Family-Friendly Pride Events, Extended Bay Area Edition!

Folks, it’s Pride-a-palooza time! A month filled with opportunities to connect with other LGBTQ families, as the (school-aged) kids finish off the school year and the summer busts into view.

Below are a dozen family-friendly events you can attend to get your pride on with your little ones. Have fun!


A’s Pride Night

June 6
Oakland Coliseum,
7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland
7pm-9pm

More info / Register now!

 

 



San Mateo Pride

June 10
San Mateo Central Park,
50 East 5th Ave, San Mateo
12pm-4pm

More info / Register now!

 

 

 

LGBQIA Pride Storytime

June 10
Ortega Branch Library, 3223 Ortega St.,
San Francisco

12:00pm-1:30pm

Visit the library for a special family storytime and craft project celebrating LGBTQIA Pride and all kinds of families. The program will be aimed at kids and families from preschool to age 8, but everyone is welcome. No registration is necessary, just show up. Email maggie.frankel@sfpl.org if you have any questions.


Queer Women of Color Film Festival

June 10-11
Brava Theater Center,
2789 24th St, San Francisco

Childcare at closing night screening

More info / Register now!

 

 

 

City of El Cerrito Loving Day Celebration

June 11
El Cerrito City Hall Civic Plaza, 10890 San Pablo Avenue, El Cerrito
12:00pm-3:00pm

Loving Day honors the anniversary of the US Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia, the case that overturned the ban on interracial marriage. This FREE event will have activities for the whole family, including music, arts and crafts, photo booth fun, and a free screening of the documentary “The Loving Story.” More info at el-cerrito.org/lovingday.

Drag Queen Story Hour!

June 17
Bernal Heights Branch Library, 500 Cortland Avenue, San Francisco
12:00pm

RADAR Productions and SFPL present Drag Queen Story Hour. Join us for a unique and unforgettable story hour with special guest Yves St. Croissant! Includes face painting, songs and more! For children ages 0-5 and their caregivers. Please call 415-355-5618 or email paula.heaney@sfpl.org  for more information.


Frameline Family Matinee: “The Lego Movie”

June 18
Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St.,
San Francisco

10:30am

More info / Register now!

 

Frameline Family Interest
Movie: “The F Word”

June 18
Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St.,
San Francisco

1:30pm

June 20
Elmwood Theater, 2966 College Ave,
Berkeley

7:00pm

More info / Register now!

 


Coming Up Queer

June 18
Victoria Theater, 2961 16th St.,
San Francisco

1:30pm

More info / Register now!


Trans March

June 23
Hellen Diller Playground,
Dolores Park, 19th St. at
Dolores St., San Francisco

Family Activities 2-5pm,
March 6pm

More info / Register now!

 
Dyke March
Playground Brunch

June 24
Hellen Diller Playground,
Dolores Park, 19th St. at
Dolores St., San Francisco

10am-12pm

More info / Register now!

 

 

 

Drag Queen Story Hour!

June 24
Dimond Recreation Center
3860 Hanly Rd., Oakland
10:30am

Celebrate Pride weekend at the Oakland debut of Drag Queen Story Hour, with face painting, cookies – and stories and songs led by Black Benatar! Black Benatar thinks kids are the best and loves reading books to them that celebrate lgbtq and multicultural families and identities.

More info / Register now!


SF LGBTQ Pride Parade & Family Garden

June 25

LOWER MARKET STREET AREA, STEP-OFF BLOCK TBA

March in the LGBTQ Family Contingent at the SF Pride Parade! Our precise gathering time and block are TBA; watch out website for details in mid-June.

CIVIC CENTER PLAZA PLAYGROUND,
CORNER OF POLK ST. AND McALLISTER RIGHT IN FRONT OF CITY HALL

Join in fun art activities, face painting, and more at the Family Garden, open from 11am – 4pm.

More info / Register now!


