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Support COLAGE with a special gift today  dire-@colage.org
 Dec 21, 2006 12:11 PST 

Donate to COLAGE securely online! Go to www.colage.org and click on
"Donate Now"!

Dear Friends and Families,

I’m writing to invite you to make a powerful investment. Through your
everyday conversations and actions and through your financial support of
COLAGE, you can demonstrate your commitment to supporting and empowering
children, youth, and adults with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or
transgender (LGBT) parents. We’re excited to be in this movement with

In 2007, COLAGE is primed to take advantage of our country’s new
political landscape and push even harder for our shared agenda of
justice and equality. Our success is possible with your support.
Please convey your commitment by making a special year-end gift to
COLAGE today. Your gift can be made quickly and easily by donating
securely online: go to www.colage.org and click on "Donate Now."

Here at COLAGE, we are amazed at our collective progress this past year
in making the country a more accepting, more supportive place for people
with one or more lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender parents or
guardians. Together we brought about recognition and respect for the
rights of our families in these, and many other, ways:   

     Building community. This year COLAGE reached diverse communities
in areas that are not always friendly to our families. Over 600 youth
and young adults found accurate information, safe refuge and fellowship
via our on-line programs and new website. More than 400 youth
participated in COLAGE programs provided at collaborative LGBT family
events and conferences in Dallas, San Diego, Phoenix, St. Louis and
Minneapolis. Our annual Family Week events in Michigan and
Massachusetts experienced exponential growth. New chapters were
launched in Spokane, WA; Dallas, TX; Merrimac Valley, MA; Memphis, TN;
and central Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, several members stepped up as
leaders to revive local chapters or increase COLAGE’s presence in
Seattle, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake City. With your support in 2007,
isolation will be broken for thousands more youth who have the
opportunity to meet and connect with each other.

Empowering leaders. For the first time in over a decade, COLAGE and
Family Pride co-sponsored a national LGBT family conference where we
unveiled our newest project, the COLAGE Chapter Institute. At the
Institute’s inaugural all-day meeting, chapter leaders from more than a
dozen cities and towns across the country shared skills, experiences,
and ideas for how to grow their local chapters and strengthen COLAGE’s
national chapter network. With your support in 2007, even more young
people will be prepared to take on leadership roles in the struggle for
family equality.    

Raising Awareness. In January of 2006, COLAGE formed a partnership
with Frameline – the largest distributor of LGBT films in the United
States – to promote our ground-breaking documentary In My Shoes. This
important visibility resource has now been viewed by thousands of
students, educators, health care providers, and other social and human
service professionals in 25 states. The excitement generated by this
tool has grown our Speak OUT program. Already more than 100 young
people have signed up to proactively advocate on behalf of our families
as activists, participating in high impact media and political events,
such as the national radio tour we’re co-producing with Freedom to Marry
and MTV’s True Life series. With your support, more people than ever
will learn about our families and the tide of public opinion will change
in our favor.
Organizing for change. The recent elections and the New Jersey Supreme
Court marriage decision offer occasions for cautious hope. While seven
states passed anti-gay-marriage ballot measures, such a measure was
defeated for the first time anywhere – in Arizona – and many of the most
outspokenly anti-gay lawmakers were defeated by rivals. Although the
New Jersey Supreme Court did not rule that marriage per se must be
opened to same-sex couples, it did rule that the denial of the rights
and responsibilities of marriage constituted discrimination. In New
Jersey, Arizona and several other states, COLAGE forged important, new
relationships with LGBT family groups and advocacy coalitions and helped
leverage significant increases in public support for marriage and family
equality, reproductive rights and safe schools by empowering COLAGE
activists and community leaders to bring our unique voices to these
debates. With your support, we can bring about lasting change for
ourselves as well as future generations.

In 2007, we have ambitious plans. Join us as we take COLAGE to new
heights, and position people with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
parents as critical players in the national movement for civil rights
and justice for all families throughout the country. Our work is
powerful enough to change the minds of our leaders, the practices of our
institutions, and the values of our culture. That power comes from your
commitment, your conviction, and your financial support.

I have been involved with this organization for more than 12 years and
never cease to be astounded at what children and adults with one or more
LGBT parents, our families, and our allies, can accomplish when we put
our minds to it. When I think of you reading this letter, I can’t help
but feel joyful and inspired by the vision of social justice that guides
our work. I know you share this vision for equality and fairness and
are committed to taking action. Please help us continue to bring this
vision to life by making a generous gift today. Donate online at
www.colage.org using the "Donate Now" button.

Thanks in advance for your ongoing commitment and support.


Beth Teper, Executive Director

P.S. Members receive a subscription to our outstanding quarterly
publication, Just For Us. Renew today with your donation of $120 or
more to receive a free COLAGE t-shirt or a hardcover edition of Alison
Bechdel’s latest graphic novel, Fun Home.    
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