|Academy Award winning actress Sally Field writes an open letter about her gay son after hearing about the shocking “License to Discriminate” bills, which would make it legal to discriminate against a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) person on the grounds of “religious freedom,” have been appearing across the country. Here is the letter in full.|
|The three things I’m most proud of in my life are my sons, Peter, Eli and Sam. They are kind, loving and productive people. Each with their own list of talents and accomplishments.Sam is my youngest son, by 18 years, and he’s gay.To that, I say:So what?Growing up, Sam wanted desperately to just be like his older brothers – athletic, rambunctious and even a little bit macho. He wanted to beat Eli at tennis, trounce Peter at computer football and learn everything about every basketball player on the court.But Sam was different. And his journey to allow himself to be what nature intended him to be was not an easy one. When I saw him struggling, I wanted to jump in. But his older brothers held me back. They told me I couldn’t travel that road for Sam. It was his to travel, not mine. I had to wait for him to own himself in his own time. I could make it easier only by standing visibly to the side, clearly loving him, always being there and always letting him know.
Finally, at 20, long after he beat his brothers at tennis and computer games and knew as much as anyone about basketball, Sam was able to stand up proudly and say, “I am a gay man.”
As his mother, I consider it one of the great privileges of my life to have been allowed to be a part of Sam’s journey and I’ve tried to be careful to never make his voice my voice, but with his approval, I’ve decided to get involved in the fight for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality by joining the Human Rights Campaign.
Sam knows that if he ever marries, he’ll have my full support. After all, I like to believe I raised him with the good sense to choose a great partner.But there are people out there – organizations and politicians, strangers who have never even met Sam – who would rather devote themselves to denying his happiness.Why would anyone want to prevent my son – or anyone’s son or daughter – from having basic legal safeguards like family medical leave, Social Security survivors benefits, or health insurance?It doesn’t make any sense – but it won’t change until people speak out.
I’m proud to stand with HRC to add my voice. Will you join me?Whether you are LGBT yourself, a parent or grandparent of an LGBT child, or just a great person with strong convictions about what’s fair and right, I hope I’ve convinced you to stand with HRC for equality. You’ll be glad you did!
The Next Family attended the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Gala dinner on March 22, 2014. Several of the usual suspects attended and it’s always nice to see celebrities supporting such an important event but it was Vice President Joe Biden who silenced the room with his passion for the LGBT community “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
The Vice President noted that times have changed, calling attention to his granddaughter.
“Our granddaughter has come along with us and the reason she’s with us is that I want her to understand, which she is only now beginning to understand, that what she thinks and all her generation thinks is starting to be thought by older folks, too,” Biden said.
Speaking to the years of relentless effort on the part of gay Americans, the vice president added: “It’s been a long struggle and recently there’s been some real progress, but there’s so much left to do. All of you spoke out and stepped up and came forward, you came out and you marched, you demanded to be recognized, demanded your constitutional rights, demanded a basic American dream. You demanded respect. And because of what all of you have done, my granddaughter is going to grow up in a better country, a more just country, and a more fair country.”
I have been attending this event for five years and there has not yet been a night like this one. It is an exciting time to celebrate all that has been achieved and a momentous time to push forward and create history with all of the work ahead.
A spectacular night with Chad Griffin, HRC President, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family, Bob Harper, The Biggest Loser. The Visibility Award went to Paris Barclay, President of the Director’s Guild.
Vice President Joe Biden concluded with these powerful words.
“And as long as I have a breath in me, I will not be satisfied ‘till everyone in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community is afforded the dignity, the freedom and the equality that my father spoke so clearly of.”
It seemed like Lindsay Lohan threw in the lesbian towel after her tumultuous relationship with celebrity DJ Samantha Ronson, but she got the rumors started again after she posted an Instagram picture seductively cuddling with Keith Richards’ daughter, Alexandra Richards.
Lohan is looking seductively at the camera showing off a bra strap and diamond ring with Richards behind her almost kissing her shoulder. It was captioned: @wolfyrichards @rushzimmerman #snowedinn #quiche #foxwhole.
