Friday, April 26, 2013

Motherhood made me a Lesbian by Alison Aucoin

The adoption agency didn’t come out and ask me about my sexual orientation but they did ask about my “relationship history.” 
I truthfully described my previous romantic relationships as 
1) not terribly dramatic, 
2) not fulfilling enough to warrant marriage, and 
3) with men.

It wasn’t until I was in the middle of the required parenting education program dedicated to transracial adoption that it hit me, like a ton of bricks. As the white parent of a black child there was no way I could model being black but it was critical that I model self-acceptance. 
Hmm, I thought, how’s that going to work, what with me pretending to like boys and all?

Now you’d probably expect me to describe a childhood growing up attending a fundamentalist church or never having any gay people in my life but you’d be wrong. 
My childhood was mostly good and liberal.
My mother was an interior designer so I was very familiar with out people, and I had a cousin who road a Vespa and lived in the French Quarter. As a kid, I thought she was all kinds of awesome. 
Now, I can’t say my coming out was without hiccups and struggles with some family and friends, after all I was 40 years old and some people were really surprised, but it blew over before too long.

But even with ample examples of perfectly fine gay and lesbian people in my life and plenty of gay and lesbian friends in college and after, I just wouldn’t take that final step out.
Obviously being closeted played a significant role in the failure of my romantic relationships but keeping such an important part of who I was separate had ramifications in other areas of my life too. You know that term, not comfortable in your own skin? 
Well, that was me.

And now I was going to raise a child who was destined to have questions about her identity because of the difference in the color of our skin? 
Yeesh, if I kept the status quo, this wasn’t going to go well.

To this day, I still haven’t entirely figured out why I stayed in the closet SO DAMN LONG but whatever, I did, and I have a wee baby girl to thank for getting me out into the light of day.  
What is parenting if not an opportunity to have a big ass mirror put right up in your face? 
See that crap you’re working like hell to avoid? 
How’s it going to feel when you screw up your kid with it? 
Yep, that’ll light a fire of personal growth under your butt. Or at least it did under mine.

Though these things can change as kids grow up (sure did in my case) it looks like I’m raising a straight girl. And that’s just fine by me. 
My goal in coming out wasn’t to model being a lesbian. It was to model being myself and being a-okay with exactly who I am. 
My daughter’s fashion choices and ability to belt out song lyrics, dance with abandon, and blow the hell out of a trombone are all indicating that she’s getting the message loud and clear.

Alison Aucoin is the happy single (not co-parenting) lesbian mom of a 5½ year-old daughter she adopted from Ethiopia. She runs her own consulting firm that provides organizational development, fundraising, and grant writing services to non-profit organizations around the country
and also writes for The Nervous Breakdown.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

From This Moment.....

So for nearly one year we have been dealing with an extremely difficult situation.
When our son was born we made a decision to start down the path of dramatic change for our family.

Like all change it began with a leap of faith,
a longing for better,
a desire for more and all of it, every ounce of it, was with my son in mind.

A large piece of our puzzle finally found its place and we were able to breath a lovely sigh of relief.
I found myself driving home that afternoon quietly thinking about how well things had gone and how happy I was for the outcome.

I glanced into my rear view and smiled as I saw my sweet boy looking out the window.
The Sun lighting up his eyes each time she peeked through the trees.
I was reminded why we sometimes do the things we do, and how powerful we can be when we want to be.

My Grandmother always said that the person who wants to do something could always do more than the person who had to, 
and yet again, she was right.

Just at that moment a song came on the radio, one that truthfully I never liked too much.
I always considered it one of those made for wedding songs.

Cheesy, sappy, all the things I tend to shy away from.
I believe I actually mentioned the song by name when our wedding play list was being complied as a do not play, right up there with the Marcarena.

Only this day, after going through what we just did, 
after thinking about a new and different future and after looking at that beautiful boy as the why we were doing it all, the song just flooded every ounce of my being.
Every word was different,
every meaning new.

Yes, this song that once brought me to laughter now brought me to tears.
Amazing what spells those little souls can weave.

my reason...

