Family Pride: Bringing the Work We Do to the Places Our Families Gather

(This post was written by Family Pride’s Executive Director,
Jennifer Chrisler.)

Greetings, friends! I never thought I’d have the time on an r
family cruise to blog, but this time around I’ve brought my entire
staff along to more evenly divide up the work. It helps to have
(paid) friends 😉

For the last three cruises (this one included) Family Pride has
provided all of the educational and advocacy programming on the
boat. We know the r family cruises are so important to our
families. We jumped at the chance to reach so many people with our
tools and resouces to secure equality for all loving families. And
we continue to ratchet up our programming from cruise to cruise.
This summer’s cruise from New York to the r family private island
and back has been fantastic so far. Here are some highlights:

We started the week off right with a full day of workshops on
Sunday. At 9am in the Dazzles Lounge (that’s right, Dazzles), Dr.
Kim Bergman, Family Pride Board Co-Chair and family creation
expert, and Gail Taylor, President of Growing Generations, talked with
prospective parents about the many ways we can create our families
these days.

At 10am, I was proud to present on making schools safe and
inclusive for our families with Dustin Kight, Program and Education
Associate of Family Pride. Dustin and David Jacques, our
eCommunications Coordinator, were instrumental in bringing the
Rainbow Report
to our families. We built our workshop on the same
philosophy as the Report Card–that our schools will never truly be
safe and inclusive of our families until LGBTQ parents get active,
out and involved in their schools. It’s not an easy process, but
one we believe in, and strive to provide our parents with as many
resources, connections, ideas and thoughts on getting started. The
40+ people in the room seemed to enjoy the workshop, as we fielded
their questions and guided them through their personal situations,
just like the Rainbow Report Card does.

At 11am, we were happy to bring Mitchell Gold to the stage. You may
know Mitchell for his classy furniture, provocative ads, and
inspiring work around faith-based discrimination in America.
(Mitchell founded the organization Faith in America.)
Mitchell gave an inspiring presentation to a packed room, sharing
his knowledge of marketing and social history to impart an
interesting array of tools to combat the “but it’s against my
religious beliefs” anti-LGBTQ arguments.

We had our first major event at 1pm–a panel discussion called “The
Personal and Political,” with Debbie Novotny (I
tell you no lies), Mitchell Gold, and former Massacusetts State
Senator Jarrett Barrios. The point of the panel was to encouage
your average LGBTQ parent or ally to get active for family equality
in their daily lives. Debbie shared the perspectives of a PFLAG mom
(and a couple of risque jokes, to boot!), while Mitchell told the
story of how he started his factory and his organization in the
sleepy (conservative) town of Taylorsville, NC. Jarrett, the first
openly gay state representative in Massachuetts, was instrumental
in winning marriage equality in his state and keeping it there with
the recent Constitutional Convention. This was a win we know had
more to do with average citizens telling their stories and changing
hearts and minds than anything else.

More than 250 people felt the power of their words (including Rosie
O’Donnell). Family Pride staff was on hand to deliver materials and
resouces to attendees to further develop themselves as activists
once the cruise (sadly) comes to an end.

That’s all I can give you now, though, as I have a Major Donor
Appreciation Dinner to attend. it’s important to recognize those
people in our community who have the resources and the willingness
to fund the work of Family Pride at such high levels. If you’re
inspired by the work we do, as well, consider becoming a major
donor today

More to come on the programming later! Cheers!