Gay Parent magazine Cover Portraits, Year Two, 1999 – 2000

Below is the 2nd year of cover portraits 1999 – 2000.
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November-December 1999 issue #7

November-December 1999 issue #7. Cover family is HIV+ actor Michael Kearns and his daughter Tia.

January-February 2000 issue #8

January-February 2000 issue #8. Cover family is legendary lesbian folksinger Alix Dobkin and her daughter Adrian Hood.

March-April 2000 issue #8

March-April 2000 issue #9. On the cover is author Jesse Green and his son Lucas.

May-June 2000 issue #10

May-June 2000 issue #10. On the cover are moms, Sophia and Vickie with son Ryan from the film “Our House: A Very Real Documentary about Kids of Gay and Lesbian Parents.”

July-August 2000 issue #11

July-August 2000 issue #11. On the cover is gay dad and New York City school board member Nelson Jacobs-Moore.

September-October 2000 issue #12

September-October 2000 issue #12. On the cover is Ingrid Rivera-Dessuit and her daughter Amanda.

Martina Navratilova Marries Julia Lemigova

Martina Navratilova Weds Julia Lemigova

Martina Navratilova Weds Julia Lemigova

Martina Navratilova married longtime partner Julia Lemigova in New York City on December 15, 2014. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chirlane McCray officiated. In attendance were actress Brooke Shields, tennis legend Chris Evert and Lemigova’s two daughters. Navratilova proposed during the US Open last September, in a moment that was telecast on the Jumbotron at New York’s Arthur Ashe stadium. Click on the photos to enlarge. Photos courtesy of Atelier Creative Services, Inc.

Martina Navratilova Weds Julia Lemigova

Photo: Brook Shields, Julia Lemigova, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Bill de Blasio , Chirlane McCray and Lemigova’s two daughters.

Gay Parent magazine opens Zazzle store

GPM logo shirt men

Like our logo? If so you can now wear it or enjoy it on one of our products through our new Zazzle store. To purchase items go to http://www.zazzle.com/gay_parent_magazine.

First time shoppers are required to register a user name and password. Although specific styles of clothing and items are pictured, you can customize your order by selecting from many different styles and colors of clothing and items. Pictured are sample items. We’re adding more items to our photo display so check back. Click on the photos to go to our Zazzle store.

GPM logo shirt gal

“Daddy”

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, www.alirothlizzi.blogspot.com/?m=1

Photo courtesy of Ali Polizzi

Lori Ada Jaroslow and The Baby Project

By Flavia Francesquini

Lori Ada Jarowslow creator of The Baby Project

Author/performer Lori Ada Jarowslow (right)
adopted 16 year old Sam (left).
This is their adoption day photo.

 

The first lesbian movie I ever watched was Claire of the Moon. While in 1992 it was still exciting to see lesbians on the big screen, I hated the movie. I was young and just coming out then and although I wanted to see hot women making out, I didn’t want their sexuality to be the plot. I wanted the fact that they were lesbians to be something we understood and even appreciated, but not a big enough deal to become the actual reason for the movie. I longed for the day that our community would be portrayed in the main stream as we really are, people with hopes, talents, problems, dreams and everything else that puts us in the same category as anyone else, humans. Yes, we have come a long way!

Lori Ada Jaroslow subscribes to a similar concept. Her musical, The Baby Project, started out as a one-woman play and it has slowly grown into a wildly creative musical. The small ensemble of five incredibly talented actors take on several roles during the time that it takes us to get to know Dana Jacobson and her unique journey. Dana is a single, 40-something Jewish woman from New York who decides that Los Angeles would be a good place to settle down and start a family. As she starts on the winding road of medically-assisted fertility we are all taken along for the ride and the real question becomes what exactly constitutes family.

Jaroslow’s own life can be told as an adventure. She is one of those people that come to mind when we hear the words extremely talented. She sings, writes, acts, directs and teaches. Add to that list everything associated with raising a teenager and you start to get the picture. Originally from New Jersey, Jaroslow spent most of her life smack in the middle of the theatre district of New York City. About fourteen years ago she, like her character Dana, headed west with all her spunk, hopes and dreams.

While she perfected her skills by taking writing classes at UCLA and working her way into the LA theatre community, becoming a mother was always on her mind. She recalls, “I had tried insemination in NY and then again after I moved but it just didn’t work out. I started thinking about others ways I could become a mom. Adoption seemed like a good way to go.” As she started looking into adoption, life took a different turn and she postponed her plans for the next few years. However, a desire as strong as that of being a mom never really goes away and she found herself thinking that “if I don’t do this now I’ll be 90 by the time I have a kid!” This is when she got seriously involved with The Children’s Bureau in Los Angeles, which has been dedicated to helping children in need for over a century.

