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These three words are the theme of the 16th Annual Philadelphia Trans Health Conference. These words honor the transgender community, which continues overcoming obstacles and moving forward. Some of those obstacles are of a personal nature and may involve self, relationships, families or health. For others, they may be related to age, ability, ethnicity or race. Gender identity and gender expression, along with our diverse individual characteristics, can and often do, call on our reserves of strength and power to preserve as we move forward.

As a child, there were two things I thought were unfathomable and absolutely morally wrong: nuclear war and Nazis. To see both in the news again as real threats to our country sickens and appalls me. But while nuclear war felt like a broad threat against all humanity, Nazism felt more personal. It was hate largely directed against a group — Jews — of which I was part. (It was only later in life that I added “queer” to that list as well.)

The need to belong is primal in human beings. Not belonging, or being in a state of loneliness, is detrimental to our overall well-being. As many people age, they lose partners and friends, which makes them susceptible to being alone. For many LGBT elders who lose a partner or friends, the situation can be even more dire. Without the familial unit that many heterosexual couples share, LGBT elders are often on their own in many situations, with no one to turn to.

September kicks off the fall-travel season — one of the best seasons of the year to take advantage of terrific travel values in great places. With the summertime crowds gone, travel becomes more affordable post-Labor Day. While Provincetown, Mass., is magical any time of the year, fall is a perfect time to visit the LGBT-centric town.

 

While it is becoming increasingly common for LGBTQ couples (and singles) to have actual human children as opposed to just furry ones, it is no less true that, both historically and presently, we queers love our animals as if they are our children. They are our children.            The singular problem with this is that no parent should have to mourn the loss of a child. As pet moms and dads, though, we have no choice. If we’re lucky, we get 10 or 15 years with our babies and then we are forced to say goodbye. Even though we know to expect it, this knowledge does nothing to ease the pain when the time comes.

Something’s missing

I was baffled. Was this guy serious? He just asked me if I was “having fun yet” now that I was no longer using drugs or alcohol. “Are you kidding me? Absolutely not,” I said. And, damn, I meant it.

As an LGBTQ parent, I sometimes feel like I’ve had to make things up as I go along. But “Pride and Joy: A Guide for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Parents” gives queer parents and parents-to-be a handy way to tap into the collective wisdom of many who have gone before. The new book, by Sarah and Rachel Hagger-Holt, offers stories, advice and insight not only on starting a family, but also on navigating the years to follow.

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