Police groups are banned from participating in New York City Pride “effective immediately” / LGBTQ Nation

Police groups are banned from participating in New York City

JUNE 26 2016: The 46th annual NYC Pride March featured over 350 contingents, marching from 36th Street to Christopher & Greenwich Sts

A police vehicle at the 46th annual NYC Pride March on June 26, 2016Photo: Shutterstock

The Gay Officers’ Action League (GOAL) revealed that Heritage of Pride (HOP), the organization that is the organizer of the New York City Pride festivities, has banned official law enforcement participation in their events.

The NYC Pride organizers have long welcomed law enforcement groups to participate, and has partnered with GOAL and other LGBTQ law enforcement groups to criticism over recent years. In a decision they confirmed today, NYC Pride organizers have bought that relationship to an end.

Related: Trans & queer New Yorkers faced brutal use of force by police near Stonewall. The mayor “doesn’t know anything.”

In a statement released this morning, HOP stated to LGBTQ Nation via email, “effective immediately, NYC Pride will ban corrections and law enforcement exhibitors at NYC Pride events until 2025. At that time their participation will be reviewed by the Community Relations and Diversity, Accessibility, and Inclusion committees, as well as the Executive Board.”

They stated, “in the meantime, NYC Pride will transition to providing increased community-based security and first responders, while simultaneously taking steps to reduce NYPD presence at events.”

Citing an “increased budget for security and first response,” Pride organizers said that “NYPD is not required to lead first response and security at NYC Pride events. All aspects of first response and security that can be reallocated to trained private security, community leaders, and volunteers will be reviewed.”

Still, because the NYPD is responsible for issuing certain permits, the department and organizers will maintain some form of working relationship, albeit a less friendly one.

“This announcement follows many months of conversation and discussion with key stakeholders in the community,” Pride co-chair André Thomas said. He credited the Anti-Violence Project, National Black Justice Coalition, and other advocates for giving HOP the guidance to make the decision possible.

The GOAL chapter for New York, representing LGBTQ officers in the NYPD, put out a statement on the matter ahead of HOP on May 14, expressing that they were “disheartened by the decision to ban our group from participating in New York City Pride.”

GOAL cites changes in NYPD policies in recent years as evidence of their advocacy, taking credit for having “had our hands in every police reform and policy revision touching on the LGBTQIA+ community in New York City.”

According to the New York Daily News, Heritage of Pride was going to publicly announce their decision next week, but GOAL decided to preempt them.

GOAL president Brian Downey suggested that police will participate anyway, stating, “Heritage of Pride is well aware that the city would not allow a large scale event to occur without police presence.”

Seemingly preparing for that, HOP stated that they expect the NYPD to “provide first response and security only when absolutely necessary as mandated by city officials.” Outside of that, Pride organizers will “take steps” to keep officers from the department’s supervising precinct “at least one city block away from event perimeter areas where possible.”

Downey claimed that the NYC Pride organizers’ ban on groups representing law enforcement or corrections employees will begin next year, and also extended to all GOAL chapters around the world. Pride organizers said that the ban is immediate, although their actual official Pride march this year is going to be virtual.

Downey further derided organizers for taking “the low road,” saying that the decision is “preventing their fellow community members from celebrating their identities and honoring the shared legacy of the Stonewall Riots.”

He further stated that “it is demoralizing that Heritage of Pride didn’t have the courage to refer to GOAL by name in its announcement,” calling their blanket term “Law Enforcement Exhibitors” a label “that is not only offensive but dehumanizing for our members.”

The Stonewall Riots of 1969 started early in the morning on June 28, 1969, when NYPD officers raided the Stonewall Inn bar for serving alcohol to gay people. Patrons stood up against the police and kicked off three days of unrest. This moment helped crystallize the modern LGBTQ rights movement, and led to what we now call “Pride Month.”

Only after pressure and a declaration from NYC Pride organizers did the NYPD officially apologize in 2019 for the raid and actions the department took against LGBTQ people that night.

As it was last year, this year’s annual Pride march in Manhattan will be held virtually out of precaution for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and comes on June 27. Some other events planned by the organization will be held in person.

For the last two years, “Reclaim Pride” has been a counter-event organized by the Reclaim Pride Coalition to hold a Pride celebration that doesn’t feature police, corporate, or politician involvement. The coalition recently announced that they will hold their third annual rally on the same day as HOP’s virtual event, marching in-person from Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan to Battery Park at the southern end of the borough.

At last year’s Reclaim Pride march, which protested police brutality in the wake of George Floyd’s death, marchers were pepper sprayed and attacked with batons by NYPD officers allegedly covering their badge numbers.

In a statement to the New York Times, a NYPD spokesperson said that “the idea of officers being excluded is disheartening and runs counter to our shared values of inclusion and tolerance.

“That said, we’ll still be there to ensure traffic safety and good order during this huge, complex event.”


