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November 21, 2006

CALL FOR PAPERS: Queer Parenting Edited Collection

Demeter Press is seeking submissions for an edited collection on
Publication Date: Fall, 2008
Editor: Rachel Epstein

We are excited to be seeking submissions for a new book on queer parenting. We want the book to reflect current thinking, research, debates, issues, experiences and concerns related to LGBTT2IQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, 2-spirit, intersex and queer) parenting/raising children. We welcome submissions from parents, children, students, activists, scholars, artists and others interested in this area.

We are seeking:
• academic papers
• reports on community-based and other research
• personal stories and reflections that incorporate social/historical/political context
• poetry
• art work

We hope the book can begin to reflect the enormous diversity that exists across queer parenting experiences and raise interesting and possibly provocative questions about the implications of queer-identified people raising children. We particularly welcome submissions from those who are marginalized within “queer” communities.

We want to move from the defensive position we have historically been placed in (i.e. “proving” that our children are okay) to embrace the broad complexity of issues that concern us and our children.

Abstracts/Proposals (250-300 words) due: January 1, 2007
Acceptances will be made by: February 28, 2007
Accepted submissions due: July 1, 2007

Please send inquiries and abstracts/proposals to:
Rachel Epstein rachelep at rogers dot com

*** Please post and distribute widely ***

November 20, 2006

Queerspawn in the Sunday Times

There were two queerspawn related pieces in yesterday's New York Times.

On the front page of the magazine: Gay Donor or Gay Dad?

And in the Modern Love from Sunday Style: Fatherly Memories Scattered to the Win

More reactions and thoughts on these pieces tmw. While I tease out my thoughts check out darksandal's "usual complaints," which I always find compelling.

November 16, 2006

Catholic contradictions

This week "The Church" spoketh about our people. Specifically the US Conference on Catholic Bishops channeling God and the will of the peopleRome, have deemed it acceptable for adopted children of "persons with a homosexual inclination" to be baptized. But, adopted queerspawns hoping to get in your first Sacrament, don't get too excited, because while you can participate in the Church your parents should remain single and celibate if they want join you.

Why I chose to spend my late night reading the official Guidelines for Pastoral Care, you might wonder? Consider it some serious Catholic guilt.

I'll give the Bishops some credit... they try in the beginning to acknowledge the effect that homophobia and discrimination has on people and society.

"We recognize that these persons have been, and often continue to be, objects of scorn, hatred, and even violence in some sectors of society. Sometimes this hatred is manifested clearly; other times, it is masked and gives rise to more disguised forms of hatred....Those who would minister in the name of the Church must in no way contribute to such injustice."

Bold for the Bishops. I give my respect... to a point. Then the statement goes on to describe how God's will for our sexuality is to provide life and that homosexual acts "violate the proper ends of human sexuality." (For the record, masturbation and contraception are also listed as violators. ) The Bishops walk a fine line. Homosexuality is not itself a sin, it's just a bad choice to act on it. Like getting yourself off or using a condom.

Besides the societal homophobia context, none of the Bishops' argument is all that new... except when you get to page 16 when they lay out advice on "pastoral care" for those of us who have a homosexual inclination (or who's parent(s) do.) Some interesting points:

- baptized Catholics with a homosexual inclination, or "WAHI" for short, are welcome to participate in the Church BUT they can be denied certain positions if their "behavior violates [the Church's] teachings"
- leaders of the Church must not belong to any groups that oppose the policy on persons WAHI
- persons WAHI can and should tell close friends, but don't out yourself to the world, or as the Bishops warn: "general public self-disclosures are not helpful"

and in a perfect moment of walking the very fine line between welcoming and condemning:

"the Church does not support the adoption of children by same-sex couples since homosexual unions are contrary to the dive plan" HOWEVER "the Church does not refuse the Sacrament of Baptism to these children, but there must be a well founded hope that the children will be brought up in the Catholic religion."

There's a lot more, including a mention of persons WAHI living their lives in the Church so as to avoid falling into the "gay subculture" and encouragement to reach out to young people before they fall into the subculture. But I won't bore any longer. Go check out the full document and see for yourself.

And now I will return to the gay subculture that I fell into. This second-gen baptized Catholic queerspawn stopped taking communion a long time ago... but with a big ol'Irish-Catholic family it's hard to ignore these missives when they come down. Slainte.

