Proud Parenting, Fisher-Price Launch LGBT Family Photo Gallery


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.

Check out the Proud Parenting Gallery here on Facebook, here on the Proud Parenting website, and here on Instagram.

LGBT parents interested in participating in the gallery can submit their photos via the Facebook page.


—  Tammye Nash

Christmas is another reminder I was switched at birth

4879419_f260[1]I was switched at birth. I’m certain of it, and each time I attend one of those torturous  rituals some people call family reunions, I become more convinced there is no possible way I could share any genes with the people who mysteriously share my last name. Nope. No way. Not even a shared ancestry as far removed as Adam and Eve. Impossible. And I don’t care if I do look like my mother. Jay Leno looks like Dudley Doright, but that doesn’t mean he’s related to a cartoon character.

I’ll share with you some of the happenings at the last Christmas gathering, and you’ll understand. It was a psychiatrist’s dream.

No one knew if Aunt Charlotte would be there because her wrestling match in Dallas was scheduled for the same day. She was pitted against Two Ton Tina, a frightening creature, but Aunt Charlotte was favored to win. Folks who follow the wrestling circuit, and there are a few, have nicknamed my aunt The Aztec Princess. Why, you ask? Because she has been known to try and rip out the beating hearts of her opponents. Grandma said Aunt Charlotte never did know how to play nice.

She finally did arrive, a couple of hours late, with her family, in tow.

“Where’s Emma?” I asked when I didn’t see her daughter with her. “Oh, she had to stay,” Aunt Charlotte explained. “If I had known she needed a travel permit to leave the county, I would have gotten it last week. But you know how those probation people are. I’m just worried we won’t get to take her to Disneyland for her 12th birthday next month.”

That would certainly be a sad thing, I agreed.

Aunt Tonie was already at Grandma’s holding court. When my mother arrived, it was all-out war between them to prove whose kids are the best looking, most successful, have the most hair — you name it. Aunt Tonie makes it a point to ask me when will I get married and have kids, noting all her children have committed themselves to that hallowed partnership. I tell her I would rather pass kidney stones the size of basketballs than get married, and she laughs and gives me that little pat people reserve for orphans and three-legged dogs.

“Well, it’s just that I don’t see you with any girls,” she said sadly. “You do like girls, don’t you, honey?”

Of course, I would be the only one in my family going bald. Aunt Tonie’s boys have more hair than all of Dolly Parton’s wigs put together, and I have to endure a stream of bald jokes from my cousins whose only contributions to society were when they got vasectomies. Aunt Tonie dotes on them and their no-neck children, addressing them as sweetie pie, pumpkin, angel and an assortment of other nauseating terms.

She slings around enough sugar to endanger any diabetic living nearby. I’ve thought about choking her, but that wouldn’t be a Christmassy thing to do, and, besides, Aunt Charlotte would be on me, and I’d be pinned to the floor before the water could get hot.

My sister, Donna, also was there with her husband, Bobby Wayne. Yes, she married one of those men whose first name is two words. Their child, a darling boy whose behavior would be tremendously improved by an exorcism, worked his way around the living room like the Tasmanian Devil. The little angel’s name is Buck. Yes, that’s what I said. Buck.

Buck is 5 years old, and his daddy, you remember Bobby Wayne, has him wearing ankle weights so his legs will develop the appropriate muscles to kick the you-know-what out of anyone who gives him any you-know-what. At least that’s what Buck told me, except he filled in the blanks. Donna thinks it’s “real cute,” but then she rides bulls as a hobby.

Now picture in this room an assortment of other aunts, uncles and cousins. Fifteen children under the age of 5 are running around kicking, fighting, spitting, tattling and wailing at a decibel people flying overhead at 30,000 feet can hear. My grandma retreats to the kitchen, mumbling something about why wasn’t the pill invented in the 1930s.

I’m right behind her, saying, “Grandma, Aunt Tonie’s being mean to me again. Did you hear what she said? Grandma, I like the sweater you gave Paul better than this one. Grandma, why do you have your head in the oven?”

—  Steve Ramos

Ellis County Observer publisher Joey Dauben finally gets a court-appointed attorney

Joey Dauben

Joey Dauben, the publisher of the now-defunct Ellis County Observer, finally got to see a court-appointed lawyer this week to help him fight the three felony counts of child sexual abuse that have kept him in the Navarro County Jail without legal advice for almost two months now.

Edward Jendrzey, whose office is in Waxahachie in Ellis County, received the court-ordered appointment Thursday, Feb. 16. Jendrzey accepted the case after Steve Keathley, a Corsicana attorney whose wife is the president of the Navarro County Bar Association, declined an appointment by District Court Judge James Lagomarsino to represent the journalist.

In a telephone interview today, Jendrzey said, “Yes, he knows I’m representing him,” when asked whether he had met with his new client, who reached out for help from the media this week in a handwritten letter from jail. When a defendant declares himself to be indigent and asks for a court-appointed attorney, that is supposed to occur within 72 hours. In the letter, Dauben also again claimed he is innocent of the charges.

