PFP at Creating Change 2018
Philadelphia Family Pride was honored to participate in Creating Change, the largest LGBTQIA+ conference in the country with about 4,000 attendees annually. This year's Creating Change took place over five days in Washington, DC and was the 30th year in a row the event has been held.
PFP had a proposal accepted to run a session on "Queer Parenting 101" and also participated on a panel led by the Family Equality Council on "Finding Your People: Building and Sustaining LGBTQ Family Groups."
The "Queer Parenting 101" session attracted about 50 participants, including parents, grandparents, prospective parents and a few adults and kids with LGBTQ+ parents. Presenters included PFP Board Chair Adam Podowitz-Thomas (pictured center), Task Force Faith Director Naomi Washington-Leapheart (right) and S Bear Bergman (seated left). PFP Executive Director Stephanie Haynes moderated the discussion.
The session started with the group writing questions on butcher block or sticky notes in a variety of categories including "Internal" - questions about families within our households. "External" covered family topics relating our families to others outside our households - extended family, school, etc.
There were WAY more questions than we could ever get to, but the discussion was able to get to address the most common questions including how to manage relationships with extended families, talking to your kids about where they come from, good books for kids (including Bear's Flamingo Rampant press) navigating school issues, adoption in the LGBTQ community, navigating fertility issues and more.
Along with the session, we put together a list of "Queer Parenting 101" resources which you can find on our blog here. The transcribed list of questions can also be downloaded there in PDF form. If you have a suggestion to add to the resourcee list, please contact us!
If you're interested in hearing a debrief from Adam and Stephanie of the conference, email email@example.com to be invited to a small group dinner in West Philly on February 11 at 5pm.
New Year's Party and New Board Members
PFP families got together on December 30th at the William Way Center for a New Year's Eve Eve party. About 60 people braved the snow and enjoyed the catered event, crafts and good company. We were having such a good time, we forgot to take a group photo! Doh!
We also elected our new board of directors for 2018 at the New Year's party.
Welcome new Board Chair Adam Podowitz-Thomas, new Vice-Chair Nijah Newton-Famous, new Secretary Ruby Augustus and new Treasurer Greg Hedler. All are former board members who have stepped up to take on exec board/leadership positions.
Also returning to the board for 2018 are Despina Kontos, Terinae Holland, Gina Cline, Tariem Burroughs, Bryan Berchok, Angel Brice and Greg Yorgey-Girdy.
New to the board this year are Chloe Harris, Ana DelCorazon, Leigh Braden and Julie Assis. (Chloe and Ana are pictured across from each other at the brunch. Turns out they went to high school together!)
Many thanks to outgoing board chair Kelly Durand and Vice Chair Sandra Telep for their years of service to PFP.
More January Events
On January 7th, the New and Expectant Parent Potluck met for their monthly get-together at the home of Nisha Nayak and twins in South Philly. See below for the next date for this group. (And they remembered to take a photo, yeah!)
Stay tuned for a newer cohort with babies born this year while this group finds a different name as most of the kids are now toddlers. (If you'd like to take a lead on organizing this new group, let us know!)
Families also met up at Smith Playground on an unseasonably warm January 21st. Thanks to PFP Board Member Despina Kontos for organizing that get together.
Prospective Parents Groups Set Dates for 2018
The "Maybe Baby & Beyond: Exploring Paths to Parenthood" groups are starting back up this year! This 8-week experience will provide information from legal, financial, fertility, surrogacy, adoption and medical experts, as well as emotional, social and community support around becoming a parent. Speakers will include professionals and current LGBTQ parents. Participants will finish the eight weeks with a sense of their options, how to navigate the process as an LGBTQ person, and connections with those on a similar journey.
The group at the Therapy Center of Philadelphia for LGBQ women and trans/gender-queer and non-binary communities considering paths to parenthood will meet on Wednesday nights from 6:30-8:00pm for eight weeks starting February 28 at their offices at 1315 Walnut Street, 10th floor. The group will be facilitated by Maliha Ibrahim and Samantha Rucker. To sign up for the next set of classes, contact them at 215-567-1111.
