COLAGE responds to the Supreme Court decisions on DOMA and Prop 8 – Justice Is What Love Looks Like In Public

 “Justice is what love looks like in public.” – Cornel West COLAGE/Children of LGBTQ parents speak about what the Supreme Court decisions mean to us. Today, we saw love further honored and enshrined in the law. It was a great victory for our movement. We are proud that the Supreme Court has chosen to uphold the rights of so many in our community to receive the benefits that they deserve and to marry whomever they love. We should take this moment to celebrate another step forward for our families and realize that our hard work has bent–just a bit more–the moral arc of the universe towards justice. At the same time, our work is not done. As an LGBTQ organization, millions within our community still do not have the basic human rights that they deserve, including the 36 states and some tribal nations where our families and children are still treated as unequal. As a social justice organization, we remain in solidarity with workers who will now find it harder to rightly claim discrimination on the job and many voters who will now find it more difficult to cast their votes. Today, we celebrate. But we must also build on this victory to secure greater rights for our community.  –Paul Perry, COLAGE Board President A word from our Executive Director, Annie Van Avery I am the daughter of a lesbian mother, her partner of 15 years, and a gay father. I am also the Executive Director of the only national organization run by and for people who have one or more Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer identified parents, COLAGE. While we have always been a part of the LGBTQ community, you have heard our voices more and more in the past year as our families’ legitimacy and rights have been discussed in the media and the courts. We, ‘children of’ are unified in our belief that our families should have the same rights as any family. Among us, COLAGErs or ‘children of’ cross all ethnic, class, religious, national, race, and gender identities. We are from families that are low-income, in the top 2%, and everything in between. We are mixed race, we are trans-nationally adopted, we came into this world through donor insemination, we were born to straight or married heterosexual parents who later came out, we had a Dad who transitioned to being a Mom, we have a parent who identifies as Two-Spirit, we have a family that comprises of multiple Moms and Dads. We grew up in New York City and we grew up in Salt Lake City; we are from Florida and we are from...

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House Parties!!!

Western Massachusetts,  September 30th San Francisco, October 7th Join us as we as one of our upcoming house parties!  We are holding parties around the country to provide opportunities for people to gather and learn more about COLAGE and our great COLAGErs!  email us at: Colage@colage.org to find out where to find a party near you OR how to host one...

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Be a part of change; join COLAGE’s Board of Directors!

COLAGE is the only national youth-driven network for people with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer (LGBTQ) parents. For over 20 years, we’ve built a community and movement toward social justice through youth empowerment, leadership development, education, and advocacy. Join us to help strengthen the unique voice of youth and adults of LGBTQ families across the country! COLAGE is currently seeking candidates for the Board of Directors.  We are a multi-racial, multi-cultural, and multi-talented group of dedicated volunteers that include youth and adults with LGBTQ parents, LGBTQ parents, and allies from around the nation.  Well-qualified candidates will have an opportunity to help guide and cultivate COLAGE through a new era. While we welcome any interested applicants, we are particularly seeking: Experience with nonprofit/corporate fundraising Experience with financial oversight and accounting Experience with law/legal practice (LGBTQ, human rights, non-profit, or family law preferred) Energetic, talented, self-starter youth (currently enrolled in high school) To apply: Please send a current resume and a concise Letter of intent to the Membership Committee at: membership@colage.org Please feel free to contact us if you have questions or would like additional information. Young people are encouraged to apply. We look forward to reviewing your application! If you have a friend or co-worker that may seem like a good fit for the board please pass their name on to us, and have them...

