Raising a rainbow family or thinking of starting one? There’s no lack of resources, both in the Washington area and all over.
“Gay & Lesbian History for Kids: the Century-Long Struggle for LGBT Rights” by Jerome Pohlen was released by Chicago Review Press last week. It’s for ages 9 and up and was timed to coincide with this month’s Gay History Month. It features 21 activities and is a good primer for any age with a great time line that goes all the way back to 570 BC (death of the Greek poet Sappho) to the present day. Along the way are easy-to-digest entries on da Vinci, Walt Whitman, Oscar Wilde all the way through to Harvey Milk, Larry Kramer, Matthew Shepard and the Supreme Court ruling this year. It’s 192 pages and retails in trade paperback for $17.95. Details at ipgbook.com.
Any Washington-area family, LGBT or straight, will find it worthwhile to check out dcschoolhub.com, a local site dedicated to helping parents find the right childcare, preschool or private school in the D.C. metro area. The site has a search engine, weekly blogs, a parent forum, chat rooms and a section where parents can search for current and anticipated spots by age or grade. Founder Trevor Waddington is looking for local LGBT parents to blog about their experiences for the site. He’s interested in hearing about experiences finding child care and school activities and how rainbow families have been received in various schools and programs. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Interested in pursuing fertility/in vitro fertility (IVF) treatments but don’t know where to start? You may want to check out the services of Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg, a pioneer in the field who works with same-sex couples through his four locations which are in Los Angeles, New York, Guadalajara and India. Find out more at fertility-docs.com.
After 15 years of all-night gay dance parties, Sean O’Donnell and his partner Todd decided in August, 2012 to start a family. They walked into a Pittsburgh adoption agency and said, “We’d like a child please.” Thus began a long adventure of parenting classes, background checks and “enough paperwork to reforest the whole of the Amazon River basin,” as O’Donnell describes it in his new book “Which One of You Is My Mother?,” a humorous memoir that has been called “brilliant” and “touching” by other gay authors. Find out more at seansbiggayblog.com or look for Sean Michael O’Donnell on Amazon.
Another good resource is “Gay Parent,” which bills itself as the “longest-running, nationally distributed publication to LGBT parenting.” It was launched online in Sept., 1998 and started a print edition a month later. Published bi-monthly and distributed mainly free at LGBT community centers and bookstores, its focus is “to support and empower LGBT parents and LGBTs wishing to become first-time parents.” Print editions are mainly available in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. D.C.-based singer/songwriter Stewart Lewis, also a gay dad, is a columnist for the publication and is also the author of four novels. Its current issue features a story on Christa and Holly Ortego of Louisiana and their twins Miah and Collin. Details at gayparentmag.com.
Rainbow Families D.C. is a must for any local LGBT families. The group has an active schedule and is a great go-to stop for all kinds of resources. In November, they’ll make their annual visit to Cox Farm’s Fall Festival in Centreville, Va., for hay rides, pumpkins, farm animals, a corn maze, live music, hot cider, kettle corn and more. Keep up with all their events at rainbowfamiliesdc.org.
COLAGE is another great resource. This Seattle-based organization “unites people with (LGBT) parents into a network of peers and supports them as they nurture and empower each other to be skilled, self-confident and just leaders in our collective community.” Each summer, the group has a huge “family week” for youth in grades three through 12 in Provincetown, Mass. More information is at colage.org.
Several local LGBT-welcoming schools offer open houses this fall. Among them are:
• Beauvoir School (3500 Woodley Rd., N.W.) with open houses on Thursday, Oct. 22 at 9:15 a.m.; Sunday, Nov. 8 at 1 p.m.; and Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 9:15 a.m. Full details at beauvoirschoo.org.
• Bridges Public Charter School (1250 Taylor St., N.W.) is a free public school open to all D.C. residents. Non-residents can apply and attend for a fee. A lottery is held and a waiting list is maintained. Details at bridgespcs.org.
• Burgundy Farm Country Day School in Alexandria, Va., has its annual fall fair on Saturday, Oct. 17 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Open houses are scheduled for Friday, Oct. 9 from 9-11 a.m.; Wednesday, Nov. 11 from 9-11 a.m.;Saturday, Dec. 5 from 2-4 p.m.; and Sunday, Jan. 10 from 2-4 p.m. Details atburgundyfarm.org.
• Capitol Hill Day School (210 South Carolina Ave., S.E.) has various open houses. Details at chds.org.
• The Lowell School (1640 Kalmia Rd., N.W.) has tours for pre-primary and kindergarten on selected Fridays; tours for first through eighth grades are held on selected Wednesdays from October through January. The school’s fall bazaar is Saturday, Oct. 17 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Contact the school for more information.
• Washington International School has two locations. Its Primary campus is at 1690 36th St., N.W. and the Tregaron Campus is at 3100 Macomb St., N.W. To schedule a tour, visit wis.edu and go to “schedule a tour” under the admissions bar. Fill out the fields that apply to your prospective student’s age and submit. The school will contact you when the next applicable tour is to be held.
Want to treat your tweens and teens to a family-friendly night out at the theater? “Girlstar” by Anton Dudley and Brian Feinstein stars Signature favorite Donna Migliaccio in a show about legendary record producer Daniella Espere who discovers the next international sensation in her long-lost niece Tina. With its pop score, the musical invites audiences to “follow one girl’s breathtaking journey and ask, ‘How far is too far to go to become a star?’” It runsOct. 13-Nov. 15. Details at sigtheatre.org.