Mombian by Dana Rudolph

Mombian offers a mix of parenting insights, book reviews, media analysis and political and legal commentary for and about LGBTQ parents and our children. It takes an LGBTQ-focused look at parenting topics and explores other aspects of the LGBTQ community with a parent's eye. Dana Rudolph is the the founder and publisher of Mombian, a GLAAD Media Award-winning blog and resource directory for LGBTQ parents. She's the lesbian mom of a middle-schooler and lives with her spouse of over two decades. For more information, visit www.mombian.com.


When my spouse and I first tried to start our family 17 years ago, we searched vainly for a book on assisted reproduction that was authoritative, detailed, and inclusive. A new book by a fertility expert — who also happens to be a lesbian mom herself — is just the book we would have hoped to have.

Not only has the number of LGBTQ-inclusive picture books increased greatly over the past few years, but also more are being published, even for the youngest children. Here are some new ones aimed at babies, toddlers and preschoolers.

Robin Stevenson’s “Pride Colors” board book (Orca Book Publishers) takes the original meanings of the colors in the Pride flag, as envisioned by creator Gilbert Baker, and turns them into a poem from parent to child.

Passover begins the evening of April 19, and although I’m somewhat casual in my observance, I love that the holiday, which commemorates Jewish people’s journey out of slavery in Egypt, has become a time for reflection on freedom and social justice. This year, I’ve been thinking about how we LGBTQ parents might use the traditional “Four Questions” of Passover to guide our modern-day journeys.

During the Passover Seder, a ritual meal, we use a book called a Haggadah to retell and symbolically relive the story. Some of the passages come from traditional texts and liturgy, but much of the Haggadah is open to creative input. Because of the theme of freedom from oppression, many Haggadot (plural) aim at exploring various areas of social justice and include readings from modern civil-rights leaders, poets and other thinkers.

March is coming in like the proverbial lion with a wave of good news for LGBTQ families.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed a bill Feb. 19, expanding the state’s paid family-leave law in a number of ways, including by expanding the definition of “family” to include chosen families and expanding the definition of “parent” to include foster parents and those who become parents via gestational surrogacy.

“New Jersey is now the first state in the nation to offer paid family leave that is inclusive of all families,” according to the Center for American Progress, which also observed in a statement, “Making paid leave available to chosen family is especially important to LGBTQ people and people with disabilities, as they are disproportionately likely to need time off to care for chosen family.”

People and families come in many forms, as any LGBTQ person can attest. Now, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) is using that concept to improve upon its already LGBTQ-inclusive employee benefits. The FORTUNE 100 company, which has approximately 7,500 employees around the country (and more than 130,000 life insurance policy-owners in Pennsylvania), is rolling out new benefits around leave, gender affirmation, family creation and more that empower all employees and demonstrate a deep understanding of LGBTQ people’s lives.

A new year may motivate many of us to ponder new endeavors. For some, this may mean taking the first steps toward parenthood — so I wanted to revisit some of the tips I found most useful as my spouse and I began our own journey. This is not a guide on how to create a family (there are too many options to explore in a column of this length), but rather some suggestions on what you may want to do first in order to start weighing those options.

My family of origin always has our biggest gathering on Thanksgiving. My spouse Helen, our son and I pretty much party from then until Helen’s birthday in early January, marking Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s Day along the way. It’s both exhilarating and exhausting.

The Nov. 6 election saw several firsts for LGBTQ parents and our children, along with many other wins that may not have made national headlines. Here’s a broad look at the winners from the more than three dozen queer parents — and one of our kids — who ran.

LGBTQ parents, as a whole, are pretty awesome. We raise our children as successfully as anyone else (as decades of research has proven), often in the face of marginalization and discrimination. LGBTQ parents are having an impact in the wider world too, some in very visible ways. Let’s meet a few of them.

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