DAVID TAFFET | Senior Staff Writer
When she founded Rainbow Roundup, the last person Kimberly Kantor expected to meet was the woman who became her wife.
Kantor said she just didn’t see many resources out there for LGBT families and she wanted her children to meet other families that looked like hers. So she started a closed Facebook group in 2012 that quickly grew to 100 members. Then 300. And 500. Before she knew it, more than 1,000 people in North Texas had joined.
By 2015, the group was more than a Facebook page, but a full-fledged non-profit organization with resources for LGBT families and events where they could connect.
Among the group’s resources are names of doctors, lawyers, daycares and other professionals who welcome LGBT families in their practices. When Kantor moved to Plano, she said she knew three other families with children in the public school where her children would attend.
The group’s first camping trip attracted 100 people in 2016. In May this year, the size doubled. At the campout, different people spoke about the impact Rainbow Roundup has had on their lives. One young boy told the group that he used to think there weren’t any other families like his.
Kantor said thanks to sponsors, they were able to keep costs down for families. She said that she used to be a single mom and understands how controlling costs is important to a family. Because of those sponsors, they had hayrides, a barbecue, face painting, arts and crafts and other activities at no additional cost to each family.
She said having been named a Black Tie Dinner beneficiary this year will help the group provide even more activities to families that might not have been able to participate in some of the group’s events.
Kantor said exchanging information is one of the most important things the group does. Discussion groups on creating families include information on surrogacy, adoption and fertility specialists.
The group is open to more than just LGBT parents with kids. Some of the parents are opposite-sex couples who have LGBT children.
But has the group found there are better places in North Texas to live or areas to avoid?
“We’re everywhere,” Kantor said. “LGBT families are living and thriving everywhere across North Texas.”
Rainbow Roundup has been getting more and more recognition around the area. In addition to becoming a Black Tie beneficiary, Kantor received the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce service award.
The group also had a table at last week’s LGBT Wedding Party and Expo. While most of the vendors were offering services for the wedding or locations for the honeymoon, Rainbow Roundup was there offering resources couples might need years into the future as they plan their families.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 28, 2017.