Gay Parent magazine Cover Portraits, Year Sixteen, 2013-2014

Below is the 16th year of cover portraits 2013-2014.
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November-December 2013

November-December 2013 issue #91. Our 15th anniversary issue. Cover family is actor and author of “Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight?”, Dan Bucantinsky and his partner Don Roos and their children, Eliza and Jonah. Inset photo of Bob and Thanh Bidwell, our very first cover family.

January-February 2014

January-February 2014 issue #92. Cover family is award winning poet, Juliet Howard (aka JP Howard) and partner Norma Jennings and their sons, Jordan and Nicholas.

March-April 2014

March-April 2014 issue #93. Cover family is Deanne and Christina and their daughter, Marlee. Inset photo is award winning author and gay dad Andrew Solomon.

May-June 2014

May-June 2014 issue #94. Diving into our cover is Olympic hopeful Jordan Windle. Andre Rodriguez and Jerry Windle are Jordan’s parents. Inset photos (top to bottom) are celebrity fitness trainer, Jillian Michaels and daughter Lukensia; Jason Cook and Michael Tryonel and their seven children, Aaron, Karon, Shakir, Brandon, Rashad, Sidney and Paris; and Jared Prince-Sayward, son of Beverly and Kathleen Prince-Sayward.

July-August 2014

July-August 2014 issue #95. Cover family is Thomas Beatie, known as the “world’s first pregnant man” and his fiance Amber Nicholas with their children, Susan, Jensen, and Austin.

September-October 2014

September-October 2014 issue #96. Cover family is Antigone Rising rock musician, Kristen Ellis-Henderson and wife, GLAAD CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis and their children, Kate and Thomas.

Gay Parent magazine Cover Portraits, Year Fifteen, 2012-2013

Below is the 15th year of cover portraits 2012-2013.
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November-December 2012

November-December 2012 issue #85. Cover family is Jay Foxworthy and Brian Leffew and their children, Daniel and Selena. The Foxworthy Leffew family have a popular Vlog and Blog “Gay Family Values.” Inset photo is Sandra Valls, Latina comic and lesbian mom.

January-February 2013

January-February 2013 issue #86. Cover family is London power couple and filmmakers Shamim Sarif and Hanan Kattan and their sons, Ethan and Luca. Inset photo is actress, comedian, and stepmom, Jane Lynch.

March-April 2013

March-April 2013 issue #87. On the cover are famous gay dads, actor Neil Patrick Harris and husband David Burtka and their twins, Gideon and Harper. Inset photo of comedian and lesbian mom, Cheril Vendetti.

May-June 2013

May-June 2013 issue #88. On the cover is the cast of the breakthrough television drama featuring lesbian parents, “The Fosters”: Teri Polo, Sherri Saum and their TV children played by David Lambert, Jake T. Austin, Cierra Ramirez, Maia Mitchell, and Hayden Byerly.

July-August 2013

July-August 2013 issue #89. On the cover is proprietor of R Family Vacations, Kelli Carpenter and wife Anne Steele with their children, Parker, Vivianne, Blake, and Chelsea.

September-October 2013

September-October 2013 issue #90. On the cover is one of the producers of the television drama, “The Fosters,” Joanna Johnson and her partner Michelle Agnew and their children, Harlow and Julian. Inset photo is the family of Twaski Jackson and his partner David Fairman-Jackson and their daughter SteVee.

Gay Parent magazine Cover Portraits, Year Fourteen, 2011-2012

Below is the 14th year of cover portraits 2011-2012.
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November-December 2011

November-December 2011 issue #79. On the cover is Kathleen Prince-Sayward. She and her partner Beverly have three children, Jared, and twins Hailey and Quentin.

January-February 2012

January-February 2012 issue #80. Cover family is Palm Springs, California Mayor Steve Pougnet and his partner Christopher Green and their children, Beckham and Julia.

March-April 2012

March-April 2012 issue #81. Cover family is Liz and Elena Quinones and their son Eli. Inset photo of finance and real estate expert Herman Chan.

May-June 2012

May-June 2012 issue #82. On the cover is gayasian actor and comedian Alec Mapa. Mapa and his partner Jamison Herbert are raising a son, Zion. Inset photo of singer and lesbian mom, Chely Wright.

July-August 2012

July-August 2012 issue #83. Famous rock singer and lesbian mom, Melissa Etheridge is our cover story. Inset photo of actress, comedian and lesbian mom, Judy Gold.

September-October 2012

September-October 2012 issue #84. On the cover is famous comedian and lesbian mom Wanda Sykes. Sykes and her partner Alex are raising twins, Olivia and Lucas. Inset photo is singer and gay dad Rufus Wainwright.