"From This Moment On"

(I do swear that I'll always be there.
I'd give anything and everything and I will always care.
Through weakness and strength, happiness and sorrow,
for better for worse, I will love you with
every beat of my heart.)
From this moment life has begun
From this moment you are the one
Right beside you is where I belong
From this moment on

From this moment I have been blessed
I live only for your happiness
And for your love I'd give my last breath
From this moment on

I give my hand to you with all my heart
Can't wait to live my life with you, can't wait to start
You and I will never be apart
My dreams came true because of you

From this moment as long as I live
I will love you, I promise you this
There is nothing I wouldn't give
From this moment on

You're the reason I believe in love
And you're the answer to my prayers from up above
All we need is just the two of us
My dreams came true because of you

From this moment as long as I live
I will love you, I promise you this
There is nothing I wouldn't give
From this moment
I will love you as long as I live
From this moment on

Thanks Shania 


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Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I was recently asked by a reader why I always refer to myself as a gay dad or to my husband and I as gay fathers rather than just fathers.

Now I happen to know this gentleman runs a page for fathers and he is heretrosexual and his page certainly revolves around religion.
He is the type that wraps his questions in a cloak of empathy.
He uses phrases like, I was just wondering, or not to be offensive but,  when all along I know he is waiting for the opportunity to battle.
Even if just with words and symantics and opinions, it is still a battle he wants, one that I refuse to give him.

I have met too many men and women like him in my lifetime and quite frankly I no longer have the desire or the energy to rid the world of thier thoughts.
They are what they are.
I have also come to realize that they are actually necessary in our world in order to see things more clearly.
His views are like the night to my day,
the rain to my sun, 
the black to my white.
All very relevent and crucial in this big world we live in and obviously a formitable way to create contrast and dialog.
His question did however get me thinking,
why is is that I preface father with the term gay?

Okay so the obvious,
I am the founder of Dadsquared, a community and resource site for gay dads, or gay dads to be or just people that want to look in and root us on.
I got it, thats the easy answer.

But lets really take a look at that question.
To begin wth, I would challenge my friend to share with me just one time when during the course of his life as a father, he had to explain himself, or respond to the types of questions that fly towards families like mine daily.
Ironically not unlike the very question of his that prompted this piece.
Just once please tell me when someone found a way to question your existence as a dad?
Just once tell me when you were turned away from an establishment or made to feel unwelcomed as a parent, or as a family?
Come on now, tell me, just once?

I know that he will not be able to and that is because he himself, his core beliefs, his soul, his heart, his identity have never been questions, threatened or turned away.
He never worried as a young man whether identifying as gay, out loud, to any other being aside from the one he was seeing in the mirror, would cause him pain, cause him to be exiled from his home, him family, his  everything.

He has never faced that,
but we have.

We have had to paint our faces everyday for months, for years or forever with the paint of warriors.
We have had to take deep breaths and hold our heads high as we entered our schools,
as we passed groups of not so understanding peers in the hall,
as we tried to survive and stay alive and all the while still try to be strong and loving and authentic in a world that would have had us lie.

He never had to do that, never, not once.

So we grew and we became resilient, if we made it, and we sought out others and we found our own tribes and comminities and groups and lovers and anything that would add to the fabric of the astonishing people that we are.
And then, one day, if we made it, we ended up looking at that face in the mirror and we began to wipe off the paint and we started to realize that the face looking back at us was perfect and Godlike and unique and gay..yes gay.

Years passed and life passed and we found ourselves in new places, new territories, if we made it.
We found ourselves joining the ranks of fathers in a world that still doesn't know if we belong, how we belong.
We once again find ourselves taking deep breathes as we enter schools, only this time our childrens, to drop off a forgotten lunch, or to meet with a teacher.
We once again find ourselves passing groups of not so understanding peers in the halls only this time they look like you Sir, they are grown and more powerful and sometimes more ignorant and more dangerous since their true intentions are often in disguise.

Only now we too are grown.
We finally fit into our skins.
We have passed your foolish tests and questions with flying colors.
If we made it and we are here and we have children that call us dads then we have leaped over hurdles never imagined.
We,  like all other groups that have suffered at the hands of another, have risen above it.
We have taken ownership of who and what we are.
We have come to identify with what we are.
We have come to be proud of what we are.
So you ask, why do I call my self a Gay dad?

Well because I made it and that is what I am.
Does that answer your question?