Vote for the best LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding and event pros in the 2021 Equally Wed Awards!

Vote for the best LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding and event pros

Kirsten Ott Palladino

Kirsten Ott Palladino is an award-winning editor, writer, speaker and educator, as well as the author of the first gender-neutral wedding planning book for LGBTQ+ couples, EQUALLY WED​: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PLANNING YOUR LGBTQ+ WEDDING ​(Seal Press). She’s the co-founder and editorial director of Equally Wed, the world’s leading digital LGBTQ+ wedding magazine, as well as Equally Wed Pro, the LGBTQ+ inclusive certification course and educational platform. Palladino has been profiled on CNN, NPR and Forbes and in The New York Times. Her work has appeared in Washington Post, Entrepreneur magazine, ARTNews magazine, Art & Antiques magazine, The Knot, Executive Traveler magazine, the Huffington Post, and more. She was recognized as one of Glamour magazine’s Hometown Heroes for 2015.

Marjorie Taylor Greene hints that Kevin McCarthy is gay on Tucker Carlson’s show / LGBTQ Nation

Marjorie Taylor Greene hints that Kevin McCarthy is gay on

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) tries to justify her behavior before being stripped of her committee assignments.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) tries to justify her behavior before being stripped of her committee assignments.Photo: Screenshot

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) appeared on Tucker Carlson’s Fox Nation program last night and insinuated that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is gay.

The two joked that he is in a relationship with Republican pollster Frank Luntz. Luntz has been critical of former President Donald Trump.

Related: Marjorie Taylor Greene wants a drag queen “arrested & charged” for being near children

Greene told Carlson the things she learned after coming to Washington, D.C. and seeing the inner workings of Congress with a long list of complaints and exaggerations. Carlson, however, couldn’t resist trying to one-up her when the conversation turned to McCarthy.

“Were you shocked to learn they share a toothbrush or are roommates or whatever?” he asked.

“I was more curious, like, who gets the top bunk and who gets the bottom bunk,” she responded.

In a statement earlier this week, McCarthy’s office said that his living arrangements with Luntz are only temporary.

“Because of the pandemic, McCarthy has rented a room in Washington at a fair market price from Frank,” the statement said.

The living arrangement has drawn criticism because Luntz is a lobbyist.

Greene has been at the forefront of opposition to LGBTQ equality in Congress.

She introduced a bill to ban the rainbow flag from flying at U.S. embassies and co-sponsored an anti-trans bathroom bill.

She introduced multiple motions to shut down Congress just before it debated the Equality Act, which would ban anti-LGBTQ discrimination. The motions didn’t pass, but they forced her colleagues to vote on the pointless motions and ate up over an hour of debate time to make the point that LGBTQ discrimination should remain legal. She called the Equality Act “DISGUSTING, IMMORAL, AND EVIL” in a statement.

Greene, whose career in politics started by protesting Drag Queen Story Hours, put up a sign that said “There are TWO genders: MALE & FEMALE. ‘Trust The Science!’” in response to Rep. Marie Newman (D-IL) putting up a transgender flag outside of her office. Newman’s child is transgender.

McCarthy, when he’s not in D.C., lives with his wife Judy in Bakersfield, California.

Best LGBTQ+ pride events in Europe

Best LGBTQ+ pride events in Europe

Each year, Amsterdam hosts the Canal Pride, which is a unique event in Europe. Rainbow coloured ships float on the picturesque canals throughout the city and you won’t have to search for a party. In Amsterdam, the party is everywhere. Expect to feel the love and be surrounded by partying people! For this event, Amsterdam is soaked in rainbow colours!

Amsterdam is one of these cities that everybody dreams about. You have to go there at least once in your life, just because it is that amazing!

Amsterdam Pride is a little different than the other LGBT events we already listed. That’s because Amsterdam features a Canal Pride on the hundreds of canals that run through the city centre.

CanalPride in Amsterdam is happening in August, but there’s more to see and do in Amsterdam during Pride Week!

Visit the Pride Park or walk during the Rainbow Walk. Or maybe you can attend one of the many street parties! Another nice extra in Amsterdam, is the open-air cinema where you can watch an LGBTQ+ movie together with thousands of people!

When: End of July – Beginning of August

Check out the official website

6 ideas for first dance songs by LGBTQ+ music artists

6 ideas for first dance songs by LGBTQ+ music artists

The sky is the limit when it comes to first dance songs. Your song could be slow, upbeat, a medley, or a single song. It could be choreographed, spontaneous, or somewhere in between.

But the first step is choosing which song you’re going to use for that special moment.

If you still haven’t found that perfect first dance song, check out these six love songs by LGBTQ+ music artists.

Girl by The Internet

Girl is featured on The Internet’s album Ego Death, which in 2016 was nominated for a Grammy for Best Urban Contemporary Album. In this love song, lead singer Syd says, “I can give you the life you deserve, just say the word, baby and I got you, darlin’ I got you.”