The process of becoming a legible foster parent can be grueling. Jaroslow compares that to her initial approach to becoming pregnant, “The agency is very thorough when making decisions and so are doctors… first there were people checking my hormone levels and then it was my annual income. Either way it can be a very humbling experience.”
The life of an artist can sometimes translate into periods of unstable income and that was one of the hurdles Jaroslow had to overcome, “I was very determined at this point so I got a steady job as a music teacher.”
Although she was originally looking for a kid between the ages of 5 and 11, she was presented with the records of 16 year old Samantha. Teens come with their own set of challenges, especially those who have bounced around in the system for a while, but the more she read Sam’s file the more convinced she became that this would become her child. Jaroslow was a substitute teacher then and it gave her a new perspective, “I was in touch with so many kids who needed help. There were kids having babies, kids on the streets… it impacted me!”

Samantha went to live with Jaroslow in August of 2011 and her adoption became finalized last July. As it turns out, this is a great match! Jaroslow loves being able to juggle her life at home with her life as an artist and things are happily moving forward.

Sam and her mother, Lori

 

In The Baby Project we can expect to hear – and feel – the impact of Jaroslow’s personal journey into parenthood. It is currently scheduled to open by the end of January 2013 but Jaroslow is still looking for funding. The Road Theatre (Jaroslow’s production company) received a National Endowment for the Arts grant for $20,000. “This is a huge honor,” says Jaroslow, “but the theatre is required to match the grant.” They need to raise $20,000 by December 20, 2012. All donations are tax deductible and no donation is too small.

Whether you are in the LA area or not, you can make sure this baby goes from crawling to walking. We need art and we need to be represented in all art forms. Dana Jacobson is the character I had been waiting for all these years! Her bisexuality is not what moves the story along, it is not the reason for the plot, it’s not even that big a deal. But her story is one that reflects the journey many of us have taken, whether we are straight or not, and that ends up being the point. Our community is still teaching the world what constitutes family. We need all the examples we can find to show that love is the main ingredient, not legally assigned roles. When we support this project, we support the concept that we are all out there in the big scary world looking for the same thing, acceptance.

For more performance information on The Baby Project (sample some of the show’s great music!) and how you can help (watch a video of Lori and Sam), go to: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1724395194/the-baby-project and http://projectbabymusical.com

Photos courtesy of Lori Ada Jaroslow

Queer Spawn Zach Wahls

By Angeline Acain

Angeline Acain and Zach Wahls

Angeline Acain (left) with Zach Wahls at dot429.com’s Straight Talk conference, October 2012

 

On Friday, October 12, 2012 I attended dot429.com’s Straight Talk conference in New York City. Columnist and commentator LZ Granderson was the moderator for speakers Hudson Taylor, founder of Athlete Ally (www.athleteally.com) and Wade Davis, a former NFL professional football player. Davis shared his experience of being gay in the macho field of professional football, viewing his teammates as family and stating that the conversation around masculinity needs to change. Taylor talked about leveling the playing field in athletics not just for gays but for women and trans folk as well.

After the LGBT in Athletics panel, the speaker that peaked my interest was next – Zach Wahls. Wahls is a young man who became an overnight sensation when a YouTube video of him giving testimony before the Iowa House Judiciary Committee about being raised by a lesbian couple went viral. His speech at the Democratic Convention this year was also just as amazing, which led an audience member to ask Wahls if he wanted a future in politics. Wahls answered that he looked forward to going back to school to continue his studies in engineering and although he was presented with that opportunity, he had no plans to enter politics. Moreover he considers himself an “accidental activist” revealing that he did not know he was being filmed when that fateful YouTube video went live. Wahls says he was just doing what was right because he says “stigmas affect the kids of gay parents.” Wahls spoke of having difficulty pronouncing the word “momses”, liking the description “Queer Spawn” and at the Democratic convention standing next to politician Tammy Baldwin and having his toe run over by actress Scarlett Johansson’s luggage. Although Wahl’s says he does not want a career in activism or politics he says “with great power comes great responsibility” and feels like his speaking out is “doing the right thing.” He says, “What a child ultimately wants is to have your parents to be proud of you.” I have no doubt his momses are.

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

Gay Parent magazine at Center Families Picnic June 23, 2012

If you live in or near the New York City area, a fun event to take your kids during the summer is the Center Families Annual Picnic. Gay Parent magazine had a table at this year’s picnic on June 23, 2012. The event is free and includes face painting, games, crafts, music, magician, puppet show and food and drinks. A sprinkler and kiddie pool helped keep the little ones cool. For more information about Center Families go to www.gaycenter.org/families. On this page are photos of the 2012 event. Photos copyright Gay Parent magazine.

Sosa-Kibby family

 

Family of two moms and two toddlers having fun

George Fesser and Heather Henderson

George Fesser, Director of Center Families and
Heather Henderson, Development Director of
You Gotta Believe

Center Famiies picnic games

Camp Highlight staff provided carnival games.

Politically correct picnicer

Politically correct picnicer

Watch a short video of Camp Highlight’s Chris Hudson leading the games.

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