Celebrate Pride Month by Using Your Health Insurance

#Out2Enroll
Los Angeles Marriott Burbank, Burbank

The Affordable Care Act has made a significant difference in the lives of millions of LGBTQ individuals and families. Millions of LGBTQ people across the country have benefited from the Affordable Care Act. Many have gotten health insurance for the first time, gotten covered as a family for the first time, received financial help to make coverage more affordable, and accessed covered health services, including transition-related care, for the first time. Use Pride month to show that the Affordable Care Act is working for our communities and to push back against Congress’ efforts to repeal or weaken the law. Learn more at out2enroll.org.

 


Rainbow Storytime

June 25
Merced Branch Library, 155 Winston Dr.,
San Francisco

2:00pm – 2:30pm

Join the library for a special family storytime celebrating LGBTQIA Pride. Email kimberly.lauer@sfpl.org for more information.

 

 

Gender Odyssey Los Angeles

June 28-20
Los Angeles Marriott Burbank, Burbank

Gender Odyssey Los Angeles is a two-day conference for Professionals seeking to advance their understanding of gender diversity and transgender identities in children, teens, and adults. Leading experts will offer sessions covering gender identity across the lifespan and life experience. Programming is targeted toward medical and behavioral health care providers, teachers and school administrators, social workers, care givers and guardians, attorneys, employers and recruiters, government employees, and students preparing for these professions. Offering CEUs for California Fiduciaries & Guardians and CMEs (pending approval). More info on the Gender Odyssey site.

 


Save the Date:
Family Pride Day at
Habitot

July 30
2065 Kittredge St., Berkeley
10am-1pm

 



Save the Date:
Oakland Pride & Family Garden

September 10

5 Reasons I Give to Our Family Coalition: Ali Cannon

Ali CannonWe recently spoke with Ali Canon, former OFC Board member, about why he supports Our Family Coalition, and why he urges others to as well.  What follows is an edited version of that conversation.

Ali will be at our upcoming Night Out gala fundraiser next Friday evening, May 12. Join us there, and continue this conversation with Ali in person!

1. OFC helps me and my family feel reflected. One of the biggest reasons that I’ve given to OFC all these years – my time, financially, as a family, my wife and I, with my own involvement – is that as a transgender dad, I don’t have a lot of opportunities to see myself reflected in the world. As a parent, and particularly as a transgender parent – even within the world of queer parents – it’s still a relatively small minority of folks that have a parallel identity to mine and our family. So knowing that OFC is supporting my family in concrete, programmatic ways makes all the difference.

2. OFC engages in powerful, transformative work in the schools.  I’m super passionate about the education work of OFC. I’m an educator, married to a principal. I came up through the public schools, and my family have been middle and high school teachers; I know the impact of OFC’s work in schools. And I think educational work is significantly about institutional change. Educators who are wanting to do LGBT-inclusive work need the kind of resources that OFC provides, so they can support schools and districts. The evidence shows that doing ‘welcoming and inclusive schools’ work in fact makes schools safer. Finally that data has arisen: when there are multiple interventions in place – the curriculum, the supportive staff, the outreach to parent communities – all those things make schools safer. The same goes for the presence of secondary-level things like GSAs, and student groups that are also engaged in supporting queer students and allies. To me, OFC is a leader in that work, and it still remains fairly dangerous and risky to do that work at the elementary school level. And that’s where OFC has located itself for years now, making significant inroads in the Bay Area and other parts of California. Thanks in part to OFC’s advocacy, we’re now seeing the arrival of the FAIR Education Act. OFC has been at the table helping determine what that curriculum looks like. It’s going to roll out in schools soon, and that’s huge. It will lead other states to consider what that could look like for them. And that’s good news.

3. OFC as an organization has grown and evolved along with our movement. In going on nine years of involvement with the organization, I’ve seen significant growth. And that makes me more excited to remain involved. Growth in the organization has increased capacity, which has turned into policy work that we now stand for. That engagement capacity, that collaboration capacity, increases the visibility of the work that we do. For instance: when we got involved with the marriage equality campaign, we worked to keep families visible, and at the table there. And now LGBTQ families are part of the national marriage equality conversation. That wasn’t so when marriage equality work got started, and it’s also under great threat with our current administration.

The work that OFC does can’t go away. Supporting OFC at Night Out is an amazing opportunity to celebrate that work, and to guarantee that it will keep going strong through the tough times ahead.