Thinkin Bout You by Frank Ocean

In this song, Frank Ocean sings that he has “been thinking bout forever” with the person he loves.

Honey by Kehlani

In this soft and sweet love song, Kehlani sings about the utter joy of being in love, proclaiming “All the pretty girls in the world, But I’m in this space with you.”

What a Beautiful Day by Brett Every

For those looking for something to explicitly celebrate their sexuality, Brett Every’s What a Beautiful Day is the perfect choice. This song tells the story of two men getting married with the acceptance of their family and friends. It even acknowledges the joy of marriage equality.

She Keeps Me Warm by Mary Lambert

This classic that proclaims “I can’t change, even if I tried,” will never fail to bring a tear to your guests’ eyes. Mary Lambert sings, “She says I smell like safety and home. I named both of her eyes forever and please-don’t-go. I could be a morning sunrise all the time, all the time, yeah. This could be good, this could be good”

My Guy by Kele Okereke

Kele Okereke recorded this song as part of a 2018 project called Universal Love–Wedding Songs Reimagined. The album, featuring artists like Kesha and Bob Dylan, involved re-recording popular wedding songs with new pronouns. In My Guy, Kele Okereke reimagines The Temptations song, My Girl.

Family Equality CEO discusses overcoming the challenges of LGBTQ+ family building

Family Equality CEO discusses overcoming the challenges of LGBTQ+ family

In honor of International Family Equality Day on May 2, Family Equality, an organization that advocates for LGBTQ+ families, has partnered with bubly sparkling water  to raise awareness of the obstacles LGBTQ+ parents and parents-to-be face on the path to parenthood. 

Equally Wed spoke with Family Equality CEO Stacey Stevenson to learn more about these obstacles and how to overcome them.

Related: 8 adorable LGBTQ families to follow on Instagram

What does Family Equality do?

Family Equality is the leading national organization for LGBTQ+ families and LGBTQ+ people who want to expand their family. Our goal is to advance lived and legal equality for our families by building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change.

What are some of the most common obstacles LGBTQ+ couples face on the path to parenthood?

Nearly 4 million LGBTQ+ millennials are thinking of growing their families in the years ahead—many through adoption and foster care or assisted reproductive technology (ART).

But the corporate, legal, and healthcare systems still have work to do to ensure that these community members have equal rights and opportunities to form, grow, and sustain a loving family no matter where they live or who they are.

In fact, even though there are more than 400,000 youth in foster care and LGBTQ+ adults are seven times more likely to foster and adopt than non-LGBTQ+ adults, in some places adoption and foster care agencies can turn away LGBTQ+ parents.

And for LGBTQ+ families looking to expand via assisted reproductive technology, many face overt and implicit discrimination from the doctor’s office to insurance coverage and must overcome extreme financial hurdles on the path to parenthood.

Megan Rei Photography

Are there still challenges once the children have already been born or brought into the family?

The first major obstacle for LGBTQ+ couples who have expanded their family through ART is establishing legal parentage for the non-biological/non-gestational parent.

Legally, the process of confirming parental rights is called “stepparent” or “second parent” adoptions and require a family to go through home studies, FBI and criminal background checks, an adoption hearing, and more—even though the nonbiological/non-gestational parent is listed on the birth certificate and was involved in the pregnancy and birth.

For LGBTQ+ parents and parents-to-be who are facing some of these challenges, what can they do to mitigate/tackle them?

Know your rights: Get educated on the laws in your state and protect your family legally to the extent that you can.

Find community and advocate. From peer support groups to social media affinity spaces, there are countless ways you can find other LGBTQ+ people who have been where you’re at and can offer you advice and perspective. It’s also essential to find providers who understand the unique legal and societal hurdles the LGBTQ+ community faces on this path to parenthood. On your search for community spaces, ask what agencies and professionals other LGBTQ+ people nearby are using.

To help you on your path to parenthood, Family Equality has a hub of resources, peer support groups, networks of LGBTQ+ families, a directory of affirming providers, and so much more.

Sunset, books and basketball maternity photos LGBTQ+ family pregnancy new baby child two moms lesbian moms gay parents queer parenting
River West

What advice do you have for LGBTQ+ couples who want to start a family but have no idea where to begin?

Take a breath and consider your resources. What paths to parenthood are most accessible to you—socially, fiscally, geographically?

To help as you ask these critical questions, head to the internet. Learn more about the paths available to you and your family, and find other LGBTQ+ families who might be able to offer perspective & advice.

What do you wish LGBTQ+ couples knew about building families?

The process of growing an LGBTQ+ family is intensive and unique. We often say that there is no one way to build an LGBTQ+ family.

But one thing is clear no matter what your family looks like or how it was formed: love makes a family.

