by Don Romesburg
I’ll be honest—back in my twenties, I wasn’t one of those gay men who knew I wanted to be a dad. In fact, I was thrilled that being gay could mean rejecting the whole marriage-and-kids deal. But 20 years ago, when I got together with my partner, David, I started to think differently about it. Still, we always faced the long journey to foster-adoption from a win-win perspective: Without kids we’d continue to have a great life together, and if we could bring kids into the mix, all the better.
In 2008, our older daughter joined our family as a foster kid and, a year later, we all adopted each other. In 2013, our little one also joined us. Taking the journey we have as transracial foster-adoptive dads in an open relationship with our kids’ first families is a road I never imagined taking when I was younger. Now, in my late forties, I can’t imagine a richer life to be living.
Our Family Coalition has been a part of our story since the late 1990s, when David and I would see their booths at Pride and the Castro Street Fair, always reminding us of parenting as a possibility ahead. What I didn’t know then was that OFC was advocating for pathways to fostering and adopting free from sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. Since having kids, we’ve also been grateful for the many social events and ways to come into community with other LGBTQ families. In San Francisco, we can sometimes take a shared world of queer families for granted. But I never take OFC for granted. It is an essential organization for LGBTQ people and their kids throughout California.
Help keep Our Family Coalition going strong:
your donation now will be matched 1:1 through December 31!
As a professor, historian, and activist I’ve been fortunate to spend the last six years advocating for LGBTQ history to be taught in our schools. Our Family Coalition has been leading and supporting that work every step of the way, from the passage of the FAIR Education Act in 2011 – which ensures LGBTQ people be included in K-12 history and social science education – to the California Board of Education’s adoption of a first-in-the-nation LGBTQ-inclusive K-12 History Social Science Framework in 2016, and, most recently, the state’s approval of textbooks that accurately reflect that history. This work is perhaps the most important legacy I leave my daughters’ generation. But it would not have been possible without OFC steadfastly prioritizing it, directing resources, dedicating staff time, and remaining vigilant throughout the years it has taken to bring our state so far.
All of us, as LGBTQ families, are making history. This organization’s contributions to my family’s life, to the lives of countless others like us, and to the transformation of K-12 education in California, would never be possible without individuals like you and me stepping up and giving what we can.
Join me in supporting Our Family Coalition this year! We can leave our children an incredible legacy – of justice, of understanding, and more – when we work together.
OFC member and proud dad Don Romesburg is Professor Women’s and Gender Studies, Sonoma State University and lead scholar for the FAIR Education Act Implementation Coalition