4. The backlash to all our gains is real, and OFC needs the support to counter it. We’ve made institutional change, which is great. But when institutional change occurs in the community, that’s when you see backlash. One of Trump’s first (successful) initiatives was removing Obama’s protections of transgender students in school. Now states can formally discriminate against transgender students, or gender nonconforming students, and jeopardize their safety. Students in the Bay Area are experiencing horrific racist and anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim attacks; gender nonconforming and transgender students are experiencing microaggressions and more blatant forms of transphobia because of that action. The good news is that educators in many places, even the most conservative ones, want to make their schools safe. They’re invested in that. Are there are also people that are not there for all kids? Absolutely, and those are unsafe schools and districts. The Trump administration is giving people who harbor hatred, who function from a place of hatred and have been waiting for a “green light,” to go for it. Young people attacking one another; adults attacking young people; adults attacking other adults. That’s how I see it: a green light on violent response to institutional change. Which in a way is why we have the regime that we have: people are pissed about that change; they’re afraid, and they’re hateful.

5. OFC continues to show up for families who are at the margins.  I’m proud of the work that OFC does, and I’m proud of the kind of opportunities that OFC creates for individual families, unlike mine, who have less access to power and privilege. My privilege as a middle class white man is not lessened because of my transition. I’m aware that my family has a lot of access that other families who are much more marginalized don’t – whether they’re people of color, in low-income communities, or are immigrant families. I’m proud of the amount of ways that OFC is supporting families who don’t  have the ability to navigate different systems of support – whether those are education or health or neighborhood supports – and I think that’s really vital.  Now more than ever, we have to keep fighting and celebrating the institutional change that we, particularly in California, have achieved.  Organizations like OFC are the ones who have given us those wins.  We have to lead the way for the states that are going to be really vulnerable, we have to help protect the most at-risk people. That includes families, LGBT students and allies, everyone that wants to make communities and schools safe. The work that OFC does can’t go away. Supporting OFC at Night Out is an amazing opportunity to celebrate that work, and to guarantee that it will keep going strong through the tough times ahead.

Our Family Coalition Celebrates 21 Years Advocating for LGBTQ Families at Night Out Gala

SAN FRANCISCOOn Friday, May 12, 2017, Our Family Coalition (OFC), California’s premier LGBTQ family organization, brings together 400 attendees for a Night Out to celebrate the organization’s 21 years of advocacy, education, and community-building. The gala event includes elected officials, corporate sponsors, community partners and major donors, many of whom are LGBT people with children.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee will receive the Notable Ally Award at the gala.  Lee, long one of the Bay Area’s fiercest voices in Washington, serves as Vice-Chair and Founding Member of the LGBT Equality Caucus and Co-Founder & Co-Chair of the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus.

President of AT&T California Ken McNeely will receive the Luminary Award. McNeely, who lives with his husband and two children in San Francisco, is leading the way in the private sector. He was the first openly gay officer of AT&T, and serves on the Officer Advisory Board for AT&T’s LGBT and allied Employee Resource Group, the oldest LGBT employee resource group in the nation.  

San Francisco attorney Charlie Spiegel will receive the Groundbreaker Award for his lifelong advocacy on behalf of LGBTQ families. Spiegel helped co-found Our Family Coalition as it formed from the merger of two Bay Area LGBTQ family organizations. He has also served as Board Member and Co-Chair for Lambda Legal, and as a longtime organizer of Gay Future Dads.

“At 21 years old this year, Our Family Coalition is all grown up,” says OFC’s first Executive Director of color Renata Moreira. “We’re more than ready to meet the challenges facing LGBT families under the Trump administration. This event gives us a chance to celebrate our resilience, take pride in where we’ve been, and generate energy for our next, bold, intersectional steps forward.”

“I am honored Congresswoman Barbara Lee will be there and honored as well–though I am more likely the ‘as well,’” jokes honoree Spiegel.  “Michelle Meow is the usually hilarious political comic MC.  The work I’m being recognized for has been about helping make sure LGBT couples are included fully in family law settings.  That work goes hand-in-hand with the number of LGBT families who OFC has supported in coming and being out, being legally protected, and thereby changing the political landscape for marriage equality.  That work is now redoubled by OFC and all of us.”

