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COLAGE Net News * August 11th, 2006  meredith fenton
 Aug 11, 2006 13:42 PDT 

August 11th, 2006

In this issue of COLAGE Net News:

COLAGE Updates & Announcements:
1. Family Week in Provincetown a Huge Success
2. COLAGE in the Media
3. COLAGE Signs on To New York Times Ads
4. COLAGE Joins National Leaders in Signing on to Beyond Same-Sex

COLAGE Events:
5. Act OUT: National LGBT Family Conference

Actions, Opportunities and News
6. Anthology Project for Folks with Transgender Parents
7. ACTION ALERT: Equality Texas Our Stories Project
8. NEWS: Challenge fails: Adoption by gay couples stands
COLAGE Updates & Announcements:

1. Family Week in Provincetown a Resounding Success

COLAGE is thrilled to announce that our participation in the annual
Family Week in Provicetown, MA was a huge success. Held July 29th –
August 5th, the event brought over 400 families together for a week of
celebration, growth and empowerment. COLAGE was pleased to partner once
again with Family Pride, the sponsor of Family Week for the past 11

Over the course of the week over 240 youth entering 3rd grades- college
aged participated in COLAGE activities, workshops, social events and
leadership training. The COLAGE group included youth from IL, MI, NY,
CT, RI, DC, MD, MA, GA, NM, NJ, VT, NH, WA, TX, PA, OH, VA, and CA. With
a new structure through which COLAGE offered three groups of youth
programming: Camp COLAGE for 3rd-5th graders, COLAGE Crew for Middle
School Youth, and the COLAGE High School Program. In addition, we
debuted a new Facilitator-In-Training Program for 17 year old youth who
are rising seniors to help them gain new skills as they prepare to
become COLAGE facilitators. Other highlights of the week included our
fabulous Show and Tell featuring slam poetry, theater, drag, art, and
more, the first-ever COLAGEr movie night, a special reception for our
major and monthly donors, and the always popular Teen Panel.

COLAGE is indebted to the efforts of our tireless team of adults with
LGBT parents who volunteered as part of the COLAGE Family Week Staff to
provide outstanding COLAGE programming throughout the week. Without the
dedication and enthusiasm of this dynamic and unique group of adult
COLAGErs, Family Week would not be possible:

April Anthony, COLAGE Summer Intern, CA
Christine Bachman, MA
Christy Hubert, IL
Claire Knight, NY
Dakota Fine, DC
Danielle Silber, MO
Danna Cook, AZ
Dori Kavanagh, NY
Douglas Fenton, NY
Elisabeth Hunt, MN
Elizabeth Castellana, MA
Ember Cook, COLAGE Bay Area Program Coordinator, CA
Greg Jasgur, DC
Hope Steinman Iacullo, NY
Jamie Evans, CA
Jamie Larson, IL
Jamon Franklin, COLAGE Summer Intern, CA
Kelly Densmore, CA
Meredith Fenton, COLAGE Program Director, CA
Monica Canfield-Lenfest, MA
Nathaniel Obler, MA
Debora Rosenberg, MA
Nava Et Shalom, PA
Ramzi Fawaz, CA
Ruby Cymrot-Wu, CA
Shana Joy, MA
Traciy Fogarty, England
Wade Meyer, CA
Whitney Moses, CA
Yonah Et Shalom, PA

To learn more about Family Week or to plan to join us next summer, visit


2. COLAGE in the Media
Rainbow Week fosters understanding, fun

By Doreen Troyer
Correspondent, The Allegan County Record
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Saugatuck and Douglas were hosts to Rainbow Family Week, an event for
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families, July 8-13. Rainbow
Families Great Lakes, a volunteer group, worked with COLAGE (Children of
Lesbians & Gays Everywhere), an organization for children of LGBT
parents and families, to put together a range of activities for

The week began a reunion kickoff party at Schultz Park and ended with a
dance celebration at The Dunes Resort. In between there were activities
for families, children eight and under, pre-teens, teens and adults.
Many were concurrent so parents could go to adult workshops without
having to worry about their children.

Adult offerings ranged from social events to a discussion on estate
planning. Children's activities included movie nights, a bowling night,
a swim party and workshops for older teens.

Lynn Eickhoff and Tara Walston of Laketown Township, Greg Gerrans and
Greg Harvath of Douglas and Becky and Julie Carten-Crandall of Glenn
were the program directors. "The opportunity to share this experience
with families from throughout the country has been heartwarming,"
Eickhoff said.