November 14, 2006

Mr. Cakes

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

What follows below is a public letter written to the entire COLAGE community, wrap these words around you when you forget where you're going. Dare I say it is a Queerspawn manifesto of sorts? Not for me to decide on my own, but nevertheless, read on and you shall be rewarded...

[Begin message.]

My dear friends,

Let me start this missive by saying that when I think of you all, the full range of adjectives English affords fails me. Brilliant, articulate, compassionate, dynamic, bold, extraordinary, kind, canny, driven, and damn unbelievable only barely scratch the surface. Your personalities leave me infinately inspired, your love and compassion overwhelm my heart, and your dance moves rock my world. I don't think I've ever met a group of people with a human awesomeness rate of %100: every single one you is amazing, amazing, amazing.

I want to tell you all how grateful I am to have you in my life. COLAGE is, no doubt, the most loving and extraordinary community I have ever been privelaged to be a part of, and spending this weekend with you was a gift that I cherish deeply. You enrich me mind, body, and soul; that is a winning combination I doubt most people can claim of their worldly connections. We have all had to travel our own paths, often independantly, struggling to survive periods of incredible distress and succeeding in moments of equally incredible self-affirmation. For myself, I accomplished much of that process alone (as I think many of us did) only to discover later, through all of you, that I was never really alone at all. Coming to the realization that I need a community like ours is a difficult one for me - I have always wished to remain independent, not wanting to be beholden to anyone or anything for my strength, my passion, and my personal growth.

Coming home from Dallas I realized more clearly than ever before that I not only need COLAGE, but that I want to need COLAGE. I feel as though to need the community that we have all forged (even in brief but powerful encounters) is to somehow reaffirm the very families that we came from, to say that we not only represent or speak for queer families but that apart from our parents we have also forged a human family that may in fact be more complex, diverse, and enriching to the world than any institutionalized family form alone could be. I don't think I fully understood the idea of producing alliances across difference until I found myself falling headlong into this amazing, and wonderful, and powerful thing called COLAGE. Whether it scares me or not to say it, to voice that commitment, I have to acknowledge that I need this family.

We live in a political moment that puts into question the very notion of "home," that parades home as something to be won on a television show or a deceptively innocent idea tacked onto the maddeningly single-minded mission of American democracy - as national boundaries are questioned, as imperial politics continue to make "home"
synonymous with a self-centered American experience, as the world contracts and presses us to rethink our sense of belonging, all of you have shown me what it means to be at home in the world. That, more than anything, allows me to see the possiblities for social, cultural, and political change that spread out in countless directions before us. I can't tell you how exciting that is, but I doubt you need me to
- it is an excitement that I think is palpable for all of us.

I apologize for the length and intensity of this message but I am so rarely afforded the time to write at length that I wanted to give this weekend the respect it deserves (and all of you the kudos you deserve). Thank you for always making me think, for pushing me forward, and for simply being you!

Call, write, visit ... whatever you must.

With great love, respect, and admiration, Ramzi Fawaz

[End message.]

Beautifully put.

November 03, 2006

thank you jesus. ted haggard, welcome to the fold.

Priceless Ted Haggard and a little plug for the new documentary Jesus Camp.

I've got more to say... stay tuned.

And a big welcome to Ryan and Dakota!

We are everywhere RoseAnn

With this being my first post to the QueerSpawn.Community, let me pause to introduce myself. Ryan LaLonde here, proud son of a lesbian-appearing mother (she is bi but in a relationship with my other “mom” for 21 plus years…you know how this goes). To the outside world, she is a lesbian mother. Anyway, I reside in Silver Springs, Maryland, which is neither silver nor springy…I am also involved with COLAGE, as DC chapter coordinator and Board of Directors chair.

A while back I did some research on famous and not so famous kids with LGBT parents. Grounding our work in history and celebritydom makes us feel like we are not alone. Even though we meet each other at different events, the people who I found stay with me in my mind as steadfast examples to throw out randomly…it especially makes for a great part game…guess who had queer parents.

Now the list is ever-changing and I ask for more names as time goes along. I would also like to note that a camp I work with called Mountain Meadow based in Philly is a camp for kids with Queer parents and they ran with this list and created this great resource for the kids… http://www.mountainmeadow.org/famouspeople.pdf

The list is diverse, Anne Heche, Natasha Richardson, Dorothy Dandridge, OJ Simpson, Jody Foster and now even Carl Rove. Even though we may not want certain people in our community because we do not agree with their views, opinions or actions, that fact is all us queerspawn come from very different places, but even if we pulled all these people together with different views into a room, I bet we would find many common experiences.