Now in its 9th year, Night Out has established itself as the only event exclusively supporting LGBT families with children in the Bay Area. The general public is warmly invited to this adults only event. Tickets are on sale now at ourfamily.org/give-back/night-out.

Press inquiries may be directed to Polly Pagenhart, Policy & Communications Director

California Congresswoman Barbara Lee will be honored at Our Family Coalition’s 9th Annual NIGHT OUT Gala on May 12th, 2017 at 6pm at the Intercontinental San Francisco. Lee will be awarded the Notable Ally Award for her work in Congress supporting pro-LGBTQ measures and those that promote equality and fairness for our families and our community. She has been hailed as one of the most pro-gay U.S Representatives in Congress, for good reason.

Congresswoman Lee was educated locally at Mills College, where she served as the president of the Black Student Union, all while raising her two sons. Her participation in the community–through small business and community organizing–propelled her political career. She served in the California State Assembly from 1990 to 1996, during which time she authored numerous bills, including the California Schools Hate Crimes Reduction Act in 1995.

In 1998 she was elected to serve California’s 9th Congressional District (which is now the13th). She has continued to use her position as a change maker and ally for the LGBTQ community. In Congress last year on the occasion of International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia,  she said:

Unfortunately, homophobia, transphobia and discrimination against the LGBT community can still be found in communities across our nation and around the world. Whether it is in the form of hatred, exclusion, bigotry or violence, no form of discrimination should be acceptable in our society. No one should ever feel unsafe in their school, community or home because of their gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation.  Ensuring the safety and health of our LGBT family, friends and neighbors should be our highest priority.

Just a few of the bills she has sponsored and co-sponsored bills include the Anti-Bullying and Harassment Act of 2011, the Respect for Marriage Act, Real Education for Healthy Youth Act of 2011, and the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2011. These bills, among many others, show the outstanding commitment to justice that has marked her career.

Please join us on May 12th, 2017 in honoring Congresswoman Lee with the Notable Ally Award.

photo credit: Adam Bouska, 2012

What Are the LGBTQ Impacts of the New GOP ACA Repeal Proposal?

Guest post by Amanda Wallner, Director, California LGBT Health & Human Services Network

On March 6, House Republicans released their plan to deliver on campaign promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act and roll back decades of progress in health care. This proposal would undermine the Medi-Cal expansion and Covered California – two programs that expanded access to health care for over 6 million Californians. Not only that, but the proposal includes a cut of $15-20 billion for Medi-Cal and raises copays and deductibles while reducing financial help to pay for premiums and cost sharing for those who purchase their insurance through Covered California; both of these proposals hit low- and middle-income Californians hardest. The Congressional Budget Office has not yet analyzed the proposal– and Republicans in Congress are trying to rush a vote before they have a chance to – however, the likely result is that millions of Californians may go without health insurance once again, and those who maintain coverage could see a dramatic drop in quality.

Three of the top things to know for LGBTQ Californians are:

∙   This proposal disproportionately hurts LGBTQ Californians. The health care gains under the ACA were particularly impactful for LGBTQ people, who are more likely to live in poverty and were less likely to have health insurance or a regular provider. The proposed bill includes tens of billions of dollars in cuts to Medi-Cal and Covered California, making health insurance a luxury that may once again be out of reach for many LGBTQ people.

∙   Planned Parenthood is an important provider of health care for LGBTQ Californians, providing culturally competent sexual health, preventative, and transition-related care throughout the state. The current proposal singles out Planned Parenthood and eliminates reimbursements for care they provide – effectively preventing people from getting their care at Planned Parenthood (see more here).

∙   The proposal threatens to stop, and even reverse, the progress we’ve made at addressing LGBTQ health disparities. Thanks to the ACA, many more LGBTQ Californians have access to health care; including cancer screenings, HIV and STI testing, substance use treatment, and other preventative care that are helping to close LGBTQ health disparities. Losing coverage threatens the health equity gains that we’ve made over the past several decades.

For more updates, you can follow the California LGBT Health & Human Services Network on Facebook and Twitter, or visit the website at CaliforniaLGBTHealth.org/.

