National Network Member to Host Virtual Conference for LGBTQ+ Families

Philadelphia Family Pride is a member of Family Equality’s National Network, a program that supports existing LGBTQ+ parent groups across the country and empowers LGBTQ+ parents with the tools they need to form groups. You can learn more about the National Network and find an LGBTQ+ family group near you, here.

This blog post is guest-written by Stephanie Haynes, the Executive Director of Philadelphia Family Pride. She has been with the organization for 12 years. Stephanie, her wife and her twin boys, live in West Philadelphia.

On Saturday, October 10, 2020, Philadelphia Family Pride will hold our 11th Annual Family Matters Conference virtually from 9:30am to 4:00pm for LGBTQ+ parents, prospective parents, grandparents and our children of all ages. While PFP generally serves Philadelphia area families, all LGBTQ+-led families are welcome to attend, regardless of geography.

When faced with not being able to safely gather in person, we decided to continue our programming virtually, including this, our biggest educational event of the year. The need for programming and community connection is greater than ever.

Given the year we are living through, the planning committee decided to scrap our usual programming and focus instead on three areas: racial justice, COVID-19, and the election.

This year’s conference theme is “Our Community: The Power of Many Voices.” Instead of a keynote speaker, PFP will host a keynote conversation with four panelists entitled “Resistance is Not a Spectator Sport: Racial Reckoning in LGBTQ+ Life and Community,”moderated by Faith Organizer and PFP parent Naomi Washington-Leapheart.

There will be additional relevant topics covered in the six other sessions for adults, including:

  • COVID-19 and Kids with a local pediatrician
  • Parenting through a Pandemic with two therapists
  • Transparent: Raising Our Voices, focused on trans parents
  • What’s On Your Bookshelf? A discussion of diverse books for kids
  • Talking to Your Kids about Race and Racism with two educators, and
  • Navigating Learning from Home with two local school principals.

In an effort to help build community in small groups during this year’s virtual event, we are holding several groups during this time slot divided by the age of children in our families, plus groups for prospective or expectant parents, and grandparents.

The last session for adults for the day will be a closing plenary covering “What’s at Stake for LGBTQ+ Familes This Year.” Speakers will include ACLU attorney Leslie Cooper with an update on the Fulton v. City of Philadelphia Supreme Court case, Julie Kruse from Family Equality with a federal legislative update, and openly-gay state representative from North Philly, Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta with a state perspective.

Although we can’t provide child care this year, we will be sending parents of kids under 7 years-old ideas for offline activities and hosting a live Drag Queen Story Time with Miss Brittany Lynn.

For our kids ages 8-14 and up, we are teaming up again with COLAGE. Their volunteers will run two hours of programming in three age groups: 8-10 year olds, 11-13 year olds and 14+. Session topics include our families in the media, body positivity, emotion regulation, power, privilege and oppression, and pandemics and social inequity.

More details about adult and kids programming, speakers, and sponsors as well as registration information can be found at our new conference website:

Philadelphia Family Pride’s mission is to build community for LGBTQ+ parents, prospective parents, grandparents and our kids of all ages –  including adults, youth, kids, toddlers and infants. We support our families in the greater Philadelphia region through advocacy, education and family-centered events.