A COLAGE chapter is a community-based group that provides empowerment, education, and advocacy for folks with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer (LGBTQ) parents. All of our chapters follow our mission in providing safe, supportive, and empowering community spaces for people who have LGBTQ parents.
There are many successful types of COLAGE chapter organizing. Some provide an ongoing discussion/social/support group(s) for a specific age(s) of youth (often with a focus on a school-age range, e.g., middle school or high school). Others plan LGBTQ family events throughout the year. Others act as a regional resource hub for youth with LGBTQ families in their area, simply providing referrals or an understanding ear to those who contact the chapter.
Why start or join a Chapter?
COLAGE chapters change lives. One of the greatest challenges reported by youth and adults with LGBTQ parents is a sense of isolation, alone-ness, or feeling that “they are the only one.” When folks with LGBTQ families get together, regardless of what we actually do or say, it’s a positive experience that can’t be underestimated. Participants in COLAGE often share that being able to connect with others who have similar families, backgrounds, and experiences not only increase their family pride and self-esteem, but allow them to see themselves as part of a supportive and dynamic community and to find their place in the LGBTQ movement.
Local COLAGE Chapters
- Atlanta, GA: email@example.com
- Bay Area, CA: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Boston, MA: email@example.com
- Illinois (Western Suburbs of Chicago) : firstname.lastname@example.org
- Delaware: email@example.com
- Denver, CO: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Los Angeles, CA: email@example.com
- New York City, NY: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rhode Island: email@example.com
- Saint Louis, MO: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Seattle, WA: email@example.com
- Syracuse, NY: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Toronto, Ontario: email@example.com
- Twin Cities, MN: firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t see a chapter in your area? Read below to see how to start one!
Starting a COLAGE Chapter:
Download our COLAGE Chapter Guide that will assist you in creating a group.
If you want support, we are here for you! Contact us anytime by emailing our National Program Director Robin Marquis at email@example.com or calling her at (206) 549-2054.
Let us know about your group events and meetings so we can add them to our calendar and help spread the word.
If you are interested in using our logo and name, you will need to sign an affiliation agreement with COLAGE and we will send you a goody bag of resources and COLAGE merchandise.
More about Chapters:
Our chapters are for people from many different types of family situations. Our members include those who are multiracial and those with disabilities; those who are adopted and those who were conceived through donor insemination; those who have grown up with LGBTQ, straight, and single parents, more than two parents, those whose parent(s) transitioned genders, and those who just had a parent come out.
A majority of COLAGE chapters offer some ongoing peer support or discussion and activity based group for youth. In addition to support, some chapters organize social activities such as movie nights; poetry slams; hiking; trips to museums, parks, and the beach; brunches; parties; and bowling nights. These might focus on youth exclusively or might be open to entire LGBTQ families. Other chapters include a focus on advocacy work, youth leadership development, community service, or raising community awareness. Examples of these types of activities include participation in local community events such as LGBTQ pride and youth gatherings; a speakers bureau to educate the community about what it’s like to have LGBTQ parents; a second generation group for those who also identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning (LGBTQQ); an activist or lobbying group that organizes and fights homophobia; projects such as art performances; and encouraging schools to purchase educational materials about LGBTQ people and families.
In some cities, chapters offer additional (or as their primary focus) events and activities for adults with LGBTQ parents. For chapters, usually an adult is someone 18 or older, though other groups may define adult COLAGErs as 22 and up.
The wide variety of COLAGE chapter programs offers many opportunities for us to create a community of our own, breaking down the isolation we often experience without having connections and support from other COLAGErs. The diversity of models for COLAGE chapters also allows local communities to identify the greatest needs and interests of the youth with LGBTQ parents in their area to ensure participation and success in each chapter.