Tag: national

President Biden’s LGBTQ-Inclusive Proclamation for National Foster Care Month

9 Highlights for LGBTQ Families from the First 24 Hours

President Biden’s proclamation of May as National Foster Care Month returns to the inclusion begun by President Obama, with a mention of LGBTQ youth in foster care—and a reminder of the challenges that remain to bring equity and justice to our foster care system.

American flag with children's silhouettes

Biden’s proclamation stresses the unjust treatment of communities of color, especially Black and Native American communities, in the child welfare system, and also notes that children with disabilities are over-represented among youth in care and may not get the individualized support they need. It then says, “Children in foster care—particularly youth of color and LGBTQ+ children who are already subject to disproportionate rates of school discipline and criminalization—are also at an increased risk of becoming involved in the juvenile justice system. And for LGBTQ+ foster youth, foster care systems are not always equipped to safely meet their needs.”

Back in 2015, President Obama’s proclamation of the observance noted that “It is important to ensure all qualified caregivers have the opportunity to serve as foster or adoptive parents, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.” That was the first time LGBTQ people had been referenced in a presidential National Foster Care Month proclamation. The next year, Obama’s proclamation said much the same again, and added a point about LGBTQ youth as well: “When we create environments for all young people to grow and flourish and safely live as who they are—regardless of race, background, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity—our country is stronger.”

The guy in between Obama and Biden? Not so much with the inclusion.

Biden’s proclamation promises that:

My Administration is committed to addressing these entrenched problems in our Nation’s child welfare system, advancing equity and racial justice for every child and family who is touched by the foster care and child welfare system, and focusing on policies that improve child and family well-being. This is why my Administration’s discretionary funding request for 2022 includes $100 million in competitive grants for State and local child welfare systems to advance racial equity and prevent unnecessary child removals.

Let’s hope he (and Congress) can deliver. Additionally, protecting LGBTQ youth in care and LGBTQ prospective caregivers from discrimination will be helped by:

  • Passing federal legislation like the Equality Act;
  • Fighting state attempts to enact legislation that allows discrimination in foster care;
  • A ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia confirming that child service agencies cannot use their religious beliefs to discriminate against LGBTQ people and others. A decision is expected by the end of June.

Stay tuned this month for more resources and stories about foster care!

Elopement inspiration with artisanal Mexican decor at Joshua Tree National Park

Elopement inspiration with artisanal Mexican decor at Joshua Tree National Park

Photographers Michael Gomez and Emily Birkeland designed this heartwarming elopement inspiration to show couples that Covid-19 can’t stop them from having a special day.

Using real-life married couple Aram and Juan, the team set up a casual picnic in California’s Joshua Tree National Park that celebrated both LGBTQ+ Pride and Mexican culture and also included the couple’s favorite foods.

“As a gay man myself,” says Gomez, “it has become increasingly important to me that I represent my community in my professional photography.”

As the sun dyed the park golden, Aram and Juan toasted with custom margaritas and feasted on wood-fired pepperoni and jalapeño pizza.

“My hope is that this styled shoot can show people they can still have romantic elopements and weddings in a world where large gatherings are on hold,” Gomez says. “All you need is love, pizza, margaritas, and some golden light!”

