Team Equality Spotlight: Stephanie Hazen

What is your role at Family Equality

I am the National Training & Advocacy Manager. While I will be
continuing much of the local schools work I’ve been doing in
Minnesota over the past two years, my role will expand to include
some national LGBT family advocacy and policy work. I am really
excited to build on the successes we’ve had in Minnesota and
delve into some new areas, too!

Why is family equality important to

All families deserve recognition, validation, respect and legal
protections to strengthen and protect their family. I hope to see
the day when my own family and all LGBT families have the same
social and legal status enjoyed by heterosexual families.

What’s the best part of being a

I can only pick one?!  It is pure joy when I see my daughter’s
beaming smile and hear her laughter. And when she wraps her little
arms around me and says “I love you!” I just melt. But perhaps
the best thing is watching my daughter learn and grow and develop
into her own being with her own personality, own interests, own
thoughts – it’s absolutely incredible!

Do you have any advice for prospective LGBT

No one told me how challenging parenting can be – it can be
really hard! And going through the process of creating a family can
be an emotional roller coaster. Surround yourself with a strong
support network of friends and family with whom you can share your
difficulties and joys (and who will volunteer to babysit!) along
your parenthood journey.

Of which professional accomplishment are you most

Last school year, I had the privilege of training over 900
educators and education majors across Minnesota on how to create
safe, welcoming and inclusive school environments for children with
LGBT parents. I really enjoy helping educators recognize how
heteronormativity and homophobia are so pervasive in our schools
and providing them with tools to create learning environments that
are safe and affirming of all students regardless of their own or
their parents’ sexual orientation and gender identity.