Attendees had positive things to say about their Family Week and the
time they spent in the area.

Singer/songwriter Suzi Nash of Philadelphia performed songs from her
recent CD "Rainbow Sprinkles" at a dance celebration at The Dunes
Resort. Nash said she sings songs in a variety of styles designed to
empower children of LGBT families.

"It was wonderful," Nash said of the event. "It was nice to see kids who
were so empowered and parents who were interested in enriching the kids
and getting what they needed. It gives the kids something to counteract
the badness that they hear."

Joanna Kling of Urbana, Ill., made her second trip for Family Week and
brought along her son, Eli, 12, this time staying for the whole week
instead of just the weekend. Kling said she enjoyed the variety of
people, activities and venues. "Saugatuck and Douglas are beautiful and
welcoming towns," she said.

In addition to scheduled activities, Kling went shopping, to the beach
and had coffee at Uncommon Grounds. She plans on coming again and has
volunteered to help plan next year's event.

Gerrans stepped up to help last year because he wanted the event to
continue. He enjoys connecting with other families and doing his part to
carry on the tradition. He and Harvath have a 6-year-old son, Mason, who
will be in kindergarten this fall at Douglas Elementary School.

COLAGE's national program director, Meredith Fenton of San Francisco,
said the week enabled children 17 and under to get together with others
in the same situation. "It gives them the space to talk about themselves
and find peers," she said.

"The reason more than 250 people come to Saugatuck/Douglas is the
atmosphere," Eickhoff said. "People are thrilled and amazed by our
community. It's a community like no other. When they go to the
merchants' stores, they're welcomed."

On July 14, attendees met at Wicks Park to start planning next year's
event, which they expect to be even bigger. For more information, visit
www.rfgl.org or www.colage.org.


3. COLAGE Signs on To New York Times Ads

The Task Force, GLAAD and Freedome to Marry paid for and designed an ad
that is being shown this week in the New York Times, other major media
markets. The ad is in response to the NY court decision to continue to
allow discriminatoty marriage practices.

In full-page newspaper advertisements appearing on July 25th coast to
coast, more than 60 civic, religious, labor and civil rights leaders and
organizations including COLAGE declared their commitment to working
toward equality for gay and lesbian families.

View the ad at http://www.thetaskforce.org/community/marriagead.cfm

4. COLAGE Joins National Leaders in Signing on to Beyond Same-Sex
Over 250 LGBT activists and leaders, writers and artists, organizers and
lawyers, allies and celebrities have signed a document, BEYOND SAME-SEX
MARRIAGE, which offers a challenge to the current strategies employed by
LGBT organizations that are pursuing marriage equality.

The statement can be found at www.BeyondMarriage.org, where others can
sign on, after reading a short Executive Summary, as well as the full

Plans for the document began in April 2006, when a diverse group of
nearly twenty LGBT and queer activists - some organizers, some scholars
and educators, some funders, some writers and cultural workers - came
together to discuss marriage and family politics as they exist in the
United States today. We met over the course of two days for lively
conversations in which there was often spirited disagreement. However,
we do all stand in agreement with the statement entitled "Beyond Same
Sex Marriage".

We offer this statement as a way to challenge ourselves and our allies
working across race, class, gender and issue lines to frame and broaden
community dialogues, to shape alternative policy solutions and to inform
organizing strategies around marriage politics to include the broadest
definitions of relationship and family.

(For a complete listing of the Working Group please refer to the
asterisked names in the signatory section of the statement.)

For more information please contact:
Joseph DeFilippis


5. Act OUT: The National LGBT Family Conference- Don’t miss the event of
the year~

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

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

Additionally we’ll be offering the first-ever national COLAGE Chapter
Institute on the morning of October 27th. Definitely contact us for more
information if you are involved in the leadership of a locally based
COLAGE group.

Registration is available at a special Early-Bird rate- go to
http://www.familypride.org/site/pp.asp?c=bhKPI7PFImE&b=992425 to reserve
your spot today!