The US is denying citizenship to kids of same-sex couples born abroad
Photos of Life by Ashli Shapiro via Immigration Equality

Tell us about the campaign between Family Equality and Bubly.

In celebration of International Family Equality Day on May 2nd, we are proud to be teaming up with bubly sparkling water to raise awareness for the obstacles LGBTQ+ individuals face on the path to parenthood.

To accomplish this, our partner bubly is not only providing financial support by making a donation to our organization to help our continued efforts, but has also created the bubly Baby Registry, a twist on a digital baby registry, that brings to life the real costs that LGBTQ+ parents face via faux registry items, and the path to parenthood, a book outlining the realities faced by LGBTQ+ parents.

Consumers can visit FamilyEquality.org/Bubly to check out the registry and make a donation.

Florida’s Parent’s Bill of Rights may have fatal consequences for LGBTQ youth

Florida's Parent’s Bill of Rights may have fatal consequences for

A bill some fear will compel teachers and counselors to forcibly out LGBTQ students to their families is passing through the Florida legislature and some fear the consequences could be fatal. With passage in the House, the Parent’s Bill of Rights is one step closer to becoming law.

A growing number of LGBTQ rights organizations oppose language in the bill.

Section 3 of the bill states: “The Legislature further finds that important information relating to a minor child should not be withheld, either inadvertently or purposefully, from his or her parent, including information relating to the minor child’s health, well-being, and education, while the minor child is in the custody of the school district.”

Jonathan Mower of Equality Florida said, “This bill could compel schools to out LGBTQ youth who are facing unsupportive or dangerous household environments.”

Struggles with identity, safety and mental health continually plague the LGBTQ community. Last year, the Trevor Project released its National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health 2020. The survey found 40 percent of LGBTQ youth seriously considered suicide; a third had been physically threatened or harmed; nearly a third were kicked out of a home and almost half sought counseling from a mental health professional but couldn’t get access.

via WMNF

Infertility Resources for LGBTQ People

Infertility Resources for LGBTQ People

It’s National Infertility Awareness Week here in the U.S. For some LGBTQ people, “infertility” is simply the inability to reproduce by ourselves or with a partner without medical intervention—sometimes called “social infertility.” For others, infertility is a medical diagnosis indicating that even with help, conception will be hard. Here are some resources to help no matter how you’re defining it.

Cloud heart

General Information

Expanding the Definition and Expanding Coverage

RESOLVE also works on legislation across the country to ensure equal access to family building options for all. Part of this work includes a revision to the traditional definition of infertility (“the inability to achieve pregnancy after one year of regular, unprotected sexual intercourse”) to be more inclusive. They now define it thus:

“Infertility” means a disease, condition or status characterized by:

  • the failure to establish a pregnancy or to carry a pregnancy to live birth after regular, unprotected sexual intercourse, or
  • a person’s inability to reproduce either as a single individual or with their partner without medical intervention, or
  • a licensed physician’s findings based on a patient’s medical, sexual and reproductive history, age, physical findings and/or diagnostic testing.

RESOLVE uses this definition in its model legislation and model benefits for employers. This is crucial for LGBTQ folks, because most insurance companies will only cover fertility treatments with a medical diagnosis of infertility. If a person or couple has “social infertility,” they’re often out of luck.

The good news, though? Some companies are starting to offer fertility benefits without needing a medical diagnosis and preauthorization, as I discussed a couple of years ago. And RESOLVE notes in its 2021 Survey on Fertility Benefits that it asked companies that provide coverage for IVF and IUI (intrauterine insemination) whether these benefits were “specifically designed and communicated to be available to LGBTQ+ or single employees. This would mean, for example, that a clinical diagnosis of infertility based on heterosexual intercourse would not be required for coverage.” The results? “Over a third (35%) of respondents say they designed the benefit to be available to LGBTQ+ and/or single employees and made that clear in the benefit communication.” That’s progress, though still far from where we need to be.

If you are interested in advocating for such benefits at your employer, RESOLVE has resources to help you there, too. (The RESOLVE website itself still needs updating in at least one place with the more inclusive definition, but generally, they’re a force for good in helping us LGBTQ folks.)

If you’re looking for state-by-state laws on what must be covered, both RESOLVE and the ASRM have the data.

Medical Providers

Looking for a medical provider to help? Try Family Equality’s LGBTQ+ Family Building Directory, the ASRM’s directory of practicing members, or FertilityIQ’s directory of providers and crowdsourced reviews (not necessarily LGBTQ).

Love and Loss

For some LGBTQ people, infertility falls under the third bullet point of RESOLVE’s definition. Conception is difficult even with medical help. I am not a medical professional or therapist, so the best advice I can offer is: You’re not alone. You might want to join any of the many Facebook groups for queer parents or specifically for those trying to conceive (TTC), which can be found through a simple search. Folks often share stories there of their struggles with infertility.