Follow us on FaceBook @ DADsquared

This post was written for It's Conceivable Now, where Henry writes as a featured contributing blogger.
This piece can not be used without writers consent.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

First grade with a little help from Gaga. by Joey Spinelli

As soon as I become a parent, I was already thinking about getting my kid on the wait list for the best public schools in the city. I remember when I was heating up bottles in my kitchen, I would be reading Phoenix Magazine and scanning through the top 50 schools in Arizona.  Every year, I made sure to get that issue and the one with the top 50 doctors in town.  The doctor choice was easy.  I just looked at the physicians that participated in our health care plan, and cross-referenced them one at a time with the doctors on the list.  I only had to go down to doc number 3 and that one was on my health plan.  Score!

Schools, however, are much harder.  
Even if you find the perfect school scholastically, it could be years before you get in.  That’s why it’s so important to plan ahead.  
When the time came for grade school, we knew which school we wanted.  Preferred School was our first choice for many reasons.  First, it was a traditional type of school with homework at night, tests on Fridays and uniforms for the students.  Second, the school was just built a year earlier, so that made me feel like everything inside would be new to my kid.  It was also one of the best schools in the state as far as grades.  An “A” in all categories.
We called and had the school send over the paperwork for the enrollment for the next year and we put our child on the waitlist.  
On the forms it asks for “Mothers Name” and “Fathers Name”.  It annoys me when companies want that.  I hate that in this day and age they assume everyone has a mother and a father that they live with.  I always cross out both those phrases and put “Parent 1” and Parent 2”.  Then I proceeded to put both our names for parents and its obvious from our names that we are both strong, strapping men.  Ok, that we are both men at least. 

I remember talking to my partner about the paperwork right before we sent it to the school.  He asked if I thought they would put us at the back of the list because our boy had two gay dads,  I said, nah, if these people have any brains at all, they will just accept us ahead of all the other kids because he has two gay dads!  We both laughed it off, but part of me was having the same doubts.

I have read many times that the biggest problem schools and teachers have are the parents of the children. Are there many gay parents at this school?  
If so, how do they compare to the straight parents?  
Are they easier to deal with or are they just complete crazies?  
Sure, it is somewhat well know that gay parents dress better than straight parents, drive cooler SUVs, and are always ready to offer redecorating tips to make the classroom run more productively. But, if a school really was to realize that they had a child with two gay parents, would they knowingly make a change in that kids place in line, either for better or worse? 

My partner works at a major company here in town and quite a few of the girls he works told him they were on the wait list for the very same school, and had been for some time.  
We knew we may not get in before first grade but we thought we would take a chance anyway.
Well, a few months before 1st grade was scheduled to start, we got a call from the school saying that our boy would make it for first grade.  
Wow.  How exciting!  This was great news.  I shared it with the rest of my family.  
I had never seen the school before so the very next day I got in my car and drove over there just to get a feel for the facility.  
It was absolutely a work of art.  The school was less than a year old, a complete new style contemporary building with artistic flair, new playgrounds, ball fields.
And then, there it was, right across the street was a house with a huge gay flag waiving in the wind.  It was like a sign, a sign from Lady Gaga herself!.  
This was just meant to be.

My partner started asking around at work and we would soon find out that none of those other kids got into the school.  They were all still on the waitlist.  They had been on it since well before we even heard about the school.  I thought that was odd but I was just happy that my kid was chosen. 

Once school started, I had to take my kid to school every day and pick him up.  This school does not have busses, even though it’s a city school.  
At pick up every day, I would get there 15 minutes early and I started making friends with the other moms who were there to pick up their kids.  They were all very nice and they all knew that my boy had two dads from their kids telling them.  
I guess when you go to first grade, one of the projects is to tell the class about your family.  
My kid shared with the class that he has two dads, 
over 100 boxes of cereal in the pantry from couponing,
and that we have a miniature schnauzer.  
The moms would tell me stuff  like, we love that you two are raising a child, or has your son been to a gay pride parade? 
What?  Really?  Who am I, Jack McFarland?  I explained to them that no, we don’t have time to be gay, we are too busy being parents.

I came to learn a lot about my new mom friends.  For instance, they all talked about their husbands constantly, and not always in a good way.  They all loved to drink, often.  They were all stay at home moms and they all had sent their kids to the same tutor.  I eventually started using that same tutor and I must say, she is awesome.  Even she knows that my boy has two dads.  She has been very great to both of us. 

