Archive for June, 2013

Disney’s Good Luck Charlie to Air Episode with Lesbian Mothers, No Surprise

The cast of Good Luck Charlie.

The cast of Good Luck Charlie from the TV Guide article.

By Angeline Acain

Although only at the start of its first season, my teenage daughter loves watching the new ABC Family television series “The Fosters” exclaiming after the premier, “It’s so great to watch a television show with parents like mine – two mothers!” (The cast of The Fosters were on Gay Parent magazine’s May-June 2013 issue cover, see image below).

And like many American teenage girls, my daughter enjoys watching the Disney Channel including its show “Good Luck Charlie.” When I read the following in TV Guide, “ In a first for the Disney Channel, next season an episode of Good Luck Charlie will feature a family with two moms,” I was not at all surprised.

What some viewers don’t realize is that ABC Family is a subsidiary of the Disney-ABC Television Group division of The Walt Disney Company. And ABC Family has already broken ground by featuring a family with two moms with their new television series “The Fosters.” In fact two of the main actors from The Fosters, Jake T. Austin and Maia Mitchell have starred and currently star in Disney productions. And that is another reason my daughter loves watching The Fosters – she’s  familiar with these actors from the Disney Channel because she’s been watching them grow in their careers since she was in elementary school. On top of that, my daughter has always thought Jake T. Austin was cute ever since she saw him in the 2007 Disney movie, “Johnny Kapahala: Back on Board.”

With all this positive progressive programming being planned I was surprised to see the negative feedback posted on an unofficial Good Luck Charlie Facebook page from angry parents. Some of the posters said they will stop their children from watching the show (good luck with that). The episode is set to air in 2014 and Disney has not yet announced who will play the lesbian moms. But until then I recommend all LGBT parents and allies to go to this unofficial Good Luck Charlie Facebook page and show your support, here’s the link:

The cast of The Fosters on Gay Parent magazine's May-June 2013 issue #88

The cast of The Fosters on Gay Parent magazine’s May-June 2013 issue #88

Now in NYC Lesbian Love Octagon – Musical Dyke Drama!

Lesbian Love Octagon

Lots of Kissing in Lesbian Love Octagon featuring Ti Grieco (Jess) on left and Lindsay Naas (Wendy).

By Angeline Acain

The night my partner and I went to see Lesbian Love Octagon (LLO) there was a torrential downpour. As we navigated our way soaked to the skin through the East Village to the Kraine Theater (New York City), I knew this performance was going to be worth the drenching – and I was right. Created by Kim Kressal and Will Larche, Lesbian Love Octagon is a musical comedy about dyke drama – that’s right, a musical, about the lesbian culture of ex lovers. So I knew this would be a fun and entertaining night. Kressal and Larche wrote the lyrics and music and it is first rate. Not that LLO can be compared to other lesbian musicals – because there isn’t any other. This is a one of a kind production, done brilliantly.

The story revolves around Sue (played by lesbian actress Caitlin Lee Reid) who is dumped by Darla (played by Kristian Espiritu) who is now with Sue’s ex who is now a trans named Jerry (played by transgender actor Jax Jackson). Other lesbians and their ex’s are involved, at least five more main characters, hence the octagon. The setting is East Village 1990s, feminist bookstore, food co-op, bar, sex shop, and bedroom and lesbian characters range from bisexual to transgender and everything in between. Kressal told AfterEllen, “Beyond this just being a lesbian love story, it’s about community and lesbian identity. I think that the late ’90s were a time when your visibility as a lesbian was very important. I mean, yes Ellen had come out, but that’s where we were. This was pre-The L Word, the height of third wave feminism. The show takes place in the Lower East Side and at that time, Babeland, Meow Mix and Bluestockings had all just opened. So this area had become the center of the (lesbian) universe… All of this is to say that I think the late ’90s is the right kindling to ignite a story about lesbian identity and uncertainty, but I think the story itself is timeless.”

Lesbian Love Octagon

Lesbian Love Octagon featuring Caitlin Lee Reid (left) as the protagonist Sue and Jax Jackson as transgender Jerry.

LLO debuted in 2010 and Horse Trade, the management company that runs the Kraine Theatre invited LLO for another run and is co-producer. Regarding lesbian visibility in musical theater Kressal told AfterEllen, “…this is missing from musical theatre. But, the deeper we have gotten into this project that has become a much bigger deal to us. We have had commercial interest in the show, but with the exception of Horse Trade, everyone has wanted us to take out some lesbians. Make it less lesbian. Can’t there be straight characters in this? Can you take lesbian out of the title? And those are the things that we are unwilling to bend on, because then what’s the point. It just becomes another musical. We are willing to not make it to Broadway or off-Broadway, because of our unwillingness to bend our belief that trans stories, lesbian stories, need to be told in musical theatre. This is our life. This is our reality.”