Additionally, there are several books that may offer both information and a sense of connection:

  • Reproductive Losses: Challenges to LGBTQ Family-Making, by Christa Craven, explains that the past few years, with renewed attacks on LGBTQ rights after previous gains, “have created more pressure than ever for queer people to marry, have children, and create public narratives of LGBTQ progress.” This means that “losses, challenges, and disruptions to stories of ‘successful’ LGBTQ family-making are often silenced, both personally and politically.” Craven, a cultural and medical anthropologist at the College of Wooster, tries to break the silence by drawing on interviews with 54 queer people who experienced loss as gestational parents, non-gestational parents with gestational partners, or through adoption loss (when a child is reclaimed by their birth family before the adoption is finalized), as well as from her own experience with pregnancy loss. She explores the queer-specific nuances of how her subjects experienced grief, the support (or lack thereof) available to them, how they commemorated their losses and found resiliency, and the intersections of social class, race, and religion.
  • The Other Mothers: Two Women’s Journey to Find the Family That Was Always Theirs, by Jennifer Berney, is the thoughtfully written story of how the author and her spouse Kellie became parents despite fertility challenges and a healthcare system not designed for queer families.
  • Love Song For Baby X: How I Stayed (Almost) Sane on the Rocky Road to Parenthood, by Cheryl Dumesnil, shows the author’s background as an award-winning poet in its careful details, metaphors, and self-reflections. While her and her partner’s struggle with infertility provides the main theme of the book, the marriage equality fight in California—and her role as participant, chronicler, and media subject—also looms large.
  • There are also a couple of older memoirs in my database under the “Infertility” tag, which you can also check in the future to see what’s new. Also check out my database under the “Family creation” tag (and the “Grown-up books” category) for more general guides and memoirs about LGBTQ family creation.

LGBTQ Parents: What Do Your Kids Call You?

Mombian - Sustenance for Lesbian Moms Since 2005

I first asked the titular question back in 2011, and more than 300 of you have responded over the years, along with lots of stories about how your parental names came to be—so here’s an updated summary (and a chance to add your own names and story)!

LGBTQ parents - What do your kids call you?

We’ve got lots of “Mommy” and “Mama,” but also “Anya,” “Mayma,” “Baba,” “Big Mommy” and “Little Mommy”, “Cita,” “Eema,” “Lala,” “Maddy,””Maman,” “Manna,” “MaPa,” “Mim,” “Mutti,” “Ommi,” “Meemoe,” “Foofie,” “Mami,” “Momo,” “Momily,” “Mombo,” “Mop” (for “My Other Parent,”) and more. For the dads, we’ve got “Dad,” “Daddy,” and “Papa,” as well as “Dadda,” “Papi,” “Pabbi,” and more. Nonbinary parent names include “Maddy,” “Adi,” “Poppy,” and “Nibi.”

Donors are referred to by name, as “Donor,” “Uncle,” or by various nicknames, including “Batman,” “Popeye,” “The cowboy from Wyoming,” and “Spunkle” (“Special Uncle”). One person even took inspiration from Les Mis.

Below is a selection of the many wonderful stories people have shared, loosely organized by some themes that emerged (my bold). I also encourage you to browse the full results spreadsheet here. If you haven’t yet submitted a response, I invite you to do so through the form below. Results are public, but are anonymous unless you choose to share your personal name(s). Things are a little mom-heavy right now, but I encourage parents (and grandparents) of all genders to participate!

Chose Definitively

  • Cisgender woman; I strongly do NOT feel like a “Mommy”. Have always hoped and planned to be a “Mama“.
  • My wife carried all our children. We call her Mommy. Our singleton is biologically hers. The twins she carried are biologically mine. I am called Mama. We do not share with people who is who’s biologically. Nor do we share with people about the sperm donor. When choosing our names it was very important that people knew with out a doubt that we were both the mothers.