So, first grade is now almost over.  It was a fascinating year for my boy and for both my partner and I.  To date, I have yet to have any parent or school employee give me a second look when I bring my kid to school every day.  
Nobody has asked me any strange questions about why my kid doesn’t have a mother nor has anyone tried to throw their bible at me.  
I really feel like it just doesn’t make a difference to any of these people.  I know that’s naive to think that they really feel that way but that’s the impression I get.  Still, it is curious that we made it into this school the first year we applied.   
Maybe being gay dads does make a difference after all! 

"Who am I? That’s simple. I am a gay parent that’s treated like a second class
citizen and I am done taking it. 
Every day I am in the battlefields, in my kid’s school, PTA meetings, swim team, birthday parties with
other parents and I am forcing people to meet me.
Every day I stand right next to them and even if it’s just in my mind, I say “ Look at me will you! I am a gay man, right in front of you. 
I have a partner of 8 years and a 6r old boy. 
My kid is in your kid’s class and will be for the next 11 years. 
I am not going away so now would be as good a time as any to accept me and everything that comes with me."
Joe also blogs at 1 regular joe

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Dadsquared welcomes it's third contributing blogger, Joey Spinelli

I was lucky enough to take note of this man's vision a little while back.
At the time all I knew for certain was that his guy had a strong opinion and that he very clearly had the facts, logic and experience to back that strength up.

I know now that he is an activist radio junkie.
I know that he is an avid follower of all LGBT court cases in the system.
I know that he knows all the words to all the Glee songs,
and that when it comes to fighting for his families rights, this guy means business!

Please meet, Joey Spinelli

"Who am I? That’s simple. I am a gay parent that’s treated like a second class
citizen and I am done taking it. 
Every day I am in the battlefields, in my kid’s school, PTA meetings, swim team, birthday parties with
other parents and I am forcing people to meet me.
Every day I stand right next to them and even if it’s just in my mind, I say “ Look at me will you! I am a gay man, right in front of you. 
I have a partner of 8 years and a 6r old boy. 
My kid is in your kid’s class and will be for the next 11 years. 
I am not going away so now would be as good a time as any to accept me and everything that comes with me."

Joe also keeps his own blog up at 1 regular joe
although Dadsquared thinks this Joe is far from regular!


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A little answer to the big question, why am I here? by Dara Fisher


Right now the United States Supreme Court is deliberating on the gay marriage issue. 
I have mixed feelings about this because I don't understand why the highest court in our Country should even need to address an issue that should be just part of our fabric in America.  
Just as the Supreme Court doesn't need to hand down a ruling concerning heterosexual marriages or interracial marriages, there should be no question on the legality and necessity of gay marriage.
I have heard a couple of the arguments against gay marriage and it's clear to me that the people raising these concerns have no legitimate knowledge of the dynamics of gay families.  
I would also go as far as to say that they are reaching for straws when it comes to speculating about the outcome for children raised in gay families.  
These politicians act as if there is no way to know how the children raised in gay families will turn out,
but that just isn't true.  
Gay parenting did not start with Ricky Martin, Neil Patrick Harris or Elton John.  These celebrity Dad's and their spouses have just put a face to something that has existed for many years.

I am something of a unique situation in that my parents were never in a heterosexual relationship.  
They didn't get married, have kids and then "become" gay after a divorce. 
I was an intentional creation between two lifelong best friends.   
I was not created in a laboratory and I do have a belly button (I have been asked that many times.)  
My Mom was bisexual and my Dad is a gay man.  

I get asked often if I ever feel weird because of how I was conceived and my answer is simply, no.
In my mind, my conception doesn't seem strange at all,  the reason people usually choose to have children is love, they want to share their heart with their children.  
In my case, not only did I have parents that loved me dearly, but my parents actually loved the idea of me before I was even conceived.  

I joke sometimes that my Dad loved me so much that he was willing to sleep with my Mom.  
On my birthday every year I always thank my Dad for "taking one for the team." 

My life story actually begins many years before I was even a thought in my parents mind.  
My Mom and Dad grew up together in Oklahoma, they were best friends and my Dad even took my Mom to the prom.  
My Mom never was one to settle for what was expected of her.  
She moved by herself to Los Angeles, rode a motorcycle, and fell in love with a woman. 
Mom was a career woman in the seventies and I think her independent nature was one of the catalysts in the decision to have me.  

