I have long believed that one of the best ways to empower LGBT people is to provide the community with “role models,” images of people “like us” that we can look to for strength, for inspiration — just for the reassurance that we are not alone.
When you are a young LGBT person struggling to come to terms with your identity, or struggling with others who can’t come to terms with your identity, seeing the image of a happy, successful LGBT person gives you hope. These same images can also help combat the hate and the lies that anti-LGBT forces try to use against us.
Even when you are a grown-up gay, already reasonably successful and happy, it helps to see images of others like you. And when you are an LGBT parent, it helps so much to know there are others out there like you.
That’s why I think the Proud Parenting LGBT Family Photo Gallery, launched today as a joint effort by Fisher-Price and Proud Parenting is such a great idea. Well, that and the fact that it’s pretty fantastic to see a toy company being so supportive of the LGBT community, especially considering how the haters are ALWAYS trying to say every LGBT person is a child molester, and using the “protect our children” mantra to deny us our rights.
Anyway. Back to the Proud Parenting LGBT Family Photo Gallery.
According to a press release from Fisher-Price, “ The goal of the program is to increase the visibility of LGBT parents and to encourage interaction and support between LGBT parents, their friends and their allies.”
The gallery is a curated collection of photos of LGBT parents with their families intended to “provide an authentic look into the proud lives of these modern families.” New families will be featured over the course of the summer through the Proud Parenting digital media outlets, promoted by Gay Ad Network on LGBT websites, social media and mobile aps.
Proud Parenting, by the way, is an online community for LGBT parents, prospective parents and their allies, which is owned and operated by Gay Ad Network. Fisher-Price is a brand belonging to Mattel.
Jeff Bennett, founder and editor-in-chief of Proud Parenting, said his organization is “excited to partner with Fisher-Price” on this project, adding, “With a longstanding history of diversity and inclusiveness, they are now leading the way for a new generation of families.”
And Hailey Sullivan, Fisher-Price’s director of marketing, said her company is “thrilled to partner with Proud Parenting for its first-ever program to increase the visibility of LGBT families. Fisher-Price is proud to help all parents give their children the best possible start in life.”
According to the press release, an estimated 3 million LGBT Americans have had a child, and as many as 6 million Americans have an LGBT parents. Even though same-sex marriage is not legally recognized nationwide yet, married LGBT couples comprise 50 percent of the Proud Parenting audience, and 61 percent have two or more children in their household.
LGBT parents interested in participating in the gallery can submit their photos via the Facebook page.