Resources:

∙   NCTE: Repealing Obamacare would be devastating for transgender Americans

∙   Health Access: The House Republican Proposal Costs More and Covers Less

∙   Planned Parenthood: The Impact of Defunding Planned Parenthood

∙   Families USA: Healthy and Wealthy Benefit under the House Republicans’ Affordable Care Act Repeal Plan

∙   Fenway Institute: LGBT People and Those Living with HIV Have Benefitted from ACA, Have Much at Stake in Reform Debate

∙   You can read the full bill here: https://energycommerce.house.gov/news-center/press-releases/energy-and-commerce-republicans-release-legislation-repeal-and-replace

Take Action:

∙   Call your member of Congress at (202) 224-3121 or visit a local district office and demand that health coverage be affordable and accessible to all.

∙   Share your story about how the ACA has helped you.

∙   Attend an event! If you would like assistance planning an event for your community, or to help with any of the events below, you can email me at awallner@health-access.org.

∙   Share a call to action on Facebook, Twitter, and with your email lists:

Tell Congress: Do not vote to repeal health care!

About the author: Amanda Wallner serves as Director of The California LGBT Health and Human Services Network, a statewide coalition of non-profit providers, community centers, and researchers working collectively to advocate for state-level policies and resources to advance LGBT health and wellness, as part of the movement for LGBT equality.

 

Virtual Town Hall for Trans Student Rights: #ShowUp4TransYouth

Dear Families,

This afternoon the Trump administration rescinded guidance the Department of Justice had provided schools on recognizing and protecting transgender students. This further demonstrates their intention to roll back all of the pro-LGBT gains we have achieved over the years.

Together we have fought and won too many recent legal battles to turn back now. And fortunately we’re not alone: Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson issued a statement reiterating protection of trans students as a core value:

All students deserve a safe and supportive school environment. California will continue to work to provide that environment for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students regardless of any misguided directives by the federal government and the Trump administration.

If we remain informed and vigilant, this footnote in history will not deter us. Tomorrow our partners at the GSA Network and Transgender Law Center are bringing together trans youth leaders, community leaders, legal experts, and allies from across the country to discuss the effects of this rollback and what will be needed to ensure our safety as LGBTQ families.

Please join us to hear what’s next for trans student advocacy.

What: Virtual Town Hall on Transgender Student Rights
When: Thursday, February 23rd at 2:00PM Pacific
Webinar link: bit.ly/ShowUp4TransKids

And as always, when your time is limited but your resources are less so: please donate what you can to support the organizations that support our families. Everything we do together makes a difference.

In solidarity and strength,
Our Family Coalition

PS: The Dept of Justice can be reached at 202-514-2000 and the Dept of Education at 800-872-5327. Demand that Jeff Sessions and Betsy DeVos protect the rights of ALL students, including gender creative and transgender students, today!

Anti-LGBT Executive Order – Action Alert

antilgbtexecutiveorder

Dear beloved community,

As you may have heard, we are expecting an extremely destructive anti-LGBT Executive Order to be issued by the Trump/Pence regime any moment now. Under the guise of “religious freedom,” this order would not just legalize, but incentivize discrimination against LGBTQ individuals, families, women seeking health care, as well as unmarried heterosexual couples!

We know that nothing about this order would contribute to the stability of families or make children – of LGBTQ parents or not – more secure. And we will fight like hell to challenge their relentless attacks against LGBT families and other targeted communities. Our Family Coalition is already working with our legal partners to prepare for a lawsuit against the Trump administration, as an organizational plaintiff, for the first time in our history, due to the far-reaching impact on our community.

renataandmegaphone

But our small team is completely stretched to meet the various advocacy demands and we need your help to continue organizing on the ground, at the state level and to be at national tables representing LGBTQ families. Will you join forces with us? Here are a few steps you and those who love and support your family can take:

  1. Join Our Family Coalition’s Speakers’ Bureau. We are looking to identify LGBT parents/caregivers and children/youth of LGBT parents who can volunteer to speak to the press, share their stories (via multiple mediums) and boost our capacity to speak the truth to power!