When my Mom was in her late 20's, she decided that she wanted a baby but she didn't want a man, even with the women's movement in full force and the idea of having a child outside of wedlock still unpopular,
she didn't care.  

In 1979, she had moved to Houston and decided it was time to be a Mom.  She called my Dad who was living in Oklahoma City at the time and asked him if he wanted to father a child with her.  
Judging by my existence, I'm going to assume the answer was yes.  

I don't have a lot of the details about this but from what I was told, Mom went to Oklahoma City for the weekend and went back to Houston pregnant, with me.  
There's been a lot of argument over this but according to my Mom, Dad was just supposed to be a sperm donor and she intended to be a single Mom,  according to my Dad, he intended to be my Father and at some point, my parents met in the middle.
I was born in April of 1980 in Texas.  
At the time, you had to be legally married to put the father's name on the birth certificate so my Dad's name isn't on mine. 

I didn't know that my parents were gay until I was 11 years old.  My Mom had married my Stepdad when I was 4 so there was no telling signs there.  I knew Dad and my Terri lived together and shared a bedroom but since it was something I had always known, it wasn't something I ever questioned.  
Our lives were so normal that when I found out that my Dad was gay, it was really weird.  
I was in fifth grade, my friend and I were watching a gay pride parade on television and I made a comment about how strange those people were.  My Mom said, "Honey, they aren't as strange as you think, you never know who is gay."  
Being the onery kid I was, I responded with, "I think I'd know if someone around me was gay."  
Just then my friend turned to me and said, "Duh, your Dad is gay!"  
My response? I slugged her for saying it!

For a few months, my life got really difficult,  I felt like I wasn't supposed to know that my Dad and Terri were a gay couple.  I would find ways of avoiding any situation in which I would acknowledge that my Dad was gay.  For some silly reason, I was scared of my Dad finding out that I knew his big gay secret. 

Finally, one day I just couldn't handle the stress of pretending that I didn't know and I asked my Dad if it was okay that I knew he was gay, my Dad, funnily enough, always though that I had already known.
I loved Terri as a parent and treated him with the same respect and affection that I gave my biological parents.  
Not only did I have to come to terms with my Dad being gay, I also realized that all of my Dad's friends that I spent so much time with were also gay! 
I had been living in the gay community and had no idea! 

So Dadsquared has graciously invited me to be a guest blogger on this site.  I am very excited about the idea and look forward to being able to share more about our lives.  
My reason for opening up and writing about our lives is to let people get an inside look at the world that children raised in gay families live in.  

The Supreme Court is debating on gay marriage and some of the questions they are asking themselves are ones that most of us who have grown up in the gay community could answer. 

How do these children being raised in gay families turn out? 
We end up being awesome!  Thanks for asking!  We are loving, open minded, normal people with a great sense of humor.  
Sociological studies have shown that children raised in gay families have mental problems. 
Not true.  Most of us are happy well adjusted people who have successful relationships and raise more loving, open minded, and awesome children.  
Children raised in gay families face bullying and discrimination.
This only happens when society attaches a stigma to our families.  If you guys legalize gay marriage, then we get to be part of the cool kids and nobody will pick on us anymore.  
We have no point of reference to confirm that these gay parent raised children will successful members of society. 
Yes, you do!  There are a lot of us kids that were raised by gay parents that are all grown up now.  We have a voice and it is our job to speak up so that the younger generation of kids in gay families don't have to deal with the discrimination we had growing up. 

I am looking forward to being able to share my thoughts on gay marriage, children being raised in gay families, and giving support and reassurance to those who have questions about us.  I intend to touch on subjects like the relationship between gay parents, bullying, discrimination, acceptance and even some of the weird questions I have been asked over the years. I honestly believe that if people see who we really are, there might not be such opposition to gay marriage and gay families.