Actions, Opportunities, and News

6. Anthology Project for Folks with Transgender Parents
My father races cars, lugs sheetrock, dabbles in her art studio, laughs
easily. She’s also MTF, and is by far the best father I could have ever
asked for. I feel that transgender parents are the least represented and
understood of the queerspawn progenitors. Furthermore, I can’t help but
notice a conspicuous lack of male voices, particularly of sons speaking
out for their trans parents. My brothers and I wouldn’t mind changing
I am looking for the adult children of transgender parents, with the
hope of eventually compiling an anthology of essays about our
experiences: the good, the bad, the hopelessly complex. Even in the
light of TransAmerica and TransGeneration, transgender parents and their
children remain the least vocal and least understood part of the GLBT
Any inquiries can be directed to Jonathan at laughing-@yahoo.com.
7. ACTION ALERT: Equality Texas Our Stories Project
Every child should have a safe, loving, and caring home. Equality Texas
fights for our children, regardless of their parent's sexual orientation
or gender identity.
The goal of Our Stories - Foster Care, Adoption & Parenting is to make
LGBT-parented families visible and active, by sharing stories of real
people, real lives, real families, and real love.
Texas has no official ban on adoption or foster parenting by lesbian,
gay, bisexual or transgender couples or individuals. However, for the
past four legislative sessions, attempts have been made to institute a
Calling You to Action:
• If you are an LGBT parent, share your story. Your story puts a real
face on loving and caring parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or
transgender. Your story is a powerful tool to let other families know
they are not alone.
• If you are the post-adolescent child of an LGBT parent, share your
story. Your story puts a real face on what it's like to grow up with an
LGBT parent.
• Share your story of real people, real lives, real families, and real
• You may type freely in the text box below, or cut and paste from an MS
Word document. Maximum of 3,300 characters.
To learn more about this campaign, visit

8. NEWS: Challenge fails: Adoption by gay couples stands
State supreme court declines to hear case

By Cordell Eddings
Same-sex couples in Indiana will be allowed to adopt children after the
Indiana Supreme Court let a lower court ruling stand.

In a 4-1 decision Friday, the state's highest court declined to hear
arguments against unmarried couples adopting, effectively upholding a
lower-court ruling that allowed adoption by joint petition -- a
procedure that gives both partners equal custody.

"This is a very important victory for children and the lesbian and gay
community," said Patricia Logue, who represented Kim Brennan and Becky
Hamilton. In 2004, the Morgan County couple's adoption of a baby girl
was approved by a judge in Marion County but denied by a judge in Morgan
County. Brennan and Hamilton, who could not be reached for comment, have
foster and child-care experience and have lived together for more than
10 years.

Logue said the decision would mean more homes for children who wouldn't
have one otherwise. She said it's also a victory over the bias against
gays and lesbians.

"The facts speak for themselves," said Logue. "Two people can create a
caring, stable, loving home for children without being married."

But Justice Brent Dickson wrote a three-page dissent suggesting the
Supreme Court should have heard the case in order to clarify issues
regarding same-sex adoption.

"The court is missing a valuable opportunity to address and resolve
important questions left undecided," Dickson said. "By denying this
case, we are missing a valuable and important opportunity to minimize
uncertainty and confusion."

The decision also disappointed state Sen. Jeff Drozda, R-Westfield, who
is opposed to same-sex adoptions. He said the courts were not
representing the views of Hoosiers. He said he will introduce
legislation in 2007 to bar same-sex couples from adopting.

"The concern that I have is that the integrity of the judicial and the
legislative procedures is in jeopardy because the court has decided to
legislate, and I believe that is the role of the General Assembly,"
Drozda said. "The intent of the court is not the intent of the assembly
and not the intent of Hoosiers across the state."

Attorney General Steve Carter, who could not be reached for comment,
sought the Supreme Court review after the Indiana Court of Appeals
overturned a ruling by Morgan Circuit Judge Matthew Hanson.

Hanson opposed the joint petition of Hamilton and Brennan because, he
said, Indiana law limits adoption to married couples and individuals.
State law prohibits same-sex marriages.

The appeals court ruled that adoptions by unmarried couples were legal
and there was nothing in Indiana code that limits a lesbian couple's
right to adopt.

Previously, adoptions by unmarried couples were granted only if the
child was either the offspring of one partner or already had been
adopted by one of the partners, rights that have been granted by other
recent appellate decisions.

The appeals court ruling placed Indiana among about 25 states that allow
joint adoptions by unmarried couples, Logue said.

Call Star reporter Cordell Eddings at (317) 444-6308.

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, American 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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