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Gathering

HardNutScattered notes in attempt to pull together threads and make sense.

The day after the school shootings (I have such a very hard time even typing the more accurate term, “massacre”) in Newtown, CT, we went to Mark Morris’ The Hard Nut, a romp which makes it difficult to sit through an ordinary Nutcracker again. We’d gotten the tickets months ago. I held my son on my lap the whole entire time, had my arm around my daughter the whole entire time.

She was frightened during the scene when the soldiers fight the mice. The dancers had amazing mouse masks on, and when the mice were attacking the soldiers, they reared their heads back to reveal sharp teeth (merely part of the design on the cloth of the mask).  My daughter buried her head in my shoulder and asked me to tell her when the scene ended. Did the same again each time the mice came on stage.

That was a dance scene at The Nutcracker.

I have no doubts about whether I should tell her about what just happened to twenty children between her and her brother’s age. Not right now.

During the day the next day, Sunday, I took my son to a magic show put on by our school’s second grade teacher as a fundraiser for the school’s art program. Our school’s principal was there with her two children (a daughter and son, each the exact age of our daughter and son). I hugged her long and hard, and she readily hugged back.  I told her I would be hugging her as frequently as I could in the coming weeks, if that was okay by her. She said definitely, it was okay by her.

The weight on her shoulders, both mother and principal, is enormous.

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Banned Books Week Special: Some favorite kids’ lit titles

bookstack

Banned Books Week (this year, Sept 30 – Oct 6): always a favorite among bibliophiles, and a particular favorite among we who keep finding books about us banned. Before it ends tomorrow, I wanted to call out a half dozen or so favorite kid’s book titles from our family’s library.  There aren’t nearly enough books for children with family or gender diversity in them, but the lists I consult (like this page of well-defined lists from the Welcoming Schools curriculum) can still be dizzying. And given how few images our kids get of ourselves and our families in the culture around them, dull, one-dimensional, pedantic, inadequate, or pat books are even more disappointing. It’s tough, but it’s true: when there’s a paucity of imagery, what is out there is subject to high scrutiny and higher expectations.

[Continue reading the rest of this post over at Lesbian Family.]

 

 

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That’s what she said

MeMyself+I

Me Myself and I, 3rd grade school assignment, Berkeley, CA

 

Back-to-School night was a few weeks back. Now that both kids are at the same school, we were busy:  two classrooms to case, two teachers to whom to introduce ourselves/ our family make-up/ our family nomenclature/ etc., two clumps of curious parents to which to introduce ourselves.  Our divide-and-conquer strategy was hampered by the familiar Mama will need to extirpate herself from the theater and won’t be able to be there for the whole shebang thing, magnified my wobbly stumbling in the wake of my recent unanticipated job loss.  Outgoing Presidents and Presidents-elect have over two months in which to effectively transfer and assume power, and I am thinking Mrs Dad and I are going to need at least that much time to re-shape our family rhythms now that I’m back in them again.  Meanwhile, there’s the frequent backing into each other in the kitchen, and the simultaneously uttered “I thought you scored the babysitter for tonight!”

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Back to School, LGBT parent version (2012 edition)

IMG_4140A week from tonight, our family will be on the other side of a ginormous milestone: both kids’ first day of school at the actual same school.  So whilst I’m on vacation, otherwise blithely posting pictures of our leisure hours at nearby mountain lakes, I need to update and re-post  last year’s Back to School round-up.  Broke links fixed, some of last year’s references are trimmed out, and a few new notes sprinkled in.

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LD All-Purpose Parenting Resources Page o’ Links

Last year I combed through and updated all twenty-some-odd links on the LGBT Parenting Resources page I list here at LD.  If you haven’t perused that page, please do. Or if you have a friend who is hunting down a compendium of resources, by all means send ‘em there. And let me know if you think I should add more.

A Dozen Really Helpful School-Specific Resources

Below, a compendium of some of my favorite resources, with accompanying commentary. The first several listed can help inform your conversations with your child’s teacher or school administrator, or provide book lists for your school’s librarian or a teacher looking to supplement reading for units throughout the year. The Groundspark documentaries can be screened for a PTA or a school committee or (in the case of That’s a Family!) a classroom.  And the Welcoming Schools resources really form a broad-based family diversity (and anti-bullying and gender diversity) curriculum that could be reviewed and implemented anywhere from the level of a single classroom lesson plan to a whole school or school district’s supplementary curriculum. Because my kids are elementary school-aged (aaak! both of them now!), most of those listed below are primarily K-6 resources.