  2. Donate what you can to Our Family Coalition, and encourage your friends to do the same! We are fighting for same-sex couples and all LGBT families right now, and are preparing for an even bigger fight (if that’s possible) pending lawsuits. We need your support to raise 30K as soon as possible to hire a field organizer.

  3. Support a local action. Our Family Coalition will be representing at both the Oakland and San Francisco rallies. Exact dates will depend on when the executive order comes out. Check the Facebook pages for the most up to date info.

  4. Join Senator Kamala Harris in rejecting Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary: her long record funding anti-LGBTQ hate groups, who specifically call out trans people as unfit to teach kids, makes her one of our most pointed adversaries.

  5. Sign and generously share Transgender Law Center’s petition opposing the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the (stolen) Supreme Court seat. His record shows he would vigorously support a narrow, conservative Christian re-interpretation of our laws, enshrining discriminatory treatment of LGBTQ people.

As many have said: we don’t all have to do everything, but we all are called now to do something. And as you act, in any way you are able, know that we are right there with you, fueled by a shared belief in the power of love and our common values of fairness and justice for all.

Yours in the struggle,

Renata Moreira

Interim Executive Director, Our Family Coalition

Civic Engagement for Families: Some Resources

civicengagementforfamilies

Here are some creative ideas and resources for all-ages learning about social change and civic engagement.

We patterned the Fellowship Friday event on Solidarity Sundays, a nationwide network of feminist activist groups coordinating practical, focused, collective action to resist the Trump/Pence agenda. You can sign up to get information regularly, and then gather up a group of friends and make community and a difference.

You may also like to check out Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda, the short, extremely well-informed guide to civic action gathered together by congressional aides who watched the ascent of the Tea Party and their (admittedly super well-funded) local activism.

Sprung-up locally is the Bay Area Queer Anti-Fascist Network, an ad-hoc collective of groups and individuals building community and engaging in varied and direct action in the Bay Area.

dykepower

Those of us with younger kids might enjoy checking out picture and chapter books about about electoral politics, social change heroes, and grassroots advocacy. We can read them to or talk with our children about them:

For older kids, consider reading chapter books together, and talking about them: Solidarity Sunday list section for Older Readers.

For kids of all ages, interesting dinner table conversations could revolve around what we each would do if we were President of the United States, or even a leader in our own immediate community, on the immediate scale of a kid’s preschool or K-6 classroom, or middle or high school.

Crafty folks can gather together sign-making materials and create signs you could put in the window of your apartment or house, or in a car, or to take to any of the ongoing opportunities to march with other citizens on behalf of community, diversity, and – among others – LGBTQ families.

Adults and older kids can make a difference on a regular basis contacting your elected officials and urging them to have the courage of their convictions (if your representative is clearly on record to take a stand on behalf of LGBTQ people). Officials on committees considering appointments represent the interests of the entire nation, so you have every right, even a responsibility to committee members with your concerns about a proposed cabinet member – for instance, Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary, who has no experience with public schools and long experience disparaging LGBTQ people and funding organizations which regard trans people as “broken” and unfit to teach.

Kids tween/ pre-tween-aged on up can be hugely invigorated making calls on a Sunday with other kids reading scripts alongside adults to phone message machines of national political figures.

You can learn about about how to locate and contact your elected officials here: help finding contact info for elected officials.

You can get ideas about daily actions you can take, simply via contacting your elected officials, here (their motto: “Resisting extremism in America, one phone call at a time.”: Daily Action

And if you would like to know why it’s more helpful to call than to email, check out this concise run-down in the New York Times last November: “Here’s Why You Should Call, Not Email, Your Legislators”.

Whatever you do, do it often, and do it together! One of the best things that can come of this challenging climate is a renewed passion for democracy.

6 Radical MLK Jr. Quotations You Didn’t Learn in School

6 Radical MLK Jr. Quotations You Didn’t Learn in School

6 Radical MLK Jr. Quotations You Didn’t Learn in School

On this Martin Luther King Jr. day, we celebrate the legacy of the iconic civil rights leader with some of our favorite quotations from his work. They ring true now in our divided, unequal country as they did the first time he spoke them. While many of us were taught a narrative of the 1960s civil rights movement as a finite, completed project that completely solved racial inequality, these words remind us how the fight for justice is ongoing and crucial.