Let the Kids Choose

  • Sometime before they turned 2, they started calling us “mama/mommy (first name).” They are 4.5 now, and it’s still going strong. Before they were born, I thought that hearing them use our first names would be strange or uncomfortable, but it happened organically and came from them, so it feels like the most natural thing in the world now.
  • Sometimes she calls us collectively ‘mommyandothermommy‘ which is really cute. She’s 19 months now and still not consistently calling me Mema, but she’s got ‘Mom’ firmly established in her vocab.
  • We planned to be Mama and Mommy but we couldn’t keep it straight and the kids liked Mama Chris and Mama Suz. As they have gotten older, it is often just easier to get the right mom by saying our first name–sometimes people think this is disrespectful but really not, just efficient. To others, they talk about their moms.
  • When our oldest son began speaking he just started referring to my wife as Tata, with no prompting or directing. The name just stuck.
  • I was supposed to be mommy, but my son couldn’t quite say it when he first started talking. So he called me mimi for a long time and it just stuck. That’s how we got Mimi and Momma.
  • We have girl/boy twins. Our son was an early talker and started calling me “Mombo” completely on his own. We liked it, so we kept it!
  • Our son is 4 months old and we plan on letting him decide what he’d like to call us. until then we refer to each other as mommy or mama, equally as often.
  • Both boys call us by name at home. Interestingly, they call us their dads when talking about us to others.
  • I am generally the working parent; my wife works part time. Kids have gone through a phase during which they call whatever mom is home “mommy” and whatever mom is at work “mama.”
  • Our kids our 5 and 7. They use Mommy for me, Mama for my wife, and Mom for both. Somehow, we know who they mean and if they mean my wife and I answer, they then say “the other Mom” and vice versa. (although, now that I think about it, our daughter also calls my wife Mommy if she is talking to me about her….like she will say “when will Mommy be home?” which I love, because to them, we are just both their parents, both their Moms.
  • Our son chose to call me mommo at about 18 months old. Before that we were both mama. I called him baby-o and buddy-o, so I think that’s why I became mom-o. Our daughter just called us what my son already did.
  • When our kiddo was a year old she started calling me Mommom and I absolutely adored it. She uses Mama more than Mommom but I get a little swell of love when I hear Mommom every couple of months.
  • Bo” is my fiance, and that is the name they chose for her when they decided she needed a different name (the way I have a first name but they call me Mama). She was unsure about Bo at first, but has embraced it, and so have they. My daughter even calls her “Mama Bo” sometimes.
  • My wife transitioned when our children were very young. They previously called her “dada” but she let them pick a new name for her as she transitioned. Our oldest selected “maimai,” which is from a video game we all enjoy (Zelda).

Drew on Their Heritage

  • We are an indigenous family. My first language is Spanish, so I use Mami (it’s what I called my mom as a kid). My partner is Cree-Metis, and our children are Cree, so they call my partner Nimama, which means “my mother” in Cree/Michif.
  • My wife and our donor are Italian… Mimi in Italian means my beloved…. It was an easy choice when we found it. Our youngest calls her Mimi or mom. Usually mom if I am not around or will say other mom…. We explained we did the name thing so not to confuse us or them and they can certainly call either of us mom.
  • My wife is Jewish, so “Eemah” is the Hebrew for Mom. We had started out with Momma (me) and Mom (her) but that got too confusing during those early barely-verbal days.
  • In Arabic, Mama is the only natural choice. So, as a native Arabic speaker, that’s my partner. As the native English speaker, I liked Mama too, but if we wish to distinguish ourselves (just easier for everyone), then Mommy seemed like the best-fitting other name, so Mommy for me it is. Seems like that’s how most people go, but there is a lot of creativity I see here! But anyway, we’ll see how it turns out. Right now, we’re still training those around us to get used to these names and roles (which has its own importance and function for shaping how others see us and our family) and our son is too young still to say either of them… so we’ll see how he ultimately exercises his choice in the matter!
  • I am Jewish so we chose Ima (Hebrew for mother). There was a bit of time after my son started talking that he call me Ima and my wife Ima Mommy. We thought it was adorable. His big sister constantly corrected him though so now they use Ima and Mommy exclusively.
  • My husband and I are French-speaking Quebecers. When we decided to adopt, it was clear that I would be “Papa” (French for daddy), and that he would be called “Papou“, short for “Papounet”, an affectionate French nickname for dad.
  • Our 4yr old son calls me Baboo – it’s Italian for dad but many in our area aren’t aware of that. The donor was 100% Italian, so he is 50% Italian, 50% Dutch/English. When he gets older, he can decide if he wants to call me mom or what…
  • Marc is German so the boys called him Papá and me Daddy. Since they grew up in rural Georgia, USA, they soon realised that Papá was weird so they started callings us both Dad at school and other social situations. When they want to get our attention at home I am still Dad and Marc is still Papá. They do refer to us as their Dads. It is completely normal to them, but we have had a few strange moments when they have introduced us to the girls they are dating.
  • We are raising our son bilingual English/Spanish. In Spanish “a” at the end of a word signals feminine and “o” signals masculine. So Mamo sort of means “masculine or butch mom.” We both respond to Mom and Mommy. Our kiddo sees those as “category” words and switches to the right name Mama/Mamo for a specific parent.
  • My son is six years old. My family calls me “bebita” which means baby in Spanish. When he started to mumble words, he started referring to me as “Babe” and my wife, his biological mother, as Mommy.