In January Lohan claimed she was single after being linked to model Christian Arno Williams.
Last year Lohan claimed that despite her relationship with Ronson, she knows she’s straight. But who knows, do you pose with your friends like that?
See more at: The Seattle Lesbian
This last year has been a big coming out year for athletes and celebrities. With every coming out story we get one step closer to an understanding and a common movement toward equality. Last night’s reception in Los Angeles for Jason Collins, the first openly gay athlete to play in North America’s four professional sports, was supportive and embracing as the Laker crowd stood and applauded when he stepped onto the court.
Here are the fabulous and beautiful top 10 celebrities that came out in 2013/2014
2014-Ellen Page revealed she is a lesbian in a moving speech at the Human Right’s Campaign Time to Thrive event.
2014- Michael Sam, a defensive lineman from Missouri came out in interviews with ESPN and the New York Times.
2013- Actress Maria Bello came out in a New York Times piece entitled Coming out as a modern family.
2013- Robin Roberts, Good Morning America anchor came out in a Facebook post last year thanking her “long time girlfriend.”
2013- Bob Harper, personal trainer on The Biggest Loser comes out as gay to help a contestant through struggles.
2013- Actor Victor Garber, best known for his roles in Deception and Titanic addressed his same-sex partner in a new interview last year. It should be noted that he originally mentioned his partner in a 2012 interview with Canada’s Forever Young News.
2013- Today’s show Jenna Wolf came out on air and announced she is having a baby with her partner Stephanie Gosk.
2013-Tom Daley, 19-year-old British diving star who won an Olympic Bronze medal, came out in a You Tube video announcing that he is in a relationship with a man.
2013- Abc Family Actor, Matt Dallas came out in a tweet revealing he is happily engaged to his boyfriend.
2013- Actress Raven-Symone came out on Twitter announcing that she can finally get married.
By Jacob Ladue
Here are a collection of tweets and twitpics you might have missed through out the last week from your favorite celebrity LGBT parents, single parents, and allies. Among them: Neil Patrick Harris showed us his kids are still adorable, Mayim Bialik shared her family Thanksgiving recipes, and Eric Stonestreet prayed for the end of his ride on It’s a Small World at Disneyland.
Harper and Gideon at the premiere of Frozen. Wardrobe provided by Little marcjacobs, eyewear provided… http://t.co/whvtFXswoh
— Neil Patrick Harris (@ActuallyNPH) November 21, 2013
They may be seeing Frozen, but my heart just melted.
Is iPhone auto correct getting more aggressive? Rafts? Rafts. That's what iPhone constantly wants me to type. Rafts.
— Jesse Tyler Ferguson (@jessetyler) November 15, 2013
A little too iRobot for my taste.
— Alec Mapa (@AlecMapa) November 21, 2013
Alec Mapa thought of “stealing” a cute kid from an adoption event he attended. Mapa and his partner have an adopted son of their own.
Want to see my family's thanksgiving menu? Here it is, courtesy of my mom and her Chanukah thanksgiving… http://t.co/L6l7fkg8yS
— Mayim Bialik (@missmayim) November 14, 2013
Looks like Mayim Bialik’s family makes a yummy meal! Her family’s Thanksgiving food ideas can be found here on kveller.com.
A paparazzi pix I photoshopped myself – notice missing arm flab – trimmer tummy pic.twitter.com/xVgDXBRDOY
— Rosie (@Rosie) November 20, 2013
Rosie missed an opportunity to photoshop her baby with a jetpack, in my opinion.
Excited to make fun plans for this weekend. Last weekend, I spent 8 hours organizing my spice rack. Where does the thyme go?
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) November 22, 2013
Oh silly Ellen, punny as always!
— Jillian Michaels (@JillianMichaels) November 14, 2013
I don’t know what type of chihuahua you have Jillian, but you might want to bring it to the vet!