Elopement inspiration with artisanal Mexican decor at Joshua Tree National Park| Michael Gomez Photography| Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Elopement inspiration with artisanal Mexican decor at Joshua Tree National Park| Michael Gomez Photography| Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Elopement inspiration with artisanal Mexican decor at Joshua Tree National Park| Michael Gomez Photography| Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Elopement inspiration with artisanal Mexican decor at Joshua Tree National Park| Michael Gomez Photography| Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Elopement inspiration with artisanal Mexican decor at Joshua Tree National Park| Michael Gomez Photography| Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Elopement inspiration with artisanal Mexican decor at Joshua Tree National Park| Michael Gomez Photography| Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Elopement inspiration with artisanal Mexican decor at Joshua Tree National Park| Michael Gomez Photography| Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Elopement inspiration with artisanal Mexican decor at Joshua Tree National Park| Michael Gomez Photography| Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Elopement inspiration with artisanal Mexican decor at Joshua Tree National Park| Michael Gomez Photography| Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Elopement inspiration with artisanal Mexican decor at Joshua Tree National Park| Michael Gomez Photography| Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Elopement inspiration with artisanal Mexican decor at Joshua Tree National Park| Michael Gomez Photography| Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Elopement inspiration with artisanal Mexican decor at Joshua Tree National Park| Michael Gomez Photography| Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Elopement inspiration with artisanal Mexican decor at Joshua Tree National Park| Michael Gomez Photography| Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Elopement inspiration with artisanal Mexican decor at Joshua Tree National Park| Michael Gomez Photography| Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Elopement inspiration with artisanal Mexican decor at Joshua Tree National Park| Michael Gomez Photography| Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Elopement inspiration with artisanal Mexican decor at Joshua Tree National Park| Michael Gomez Photography| Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Elopement inspiration with artisanal Mexican decor at Joshua Tree National Park| Michael Gomez Photography| Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Elopement inspiration with artisanal Mexican decor at Joshua Tree National Park| Michael Gomez Photography| Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Elopement inspiration with artisanal Mexican decor at Joshua Tree National Park| Michael Gomez Photography| Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Elopement inspiration with artisanal Mexican decor at Joshua Tree National Park| Michael Gomez Photography| Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Elopement inspiration with artisanal Mexican decor at Joshua Tree National Park| Michael Gomez Photography| Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Elopement inspiration with artisanal Mexican decor at Joshua Tree National Park| Michael Gomez Photography| Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Elopement inspiration with artisanal Mexican decor at Joshua Tree National Park| Michael Gomez Photography| Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Elopement inspiration with artisanal Mexican decor at Joshua Tree National Park| Michael Gomez Photography| Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Search our directory of LGBTQ+ inclusive vendors.

FEATURED VENDORS

Photography and Design: Michael Gomez

Second Shooter and Design: Emily Birkeland of Dahlia and Finch Photography

Florals: Tabitha Abercrombie of Winston & Main IG:@WinstonandMain

Ceramic Snakes and shot glasses: Made by Aram Guzman of Clay Queeries

Cabrillo National Monument – 2 Travel Dads

Cabrillo National Monument - 2 Travel Dads

Cabrillo National Monument - 2 Travel Dads

San Diego, California is such a popular west coast destination. We all love to head to SoCal for the nearly guaranteed sunshine and beaches where you can actually swim. And the coastal vibe is so different, with bare feet everywhere and flowers blooming on the bluffs year round. Cabrillo National Monument is a great place to experience that great SoCal feeling.

Cabrillo National Monument is part of the National Parks system (#FindYourPark) and it’s perfectly located for an awesome afternoon during a San Diego visit. Planning a day out at Cabrillo includes everything from lighthouses to tide pools, picnics to National Park Passport stamps. Yep, our family has favorite activities and Southern California is the perfect spot to do all of them!

Finding the Cabrillo National Monument

A lot of people visiting San Diego are going to be playing tourist in the Gaslamp District or being fancy and lounging on Coronado Island, but there’s so much more to San Diego. The beach neighborhoods are awesome! Starting at the north is La Jolla (it’s own city) with its cove full of seals, then working the way down is Hermosa and the bluffs, and then it’s the beaches!

Full Story at 2Travel Dads

San Diego Gay Travel Resources

Cartoon Network and National Black Justice Coalition Launch Comic Strip Celebrating Gender Diversity

Cartoon Network and National Black Justice Coalition Launch Comic Strip

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) and Cartoon Network have launched a cheery new comic starring Cartoon Network characters that highlights the power and importance of respecting gender identity through the use of pronouns.

NBJC - Cartoon Network Gender Identity Comic

The comic, part of NBJC and Cartoon Network’s ongoing collaboration, was designed by members of the NBJC Youth and Young Adult Action Council (YYAAC) with artist Steven Lowe (@steeeeevn), a team of talented creators from Cartoon Network Studios, and leadership from NBJC’s director of education programs and research, Dr. Kia Darling-Hammond.

“At the heart of our work at NBJC is affirmation of the dignity and beauty of our Black transgender, gender nonconforming, nonbinary and other gender-expansive siblings,” said Darling-Hammond. “This comic strip advances our goals by showing what it looks like to treat people with respect, while finding a sense of common humanity. Our hope is that this strip’s audience, of all ages and backgrounds, will feel inspired to begin volunteering their own gender pronouns, respect those of others, and normalize awareness of the existence of people across the gender universe. We believe that recognizing and celebrating gender expansiveness will move us closer to a world where we can all be healthy, happy, and whole.”