Included in lesbian reality is the use of vibrators and LLO audience members can purchase raffle tickets to win a Hitachi Magic Wand. So during intermission it was entertaining to watch a lucky gal win her wand. Another part of LLO fun is featuring a special guest star in each performance and TONY nominee Jan Maxwell joined the production that night. Lindsay Nass who plays Wendy, Sue’s best friend, is another out lesbian actress in this performance. Naas told AfterEllen, “Everyone should see the Lesbian Love Octagon, regardless of your sexual orientation, gender, or age. Lesbians should see it because it is a beautiful and honest representation of their community in a brilliant form of entertainment. They’ll get all the little inside jokes and will undoubtedly relate to at least one of the characters. It’s really a magical thing, realizing that a group of people that have been pretty much left out of the entertainment world get to see themselves being brought to life onstage. Straight people should see it because of those exact same reasons.”

I was told Kressal and her wife are in the process of becoming parents, this is apparent in LLO’s ending and of course it is an ending with a lot of song and dance.

Lesbian Love Octagon is playing at the Kraine Theater until June 29, 2013. See a video, hear great music, join their community and buy your tickets at

Lesbian Love Octagon cast.

Lesbian Love Octagon cast.









Photos by KL Thomas

“A Family Like Mine”, Film by Katherine “Tia” Kearns

Michael and Tia on the cover of the November-December 1999 issue #7 of Gay Parent magazine

Michael and Tia on the cover of the November-December 1999 issue #7 of Gay Parent magazine


November-December 1999 issue #7 Gay Parent magazine cover story daughter, Katherine “Tia” Kearns, now 18, created a film, “A Family Like Mine.” The film features her life with her HIV positive dad, Michael and other LGBT headed families. Select the link below to view her video.

A Family Like Mine.


By Ali Polizzi

Ali Polizzi (left) holding Nikkan PolizziRothman, and her partner Amy Rothman holding Takoda PolizziRothman.

Ali Polizzi (left) holding Nikkan, and her partner Amy Rothman holding Takoda.

…comes flying out of my 3 year old boy’s mouth this year like a dirty word he must have picked up on the street.  My wife and I joke that we don’t know where he “picks up that kind of language” but the sting for me goes deeper than our fleeting sarcasm reveals.  Of course, it’s directed at me – the bigger, bulkier but-not-so-much-butchier one I guess with the insecurity chip on her shoulders.  Why am I the “Daddy”?  I’m the one who does the dishes.  I’m the one who gets flowers on Valentine’s Day.  It was such a catharsis in my life the day my wife asked me to marry her with a beautiful diamond engagement ring complete with a rainbow of precious stones around the band.  She gave me back something that day I didn’t realize I’d lost – my sexuality – and boy do I fill the part!  I’m the one who wants to stay up all night when we fight if we have to in order to “talk things out.”  I’m the milder disciplinarian. They ask me when they want lollipops for breakfast, and they occasionally get it!  My wife?  She’s the breadwinner.  She makes the big decisions.  It’s Ema who charts the family’s course through this world.  So why does he look up and curiously decide to call me “Daddy”?  She probably wouldn’t mind.  This just goes against the narrative of us that I’d designed.

I’m calm though.  I’m a New York City public high school teacher – I can handle anything!  I ignore it.  I ignore it the second time – the third – the fourth. We call this “Planned ignoring”.  Anyone know how to make God laugh?  The first day I survive.  The second is when I start losing some sleep.  By the third, I’m consulting Facebook lesbian mommies and our MTM group (Modern Tribal Momas) for advice.  Has anybody experienced this before?  Has everybody survived? What are the causes?  What are the cures?  I don’t get too far.  God blessed this lesbian couple quickly ahead of all our friends with not one but two …boys.  Here I am yet again adrift in a sea of uncharted waters.  This is not unlike my whole adolescence!

One night, it dawns on me to explore his reading library that we began back when we had the luxury of such time and idealism in college.  I’m all too quick to pass up “Heather Has Two Mommies” falsely dismissing it due to the stereotypically butchie carpenter mom and feeling averse to bring linked with that association.  My insecurity already steers me away from the other mother’s role of “Doctor”.  I find another title in our diversity collection: “Do I have a Daddy?” and wind up in a pinch reading that to my son.  While his eyes were wide with interest and we read together with wild presence we were both disappointed by that mother ‘s loose retort to her son’s inquiry about why Daddy just left them. The only wisdom that mom had to offer my son and I was that she “didn’t know” but that she loved him and that was all that mattered blah, blah, blah…

It turns out that a mixture of i-g-n-o-r-e, another look at (and nightly ritual read) of “Heather Has Two Mommies”, and some genuine one-on-one chats have thankfully nudged this “Daddy” stage into a phase of the past.  I’m not sure that I went about this the proper way, and there is plenty to be said about the need for some quality children’s literature on this subject, but I can tell you that I am “Mom” again. This was compounded just the other day when a song about moms was being sung on television.  I snuggled up around him and he leaned back against me in such a way that I felt we’d successfully settled the issue, and he’s been waking me up with a special smile and a “Good morning Mom” that is truly the best part of my waking up!  Each time he says the word “Mom” now it seems to be with renewed conviction.  I know the subject will once again arise in our lives and as they get older they’ll demand deeper and deeper explanations of all sorts of issues, but for now I feel pride in the fact that I’ve dealt with our first direct same-sex parenting issue and survived to tell the tale. Thank God I managed to navigate this one with my natural genitals in tacked.  Who knows what could be threatened next time!

Read more of Ali Polizzi through her blog,

Photo courtesy of Ali Polizzi

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