One shouldn’t laugh, but… You know you’re in trouble when your mother uses all three of your names … http://t.co/WflHl66qxl
— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) November 22, 2013
Stephen Fry reminded a few kids to watch out for the threatening usage of their full names after they decided to pull a prank on their parents.
For the love of all things holy. END http://t.co/yTKqO1GvDZ
— Eric Stonestreet (@ericstonestreet) November 20, 2013
Eric Stonestreet went to Disneyland and prayed for the end of the It’s a Small World ride. (Click on the above link to view a funny video from his ride).
Happiness is…your first trip to Costco! pic.twitter.com/zBfBgI8W9n
— Tuc Watkins (@tucwatkins) November 14, 2013
Tuc Watkins’ kids had a better time riding around in a shopping cart at Costco, the free samples probably helped!
What were your favorite tweets from the week? Tweet @thenextfamily or comment below to let us know the good ones we missed!
By Jacob Ladue
Here are a collection of tweets and twitpics you might have missed through out the last couple weeks from your favorite celebrity LGBT and single parents. Among them: Alec Mapa fell asleep during Thor, Jillian Michaels’ kid really had to go to the bathroom, and Ricky Martin promoted his new children’s book!
Took my kid and his friend to see the new "Thor" movie. I fell asleep after Hemsworth took his shirt off, but the kids loved it.
— Alec Mapa (@AlecMapa) November 12, 2013
Odd, that’s the part when I started paying more attention…
— Neil Patrick Harris (@ActuallyNPH) November 11, 2013
David Burtka ate a taco rather suggestively…
Rich soccer parents hogging 2 soccer fields and refusing to move: I am upset with your arrogance. There's room for everyone if u make it.
— Mayim Bialik (@missmayim) November 3, 2013
Single mom Mayim Bialik let her soccer mom out when other parents hogged the field. Watch out!
Good grief, I don't give my kids that many timeouts in 15 mins. @Saints
— Official Wanda Sykes (@iamwandasykes) November 3, 2013
Maybe the ref needs a timeout?
— Jenna Wolfe (@JennaWolfe) November 10, 2013
Today’s Jenna Wolfe went hiking with her partner Stephanie Gosk and their little girl.
My three year old just told me "I need to go poo poo for real". As if there was any other way.
— Jillian Michaels (@JillianMichaels) November 8, 2013
When the reality sets in… you gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now!
Elton will be appearing on a special 'Lady Gaga and The Muppets' Holiday Spectacular' TV show on November 28 on… http://t.co/kT6mdifjlq
— Elton John (@eltonjohndotcom) October 21, 2013
Sir Elton John will be teaming up with Lady Gaga for a Muppets Holiday Special.
— Santiago the Dreamer (@DreamSantiago) November 12, 2013
Ricky Martin promoted the launch of his first Children’s book named Santiago the Dreamer in Land Among the Stars, a story about a little boy and his dream to preform on stage. Available today!
— Jared Polis (@jaredpolis) November 4, 2013
Jared Polis joked about newly out Congressman Mike Michaud. Welcome Congressman!
What were your favorite tweets from the week? Tweet @thenextfamily or comment below to let us know the good ones we missed!
By Brandy Black
Kirsten Vangsness from Criminal Minds showed us pictures of her as a teenager. “I was bullied pretty relentlessly” When asked what a parent should do when their kids get bullied Kirsten said “You have to lead by example, if a child or a parent walks into a space knowing their worth, that they are valuable and equal, it’s not going to happen as much.”
Brandy: Do you want to have kids?
Kirsten: “I’m a big proponent of adopting, a big proponet of foster care. It’s not on the table at this point in my life. A lot of my friends have kids and I’m really good at picking them up and putting stickers on them and if that makes a good parenting, then I will be.”
Dan Bucatinsky, writer, actor, film producer and husband of screenwriter Dan Roos was in attendance. If you haven’t caught his book Does this baby make me look straight? You should check it out!
