Sam Ames

This Is What Family Looks Like

by Sam Ames, Interim Executive Director


One thing we all know–especially those of us building families and expanding understanding of what families are–is that change is one of life’s most dependable constants.

Over 20 years ago, Our Family Coalition started creating space for family inside LGBTQ advocacy and support systems. Queer families existed then, but in relative isolation. Our community-based organizations by and large didn’t recognize us. Our larger institutions didn’t see or support us. Our culture was indifferent to us at best, hostile at worst. And we saw virtually nothing on the horizon to suggest the day would come when we could walk down the street holding our heads high and our hands together–as family.

We built and raised our families on our own, usually in the face of huge risks–legal, medical, or emotional, or all three–sharing our growing knowledge with each other as best we could. We’ve grown since then, as a society and as a community of families that have been in this together since the beginning. And in the process, we’ve helped bring about massive change: mind by mind, and heart by heart. Through it all, we’ve come to realize that it’s our love–of our partners, of our children, and of the just future they have the right to–that keeps our families strong.

Today, we need you to help keep the OFC family strong.

The love that defines us has driven an expansion of the very definition of family. We are chosen family. We are extended family. We are multigenerational, multiracial, multigender family. We are age-old ways of making family. We are brand new ways of defining family. We are your family. This is what family looks like.

We know that work this big takes generations, and we know we have miles to go before we sleep. The victories we celebrate along the way aren’t finish lines; they are mile markers, and fuel for the fight.

Wins like these are not effortless. OFC’s ability to commit and stay committed–not just to survive, but to help our families thrive–depends on significant financial resources. Your investment is among the most important, direct ways to show your support for this mission, and for the work it takes to live it. It’s how our work becomes your work.

Now through December 31st, the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation
will match your donation dollar for dollar!

Supporting Our Family Coalition means supporting diverse queer families. It means supporting culturally humble and evidence-based direct services to our community. It means supporting visionary institutional change work that prioritizes and follows the lead of those who are most impacted by unjust systems.

Help OFC build an inclusive and just world for all queer families

by donating today.

When I reflect on this past year, I return to this core truth: it is you, our community–our family–who remains our fuel for the fight, our strength, our true north. You show us what is possible when we lead with love. You show us what family looks like. Thank you for being part of our family, and for letting us be part of yours.

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