Gay Parent magazine Cover Portraits, Year Thirteen, 2010-2011

Below is the 13th year of cover portraits 2010-2011.
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November-December 2010

November-December 2010 issue #73. Gay Parent magazine was the first media to publish a story about the Ham family with this issue. On the cover are Roger and Steven Ham with their 12 children, Logan, Madison, Jackson, Marcus, Ambrose, Andrew, Elizabeth, Cooper, Olivia, Vanessa, Michael and Isabel.

January-February 2011

January-February 2011 issue #74. Cover family is Stacy Graffam and her wife Donna with Hunter, one of their two children.

March-April 2011

March-April 2011 issue #75. Cover family is Joe and Brent Taravella and their children, Sophia, Julia, and Paolo. The family was first featured on our March-April 2007 issue #51 prior to the birth of their twins.

May-June 2011

May-June 2011 issue # 76. Cover family is Val Tavai and her wife Dale Tannenbaum and their son, Michael.

 July-August 2011

July-August 2011 issue #77. Cover family is Scout Masterson and Bill Horn and their daughter, Simone. They couple are known as the “Guncles” on TV.

September-October 2011

September-October 2011 issue #78. Cover family is Hole rock drummer Patty Schemel and partner Christina Soletti and their daughter, Beatrice.

Jehanne McCullough’s Growing Up With Two Moms

Jehanne McCullough, a Deaf teen, created the below video for her platform presentation at the 2013 Junior National Association of Deaf Conference. Read a profile of Jehanne and her parents in Gay Parent magazine’s September-October 2014 issue #96. Go to http://www.gayparentmag.com/digital-downloads/september-october-2014-issue-96-digital-download.

Smart is the New Norm

By Flavia Francesquini

For as long as we have lived in society we have tried to little avail to define Normal. What is and is not considered “the norm” varies immensely depending on who you ask. I went to school with a girl named Daisy. Her younger sister was also named Daisy and neither answered by a nickname because they thought that two siblings having the same name was normal. The family who lived next door to my first home ate dinner sitting on beach chairs that they neatly lined up on their front lawn. For them, watching the street as they chowed on steaks was normal. There are couples on reality TV shows giving birth to their twentieth child, a fact they all seem to consider normal. When I decided to become a lesbian mom with the help of a friendly donor, folks didn’t measure words to let me know that my arrangement was not normal.

It seems that as long as we are all doing, feeling, saying and thinking the exact same thing we are alright. The problem with that starts with the fact that we can barely get our own friends to agree on what to order for dinner or what movie to watch after it. How can we possibly come up with a reasonable consensus of normalcy that appeases the masses? I’ll give you a second to ponder about this.   Yep. It’s hard. But here’s a noble idea, how about we try to accept the theory that people who don’t live, look, think or act like us are also normal?

The concept of normalcy and its ripple impact in society, but also in individual lives,  has been brought to light by the brilliant Ryan Murphy. If you are familiar with his work you know that pushing the envelope is what he does best. Murphy has brought us Glee, Nip/Tuck and the awesome American Horror Story. This award winning film and television screenwriter, director, and producer has made no secrets about his own sexuality and in fact, his recent wedding to long time partner David Miller has some people speculating if his newest project is loosely based on personal experiences. To those waiting to see what else Murphy would bring to our living rooms, don’t miss the premiere of The New Normal.

The New Normal premieres on NBC Tuesday, September 11th and its cast is impressive. Hunky Justin Bartha (who almost didn’t get married in The Hangover), and the adorable Andrew Rannells (who has awed Broadway audiences in The Book of Mormon), are a loving couple with one desire, to start a family. In comes Georgia King (the thoughtful Rosamond of Jane Eyre), a young mom from a Midwestern town trying her luck in Los Angeles. Georgia agrees to become their surrogate but her own mother, the legendary Ellen Barkin has her own views of right, wrong, and most importantly, normal. As their lives become irreversibly intertwined, they deal with the ups, downs and simply funny ways in which a group of people can become a family.

To help bring these characters to life Murphy has enlisted Ali Adler as one of the writers and executive producers for the show. Adler, who has two children with actress Sara Gilbert, can certainly draw from her own experience as a lesbian mom, and I hope she will. The show will not go on air without a certain amount of controversy. Since we still have a long road before we all arrive at my proposed philosophy of life – you know, where we all accept each other as normal – some folks are up in arms over the concept of two loving adults raising a child.

First an NBC Utah affiliate has refused to air the show due to its contents! The station, KSL, is surprisingly owned by the Latter-day Saints church, and I do hope you catch the sarcasm here.  Then One Million Moms decided to boycott it, claiming it was “harmful to our society.” It’s too bad they won’t be able to see one of their very own represented on the show. Ellen Barkin’s hilariously bigoted character is a member of the Million Moms. If for nothing else, watch it to see Barkin’s performance!

