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COLAGE Net News * October 17th 2006  meredith fenton
 Oct 17, 2006 10:38 PDT 

October 17th, 2006

In this issue of COLAGE Net News:

COLAGE Updates & Announcements:
1. COLAGE and Freedom to Marry Radio Tour
2. COLAGErs in the Media
3. COLAGE Family Week Photo Fundraiser

COLAGE Events:
4. COLAGE at the San Diego Family Matters Conference
5. Act OUT: National LGBT Family Conference
6. COLAGE Chicago Event
7. COLAGE Los Angeles Pizza Party

Action Alerts and News
8. New Report on Same-Sex Families in the United States
9. This week is ALLY WEEK
10. NEWS: Some parents upset after teacher comes out during lesson on
11. NEWS: Gay parents making homes for children stuck in foster system

COLAGE Updates & Announcements:

1. COLAGE and Freedom to Marry Radio Tour

COLAGE Youth Speak Out on Acceptance, Home Life and Being Raised in an
Everyday American Family

Following a national trend of growing support for ending the exclusion
of same-sex couples and their kids from marriage, Freedom to Marry
(www.freedomtomarry.org) and Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere
(COLAGE, www.colage.org) will be sponsoring a nation-wide radio tour of
children, teens and young adults, with lesbian and gay parents, who wish
to speak out in support of winning and defending equal marriage rights.
Our six radio tour members are articulate voices representing diverse
backgrounds and families who can highlight the actual blessings and
challenges that young people with LGBT parents experience.

“This radio tour, featuring the bright, healthy, dedicated and
articulate children of diverse lesbian and gay parents from across
America will offer people around the country a glimpse beyond the
misleading right-wing scare tactics to showcase the truth of the
children and families of lesbian and gay couples from their own mouths,”
said Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry and author of
Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality and Gay People’s Right to Marry.

“These young people are really some of the best people to explain to
the American public why our families deserve equality and to showcase
the articulate voices of COLAGErs.” Meredith Fenton, COLAGE Program
Director shared. “COLAGE intimately knows that the stories of youth with
LGBT parents have broad and lasting impact in raising visibility and
generating support of equality for LGBT families and through this radio
tour we hope the messages of acceptance and justice that the youth will
share will be disseminated even farther.”

In coast-to-coast radio interviews, members of COLAGE, including, Marina
Gatto, a 17-year old gay rights activist and daughter of two lesbian
moms from California; Keott Gomez, the adopted, 17-year-old African
American son of two dads in Maryland; and Jessie Voors, who lives in
Indiana with her lesbian mothers and gay fathers will be participating
in radio interviews around the country to discuss their experiences as
children of LGBT .

“Children like me,” said Gatto, a member of the COLAGE Speak Out
program, “whose parents cannot legally marry, whose families do not have
the legal protection that marriage brings, and who are being told that
their families are not valued like other families are currently forced
to stand by and watch as the leaders of our country vow that no child
will be left behind. Yet, our families are torn apart, devalued and
cheated of the essential rights that are needed to protect us.”

The personal stories of these the radio tourists will help spread
understanding around the current national debate about marriage equality
as well as connected issues such as access to adoption by loving
families, including those headed by lesbian and gay couples, the need
for safer school environments for all students and the need for greater
visibility of
COLAGE youth and their families.


2. COLAGE in the Media

A. COLAGE Speak Out Member, Courtney Faria of Pocasset, Mass.,
celebrated National Coming Out Day on the HRC website by sharing her
story of talking to her volleyball teammates about having two moms.
"When I first started telling them, all was well, but I then began to
cry. It was not because I was scared. I was overwhelmed with the feeling
of letting all of it go."

Read the rest of Courtney's story:

B. COLAGE Speak Out Member, Marina Gatto is featured on the new edition
of Rainbow Rumpus- an online magazine for kids with LGBT parents. Her
piece talks about the importance of marriage as a right for her family
and the ways that youth with LGBT parents can make a difference to
secure marriage equality for our families.

Check it out at: http://www.rainbowrumpus.org/htm/political.htm

C. Research: Kids of gay parents fare at least as well as others
Wisconsin State Journal
This article profiles Abbie Marie Hill, a 17 year old with three lesbian
moms who lives in Madison, WI.
Read the story online at:


3. COLAGE Family Week Photo Fundraiser

My name is Dakota, I am a member of COLAGE's Board of Directors, and I
am a veteran member of the COLAGE staff in Provincetown for the past
three summers. This past Family Week (which was two months ago already,
I can hardly believe it!) I spent the bulk of my time in Provincetown
with Camp COLAGE, but I also planned, supervised and facilitated
creative programming for all age groups. Additionally, I took fabolous
photos everyday of all our kids!