Jendrzey said his first step in Dauben’s representation will be to conduct an independent investigation of the case to learn the circumstances and to attempt to get Dauben’s $200,000 bond set by Lagomarsino lowered. “I’ll be meeting with the prosecutor about that,” Jendrzey said. Dauben’s family and friends have been unable to raise the 10 percent (or $20,000) payment bond agencies typically charge to get a defendant released from jail.

—  admin

“Confessions of a Mormon Boy” at Theater LaB

Steven Fales

Steven Fales

Steven Fales (ironically pronounced “fails”) was born Mormon, sixth generation in fact, what he calls “Mormon DNA.” As a good Mormon boy he grew up, became a missionary, went to Brigham Young University, got married and had kids. The only problem being that Fales is gay. After a failed attempt at “reparative therapy” he was kicked out of the Mormon church, got divorced, moved to New York, became a prostitute and developed a crystal meth problem. If the story ended there Fales would be like any number of queer people injured by their intolerant upbringing and lost to a world only too willing to offer alternatives to healing, but the story didn’t end there. Fales, a trained actor, got his life together and started doing a stand-up comedy routine that eventually became his hit one-man play Confessions of a Mormon Boy.

More than just another tear-jerking coming out story, Confessions of a Mormon Boy connects the behaviors learned by growing up in an environment that tells people they will never be worthy of God’s love with the allure of chemical abuse. The play mixes pathos and tragedy with a very healthy dose of comedy (and it doesn’t hurt that former call-boy Fales is quite easy on the eyes).  Fales has written a story not just for the LGBT community, but also for the Mormon community of his youth (it’s played four times in Salt Lake City). For a play about prostitution and drug addiction Confessions of a Mormon Boy is neigh-on family friendly, containing no nudity or cursing.

Fales performs Confessions of a Mormon Boy at Theater LaB (1706 Alamo) Feb. 8-12. Tickets start at $25 and may be purchased by calling 713-868-7516.

After the jump watch Fales perform the opening monologue:

—  admin

Girl Scout cookie boycott may backfire, if Twitter is any indication

The Huffington Post reports on an effort to boycott girl scout cookies in response to the organization’s trans affirming positions. Last fall, after a Colorado troop leader initially refused to allow Bobby Montoya to participate because she was identified as male at birth, Girl Scout leaders in that state with the support of the national organization quickly responded by re-enforcing their policy of allowing all girls to participate. “If a child identifies as a girl and the child’s family presents her as a girl,” said the GSC statement, “Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout.”

That act of common decency inspired this video:

If the initial response on Twitter is any indication, however, the burgeoning boycott may backfire, begetting a bumper year for Tag-a-longs, Thinmints and Trefoils (those yummy shortbread cookies).

—  admin

GLBT Community Center offers Christmas Dinner

GLBT Community CenterFor many, Christmas is a time for family, but as we all know, not everyone in the LGBT community is on the best terms with their family, and for others financial concerns keep them from traveling during the holidays. For those of us spending the holidays alone (or those of us who just enjoy a good potluck) the Houston GLBT Community Center, in cooperation with the AIDS Housing Coalition Houston, is hosting a Christmas potluck at the Center’s offices at  the Historic Dow School (1901 Kane). There is no charge for the Potluck and Turkey and Ham will be provided. Those attending may bring a side dish to share but should not feel obligated to bring anything if they are not able.

“The Center family is thrilled to partner with Matt Locklin and AIDS Housing Coalition Houston on this Christmas luncheon,” said Tim Brookover, president of the center. “We hope people will join us who don’t have plans for the holiday — or maybe need a break from the plans they have! Christmas and your GLBT family. Now that’s festive!”

If you would like to volunteer or make a contribution to offset expenses, contact AHCH executive director Matt Locklin at

—  admin

World AIDS Day event planned in Plano

Roseann Rosetti opening a Quilt panel

In addition to co-sponsoring the World AIDS Day event at the new Main Street Garden in Dallas, C.U.R.E. will host a commemoration in Plano.

Billed as a ceremony of healing and hope, the Plano gathering will remember people lost to AIDS. Panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on display. It takes place at Community Unitarian Universalist Church at 2875 East Parker Road. Plano-based Health Services of North Texas is also sponsoring.

“Our ceremony will include the dedication of new panels created by family and friends of a loved one lost to AIDS,” said C.U.R.E. co-founder Roseann Rosetti. “The new panels will be presented to The Names Project Foundation to be included as part of the nationally acclaimed AIDS Memorial Quilt.”

Anyone with a new panel to present may attend the ceremony.

“If you would like to present a panel in honor of someone you know and love, C.U.R.E. will be honored have you dedicate and present your panel at our World AIDS Day ceremony,” Rosetti said.

The panels will be sent to the Names Project’s home in Atlanta to be sewn into blocks for exhibit.

—  David Taffet

WATCH: Annise Parker wins second term as Houston Mayor

Annise Parker

Annise Parker greets the crowds at her victory party

Before a cheering crowd at Houston’s Union Station Annise Parker thanked her supporters and family for making her reelection as mayor of Houston possible. With 50.86% of the vote Parker narrowly avoided a runoff, but handily defeated her nearest opponent, Jack O’Conner, who received less than 15% of the vote.  The reelection to the office of mayor marks Parker’s eighth victory in a citywide election as she previously served three terms as an at-large city council member and three terms as city comptroller.

—  admin