Archive for May, 2013

Silke Bader – Australian Mum Making the News and Changing Adoption Laws

Silke Bader owner of Curve and LOTL magazines for lesbians

Silke Bader owner of Curve and LOTL magazines for lesbians

By Flavia Francesquini

How many lesbians do you know? This question was posed to me by a 92-year old woman who told me that when she was growing up in western Massachusetts she didn’t even know the word lesbian, and thinking that such women existed was far beyond her imagination. For the first 40-year of her life Ms. Cooper could neither name nor identify what made her feel utterly different and disconnected from everyone she knew. She told me that meeting another lesbian was like opening the window in a dark and lonely room.

Visibility has been one of our most reliable stepping-stones. We find strength in knowing that we are not alone. This is just one of the reasons I admire those who make it their mission to bring our community to light, to name us, and to help us claim our places in society by sending the clear message that yes, we are here and we are not going anywhere.

Silke Bader is the owner of Avalon Media, the Australian publisher of LOTL (Lesbians On The Loose, and now publisher of Curve (, a magazine that has been on our own stands for the last twenty years. Bader’s dedication to offering a platform to our community is remarkable. She is an amazingly savvy businesswoman and an avid advocate for adoption by same-sex couples in New South Wales, Australia. Bader was kind enough to allow us peak into her world.

Gay Parent magazine: Starting with the basics, where are you from and when did you move to Australia?

Silke Bader: I am originally from Germany and moved to Australia at the age of 22. I have lived in Australia for 24 years and have German and Australian citizenship.

GPM: How did you get started in the publishing business?

SB: In 1992 I started a lesbian travel agency, which I advertised in LOTL, Australia’s only lesbian magazine. This publication was very important for me as 90% of my clients were generated through my advertisement in LOTL. When the owner decided to sell the magazine, they approached me to see if I was interested in buying it, which I did in 1999. My publishing career was launched.

GPM: Before Avalon came along there weren’t many lesbian publications out there. What prompted you to embark on this “less traveled” road?

SB: Lesbian media is so important for equal rights. Lesbian media – being in print or online – offers visibility for lesbians. Mainstream publications don’t feature lesbian weddings, lesbian parenting or lesbian health issues. Without media there is no community. Media creates an infrastructure from businesses that target the community; it’s the key of communication. This energy of creating community has always attracted me and I have enjoyed building towards a better future.

GPM: How is Curve different from LOTL?

SB: There are two distinct differences, geography and content. Curve focuses on our readers in North America. LOTL focuses on readers in Australia. Content differs as LOTL is a free publication and has no budget for pro-active editorial, which means that LOTL features community based editorial. We focus on community events and groups so that if [a local group] needs to announce a meeting we will work with them to create an article and promote the event. Curve is for sale and therefore has an editorial budget and we commission independent journalists and contributors.

GPM: Have you always been “out” in the business world?

SB: Yes, I have always been out, which is unavoidable in my profession and niche market.

GPM: How did you meet your partner Tanya Sale and how did you two decide to start a family?

SB: I met my partner in January of 1999 through a business function in Sydney. LEZBIZ was an organization I started for lesbians in business. Tanya is in finance and was looking at targeting the lesbian demographic. When I met her I was 32 and really wanted to have children. Almost from the very beginning of our relationship did I tell her that I wanted a family. It was 4 years later when our two children came to us.

GPM: You have been very active in trying to raise awareness and changes to the adoption laws in Australia. In short, what were the laws regarding LGBT adoptions before and how have they evolved?

SB: In 2010, the New South Wales Parliament amended the Adoption Act 2000 to allow same-sex couples the opportunity to apply for adoption.  Same-sex de facto couples are now treated in the same way as opposite-sex de facto couples in adoption laws in New South Wales.  [De facto relationships, for those not familiar with the term, describe two people in a committed relationship but who are not legally married, that now includes same-sex couples.]

GPM: How old are your children?

SB:  Our children were 3 and 4 when they came to live with us and they are now 13 and 14 years old.

GPM: What advice can you give to other parents trying to adopt in Australia?

SB: We have not adopted the children yet, we are still in the process and our experience is very unique. We found that while working with the department of community services, the best attitude is to go with the flow and not fight the system.  But, as I said, our situation is very unique and this advice might not work for another family; sometimes fighting the system might be necessary.

GPM: When it comes to motherhood, what have been your biggest challenges?

SB: Not to lose my own identity. During all those years there were different types of challenges. I could list the individual stages and their challenges, but in the end my biggest struggle is to keep a sense of myself.

GPM: What advice do you have for other parents raising teenagers?

Left to right, Tanya Sale, Billie Jean King and Silke Bader

Left to right, Tanya Sale, Billie Jean King and Silke Bader. This photo was taken on the 40th Anniversary Olivia Cruise.

SB: Ours just hit teenage years and it’s a challenging time. Be in synch with your partner, be a united front, [practice] tough love and consequences. Be there for them when they come home from school, monitor digital devices and their friends. In the end it won’t be up to you anymore, but at least you have given [them] guidelines.