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J.C. Penney Ads Featuring COLAGErs and their Families

Last month (May 2012), an ad appeared that took the nation by surprise.  For Mother’s Day, J.C. Penney presented a photograph containing two parents, two children, and a grandparent.  The picture captured a sharply dressed and gleaming family ready to celebrate Mother’s Day.  Why, then, did the One Million Moms (OMM) and a large portion of J.C. Penney’s customers take issue with the advertisement?  It wasn’t because of the kids.  It wasn’t because of the grandmother.  It was because the kids in the photo have two moms. Although some people like OMM found the ad offensive, many people applauded J.C. Penney for it.  Because of people like you, J.C. Penney received enormous support from its more progressive clientele.  This advertisement didn’t just say, look at our great clothing line.  It also said, We support ALL families. We, at COLAGE, were thrilled.  Many of us felt visible and validated to see families similar to our own being advertised in mainstream media.  Still, we were also worried that the OMM’s hate wave would keep J.C. Penney in check for fear of losing much of their customer-base.  We at COLAGE are now beyond thrilled to say that J.C. Penney continues to take a stand.  For Father’s Day, J.C. Penney posted this advertisement, picturing two doting dads, aiming to celebrate ALL fathers. There is, however, an important word to point out in the above paragraph.  That word is “aiming.”  And though we are grateful for J.C. Penney’s support of families with same-sex parents, we find ourselves concerned about a different representational shortcoming. In addition to common ad issues like lack of size diversity and the exclusivity of commercialized beauty – issues that deserve [and have] their own respective (and often intersecting) discourse – the photos are not as inclusive (and therefore not as empowering) as we think they should be. One of the main selling points of the advertisements is that they showcase real, loving families.  We can see from the photos that these are real families full of very real love.  However, both sets of parents in the advertisements appear to be white.  If real families are being modeled, that realness needs to include all kinds of families; families of different races/ethnicities, classes, sizes, etc.  When J.C. Penney creates ads that are able to do that, we will truly have something to celebrate.  J.C. Penney normally does a tremendous job of showcasing many different kinds of people.  We want to encourage that kind of inclusion to continue. It is important to note that the COLAGErs in the second advertisement appear to be youth of color (and possibly mixed identities).  This is certainly...

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The best response to attacks on our families…
Aug22

The best response to attacks on our families…

Hi there! Thanks so much for watching and sharing this video about my family! I’ve heard the terrible things Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and others are saying about families like yours and mine. It’s a form of bullying, and I think one of the best ways to respond is by sharing our stories. I’m proud to have two gay dads and a lesbian mom. This summer, I worked with COLAGE Voices Raised advisor Heliana Ramirez and her UC Berkeley Public Health Policy classmates to produce this special video featuring my family. It was especially great to make this video with Heliana because we both have gay dads and understand what it’s like to be treated differently and discriminated against. This 3-minute video shows how COLAGE helps young people like me realize that by sharing our stories, we help create a world that treats all families with dignity and respect. I hope you enjoy it, share it with your friends and family, and make a donation to COLAGE so more youth like me become strong advocates for ourselves and our families! In the video I talk about name-calling at school. When LGBT family issues are in the news or anti-gay political campaign ads are on tv and the internet, students like me often feel a backlash – the bullies feel validated and our teachers are sometimes unsure how to respond. Youth with LGBT parents have a unique and powerful story that can help make everyone feel safer at school. Here in California, I’m sharing my truth and speaking out to help protect the FAIR Education Act that passed to ensure the LGBT movement, leaders and families like mine are reflected in social studies and history lessons. Thanks to financial support from people like you, COLAGE programs have empowered me and other COLAGE youth to advocate for LGBTQ families. Now, more than ever, we need your support to make sure more young people can do the same. Please watch our new video and donate to COLAGE today as a monthly donor at $10, $25, or $50 a month so that even more youth with LGBT parents will be able to change the world! I have a goal of inspiring 10 people to become new monthly donors by September 10th. Will you help me reach that goal? Sincerely, Kyle Fa P.S. Don’t forget to share this on Facebook and beyond (see...

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Are gays with children a family? Bachmann can’t answer.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy Click here to donate to COLAGE on behalf of Michele Bachmann so that we can amplify the voices of people with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer...

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