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.


I’ve been celebrating the spring holidays with my interfaith family and reflecting that Passover and Easter this year came in the shadow of new, spiteful “religious-freedom” laws in Indiana, Arkansas and potentially other states. These laws, widely seen as targeting the LGBTQ community, would allow people to cite their religious beliefs as a reason to discriminate against others. I have to remind myself, however, that we shouldn’t set religion and LGBTQ equality as necessarily opposing forces.

A 25th-anniversary edition of Lesléa Newman’s children’s book “Heather Has Two Mommies,” with brand-new illustrations and updated text, has given the classic new life for families today. And Newman is amazed that some of the children who read “Heather” when it first came out could now be reading it to their own children, she told me in an interview.

A news story has been circulating about a Michigan pediatrician who, “after much prayer,” refused to care for a newborn because the baby had two moms. It’s a story of personal discrimination and ignorance — but also indicates systemic problems.

Sometimes, a book comes along at just the right time. My mother was diagnosed with lung, bone and brain cancer Dec. 23, just days after I received a copy of Lesléa Newman’s new book of poetry about her own journey through her mother’s illness and death from cancer. Newman, best known for her classic children’s book “Heather Has Two Mommies,” takes us from diagnosis to yahrzeit — the Jewish memorial a year after death — with an unflinching yet compassionate eye.

Did 2014 bring LGBTQ parents and our children closer to equality? Most visibly, it was the year that marriage equality spread to most of the United States — a great thing for many families, but certainly not all that happened.

Marriage equality has dominated the LGBT news headlines for the past few weeks, but marriage shouldn’t be the only right we think about when it comes to protecting our families. Different-sex parents are not required to marry in order for both to be recognized as legal parents. It should be the same for same-sex

The lyric, "I belong to a family. It may not look like your family,” epitomizes the joyous new children’s album “Dancin’ in the Kitchen,” by two-time Grammy Award-winning duo Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer. Families with same-sex parents are only one of the many types of families celebrated in this warm and funny collection.

Combine four boys of assorted ages, two dads, a Maine coon cat and a dog named Sir Puggleton into a home and stir well. Sprinkle on a doting aunt, a surly neighbor and assorted classmates. Season with a collapsing backyard hockey rink, an untimely power outage and a Thanksgiving culinary disaster. Dana Alison Levy’s superb new middle-grade novel, “The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher,” from Delacorte Press, combines all these ingredients and more to create a hysterically funny story that is simultaneously full of heart.

This is the time of year when I look at the calendar and put a pillow over my head. The start of school can’t be just around the corner. Any parent of school-age children may feel similarly, but we LGBT parents may feel extra pressure not knowing if our children’s teachers and classmates will be welcoming to our families. Here are some resources that may help you work constructively with schools and teachers in the year ahead.

I played the original “Dungeons & Dragons” game in high school, back in the early ’80s. I’ve been delighted to see it is experiencing a resurgence — and capturing my son’s interest as well. A recent encounter made me love the game, and the company behind it, even more.

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