Created Something New

  • We didn’t like the gender roles associated with mom/mommy and the perceived absence of dad. We like to think we aren’t subject to those conventions and we are both the best of both so we made our own up with Zaza and Zeze – my name also starts with an A and hers with an e.
  • We wanted a non-traditional name given my non-traditional identity as a mother. I look very stereotypically lesbian/androgynous. I thought something that sounded similar would be good so that it felt recognizable to other people. I decided Oomi would work. Almost immediately someone asked if it stood for “other mommy” which makes sense, so I often go with that if asked.
  • Bibai was what I called myself as a toddler and my family still uses it for me sometimes, so it’s pretty easy to get them to remember to call me that in front of my kid.
  • My first name starts with an A and my wife’s starts with a M. So that’s how she became Mama and I’m Ama.
  • Moppy or Mop (standing for My Other Parent).
  • My three kids all still call me Mommy (though the oldest refers to me as mom in public) 🙂 they call my partner Mom C (short for Christa) or Momsy.
  • One friend combined her name Sheila and mommy together to get Ma she.
  • We decided that, in order to strengthen perceptions of my motherhood given that I am not the biological parent of the baby we nevertheless conceived together, I should have the legitimacy of the socially recognized mother name, pronounced in Spanish, which is the language I speak with our baby. My partner, who gave birth, goes by a name we made up that has the “m” sound but a vowel distinguishable from that of “mamá“: “momo“.
  • We started out with Mama and Mommy, but never really committed and both just referred to ourselves as Mama (as in, ‘your mama’) until it lost all meaning. Then for a while it was Stephamommy (Stephanie + Mommy) and Other Mommy (who is technically the bio-parent. Stephamommy thought that one was hilarious) until we convinced our daughter to start using Mommily (Mama + Emily).

Want Better Names for Nonbiological Moms

  • I so wish there was another word out there for “non-biological mother” (in a lesbian context, where there is a bio-mom who’s equally part of the parenting). “Non-biological mother” is defined by its negative quality: the person is defined as being *not* the biological mother. I want some word that is descriptive and informative, a word that would help adults describe these relationships we have with our kids to other adults. What I mean is, not something like “heart mom” or a term we might use with our kids, but rather something that could be used to explain our family composition in simple, direct terms.
  • I agree with a previous person. There needs to be a name for the other mom. honestly, I think dad fits nice – sadly it’s hard to separate gender from the terms mom and dad. My son refers to me as his dad in the playground. He calls me his “rettadad” when asked.
  • I am the bio mom for our sons, but without my wife’s initiative, support, and drive the pregnancy would have never happened. We have fraternal (non-identical) twin boys. One resembles me in coloring and temperament, and the other my wife. When they were infants and one of us was alone with the boys, strangers would invariable ask if the son who didn’t look like the mom took after the dad. Perhaps osmosis works on genes during pregnancy. All this to say – we need a better word for the non-bio mom. We cannot use the lack of something or a negative to define such an important person. I ask for there to be a call for an affirmative name for the non-bio parent. Someone in this community must have a good alternative!

Chose to Reflect Their Gender Identity

  • Choosing Sasa had to do with finding a nonbinary parent name that was simple and felt right. As Mama’s given name begins with M and mine begins with S, I explored Sasa as an option. Finding it to be a name in the same family as Sasha or Alexander, and carrying meanings such as “protector,” I felt it was a good fit.
  • Nibi or tuiste (“I love you Nibi”, “You’re the best tuiste ever”). I came out as non-binary when my kids were hitting their tween years, so they asked to rename me. Seeing how they felt Nini and Bibi were gender neutral but babyish, they combined them as a play on non-binary. We chose the word “tuiste” instead of parent to help differentiate between their father and I; it is Gaelic for parent and since I can trace my lineage to Ireland/Scotland, I felt drawing from that culture would be a good way to not appropriate from other cultures.
  • Was mummy for a long time. Worked out I was non binary when kids were 3 and 6.they came up with jelly and treea as alternative names for me.
  • Poppy fits me because similarly to the other parenting titles, it’s letters sound as if they’re repeating. I am also an avid gardener and poppies are one of my favorite flowers. My favorite fun fact about them is that they’re used to create opium and alike threatening toxin to humans and animals. Which is fitting because I’m very protective of my family. [Trans-masculine non-binary gestational parent]
  • It took us longer to pick a parent name for my wife than it did to agree on a name for the baby! I told her that we weren’t leaving the hospital without knowing how to announce ourselves and the adoption. [AFAB genderqueer parent; didn’t want a mom-name. “Adi” is both part of her name and also a bit like “Daddy”.]
  • Started as Mummy and Daddy, then when I transitioned I became Bibi as a contraction of my new name, Ruby, as son was still mostly non verbal at the time and the ‘b’ sound was one he had in his repertoire so would be easy to say while keeping a clear distinction between parents.
  • Maddy is mommy + daddy since i am more of the masculine one of us.
  • I had a real hard time adopting any sort of “mom” related label for various reasons, but these days I love hearing my son say “Mama” when referring to me, and it fits me. Being a parent has made me feel a lot braver about being myself and living honestly, because my wife and son love me, so who gives a f*** about anyone else?! [Genderqueer lesbian non-bio parent]

More than Two

  • Our daughter has 3 moms! She calls her dad’s girlfriend “mom“, I’m also “mom“, and my wife, Megan, is either “Mama Megan” or simply “Megan“!
  • My oldest calls me mama and her other mom is mommy. We are divorced and I have remarried so my wife is her step mom. My current wife and I have a son – both kids call me mama and my wife (daughters step mom and sons mom) Ba -it’s Chinese for dad and the title she was most comfortable with.

