Record Number of Families at Family Week!

It’s only been two days since the 12th annual
Provincetown Family Week
began, and I’m already astounded by
the growth! I’ve seen many old faces and also a lot of new. This
year, R Family
is running the large social and entertainment events,
like their Under the Big Top Circus Dinner and their Classic Disco
Family Tea Dance, and already 3 of the 4 major events are SOLD OUT
with more than 650 people attending each one! Last year, our
biggest dinner (also run by R Family and pirate-themed)
was 350 people. We estimate well over 500 LGBTQ-headed families in
PTown this week–that’s at least 1,000 if not more than 1,500
people from our community. The growth is tremendous!

So much has happened since we arrived Saturday morning, not to
mention the drive up. (I surprised my boss, Family Pride Executive Director
Jennifer Chrisler, with my fancy driving. Hey, that rest stop crept
up on me, and I hadto get over two lanes of traffic to get
there. Parents understand: when someone in the car has to go,
someone in the car has to go.)

We had a great time at check-in and registration Saturday morning,
down on MacMillan Pier. We’ve moved most of our events down there
this year–both to create a one-stop shop for our families and
because the breeze off the water is oh so nice! We busted out the
sound system and I plugged my iPod in–I have a special “Family
Pride” playlist for just such occasions, with great LGBTQ family
hits like “We Are Family,” “Love and Happiness,” “Freedom 90,” and
more. As R Family
staff handled tickets and program books, the Family Pride staff was able to do
what we’ve always wanted to have more time to do at Family
–talk and share with all the wonderful families!

Family Pride Staff
Family Pride Staff Back

We have a full workshop schedule this week, continuing the
tradition of bringing fresh, valuable education and advocacy
programming to LGBTQ-headed families even as we ratchet up the fun
side of the week through our partnership with R Family. I’m particularly
excited to present on safe and inclusive schools with Jennifer on
Tuesday and to lead parents through our “Toughest Questions”
workshop Wednesday morning, an exercise pulled directly from our
Families Speakers Bureau

Other highlights of the past few days include:

The Gathering for Families with Members of African and/or Caribbean
Descent (held at the Family Pride staff house!)
The Broadway Belters Brunch (think bacon, eggs, vibrato)
The Welcome Family Beach Picnic (complete with cool breeze and even
cooler water)
The Blogging and Online Activism Workshop (with our good friend,
Dana Rudolph of
The Sandcastle Building Contest (complete with Family Pride ribbons
for all the families that participated)

Family Week 2007 Saturday Check-in

Tomorrow’s our first full day of workshops and entertainment
programming, with “little gatherings” for the under 4s first thing,
followed by a workshop conducted by Jennifer Chrisler on “Talking
to Our Children” about being LGBTQ. Then it’s on to “Relationship
Success,” a presentation on keeping LGBTQ partnerships strong,
followed by Beach Olympics, the 7th Annual Guatemalan Barbecue (for
families with children adopted from Guatemala), and the big deal,
big-time Under the Big Top Dinner!

I can’t say I’m not a little exhausted already, and I think I speak
for the Family Pride
staff as a whole. However, there is a strange energy that develops
around Family Week–an energy that keeps a smile on our faces
(through the pounds of sweat) and pep in our step (with burns on
our necks). The truth of the matter is that there’s no way to
explain or describe this energy as anything other than the warmth
and good vibes we get from being around all these beautiful
families. I’m excited to keep you all posted as we work through the
week, and to have other Family Pride staff members update
you, as well. It’s not easy finding a few minutes each day with
packed schedules like these to share what’s going on here on the
Cape, but we believe in sharing our work with as many people as
possible, especially the ones who can’t be here.

Family Week 2007 Saturday Sunset

And now for some much-needed rest…

Stay tuned!