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A Day of Silence Loud and Clear

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Today is the Day of Silence, when students from middle school to college take some form of a vow of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBTQ bullying and harassment. Once again, the day reminds me both of the challenges that still remain for LGBTQ youth and those with LGBTQ parents and of the amazing strides they’ve made since I was that age.

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Cosmos Shows How to Do Equity

M94. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

I admit it. I’m an unabashed fan of Cosmos. The original version of the science show won my heart during my teen years, and was in large part responsible for my becoming an astronomy major in college (and then going on to study medieval cosmology in grad school). I was skeptical of the recent reboot, just because reboots are always iffy — but it has won my heart, not only for its science, but for its seamless effort towards equity.

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Watch: TED Ed Kids’ Videos Show Inclusive History of Marriage — and Two Girls in Love

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TED Ed, the educational branch of the organization that puts on the thought-provoking TED Talks, recently posted a five-minute video on “The History of Marriage” that is wonderfully inclusive of same-sex couples and aimed at anyone from older elementary kids to adults. I thought I couldn’t be more excited about their videos — and then I saw another, on a topic I couldn’t have guessed, that is seamlessly inclusive of a same-sex romance. I may even love this second one more.

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Preschool Choice Among Same-Sex Parents: Diversity Awareness Matters

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Although there is an increasing amount of research on the general well-being of children with same-sex parents, little has been done that looks at the parents’ experience in school settings. The few existing studies have focused on elementary schools. A new study, however, seeks to broaden our understanding by looking at the considerations of both same-sex and different-sex adoptive parents when choosing a preschool.

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Happy 10th Anniversary, No Name-Calling Week!

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In addition to celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day this week, it’s also a time to observe No Name-Calling Week, “one of the largest bullying-prevention initiatives in the country.”

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Federal Financial Aid Forms to Recognize Married Same-Sex Parents

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The U.S. Department of Education announced today that it will recognize a student or a parent as legally married if they were legally married in any jurisdiction that recognizes the marriage, regardless of the gender of the spouses, where they live, or where they are attending school.

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Think Kids Don’t Understand Marriage Equality? Think Again

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Think kids will be “confused” or harmed by learning that same-sex couples can marry? Think again. This delightful video from The Fine Bros “Kids React” series shows children ages 5 to 13 responding to viral videos of marriage proposals of same-sex couples — and clearly, most of them are not only okay with it, but excited for the couples. They give me hope for the future.

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4 Things LGBT Parents Can Do to Prepare Our Children for the School Year

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My son starts fifth grade today, making me one of the millions of LGBT parents seeing our kids off to school this time of year. For many of us, the new school year brings with it once again the question of how accepting and inclusive our children’s teachers and classmates will be. Here are four things we can do to prepare our children and ourselves for the coming year.

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Back-to-School LGBT Parents Poll

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School days are just around the corner for many of our kids. What are your top concerns going into this new year? Or is back-to-school time all good? Feel free to expand on your thoughts further in the comments.

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Back-to-School Resources for LGBT Parents

Back-to-school time is here, which means it’s time for my annual back-to-school resource post, a tradition I first started in 2006, before my own son was even in school. He’s grown and changed, and so has this list. I hope it remains useful, whether your children are just entering school, starting a new school, or encountering new issues along their educational journey.

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Boy with Two Moms Stands Up Against Bullies

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Eleven-year-old Caine was physically and verbally bullied because he has long hair and two moms. He spoke out to his school superintendent and board about it, citing the support of his family, and asking them what they intend to do “to ensure we all feel safe in your schools.”

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Good News or Bad News for Children of Same-Sex Parents Applying for Financial Aid?

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There was good news and bad news yesterday for same-sex parents of children in or soon-to-be in college: Starting with the 2014-2015 federal student aid form, the U.S. Department of Education will ask for information about a dependent student’s legal parents regardless of the parents’ marital status or gender, as long as the parents live together. That’s good news, in that it will be the first time the form reflects the actualities of same-sex parents’ families (and those of unmarried, opposite-sex parents). It’s bad news, in that some students may receive less aid now that both parents’ contributions will be recognized—or will they?

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To End the Silence

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Today marks the 16th annual Day of Silence, an event sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), where students from middle school to college take some form of a vow of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment. But a federal bill reintroduced yesterday that would prohibit anti-LGBT discrimination, harassment, bullying, and violence in public schools faces a tough road ahead.