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Weekend bonus shot (Monday edition), 05.07.12

kylesuberglitteryshoes
Kyle’s über-glittery, disco-fabulous shoes, NCLR Anniversary Dinner, San Francisco, CA.

My fondest, or close to my fondest hope this week is that I’ll be able to wrestle some time to tell you a bit about the young man filling these. Though they may look to be no bigger than a size 6 or 7, rest assured, they are in actuality enormous.

Why? Kyle goes to high school in the Anoka-Henepin School District in the Northern (read: Michelle Bachman) suburbs of Minneapolis, the one with the cluster of eight homophobic harrassment-induced suicides in two years (a concise background here at BlogHer; a lengthy, rich piece at Rolling Stone).  Either because of or in spite of enduring withering harassment, you decide, Kyle stood with a handful of his peers to fight the “don’t say gay” policy there which helped enable the district to become a crucible for anti-gay hate.  In early March this year they won an agreement from the school district in a case argued by attorneys from National Center for Lesbian Rights.  NCLR honored him and his fellow defendants at their 35th Anniversary dinner and party last Saturday night, and make no mistake, these young people were received like the towering heroes they are.

‘Til I can wrestle the time to tell any of this in further detail, here’s the recent New York Times piece on the agreement that was reached. Below, Kyle speaks for himself in an interview posted at the Southern Poverty Law Center’s YouTube channel:

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It’s Tony & Michelle vs. Kyle & his gay parents

I got the video below in my inbox this morning, and thought I’d share.  It’s from COLAGE, the organization for people with a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer parent. A nice counterpoint to the fright-&-lies video circulated by the hate group Family Research Council as an opening salvo in their war against the FAIR Education Act in California.  The fight to defend the FAIR Education Act is going to be the Prop 8 battle, Part Deux, basically: more big money bigotry pushing ballot-box backlash to a landmark win for civil rights.  Brace yourselves for another ugly election season out here in the Golden State.

But bigots aren’t the only ones who know how to operate a video camera or get a message out.  Here’s how Kyle introduces this video:

Thanks so much for watching and sharing this video about my family! I’ve heard the terrible things Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and others are saying about families like yours and mine. It’s a form of bullying, and I think one of the best ways to respond is by sharing our stories. I’m proud to have two gay dads and a lesbian mom.

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Back to School, LGBT parent version

Tomorrow’s the first day of school for the girlie, and she is so excited she can barely sleep. Baba is so determined to actually put things in the blog after both the job and the kids are in bed for the night that she is not sleeping. Barely.

IMG_4140First thing to report on is that I combed through and updated all twenty-some-odd links on the LGBT Parenting Resources page I list here at the yet-again-pulled-back-from-the-brink blog (design tweaks still ongoing, as the observant might note).  If you haven’t perused that page, please do. Or if you have a friend who is hunting down a compendium of resources, by all means send ‘em there. And let me know if you think I should add more.

Next, in honor of the Back-to-School season, a half-dozen bullet-pointed resources (followed by some anecdotal commentary) that may be of help:

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Save the Children, elect Richard Pan for CA Assembly

I got an email yesterday from Chris Moore, President of the Stonewall Democratic Club of Greater Sacramento.  In it, he provided an update on a tightly fought state assembly race in which the lead attorney for the Yes on Prop 8 is running. The National Organization for Marriage is in big for his campaign, and we all ought to know about it. And help support his opponent.

Here’s Chris’ piece for the California Majority Report yesterday:

National Organization for Marriage is Using Children as Political Pawns… Again.

The folks behind the divisive and hurtful Yes on Proposition 8 T.V. ads just couldn’t help themselves — The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is once again using children as political pawns, but this time in an attempt to elect one of their own, Andrew Pugno, to the California State Assembly by smearing his pro-equality challenger Dr. Richard Pan. The two are facing off in a hotly contested race for Assembly District 5 in the Sacramento region.

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