Perhaps a little controversy is the added bonus to this very funny show. Perhaps talking about surrogacy, adoption, and the impact of bigotry and homophobia on our families will help demystify some of the fears and misconceptions surrounding LGBTQ families.

The roads we take to form a family are diverse, and sometimes complicated, but they should all lead to the same destination, a loving home. The New Normal is a refreshing and very funny way of taking a close look at what happens when love takes the lead and ignorance ends up left in the dust.

Flavia Francesquini is a regular contributor and Assistant Editor for Gay Parent magazine.

Psyched About Wanda Sykes

By Flavia Francesquini

Wanda Sykes

Wanda Sykes

 

“If you are against same sex marriage, don’t marry somebody of the same sex!”

No one approaches controversial issues with more common sense than Wanda Sykes. The fact that she can bring any subject to light, rip it apart and throw it back at us in a way that is both funny and enlightening is a talent that few comedians posses. Intelligent humor is a brand of comedy that Sykes has been performing from the beginning of her career. Whether she is talking about family issues or politics, Sykes has a unique way of gently coaxing her audiences to look at the world from a different perspective.

I recently caught up with the Goddess of comedy during a break in her most recent tour. She started by apologizing for the background noise, “Oh Lord, you can hear the dog? I’m sorry! I should do like my wife, when she needs to talk on the phone she locks herself in her car.” But the sounds behind Sykes reflect a regular day in a home with children, a happy home that is, and I like it, it makes me feel like I know her better. It’s good to know that my dog is not the only one barking at inappropriate times and that I am not alone in my desire to hide from my own child in search of five minutes of peace and quiet. This starts out well, the queen of funny is very approachable.

Part of what makes me a huge fan of her sense of humor is her willingness to express her opinions. That kind of courage combined with her undeniably funny delivery style have paved the way of her very successful career. It’s been a while since she first performed at a Talent Showcase in the DC area. Since then she has ranked amongst the 100 greatest all-time stand up comedians by Fox network. She was also one of Entertainment Weekly‘s 25 Funniest People in America.

In 2009 Out magazine placed her in their annual Power 50 List. That same year Sykes performed for the Annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, an honor that had never before been bestowed upon an African American woman nor an openly LGBTQ person.

No one can forget the hilarious Barb on New adventures of Old Christine, one of many reoccurring roles Sykes has played in various other successful TV shows.

But it is the material she brings to her stand up tours that I love the most. Seeing Sykes in her element is a like being allowed inside her head for a couple of hilarious hours. Her observations on life as a black woman, a mother, a wife and a lesbian have the uncanny ability of bringing the audience together, and regardless of our backgrounds we find ourselves relating to her experiences.

On the phone she sounds just like I expected, friendly, witty and just a little bit frazzled. She is in the middle of a long tour and I wonder if she enjoys all the traveling around, “Are you kidding? I have 2 three-year-olds! Who wouldn‘t want to get out of the house?” But she is half kidding of course, although every mom can use a few nights alone in an air-conditioned hotel room away from family commotion, leaving the children behind for too long is not an easy part of her job, “I do miss them a lot. I was in Australia recently and it was hard, the distance, the time difference… I love being on tour but I do miss the kids.”

Despite the hardships of being on the road, Sykes admits to doing what she loves best, seeing her fans, being in front of a live audience and hearing the room explode with laughter. Hers is one of the few shows that leave with more than memories of a fun night, I always walk away feeling like I have been shown a new angle of a picture I had seen before and it is now funnier and more ironic.

Although Sykes didn’t set out to go across country on a super hero cape using her super powers to get people to laugh and think, she is sure succeeding at doing just that!

If you are on the East Coast, get moving quickly, she will be in Hyannis, Massachusetts on August 15th in Boston on August 16th, then Hampton Beach, New Hampshire on August 17th. But you live in Chicago you say? She’ll be there in September, but not before she stops in Oregon, Ohio and Minnesota.

October will bring her back to Rochester, New York and from there she will continue her tour through Pennsylvania, Georgia, South Carolina, California, Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, Wisconsin, Canada and the Dominican Republic. So, look for the location nearest you and reserve your tickets now because you don’t want to be the only person at the office who didn’t see Wanda! You can find Wanda Sykes’ full schedule on http://www.wandasykes.com/WandaSykes_calendar.php

Read Flavia’s complete interview with Sykes in Gay Parent magazine’s September-October 2012 issue #84

Flavia Francesquini is a regular contributor and Assistant Editor for Gay Parent magazine. Photo of Wanda Sykes courtesy of PMKBNC

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