Names for Donors

“Donor” or first names are popular, but also:

  • The cowboy from Wyoming (anonymous donor but Wyoming sperm bank)
  • Our donor is a close friend, and we refer to him and his wife as Uncle [his first name] and Aunt [her first name].
  • We used an anonymous (but ID consent) donor, but we have a lot of information about him. One of the things that stood out to us was that he listed his favorite food as spinach. Really? Who’s favorite food is spinach?  When we were trying to select a donor we couldn’t keep all their numbers straight, so we gave all the “finalists” nicknames. His is, of course, “Popeye.” We’ve told our daughter (now 33 months) all about her conception and now she talks about Mr Popeye and tells all about how she was made.
  • My partner’s brother is our donor…so we’ve been using the word donor (although the baby is only 10 months) and calling her brother “Special Uncle Larry” or just “Uncle Larry.”
  • 24601” Not the sperm donor’s actual number but the only one I could remember from Les Miserables. So later when the boys would sing Jean Valjean’s song “Who Am I?”, it brought a special smile to our faces.

Names for Donor Siblings, Extended and Birth Family

  • Special cousins” – half bio siblings.
  • Our son’s birth mother’s daughters are our son’s “rainbow sisters.”
  • Our children are adopted from foster care. Both are actually closer to their foster than their biological families. Foster parents (in our case, one single mom- straight- and one lesbian couple) all get called by their first names. We tried the Aunt thing for a while, but it didn’t stick. They also see extended members of our daughter’s bio-family and both use the formal labels of her relationship for each individual- Aunt L, Cousin A, etc.
  • Our daughter shared a crib with another baby for nine months in the children home they lived in. She lives with her two moms three hours away. The girls call themselves “sisters.” (They’re both only children.)
  • Equally important: our second generation of children, whom I birthed, call their “half siblings” (biological children of my partner from a prior heterosexual marriage) their “sisters.”
  • Our daughters were born to my partner’s sister. She and her husband were killed in a road accident when they were 13 weeks old. When they are talking to us or to me about my partner & vice versa, they use our childhood nicknames like the rest of our family. When they talk to people outside our family they call my partner Mamma & me mum (I’m Australian). We and they have always referred to their mother as their ‘first’ mummy/mommy and, their father as daddy, or first daddy when in combo with their mother.
  • My wife and I grew up together and were childhood sweethearts. My first marriage was heterosexual. After our divorce, I found my first love and we are married and raising the children from my first marriage. The kids don’t refer to her as a step-mom, but as their “other mother“, & my ex-husband teasingly calls her his “ex-wife in law”. Our oldest daughter is married and has given us a grandson, we are Gee-moe and Grammy. Our four daughters say the only thing better than having a mom is having two moms.

Many thanks to all of you who have already shared your information and stories! If you haven’t yet participated and would like to, just fill out the form below. Again, the results spreadsheet is here, so you can go look through the entire list of responses.

5 love poems by LGBTQ+ writers to read at your ceremony

5 love poems by LGBTQ+ writers to read at your

Written by 37-year-old queer English writer Yrsa Daley-Ward, who is of both Jamaican and Nigerian descent, this beautiful love poem encompasses the excitement of dreaming about a life together:

“I can see the house on the hill where we grow our own vegetables out back
and drink warm wine out of jam jars
and sing songs in the kitchen until the sun comes up
you make me feel like myself
again. Myself before I had any solid reasons to be anything else.”

Jamaican-American poet June Jordan has an entire book of love poems, aptly called Haruko/Love Poems.  Poems like Poem for my Love would be a lovely part of any ceremony. There is also a beautiful couplet from the poem, Update:

“Still I am learning unconditional and true/Still I am burning unconditional for you.”

Colorful red and white engagement photos in Brooklyn, New York red suit two grooms husbands Brooklyn Bridge New York City kiss

Wu Tsao, considered one of the great Chinese lesbian poets, lived in the early 1800s, and wrote this beautiful love poem that in part reads:

“You glow like a perfumed lamp
In the gathering shadows.
We play wine games
And recite each other’s poems.
Then you sing, ‘Remembering South of the River’
With its heartbreaking verses. Then
We paint each other’s beautiful eyebrows.
I want to possess you completely–
Your jade body
And your promised heart.
It is Spring.
Vast mists cover the Five Lakes.
My dear, let me buy a red painted boat
And carry you away.”

Summer camp wedding in the Adirondack Mountains two brides upstate New York forest mountains Forest Lake Camp Bindle and Keep BHLDN bow tie sunset kiss