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Happy No Name-Calling Week!

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Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day—but it also kicks off No Name-Calling Week, “an annual week of educational activities aimed at ending name-calling of all kinds and providing schools with the tools and inspiration to launch an on-going dialogue about ways to eliminate bullying in their communities.”

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Oxford Union Members Glad to Have Gay Parents

Photo credit: Barker Evans

The Oxford Union Society, the venerable debating society whose membership comes mostly from Oxford University, held a debate yesterday on the motion, “This house would be glad to have gay parents.” The motion passed, 345 to 21—but not without controversy. Those arguing in favor of the motion were Benjamin Cohen, founder of PinkNews.co.uk and Out4Marriage, Richard Fairbass, […]

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Post of the Week: “Equality In Schools?” by a Teacher and Lesbian Mom-to-Be

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I often write about schools and education, but mostly from the perspective of parents or students. Debbie of A Day Is Short is a teacher, however, and wrote yesterday of her experience coming out to her third-grade class, in the context of her pregnancy and impending parenthood. It’s a raw, emotional post about the struggle of trying to be honest with her students while facing the fear of homophobia.

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We Must Not Forget: A Guest Post from My Mom

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Yesterday, I posted my column about the December 14th school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Today, I’m honored to bring you a guest post from my own mother, who had her own thoughts and offered to share them here. Some of our thoughts (not surprisingly) overlap, but she adds her own perspective as a mental health professional.

Thanks, Mom!

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In the Wake of Tragedy

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(I wrote this for my newspaper column the day of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. I hope 2013 is the year we as a country begin to take serious steps to ensure such tragedies never happen again.)

This was going to be a very different column. Then 20 children died in Connecticut.

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Teens of Lesbian Moms Are Good Students and Happy: Study

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The latest results from the National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS), the longest-running and largest study of American lesbian families, show that almost all of the teens in the NLLFS are academically successful and say they are happy with their lives. That’s great news—but brings with it one matter for concern.

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Online STEM Videos for Kids

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Wait. . . . Isn’t this a blog about LGBT parenting? Yes, but sometimes parenting is just parenting—and with a son interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) subjects, this particular LGBT parent spends a lot of time looking for STEM resources. Herewith, some of the sites we’ve been enjoying lately as sources for STEM videos.

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LGBT Students Still Feel Unsafe, but Some Things Are Getting Better

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The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) on Wednesday released the latest version of its biennial National School Climate Survey. The new survey, conducted in 2011, found that the majority of LGBT students still face harassment and feel unsafe at school—but for the first time since the survey began in 1999, it found “a significant decrease in victimization based on sexual orientation” and an increase in “levels of student access to LGBT-related school resources and support.”

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Free Science iPad Apps for Kids

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My son goes back to school next week, and so I have education on the brain. While part of me is thinking about LGBT-specific back-to-school issues, most of me is simply thinking about the more general issues of school time. Among other things, I want my science-loving nine-year-old son to continue enjoying the subject—which, for my engineer spouse and myself, means supplementing his formal education with fun experiments and activities at home. Ever since I bought an iPad a few months ago, I’ve been on the hunt for ways to put it towards that goal (even if my son also aims for the goal of seeing how many enemies he can defeat in the Lego Ninjago app).

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Back-to-School Resources for LGBT Parents

Photo credit: H. Michael Miley

Back-to-school time is here, which means it’s time for my annual back-to-school resource post, a tradition I first started way back in 2006. My own son wasn’t even in school then. He’s grown and changed, and so has this list. I originally wrote a version of the below as part of one of my newspaper columns last year. I’ve revised it somewhat and hope it remains useful, whether your children are just entering school, starting a new school, or encountering new issues along their educational journey.

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What’s On Your Mind About Back-to-School Time?

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It’s back-to-school time, so I thought I’d once again put up a poll to see what’s on our minds this time of year. Please share any further thoughts in the comments.

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Sally Ride Passes On, and Comes Out

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She broke barriers, sonic and otherwise, when she flew into orbit as the first American woman in space. She broke another when she died of pancreatic cancer yesterday, at age 61, and her family let it be known that “Dr. Ride is survived by her partner of 27 years, Tam O’Shaughnessy.”

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