Dara Fisher. A 33 year old Mother of 3 amazing children with her Prince Charming Keith.  
They live right outside of Palm Springs, California. Dara has degrees in Anthropology, Liberal Arts, and Business Administration.  
She works full time in the Hospitality Industry and attends college classes in pursuit of her MBA when she's not busy being Super Mom.   
She spend her spare time crocheting, quilting, and making a mess with pretty much anything she can get my hands into.  She is a huge Doctor Who fan and  can't eat while watching The Walking Dead. 
Oh and she also happens to be the daughter of gay parents and the Mother of a child with Asbergers  Syndrome and ADHD

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Dadsquared welcomes newest contributing blogger.. Dara

I first heard this womans thoughts as she shared and responded in our Dadsquared community forum.
A couple of things struck me.
First, her views were specific, clear and timely but more than that they seemed wrapped with a certain unique understanding that made me want to hear more.
Secondly, I still remember the day when she told me "people don't always realize that it's not just Gay People that lived in the closet, often their families lived in there along side them." 
That my friends was a profound statement and it's why we are so happy to have her voice heard here, along side ours.

Please meet,

"My name is Dara.  I'm a 33 year old Mother of 3 amazing children with my Prince Charming Keith.  
We live right outside of Palm Springs, California. 
I have degrees in Anthropology, Liberal Arts, and Business Administration. I work full time in the Hospitality Industry and attend college classes in pursuit of my MBA when I'm not busy being Super Mom. 
I spend my spare time crocheting, quilting, and making a mess with pretty much anything I can get my hands into.  
I am a huge Doctor Who fan and I can't eat while watching The Walking Dead.  
And I also happen to be the Daughter of Gay Parents and the Mother of a child with Asbergers  Syndrome and ADHD." 

Welcome Dara,
We are so pleased your here!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Inequality, At What Cost? by Alison Aucoin

Recently Dadsquared received a question from someone who noticed that a straight co-worker, with whom he and his partner had been socially friendly, changed his Facebook profile photo to reflect his opposition to gay marriage.
Changed on the very same day that it seemed like most of America was changing their's to the HRC red in one form or another.

When he asked the co-worker about the change, the co-worker referred to it as a "difference of opinion."
Many people responded quite thoughtfully to this post.
Some counseled the guy to hit the delete button, others encouraged tolerance.
Lots of good points but I think we’re missing a valuable opportunity here with either answer. 

If someone has a difference of opinion from me on anything from abortion, to gay marriage, to race and they just stay home and grumble about it, well, I couldn’t care less. But the co-worker in this story is DOING something.
Okay, so a single Facebook profile photo isn’t going to change the world, but on that day, this week, when almost my entire newsfeed was red, that guy made quite a statement.
And so what? 
Well, what if a co-worker announced that he was in favor of a law that would remove $20,000 from your child’s college fund?
Not his child’s, your child's.
How would you respond?
Would you still be friends with him?
No, of course not.
But in effect that’s what this man is doing.
Media report, after media report has calculated the vast sums of money that gay and lesbian families are required to spend on legal documents to protect themselves, separate health insurance, taxes. The list goes on and on.
When people actively work to stop marriage equality, they are stealing resources from your child’s life.
Will your kid need special therapy of some kind that isn’t covered by insurance? Marriage equality could have enabled that.
Would your child go to Harvard if you could afford it? Marriage equality could have enabled that.
Will your child be forced to care for you in his or her home when you are old because you paid exorbitant estate taxes when your partner died? Marriage equality could have avoided that.

I wouldn’t remain friends with someone who stole one penny from my child and her future.
Why would I remain friends with them just because the money is abstract?

We need to take the opportunity to talk with people we know who oppose marriage equality about what it really means to our families.
It seems to me that when we leave it in the realm of our identity as LGBT people and our relationships many people are comfortable leaving us in the role of second-class citizens.
No doubt about it, that sucks but I do, however, see hope for those in the middle ground when we provide them concrete examples of unfairness.
What are the facts?
The functional things that LGBT families must do that others are not required to do?
What are the cold hard dollars involved?
This is where the unfairness of it all becomes impossible to ignore for all but the most fanatical and these middle dwellers are the ones we need to convince.
I'm sad to say that I don't think that the Supreme Court will give us a dramatic victory.
I do, however, think that the momentum created by these cases will eventually bring about marriage equality on a state-by-state basis over time and we need those middle dwellers over on our side when it's time to go to the polls.

Do the math!
People who oppose marriage equality are stealing resources from our children!

Alison Aucoin is the happy single (not co-parenting) lesbian mom of a 5½ year-old daughter she adopted from Ethiopia. She runs her own consulting firm that provides organizational development, fundraising, and grant writing services to non-profit organizations around the country
and also writes for The Nervous Breakdown.