GPM: Tell me a little about the recent vacation you took with your family.

SB: We just completed an around the world trip, traveling in two months to Germany, Switzerland, New York, Orlando, Dallas, and we finished it off with an Olivia Cruise to the Bahamas. While the wounds are still fresh, we have decided not to travel with our children again while they are still teenagers. Looking at any of our pictures, [we] look stressed, unhappy and just exhausted! The fights and arguments we had every day, without a safe place to retreat, were challenging to say the least. At one point our son stormed off in the middle of a remote Swiss village in complete darkness. He almost got lost and it took us an hour to find him! Being together 24/7 for two months was the real issue for us. At home, when you have fights the children still go off to school or you go to work and the situation can defuse, but not when you travel.  We do know that our children will most likely only remember the highlights – us teaching them to snowboard and the white Christmas with their grandparents in Germany – they’ve never had a white Christmas in Australia. Also, the comedy club we visited in New York, and Harry Potter World in Orlando. Those memories will stick with them, which makes it all worthwhile.

While the world is still debating whether or not we are even entitled to have families, we steadily march towards equality, raising our children, doing our jobs, and becoming visible. By supporting those who promote and defend our community we ensure that our rights are not forgotten, our families are not yesterday news, and every kid knows a world they can identify with when they look in the mirror.

This article was first published in Gay Parent magazine’s May-June 2013 issue #88.

Photos courtesy of Silke Bader

New Documentary About Songwriter and Gay Dad Desmond Child, His Partner Curtis Shaw and Their Twin Sons, Roman and Nyro

Desmond Child with partner Curtis Shaw and sons Roman and Nyro

Desmond Child (top left) with partner Curtis Shaw and sons Roman and Nyro


Mark your calendars for the SF premiere of TWO: THE STORY OF ROMAN AND NYRO. TWO is a touching documentary about the lives of twin sons born to acclaimed songwriter Desmond Child (worked with Ricky Martin, Jon Bon Jovi and more) and his lifelong partner Curtis Shaw. The film also features Angela Whittaker, the woman who carried their twin sons, Roman and Nyro. What’s captured is a moving story of family unity, parenthood and love from preconception through the boys’ first 10 years,

The couple with a very pregnant Angela Whittaker.

The couple with a very pregnant
Angela Whittaker.



Scan 10

TWO: THE STORY OF ROMAN AND NYRO will have its San Francisco premiere, as part of the San Francisco Documentary Festival.

Friday June 14 – 7:00 PM            New Parkway

Sunday June 16 – 9:00 PM            Roxie Theater

Monday June 17 – 7:01 PM            Roxie Theater

Parents Desmond Child and Curtis Shaw, and their sons Roman and Nyro, will join Director Heather Winters and attend the screenings on June 16th and June 17th. All will participate in a special post-screening Q&A.


Ticket information

Photos courtesy of David Magdael & Associates, Inc.

Study of Children of Lesbians and their Relationship with Male Donors


Lesbian couple with their daughter at Family Week in Provincetown

Lesbian couple with their daughter at Family Week in Provincetown

May 22, 2013 press release from the Williams Institute:

New Williams Institute Study Suggests That Children Of Lesbian Parents Are Happy With Their Relationships With Male Donors And Some Seek To Manage These Relationships In Adolescence

Research suggests that children of lesbian parents are satisfied with their current level of contact with their male donors and do not think of their donors as dads, according to a new Williams Institute study by Abbie E. Goldberg, Williams Institute Visiting Scholar and Associate Professor of Psychology at Clark University, and Katherine R. Allen, Professor of Human Development at Virginia Tech. The study, entitled, Donor, Dad, or…? Young Adults with Lesbian Parents’ Experiences with Known Donors, sheds light on how children raised in lesbian, gay, and bisexual families are contributing to the redefinition and reconstruction of complex kinship arrangements.

Participants in the study perceived their relationships with their male donors in one of three ways: as strictly donors and not members of their family; as extended family members, but not as parents; and as fathers. Participants ranged in age from 19-29, and while most were satisfied with the current level of contact with their male donors, several desired more information or contact with these men, and in some of these cases, had already begun to establish a connection with them.

“This research sheds light on the largely unexplored relationships between the children of lesbian parents and their known donors,” said Goldberg. “The findings suggest that the terrain of chosen families deserves greater attention from researchers, therapists, and other practitioners.”

According to Goldberg and Allen, the tendency for some participants to voice a growing interest in seeing their donors more often than when they were younger indicates a turning point in the participants’ identity that emerges in late adolescence or young adulthood. These individuals may be experiencing greater independence from their mothers, which enables them to craft their own relationships with their donors.

Most of the participants perceived their donors as “just donors,” or as extended family members, and even those who perceived the donors as third parents conceptualized them as tertiary to their primary mothers. According to the study, these participants are drawing upon the traditional heterosexual family lexicon to develop useful and appropriate terms to describe and name their donors, which provides them with the language to clarify the nature of their relationship with their donors.