The group for queer, gay and bi cisgender and transgender men and non-binary folks will meet at the Walnut Psychotherapy Center this summer starting May 24th on Thursday nights from 5:30-7pm at 1500 Walnut Street, Suite 300. Therapist Josh Freker will be the facilitator. Call 215-563-7863 for more info and to get on the list to be a part of this group.
The Therapy Center group will focus more on pregnancy, prenatal and postpartum care, with info about adoption and fostering. The group at Walnut Psychotherapy Center will focus more on adoption and fostering with info about surrogacy available as well. Transgender, genderqueer, non-binary and other gender expansive folks are invited to choose the group that seems best for them.
Cost for participation for the full 8 weeks for both groups is $250/couple ($125/individual) for Philadelphia Family Pride members or $330/couple ($165/individual) for non-PFP members. Those not already PFP members can join on our web site. There will also be a $50 intake session fee for both groups.
Megan and Rachelle Schneider welcomed Avi Wolfe Schneider on January 13th, 2018 at 9:55pm weighing is at 7lb 13oz.
"Avi is a great baby. He is learning the difference between day and night and we all get 3 hour stretches of sleep in the evenings!
When he's awake he is alert and interested. He is a great eater! After a 3.5 year struggle to get pregnant, we feel blessed with such a sweet, fun, and cool kiddo!
We all can't wait to attend our first PFP event as a family!"
Congratulations from all your friends at PFP!
Sunday, February 4: The New & Expectant Parent Potluck group will meet at the home of Julie and Leah in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia from 10am-12pm. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for the address and parking info.
Saturday, February 10th: Go swimming with PFP families from 2pm on at the Greater Plymough Community Center. Tickets are $10/swimmer or free for PFP members. More info.
Saturday, February 17th: Time to ice skate outside before the season is over at the Riverrink at Penn's Landing's Winter Fest from 3-4:30pm. More info.
Sunday, February 25th: Meet up with PFP families at Legoland Discovery Center in Plymouth meeting at 1pm. Tickets and more.
Sunday, March 4th: New and expectant parent group will hold its monthly potluck. Location TBA. Time, 10am-12pm.
Saturday, March 24th: The Trans/Genderqueer parent group will be meeting up from 12-2pm at Clark Park in West Philly. More.
Keep an eye on our Facebook page and Twitter feed for more upcoming events.
From Our Blog:
PFP Statement re: Rep Daryl Metcalfe’s
attack on LGBTQ Families
Philadelphia Family Pride denounces the hateful rhetoric targeting our families in Representative Daryl Metcalfe’s letter to Governor Tom Wolf in January 2018.
Rep. Metcalfe’s demand, signed on to by 24 of his colleagues, that birth certificates issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania be changed to specify “Mother” and “Father” instead of the current “Parent/Parent” language serves no practical purpose other than to discriminate against families such as those that comprise Philadelphia Family Pride and other families around the commonwealth.
Birth certificates play a central role in identifying and recognizing who has the legal rights to make decisions for a child and U.S. Supreme Court decisions clearly establish that same-sex couples have equal rights with respect to their children’s birth certificates as opposite-sex couples. Insisting that gendered terminology be used to describe those parents is a waste of the Commonwealth’s time and resources.
Our families are diverse and varied, and the birth certificates of their children should reflect that what matters to our children is the love and support that are what truly makes a family, not the gender of their parents. Philadelphia Family Pride calls on Governor Wolf and other representatives to speak out against these attacks on our families and our children and applauds the steps already taken to ensure that our families are recognized on these important legal documents.
You can find your state representatives here.
Contact Gov. Wolf here.
Philadelphia Family Pride
2018 Board of Directors
Adam Podowitz-Thomas, Chair
Nijah Newton-Famous, Vice-Chair
Gregory Hedler, Treasurer
Ruby Augustus, Secretary
Despina Kontos, Education and Advocacy Committee Chair
Gina Cline, Event Planning Committee Chair
Tariem Burroughs, Fundraising Committee Chair
Terinae Holland, Membership Committee Chair
Members-at-Large: Julie Assis, Angel Brice, Bryan Berchok, Leigh Braden, Ana DelCorazon, Chloe Harris and Gregory Yorgey-Girdy.
Suggestions for what else we should include in our newsletter? Want to sponsor our next issue?