LGBT Parents’ Survey

A couple of students here at Lawrence are conducting a survey of LGBT families in the US, and would like the help of anyone (parents and children) who would like to give their perspective. I’ve attached the message from the students, who are seniors working on their honors project. Their work is being supervised by two friends and colleagues–Beth Haines who is the current head of Gender Studies and Julie Konik, who has a visiting position in psychology.

The website for the survey is

To LGBT parents:

We would like to explore the experiences and perspectives of LGBT parents in a wide range of communities in the United States. In particular, we are interested in your views on the unique set of challenges that families with same-sex parents may face as a result of social policies and attitudes, and how they may overcome or manage these challenges.

Our research team consists of Beth Haines (who specializes in child development and gender studies) and Julie Konik (who specializes in personality and LGBT studies). In addition, Katy Fohrman and Kim Vachon are senior psychology majors at Lawrence University. We all feel strongly about being advocates for the LGBT community, which is why we have chosen to pursue research in this particular area. With this research, we hope to better understand challenges facing LGBT families and promote social policies that support all families.

If you would like to learn more about us, please check out our website:

We have developed a survey that explores the ways in which same-sex parents and their children manage social pressures within their communities. The survey will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. We want to learn about your individual perspectives, experiences, and opinions. Parents will be asked questions about topics such as attitudes in your community, parenting and family dynamics, social pressures and sources of support, as well as questions regarding your child(ren). We also invite your child(ren) under 21 years old to complete questions about themselves and their relationship with their parents, as well as optional questions about their perceptions of the community. Of course, whether your child(ren) complete questions is entirely up to you–you will have the option to give consent for whatever you feel comfortable with for your child(ren).

If you are interested in participating in our survey, please go to our website: We truly appreciate your help!

Please feel free to email us at or our individual emails (; if you have any technical trouble, questions, or comments.

Thanks again for your help!

Holly Would (Play with Gender)

Just got this cool press release which makes me wish I was anywhere near West Hollywood:

Grrrl, boi, lezbo, butch, femme, lipstick, drag king, trans, dyke, bulldagger, tomboy, genderqueer, one-way, kiki, power femme …

Each generation of lesbians uses new and different terms to describe how we present ourselves and what attracts us. GenderPlay in Lesbian Culture is the first ever Los Angeles exhibit to talk about labels and explore gender and its boundaries.

The OPENING EVENT, at the One Museum on Saturday March 14, will feature singer Phranc, emcee Marie Cartier and performance art from Latina trio, Butchlalis de Panochtitlan. Continue reading “Holly Would (Play with Gender)”

Gainesville’s Fight

Allyson Robinson posted this message about Equality Florida’s fight for a gender-inclusive non-discrimination law in Gainesville, Florida on our message boards, & I thought it deserved a larger audience:

Many of you are aware of the fight brewing in Gainesville, Florida over their trans-inclusive non-discrimination law, passed by the city council last year. Gainesville’s non-discrimination ordinance had covered sexual orientation for years, but when gender identity was added last year, opposition was activated. The opposition group collected a huge number of signatures–over 10% of the projected voting population–to get the anti-discrimination ordinance placed on the ballot in a special election. That’s tremendous for this kind of municipal issue; more people signed the petition against these protections than voted for the mayor or any sitting city council member in recent elections.

Though the charter amendment the opposition group is pushing would eliminate protections for the whole LGBT community, their messaging is focusing on transgender people–the “bathroom diversion.” Their flyers state, in letters a inch tall, “KEEP MEN OUT OF WOMEN’S RESTROOMS.” As we’ve seen all over the country, and writ large in California last fall, this kind of fear-based messaging is very, very difficult to dislodge from voters’ minds. The special election is scheduled for March 24.

This fight has national significance. The “bathroom diversion” is quickly becoming our opposition’s weapon of choice. They used it successfully in Hamtramck, Michigan, it might have succeeded in Montgomery County, Maryland had the courts not intervened, it’s getting drug out in Kalamazoo, Michigan and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and it’s already being raised at the state level in places like Connecticut that are considering inclusive non-discrimination bills this year. We must show both our opponents and our supporters that we can consistently defeat this tactic. If we don’t, municipalities or states considering trans-inclusive non-discrimination laws may become gun-shy, preferring not to deal with costly ballot initiatives in response to pro-equality laws.

Continue reading “Gainesville’s Fight”


One of the partners on our MHB boards mentioned recently that she’d never apply for an LGBT scholarship, because she doesn’t identify as LGBT, and it reminded me that I never told the story about me & the LGBT Blogger Initiative Conference I went to.

It seems I am perplexing to people, & I felt a little bit like an odd duck while I was there. It came up because at some point, someone announced that grants might become available for LGBT bloggers, and a few people told me that they hoped I would get one. But someone also mentioned that they could see others have an issue with the fact that I’m not LGB or T. My standard response these days is – “I’m the Q that gets left off a lot.”

But still it’s an issue that has come up, & may come up even moreso that I’m thinking about going back to grad school. Will I choose, like the partner above, not to apply for any LGBT scholarships? As a sort of liminal queer, probably I wouldn’t, except that then there’s the whole issue of what I do & what I’d want to study – which is all about the LGBT, and the T in particular.

The other question I was asked, which I’ve been asked before, is why? Why the trans community? & To be honest, I just don’t know. I was charmed by my very first meetings with trans people, & continue to have a deep love for the trans community & for trans people. Aside from my Debsian sense of social justice, that is.

Tim McFeeley did a wonderful “short history of the LGBT movement” (which I was pleased to note I knew cold!) as a workhop that Sunday morning, and he closed with a quote by Frederick Douglass:

When I ran away from slavery, it was for myself; when I advocated emancipation, it was for my people; but when I stood up for the rights of women, self was out of the question, and I found a little nobility in the act.

That’s my answer & I’m sticking to it.

NYC HHC Report

Betsy Gotsbaum, NY’s Public Advocate, has released a report (pdf) that recommends way to improve the LGBT population’s access to healthcare.

Among the recommendations:
• Require in-house LGBT sensitivity training for all HHC employees.
• Designate an LGBT liaison in each HHC facility.
• Establish, display, and enforce a zero-tolerance discrimination policy.
• Establish a review process to monitor progress.

Among the people quoted in the press release are Ray Carannante of CenterCARE and Michael Silverman of the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF).

Day 3

I’m still at the Blogger Initiative in DC & having a pretty cool time of it; yesterday I had lunch with the Victory Fund at the Mayflower Hotel & heard Barney Frank speak (more on that later) & ran into Mara Keisling, Maggie Stump and Dana Beyer. I’ve noticed I always feel at home amongst the tall ladies, and that moment was a refreshing break from being a kind of confusing non-trans blogger from the trans community (more on that later too). I moderated a panel on diversity yesterday, which went really well thanks to my excellent panelists.A working shop with Cathy Renna about media access & savvy just ended, and it’s time to go eat lunch with my fellow bloggers, none of whom are in pajamas.

Mostly right now I’m missing Betty, who got home from CO last night and who is in our apartment with the kittoi, and whom I can’t wait to be with, too.