Mayim Bialik, actress on Big Bang Theory and single mom to her two sons, spoke with me about life at home. It is not about being a celebrity. She shops at Costco, eats leftovers occasionally, and does her best to be a good parent to her boys. “I try to always admit when I’m wrong” she tells us of her parenting style. With a vegan cookbook out and a humble demeanor, she is an inspiration.
Peter Paige is the creator of The Fosters on ABC Family, about an interracial lesbian couple who are married and are raising biological and adopted children together. He spoke with me about being bullied as a kid and his support for GLSEN. His show is a great success and he’s got some good projects in the works. Keep an eye out for this dynamo!
Jim Parsons, actor on Big Bang Theory, and his partner Todd Spiewak, art director/graphic designer arrived together right before the Respect Awards at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
It was a gorgeous evening filled with glistening starts…Lily Tomlin even breezed by us. I look forward to the next one!
By Brandy Black
The Family Equality Council was a spectacular event. It was quite the red carpet affair with stars from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Glee, The New Normal and more. The premiere event at the Globe Theatre at Universal Studios was well attended and an event worth going back to next year.
Family Equality Council connects, supports, and represents the one million parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender in this country and their two million children. They are changing attitudes and policies to ensure that all families are respected, loved, and celebrated—including families with parents who are LGBT.
The standout for the night was Chris Kluwe. “As athletes, what we say on the field and on the sidelines has a direct impact on how some kids are treated on the playground,” said Kluwe. “I hope more professional athletes stand up and declare that all American families are worthy of respect in their community and protection under the law.”
By: McKenzie Morrell
I had an amazing opportunity to chat with Katy Lin, from Katy Lin & the Moonlight Riders and what better way to promote this extremely talented group than to share with you?
Q: Describe Katy Lin & the Moonlight Riders.
A: Upbeat, swamp blues alt country without any vocal twang. Professionals. We play stone cold sober. [We are] musicians who continue to play together because we all love and appreciate the sound that is being created. Good friends. We will engage you with our smiles and our hip shakes, and all the obvious fun we have on stage.
Read more here!
Brought to you by The Seattle Lesbian
By: Don Todd
I got a chance to sit down with half of the duo from the “Derek and Romaine Show” on Sirius and XM radio a few weeks ago during “The Dinah”. Romaine has been an advocate for many issues in the LGBT community. She first came into the spotlight as a member of the Angel Action in Laramie Wyoming after her friend Matthew Shepard was killed. She shared with me stories of her partner Iris and their daughter Romaine and their plans on expanding their family.
You and Iris have a daughter Romaine; any plans for more children?
We are, yeah. I have been after my partner Iris for a while to carry a child. When this all started we had a deal that I would carry the first, she would carry the second, and I would carry the third. I have always wanted three kids, so I did my part. I carried a child and I hated it. I was miserable and was really a crabby pregnant woman and I might have scared her. So when it was her turn she told me “yeah I’m scared. I can’t do it.” So I was upset, but with the whole economy and everything we put off trying for a while. Even gay people have to be somewhat responsible. So we put it off for a while and at the end of last year we started trying again. So I started the process and went through two rounds of IUI and neither was successful, then my mom died. So we thought, maybe this is the universe saying, “let’s just take a little break; let’s regroup; and then let’s try again.” I have a little bit more traveling and then in May we might start trying again until we are successful. Who knew having a baby was so hard? I couldn’t imagine being a gay guy and trying to have a child.
With having a child and dating in the gay community, I have found that, when it comes up that you have a child, it’s usually the end of it. What is your take on those of us who have children and are dating?
It’s interesting. I think the lesbians are a little bit more open-minded to dating women with children. Years ago I dated a woman with a child and it was really interesting. Sometimes I wonder, if something were to happen with Iris and me, and we were no longer together, I wonder what it would be like. I think it would be a VERY different experience.
I think part of it too, is that gay parents are much more aware of the consequences of certain things. We are much more aware of what other people are looking at from us, we are kind of much more closely watched to see if we are good parents or “good enough” parents in the eyes of many. So I think you make different dating decisions then if you didn’t have a child.