If you are interested in seeing beautiful pictures of your beautiful
children, please follow this link:


(Scroll down and find the PTown '06 gallery)

I think you will be pleased to find some really wonderful shots of our
children celebrating their families and generally having the time of
their lives!

It was suggested to me by some of the staff that this would be an
excellent way to raise some money for COLAGE. I have set up my website
so that you can purchase the photos, all proceeds go directly to COLAGE
. I hope that you enjoy browsing the photos as much as I enjoyed taking
them. Savor the smiling faces, relive the highlights, participate in
social change, and support your community. Thank you all so much!

If you would like to negotiate a different price for the photos, or if
you have any questions for the photographer or are confused by the
website, please feel free to email Dakota at dakot-@gmail.com.
Otherwise, please direct all concerns to jca-@colage. org, or call the
COLAGE office at 415-861-5437 and ask for Jesse.

Thanks so much, and I hope to hear from you all soon!

Dakota Fine
(202) 549-3437


4. COLAGE at the San Diego Family Matters Conference

COLAGE is thrilled to be debuting programming focused on youth with LGBT
parents during the Family Matters Annual Conference in San Diego.

Saturday, October 21st, 2006
8 am – 4 pm
The LGBT Community Center 3909 Centre Street San Diego, CA 92103

From Family Matters:
Please join us for our 11th Annual Parenting Conference and Resource
Fair. Our focus for this conference is on Creating and Sustaining our
Families and we have expanded our workshops and lunchtime discussions to
cover 30 different topics to help you do just that!
New this year is a whole track of workshops for Pre-Teens and Teens and
their friends, co-hosted by COLAGE they are going to have a great time -
make sure they come, it will change their life!

Keynote by Abigail Garner, author of the Lamda Literary Finalist,
Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Parents Tell It Like It Is
(HarperCollins, 2004). Writer, speaker and educator who is dedicated to
a future of equality for LGBT families.

For more information or to register:


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

Do/did you have at least one lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender

Have you always wanted to find a community of people with one or more
LGBT parents?
Do you want to meet MORE people with LGBT parents?

AND are you ready for a weekend of activism, education, empowerment, and
community celebration?

Are you ready to ACT OUT!?

Then let’s make it HAPPEN at ACT OUT: The National LGBT Family
Conference 2006!

ACT OUT is brought to you by COLAGE and FAMILY PRIDE.                    

COLAGE, (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere), is a national
organization whose mission is to engage, connect, and empower people to
make the world a better place for children of lesbian, gay, bisexual,
and/or transgender parents and families. COLAGE is the only national
organization in the world specifically supporting children, youth and
adults with LGBT parent(s). Using our experiences and creativity, COLAGE
offers a diverse array of support, education and advocacy by and for
folks with LGBT parents.

No matter how politically active or outspoken you have or haven’t been
in the past about the issues that face youth and adults with LGBT
parents ACT OUT promises to offer you workshops, keynote events, panels,
and an invaluable space for community and coalition building in a
conference oriented environment.

ACT OUT is not just for the little ones.

If you are a teen, a young adults, or an adult then ACT OUT is for YOU
and the COLAGE Leadership track is where YOU need to be!


A series of workshops for teens, young adults, and adults with LGBT
parents. These workshops will focus on how WE, as leaders and
activists, can develop our critical social analysis. This development
will allow us to further educate and incite social change in our
communities, in our schools, in the media, in policy, and in politics
about the issues that people with LGBT parents face. This programming
will also highlight the role adults with LGBT parents can play in social
justice and LGBT organizing as community leaders by voicing their
experiences and family backgrounds with new and old friends.

Act OUT is just a week away!        Friday October 27th through Sunday
the 29th 2006


REGISTER TODAY at www.familypride.org
If the registration fee is a barrier to your participation, please let
us know.

And ACT OUT with us!

This will be one of the most transformative social justice gatherings
this year! Workshops will build community for youth with LGBT parents
ages 8 and up and create space for growth and activism for teens and
adults with LGBT parents.

It’s time…So GET ON IT! And GET involved in the movement for family
Register today at www.familypride.org

For more info contact COLAGE! - 415.861-KIDS (5437) 
col-@colage.org  1550 Bryant St. San Francisco, CA. 94103

Can’t decide whether to join us at Act OUT? Want to connect to other
adults with LGBT parents for sharing hotel rooms? Join the a new Yahoo
Group to chat with others and work it all out.

