The 12 Commandments for Parenting a 12-Year-Old Boy

12 year old boy

By: Shannon Ralph I adore my son. I love him with all my heart. I do, however, find myself sometimes marveling at the unparalleled anomaly that is a 12-year-old boy. Not yet a teen. No longer a little kid. My son is taller than me. Hairier. His feet are huge. His socks smell. He’s opinionated. […]

I Am Comfortably Queer

Amy and Me

By: Amber Leventry At the core of who we are, we are all unique. And within this uniqueness is a seed of identity. Some of us have always been able to tap into this sense of who we are, while others have needed more time. Some may never experience the freedom and joy of being […]

Why I Hug My Tween (Even When He Complains)


By: Shannon Ralph I vividly remember my last day as a cool person. I had been living for years—mistakenly—under the assumption that I was a “cool mom.” It’s been five months since that façade crumbled, but it seems like only yesterday. It was a beautiful spring morning when my wife informed me, rather sheepishly, that […]

My Twins’ Offers To Help Are Not Helpful

Ben and Ryan Unhappy in Stroller

By: Amber Leventry I walk a messy line between allowing my boys to help me with daily tasks and overriding their demands and little toddler screams of, “I do help!” My willingness to embrace their eagerness so they can achieve independence and life-long skills of knowing how to take care of themselves veers in and […]

A Gay Dad Sounds Off On the Pawn for the Homophobia Industry Refusing to Do Her Job

Kim Davis

Along the metaphorical highway on the journey to LGBT civil rights, there are many collisions. These are when willful ignorance runs headlong into justice. Few of these are as fascinating as the wreck taking place in Rowan County Kentucky. It seems we in the American public cannot help ourselves to rubber neck and gawk as […]

WATCH: When Things Go Wrong on Summer Vacation

Kids fighting- The Next Family

By Brandy Black Some kids have gone back to school and some families are still wrapping up summer family vacations.  As parents, it seems that a vacation never really ends up being what you want it.  At least for us, something inevitably goes wrong, although usually it’s the kids and not me. As part of […]

Back to School Guidance and Resources for LGBTQ Parents and Students

LGBT Back to school

By: Amber Leventry Back to school time is filled with the excitement of new backpacks, teachers, and reunions with friends. But for lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender parents and students that excitement can be accompanied by anxiety and fear. New schools, classmates, and teachers may also mean coming out again to unknowing peers. This may […]

Tylenol’s National Ad Campaign Redefines “Family”

Tylenol HowWeFamily Campaign

By Brandy Black When I founded The Next Family brand, my vision was to create a place inclusive to ALL types of families, not just those headed up by two moms, like mine.  Until very recently, television and magazines had only presented us with a myopic view of family: one man + one woman = […]

Spotlight Series: Two Dads Adrian & Brian


  TNF: How did you start your family? ADRIAN: It was really important to me to have our child be biologically linked to both me and my partner, and not just one or the other. So we asked Brian’s sister if she would carry for us. After a year, she finally agreed. We flew from our home in […]