

SB 1437(Kuehl) - the Bias Free Curriculum Act updates existing
protections against biased curriculum to include sexual orientation and
gender identiy bias. The bill also expands the law that requires our
history text books to include the contributions of under-represented
minorities (women, African Americans, Asian Americans, etc) to include
LGBT people. For further information go to:

AB 606(Levin) - the Safe Place to Learn Act helps to strengthen the
enfocement of California's protections against discrimination in public
schools (Amended in 1999 by AB 537(Kuehl) to include actual or perceived
sexual orientation and gender identity). For further information go to:

Keep up the good work! With your help we can make schools safer for ALL
our children!


11. Blogging for LGBT Families Day

June 1st was the first ever Blogging for LGBT Families Day, a day to
raise awareness about LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender)
families. To read the many posts, especially those contributed by youth
and adults with LGBT parents, visit:

12. NEWS: Only Five states remain neutral on Marriage Equality
Tuesday June 6, 2006 12:01 AM
By The Associated Press
Forty-five states have acted to define traditional marriage in ways that
would ban same-sex marriage.
Nineteen states have constitutional amendments: Alaska, Arkansas,
Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi,
Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma,
Oregon, Texas and Utah.
Twenty-six states have enacted statutes but not constitutional
amendments: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut,
Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland,
Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina,
South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia,
Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Five states have not taken either action: New Jersey, New Mexico, New
York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.


13. Media Opportunity for 16 year old COLAGErs

For an upcoming special report in Time Magazine about Being 16. we'll be
publishing a selection of first-person profiles of sixteen year olds and
we'd like to include a roughly 300-word piece to be written by a 16-year
old boy who's been raised by same-sex parents. We're hoping to find a
thoughtful, candid young writer (or two or three) who can describe their
upbringing over the years with two moms or two dads, and especially what
it means to them now (what conclusions, if any, have they reached at
this age about significance of having same sex parents?). Other points
they might touch on include: how involved or uninvolved. they've been in
the gay rights movement themselves, how important would it be to them
for their parents to get married, or if they're in Massachusetts,
perhaps their parents have gotten married. (What was that like for you?)

We're hoping to find a 16 yr old writer(s) who has had same-sex parents
since birth (as opposed to someone who's parents came out later in their
childhood.) But it they were adopted as toddlers or younger or were
still babies when their parents came out, that'd probably be fine too.
The main point is our writers have had two gay parents for most, if not
all, of their lives. The only reason we are specifically seeking 16 year
boys to write on this topic is that we are seeking girls specifically to
write on some different issues in other essays, and we want to be sure
we have gender balance in our sweeping look at the 16 yr old experience.
But if you are a 16 yr old girl who really wishes to give this a shot,
then let's talk, and I might be able to persuade my editor to include
a female writer too.

If you are interested, please send me a brief summary of who you are,
what your interests are, who all is in your family, what your
aspirations for the future are as of now, and what phone number I can
reach you at.. And then we can talk more about the assignment, and I can
answer any questions you or your parents might have. I would hope to
hear from you this week or next week, but no later than June 6th. The
essays will need to be turned in early in the summer. Please contact me
at wendy-@timemagazine.com or 312-321-7867.

Thank you for subscribing to COLAGE NetNews!

COLAGE thrives on the involvement and support of all its members and
funders. We acknowledge the generous support of the Gill Foundation,
Haas Jr Fund, Open Society Institute, San Francisco Foundation, San
Francisco Department of Children, Youth, and Families, Anonymous and all
our members and donors.

COLAGE engages, connects, and supports people to make the world a better
place for children of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender parents.
Ensure COLAGE's future with your membership
contribution today. Join COLAGE at: http://www.colage.org/join.html
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