You talk about your pre-school stories on the show, about you and the other moms and developing that network, Gay or Straight. What was your experience choosing a school for your daughter?
It was interesting for Iris and me. “Romie” (our daughter) has been in daycare / pre-school since she was five weeks old. We went around and really looked high and low even before we had Romie. We went and talked to the different daycares and schools and asked if they ever had gay parents before and how they felt about it. It was something that we knew we had to be really aware of and conscious of. So we found a school we liked and they said they had gay dads “once upon a time” so that was good.
The first and second years went by with no problems and it was great. The start of the third year we started getting all these invitations for birthday parties. So the first time we went to one I said to Iris, “Listen, we are going to divide and conquer here.” We had a meeting in the car on the way there. We have to get to know the other parents. Part of it for me was babysitter network, cause you have to have a good babysitter network, that’s important. The other thing was that it is really important for the other parents to know who we are so that, as Romie is growing up, and their kids are talking about Romie’s mommies, we know what they are telling their kids too. It was almost as important that we know them as they know us. I went in knowing that there was going to be probably one set of parents that was going to have a problem with us and we were going to have to deal with “that”.
The other parents FAR exceeded our expectations. Even the teachers are very supportive. Like when Mother’s Day comes around they ask “how do you want us to do the cards?” or when Father’s Day rolls around they ask if there is someone that she can make a card for. (For that we have her do it for her godfather.) They just really think about those things and it really gives me hope that there is going to be a point where having gay parents is a non-issue. I am hopeful, seeing this generation.
With the bullying in schools lately, with having same sex parents, is there anything like that you are thinking about for your daughter?
I think bullying is going to happen no matter what. I think the key is just having really good communication with your kid. We have started that really early, when there is an issue at the school whether it’s a teacher or a friend. You know little kids: “I don’t want to be your friend anymore.” We sit down and talk about those things with Romie and tell her that “sometimes our friends say things that aren’t very nice” and we talk about her feelings about it. If she’s frustrated with it, we try to teach her the words to try to express the feelings she is having. That is something we are doing with her and trying to be very conscientious about. How are we going to explain certain things and how are we going to handle the first time she comes across a group of very hateful people who are going to criticize her family?
We remain hopeful that her generation of young people is not going to have the same stereotypes and crap that previous generations have seen. There are still going to be situations that we are going to come up against and it’s just a matter of really communicating. I also think that gay people are so much more aware of these things and we really take the time to teach their kids about this stuff. Because we KNOW that this is something that is going to happen and we almost anticipate it and build up this level of protection around your family so that when it happens you are prepared to deal with it. I think that we seem to do that a lot more than our hetero counterparts do, and in turn we get a chance to get to know our children in a different way and I think that’s unique.
Being a busy professional, are there any struggles you are running into balancing your career and your family?
I’m pretty lucky because my partner Iris is really “hands on” with Romie. I always worried with her not being the biological parent, how she was going to bond with Romie and how that relationship was going to form. Because I carried her for nine months, our relationship was inherent no matter what. It’s interesting because Romie actually prefers Iris more than me. I get a little jealous sometimes, but Iris is a really wonderful parent. Where I’m lacking she picks up the slack. When I am traveling for the radio show, Iris is home with her and we also have a very strong support network. Lots of friends like A.D.D. Jeff, from the show; he serves very much as a father figure for Romie. He is the man who she sees the most on a week-to-week basis. This was actually the first time where Iris and I left her for the weekend, usually it’s one or the other. We take her on the road a lot, but this weekend mommies need time away. So she is with uncle Jeff this weekend. “The Dinah” is not appropriate for a three-year-old.
Romaine can be heard on the Derek and Romaine show, Sirius radio channel 109 “Out Q” and on XM channel 98. Her book “The Whole World Was Watching” (available on amazon.com) describes how she ended up as a nationally recognized gay rights activist and the uncensored out-of-control lesbian on satellite radio.