6. COLAGE Chicago Event

Event: Fright Fest Movie-thon at Tina’s Place
We will watch scary movies, pop popcorn, bake cookies, eat pizza, watch
In My Shoes, a teen-created COLAGE documentary and have loads of
wicked fun! (Parent’s Note: We will select PG-13 or classic teen fright
films – no sex and drugs, but plenty of violence and gore like a
quality scary movie needs to have!)

Location: 4556 S. King Drive (Fakhrid-Deen on the bell)
Chicago, IL 60653
Go to www.mapquest.com for directions.

Date: Saturday, October 21, 2006

Time: 2:00pm-6:00pm

Cost: FREE!

Items to Bring:
Please bring one of the following: cookie dough, microwave popcorn,
chips, 2 liter soda/juice, or Halloween candy miniatures
When you rsvp, please let me know what you plan to bring.

Area Attractions for Parents:
Museum of Science & Industry, DuSable Museum, Blue 47 Restaurant,
Negro League Café & Cuatro Restaurant! I am also
a 5-7 minute drive to Hyde Park, Lake Michigan, McCormick Place and
the South Loop, filled with other restaurants and shopping!

Age Limit: Youth ages 12 – 17 only

RSVP: Please RSVP no later than Thursday afternoon, October 19th to
tinatf-@aol.com pr call me at 773-548-3349 to confirm.

Contact: Tina Fakhrid-Deen tinatf-@aol.com
773-548-3349 home 773-398-2086 cell


7. COLAGE Los Angeles Pizza Party

The next COLAGE LA get-together is coming up!

We'll be having a pizza party with plenty of arcade games and fun with
new and old COLAGE friends.

The party is next Thursday, October 19 at 7pm at Round Table Pizza
(2524 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, 90039).

If you live anywhere in the Los Angeles area and would like to meet
other youth with one or more lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender
parents- don’t miss this fun COLAGE LA Event! Please bring $5-10 to
pitch in for the pizza. Parents are welcome to stay but will have their
own group area.

For more information:
COLAGE Los Angeles
(323) 860-7320 alit-@lagaycenter.org

Action Alerts and News

8. New Report on Same-Sex Families in the United States

The release of new data from the American Community Survey (ACS) offers
the first opportunity since Census 2000 to update our knowledge of
same-sex couples in the United States. This report assesses changes in
the geographic characteristics of same-sex couples and estimates the
size of the gay, lesbian, and bisexual population in states, large
metropolitan areas, and all Congressional Districts (109th Congress).
Analyses reveal that the number of same-sex couples in the U.S. grew by
more than 30 percent to almost 777,000. The largest percentage
increases occurred throughout the Midwest, an area that had relatively
low rates of same-sex couples in Census 2000. Six of the eight states
with a 2006 ballot initiative that would ban same-sex marriage
experienced increases in the number of same-sex couples in excess of the
national rate of 30 percent. The ACS data also reveal that gay,
lesbian, and bisexual people are found in all Congressional Districts in
the U.S.

Read the report online at

9. This Week is ALLY WEEK

Ally Week is October 15 – 21, 2006. GLSEN is continuing to encourage
educators to support students to end anti-LGBT bullying and harassment
in K-12 schools with our 2nd annual Ally Week! Ally Week is about
students identifying and supporting allies by asking them to sign the
Ally Pledge to intervene if they witness bullying and harassment in
their schools. Ally Week activities will be most successful if you help
support allies in learning how to intervene, and by making them feel
proud to be allies! Ally Week can be as simple as passing out buttons to
allies who sign the pledge, or can involve an event or series of events
planned throughout the week. For a listing of possible Ally Week
activities and to download our new Ally Week Planning Resource go to

Register your participation. Register your participation now at
www.studentorganizing.org and receive free Ally Week posters, postcards,
and other organizing materials!

For questions contact Holiday Simmons, the GLSEN Days of Action
Associate at hsim-@glsen.org.


10. NEWS: Some parents upset after teacher comes out during lesson on

Some parents of second-graders in a Minneapolis school are objecting to
their teacher, Peter Sage, coming out to them as part of a lesson on
different types of families. But the school's principal, Laura
Bloomberg, noting the school is based on "a partnership of diversity,
community and technology," denied the request by some parents to move
their children to a different classroom because of the incident.



11. NEWS: Gay parents making homes for children stuck in foster system

Longtime partners Gregory Stewart and Stillman White, who have adopted
five children of color ranging in age from 6 to 13, are among the LGBT
couples breaking new ground by offering homes to children from the
foster care system. According to Jill Jacobs, executive director of the
Oakland, Calif.-based nonprofit Family Builders by Adoption, gays and
lesbians have "come forward to meet the needs of foster care children
like no other single community has. They want to be parents, they want a

Read the story online at:

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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