Family Week 2011 is only 9 months away!

Keep watching the
Family Week site
for updates about Family Week 2011. Meanwhile,
check out Director of Finance and Administration Bill Lorenz’s
reflections on his first Family Week:

When I joined Family
Equality Council
in September of 2009, the staff had just
returned from that year’s
Family Week
event in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Hearing the
stories and seeing the pictures, I knew that I had missed out on
something great and for a year I anxiously awaited the next event.
It was impossible to imagine the lasting impact it would have on

For me, Family Week was life changing and career affirming. I was
fortunate to spend quality time with a spectrum of families with
stories that inspire, but also horrify at the injustice that
continues plague the world we live in. Family Week is a respite for
many of our families, where parents and children can enjoy a safe
environment where they are not tokenized, ridiculed, or bullied.
It’s a time to be open, be proud, to sound voices that for some
is choked silent the remainder of the year. For many of the
families I interacted with, they are forced to live in the shadows
of their community in order to protect their children as much as
possible. One mother from South Carolina was experiencing Family
Week for the first time. This was the first time in her
children’s lives where they were able to be around other families
like their own. The emotion registered on her face told me that
Family Week must carry on, even if only to serve this one family. I
was stunned, unable to imagine the isolation this family must feel
the other 51 weeks of the year. Some parents shared with me how
they created their families through fostering and adoption, saving
neglected and unwanted children from horrific situations; it made
me wonder why anyone would hold want to withhold a child the
opportunity to experience a loving, safe, and nurturing home. Many
LGBT parents who want these children are barred from fostering and

At our Family Dance event the last day of Family Week, I watched a
slide show that captured snap-shots of special moments throughout
the week. On the giant screen before me were projected the images
of the children I played with and who have become so dear to me,
the parents I chatted and learned so much from, and my co-workers
who share my passion for the work we do to support and advocate
justice for all families. I will never forget the feeling of pride
and kinship that washed over me. I remembered how much I yearn to
create my own family someday, and since departing from Provincetown
I have felt a fire burning inside me like never before and I know
that day may be sooner than later.
Thanks to Family Week, I understand better why our work is so
important and the impact it has on millions of current and future
LGBT families. It is remembering the faces of laughing children,
the voices of parents’ storytelling about their struggle to make
the world safe for their kids that fuels my fire and affirms for me
that I am in at the place I am meant to be, fighting hard for what
I know is right.

Family Week 2011
will be July 30 – August 6, 2011. Make sure to
mark your calendars!