NBJC’s YYAAC member Tyler Miles adds that “Part of the excitement of this project is that we are engaging a topic that young people almost always have experience with, but don’t often have the space to discuss. Whether these youth identify as transgender, gender nonconforming, cis, or the multitude of identities therein, this comic is a radical act of trust and care to reach all youth who are beginning to, or have already, thought critically about gender. They are heard, they are seen, they are accepted, and they are loved.”

The comic stars feature characters Craig (Craig of the Creek)Chloe (We Bare Bears), and Stevonnie (Steven Universe) as they meet new friends Kam and Alex while learning about gender, respect, and belonging. Learn more and read the entire four-panel comic at the NBJC website.

Inspiration Across the Generations on National Coming Out Day

Inspiration Across the Generations on National Coming Out Day

Could you use something uplifting right now? I sure could—and a short new video that celebrates LGBTQ elders and youth champions is putting a smile on my face this National Coming Out Day.

“Be You” reminds us of the incredible age diversity of the LGBTQ community as participants answer the question “What makes you, you?” It’s a project of SAGE: Advocacy and Services for LGBT Elders; GenderCool, a movement to showcase stories of transgender and non-binary youth; and Dell Technologies. The elders include “Mama” Gloria Allen, a 74-year-old Black transgender woman who transitioned before Stonewall and later, in her 60s, started a charm school for transgender youth in Chicago. The youth include Gia, a rising 17-year-old high school senior who transitioned before the start of eighth grade and then was named captain of her co-ed middle school’s championship cross country team. She’s also her high school’s second highest-ever field hockey goal scorer and has held numerous leadership positions in her student government, the Gay-Straight Alliance Club, the Peace Project, and Family, Career and Community Service Leaders of America.

Watch the video below, then learn more about the elders here and about the youth (and other GenderCool champions) here.

For another great short video today, check out “Proud Parent,” by PFLAG and Oreo, about a young woman bringing her girlfriend to meet her straight parents for the first time. While I usually focus on queer parents, this is too sweet a story to miss. (And yes, say what you will about corporate America, but many companies have supported LGBTQ people by funding our organizations, supporting equality-minded legislation, and giving us benefits even before the government did.)

Looking for some National Coming Out Day (or any day) tips on coming out after parenthood?

On the eve of National Coming Out Day, ABC News’ James Longman wants you to be brave / Queerty

On the eve of National Coming Out Day, ABC News’

“When I was growing up, I had virtually no one to look to in the public eye, where I could say to myself, ‘Wow, he managed it, I might not have to be in the dark forever.’ So if you’re reading this, wherever you are, know that your experience, as unique as it may feel now, has been shared by millions through time. Some have had it worse, others have had it easier. But there is a community waiting for you, with love and understanding. You’ll feel as though your life has only just begun. Each of you who makes that brave step makes it possible that in the future, the next 16-year-old boy with really bad skin, who wore fleece way too much, would be proud of himself, rather than ashamed. No more crying in the kitchen, it’s time to go out into the sunshine.”–ABC News journalist James Longman, in an essay for Yahoo! detailing his own coming out. Longman encourages anyone closeted or questioning his sexuality to come out on National Coming Out Day

10 Amazing national parks of Hungary. Which one is the best?

10 Amazing national parks of Hungary. Which one is the

The Balaton area in Hungary is well-known and well-visited by Hungarians, as well as tourists. Balaton Uplands National Park is the area on the North shore of Lake Balaton and it consists of 6 different landscape protection areas.

Some parts of this park have been called ‘the most beautiful landscape in Hungary’ by poets, painters, and writers.

In this park, you can find wetlands, grasslands, caves, and weird rock formations.

Of all the Hungarian National Parks, Balaton Uplands probably has the most diversity to offer for visitors. There’s a lot of things to see and do, like underground lakes, Little Balaton lake with all it’s wildlife, the Balaton wine region, castles on top of a lookout hill, …

Balaton Uplands National Park covers a diverse area of more than 570 square kilometers.