Creative trailblazers, partners, and parents, Jordan Roth and Richie Jackson, demonstrate the deep love and joy that Family Equality strives to protect.
The Start of it All
When Richie Jackson was 18 years old, his mother asked him when he was going to come out. His response was simple. “I said, I’m gay and I’m gonna be a father.”
For Richie, those were the two main goals in his life: To be a father and to love someone. And by the time Family Equality sat down with him and his husband, Jordan Roth, it’s clear that he’s achieved both.
Creating a Family
Jordan and Richie have a blended family, which found its roots twenty-three years ago with baby Jackson in 2000. Then, when Jordan met and fell in love with Richie, their family grew.
“Very specifically, I remember when we told our parents that we were having a baby, who would become magic Levi, my father came bounding over…and then we all started crying,” recalls Jordan.
Lucky enough to have the unconditional support of their extended families as they embarked on their journey, the real work of parenting began.
Between producing iconic Broadway and television shows, delivering countless runway and red carpet fashion moments, and shaping the LGBTQ+ family narrative through works like Gay Like Me, Richie Jackson and Jordan Roth face the same question as so many other parents raising children today: How is one supposed to parent in a world like this?
“I think it takes purpose, and we’re going to raise our children to be resilient, to be empathetic, and to have a positive effect on the world,” says Richie.
What’s clear to anyone who has met the couple is that the key to their parenting success is the faith and love they have for one another. In other words, it’s all about teamwork.
Honored at Night at the Pier
Beyond being proud parents to Jackson and Levi, Jordan and Richie are creative forces who have dedicated their time and talents to bringing visibility to LGBTQ+ families. They truly encapsulate Family Equality’s central belief: Love makes a family. This is why we were thrilled to honor them on May 16, 2022 at Night at the Pier in New York City. Between ravishing red carpet looks and moving remarks, Jordan and Richie reminded a room full of 600 ardent supporters why our work is so important.
“We’re a multi-generational Family Equality family,” Jordan explains. “To have an organization like Family Equality whose mission and lifeblood is to give oxygen to all of our growing families…that’s some optimism right there. Some good gay optimism.”
Dedicated to telling the stories of everyday LGBTQ families, the Ric Swezey Memorial Fund made this film possible. Make a donation to support our storytelling work here.