Among other findings, the study suggests that therapists should allow all family members to define their relationships to one another, and not presume the nature or meaning of terms like “mother” and “father,” especially in the context of lesbian-mother families that utilized known donors. Further, the study also suggests that therapists should be sensitive to the possibility that young adulthood may represent an important time for further identity exploration, especially in terms of relationship formation, and that young adults with lesbian mothers may express particular interest in their known donors during this period.

Click here for the full study

The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy advances law and public policy through rigorous, independent research and scholarship, and disseminates its work through a variety of education programs and media to judges, legislators, lawyers, other policy makers, and the public.   A national think tank at UCLA Law, the Williams Institute produces high quality research with real-world relevance.  For more information go to:

Photo courtesy of Family Equality Council

Chely Wright and Lauren Blitzer Wright Parents to Twin Boys

Chely Wright with wife Lauren Blitzer at Lighthouse opening ceremonies

Chely Wright (right) and Lauren Blitzer Wright

By Angeline Acain

The following posting is from Chely Wright’s Facebook page:

Chely & Lauren Welcome Twins George Samuel and Everett Joseph

The country singer and her wife, music executive Lauren Blitzer Wright, welcomed identical twin sons on Saturday, May 18 in New York City, her rep tells PEOPLE exclusively.

Although they weren’t due until this summer, George Samuel and Everett Joseph — who are named for their great-grandfathers – are thriving, the rep says.

“We are grateful for all the amazing medical care and the love and support of family and friends,” Wright, 42, tells PEOPLE.

In 2012, Chely told Gay Parent magazine when asked about starting a family, “It’s been a dream for us and it’s one of the reasons we wanted to get married. We hope to be blessed with children and we will be working on it this year! We are thinking of becoming pregnant – one of us anyway.”

Read the complete interview with Chely Wright by ordering our May-June 2012 issue.

Photo courtesy of Parris Communications

Sean Hayes of Will & Grace Plays Single Gay Dad on NBC

Sean Hayes plays single gay dad on NBC's new comedy Sean Saves the World. Sami Isler plays his daughter Ellie.

Sean Hayes plays single gay dad on NBC’s new comedy Sean Saves the World. Sami Isler plays his daughter Ellie.

By Angeline Acain

“If you’re gay then how did you and mom have sex?” asks 14-year old Ellie. Although NBC has canceled it’s one-season-run gay dad TV show “The New Normal”. It has already produced a new gay dad comedy starring the boyish Sean Hayes from the hit show “Will & Grace”. According to 429 Magazine, Hayes’ role as Jack McFarland in “Will & Grace” is considered a milestone for LGBT media portrayals. Before “Will & Grace,” LGBT characters were rarely a part of the main cast, as many of them were given minor roles and LGBT themes were not prominent on television.

In “Sean Saves the World” Hayes plays Sean Isler, a divorced from a woman gay dad, raising a teenage daughter played by Sami Isler. Linda Lavin plays Sean’s “ready to give advice” controlling mother. “Sean Saves the World” will air Thursdays this fall.

See more:


1st International Family Equality Day, May 6, 2012

By Angeline Acain

On a beautiful sunny spring day in New York City, the First International Family Equality Day was held, May 6, 2012. This day brought together LGBT families and their children from across North America and Europe for the first time to celebrate the millions of families with parents who are LGBT. Events were held in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Canada, South Africa, Finland, Germany, and Switzerland. Festivities in New York City included a group photo shoot in Times Square – participants were given pinwheels to hold – followed by a press conference, luncheon, crafts, and family dance at NYC’s LGBT Community Center. The event was organized by the Family Equality Council (FEC), R Family Cruises, and Center Families in partnership with LGBT parent support groups outside of the USA. FEC executive director, Jennifer Chrisler, led the press conference introducing speakers, George Fesser, director of Center Families, Ella Robinson, daughter of Bishop Gene Robinson, actor Denis O’Hare, and comedian Judy Gold. Kelli Carpenter, owner of R Family Cruises, O’Hare’s husband Hugo Redwood and Ron Poole-Dayan of Men Having Babies were also in attendance. For more information about the International Family Equality Day visit

Here’s a short video of the photo shoot. View the photo here

1st International Family Equality Day

Family waiting to participate in 1st International Family Equality Day group photo shoot in Times Square, NY












1st International Family Equality Day

Family Equality Council Executive Director, Jennifer Chrisler, R Family’s Kelli Carpenter and Ella Robinson at Times Square, NY


Videos links from the ceremony at the LGBT Community Center following the photo shoot:

Jennifer Chrisler introduces actor and gay dad Denis O’Hare.

Ella Robinson, co-chair of the Outspoken Generation, and daughter of Bishop Gene Robinson speaks next.

Comedian and lesbian mom Judy Gold is the final speaker.

Gay Parent magazine publisher Angeline Acain (right), Judy Gold, and Acain's partner Susan Eisenberg

Me with my partner Susan Eisenberg and Judy Gold












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