Coming Out As LGBT Grandparents

With increasing coverage of LGBT parents in the media today, it is
surprising LGBT grandparents are still largely invisible. I suspect
this has much to do with the frequent media focus on lesbian
couples with cute little tots or funny stories about finding
, or, for occasional variety,
gay men searching for surrogates
. The idea that LGBT people
have been having kids long enough to become grandparents is foreign
to most people, as is the concept of anyone coming out after having

Alice Fisher and Michael Connolly of the Stonewall
Communities Lifelong Learning Institute
, the first LGBT LLI in
the world, hope to change that. They ran a course in 2007 for LGBT
grandparents, and wrote up their experiences for this month’s

The Older LEARNer
, a publication of the American Society on Aging. They
discuss the changing role of grandparents in today’s society as
well as particular issues for LGBT grandparents. One positive

For the most part, we have not found the issue of how
and when to come out to grandchildren to be a big issue for the
youngest generation. We are open and low-key. . . . Grandchildren
help choose—or invent—terms of endearment for the nonbiological
grandparent. Can grandchildren keep track of five or seven
grandparents? Yes, we found. Better than we can.

It’s a good article on a topic that deserves more recognition. I’ll
be bringing you more voices of LGBT grandparents, in cooperation
with Stonewall Communities, over at Mombian in the coming weeks. Stay

(Crossposted at