One of my biggest struggles in writing this column is trying to make people understand that LGBT parents are not just like other moms and dads. Yes, there are tremendous similarities. However, every day we face struggles and make decisions for our children that our straight peers do not. Our lives are also very different from our childless gay and lesbian friends and family. So it only makes sense to choose gifts tailored specifically to us and our kids. I had a difficult time explaining that to some of the PR people who pitched me ideas. One even called me “mean” because I admitted I think marshmallow is gross.
Luckily, there are plenty of gift ideas that actually do make sense.
Books are always a great idea. For parents, why not choose a title like Lesbian and Gay Parenting Handbook: Creating and Raising our Families by April Martin or All the Ways Home by Jo Schneiderman and Cindy Rizzo. You can always go for a lighter read like You’re Not From Around Here, Are You? by Louise Blum or Mommy Man by Jerry Mahoney. For the kids try one of my favorites, And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell or Mommy, Mama and Me by Leslea Newman and Carol Thompson.
Cadyn Cathers, a psychological assistant at the Los Angeles Gender Center and an affiliate faculty member at Antioch University Los Angeles, reminded me to include books for trans* kids and their parents. He suggests My Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis, Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall or The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Parents and Professionals by Stephanie Brill.
Our own King’s English Bookshop carries many titles for LGBT parents and their families, and will be glad to order for you any books not already on the shelves.
For some fun clothing options and LGBT parent-specific household times, check out Café Press. I love the Hatched by two chicks T–shirt and the I love my two dads hoodie. For the adults, try the My loving family will NOT ruin yours T-shirt. And if anyone is looking for a stocking stuffer for me, I’d really like the It’s Daddies. Plural. coffee mug! You can check out the cool ideas Café Press offers at cafepress.com/+gay-pride+gifts.
If you’re like me, and would prefer to give gifts that also help the world out, why not make a donation to the Point Foundation, the nation’s largest provider of scholarships to LGBT youth. You can donate here: my.pointfoundation.org/donate. Equally important, encourage gay students to apply (pointfoundation.org/point-apply/apply-now/), applications are open until Jan. 30, 2017.
Another great option is to make a donation in the names of the LGBT parents you know to the Utah Pride Center (utahpridecenter.org/get-involved/ )or Equality Utah (equalityutah.org/donate), both working tirelessly to improve our lives.
LGBT parents deserve a little fun, too. Pick up the tickets for the whole family to the 2017 Pride Festival. The website says they’ll be on sale soon. And why not go the extra mile and volunteer to hang out with their rug rats at the Kids’ Zone, so mom and mom can have some one-on-one time at the festival?
Let’s not forget that not all parents love human children. For the LGBT pet parents out there, the Human Rights Campaign has a fun selection of items for those cats and dogs with two dads. You can get a great gift and help out a wonderful cause at shop.hrc.org/home-office/pet-1.html.
All of the LGBT parents on your holiday list will love any of these gifts. I know I would. Except for marshmallow; that stuff is just nasty!