“One of the greatest problems of history is that the concepts of love and power are usually contrasted as polar opposites. Love is identified with a resignation of power and power with a denial of love. What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive and that love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.”  —  Where Do We Go From Here, 1967

“Why is equality so assiduously avoided? Why does white America delude itself, and how does it rationalize the evil it retains?

The majority of white Americans consider themselves sincerely committed to justice for the Negro. They believe that American society is essentially hospitable to fair play and to steady growth toward a middle-class Utopia embodying racial harmony. But unfortunately this is a fantasy of self-deception and comfortable vanity.”

—  Where Do We Go From Here, 1967

“But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear?…It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.”

—  “The Other America,” 1968

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”

—“Beyond Vietnam,” 1967

“The evils of capitalism are as real as the evils of militarism and evils of racism.”

— Speech to SCLC  Board, 1967

“I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizens Councillor or the Ku Klux Klanner but the white moderate who is more devoted to order than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says, “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically feels that he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time; and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”

— Letter From Birmingham Jail, 1963

Here’s how you can help change the world.

changetheworld

by Charlie Spiegel, Esq. SF
Proud Our Family Coalition Member

Dear Families and Friends –

 After September 11, 2001, I didn’t know how to parent my then 4-year old daughter if the country’s tallest skyscrapers could be made to “fall down.” A wise educator gave me advice I followed for many years, explaining we had to provide our children with the illusion of security, and as adults, remember it was only an illusion.

charlie2After November 9, 2016, I think we need to do more of the same—provide our kids the illusion of security, while remembering it is only an illusion. As adults, we need to do even more and support institutions that protect our community and change the world. That’s where supporting and strengthening Our Family Coalition (OFC) comes in. I hope you will join me in making a special tax-deductible contribution to OFC right now so they can expand their work to support LGBTQ families.

LGBTQ  families are surely at risk in this uncertain future just  as we were during Proposition 8, California’s anti-gay marriage initiative. OFC fought to have LGBTQ parents front and center in the campaign, successful years later, to change public opinion, in large part because our family members go into institutions where undecided fellow citizens are, and can change minds there one person at a time.

charlieanddaughter

Today feels the same.  Our families must be even more visible and engaged in order to change the hearts and minds of people, one by one. A strong Our Family Coalition helps make that change happen.

OFC’s work making California schools welcoming and affirming of family diversity provides the safety and warmth that helps shape our children into their own best advocates. At the same time, OFC’s work training parents to be effective media spokespeople, linking what happens politically to the day-to-day safety of our families, is crucial right now. And OFC provides the fun social spaces and activities that gives us all the strength for these fights.

Fifteen years ago, I parented by providing my daughter an illusion of safety. Now she’s 3,000 miles away, a sophomore in college, and there is no illusion that I can protect her from the difficult national environment we face. Instead, my sense of security comes from knowing she is a strong advocate for herself and others, and that her pride in her family will allow her to be confident, visible, and an advocate among families and students with less apparent diversity and understanding of differences.

I credit Our Family Coalition with providing each of us the spaces, tools and events to create, nurture, celebrate—and effectively advocate for– our families. That’s what our tax-deductible contributions to OFC support—now when the need is even greater.

bigdonatebutton-rectangle-whitebgI know you are part of this movement and this moment, and that this movement will succeed. I hope you can support OFC financially to the greatest extent possible for the months and years ahead.

Our Family Coalition makes that difference; please join us in changing our world, some more!

Charlie Spiegel, Esq. SF
Proud Our Family Coalition Member

PS: One of my strongest takeaways from this election is that a new generation of diverse activists will lead and win this fight in a world that is constantly changing. We saw 11 years of Judy Appel’s leadership wrapping up in September of this year, and see new possibilities again with Renata Moreira as Interim Executive Director. My tax-deductible donation to Our Family Coalition is specifically made to support Renata and all the employees of OFC to be our next generation of LGBTQ pioneers!  I hope you will too. Thank you.