What is ‘Pride and Joy’ about?
‘Pride and Joy’ is a positive and practical guide for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans parents, their friends and families. It is also for professionals, like social workers and teachers, who want to find out more about issues facing LGBT families.
‘Pride and Joy’ is full of stories, information, advice and real-life experience from LGBT parents and their children in the UK and Ireland. It covers everything from starting a family, dealing with schools, talking with children about different families, and maintaining an LGBT identity as a parent.
Who contributed to ‘Pride and Joy’?
‘Pride and Joy’ shares stories from more than 70 lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans parents and children of LGBT parents, of all ages and backgrounds, on a range of parenting topics.
Some of the contributors to Pride and Joy are single parents, some parent alongside a partner, some are donors, others co-parent with friends.
Some have started their families through fostering or adoption, some have children through surrogacy or sperm donation, others had their children in straight relationships before coming out. There is no single type of LGBT parent represented here.
Why did we write ‘Pride and Joy’?
In the 1970s and 80s, when we both grew up, there were far fewer opportunities for LGBT people to become parents than there are today. Same-sex couples could not adopt jointly, fertility clinics often refused to treat single women or lesbians, and surrogacy was unregulated and inaccessible. And for LGBT families that did exist, it was far riskier to be out. You could lose custody of your children or be exposed by the tabloid press, simply for being an LGBT parent.
In the 1990s, when we came out, being an LGBT parent was beginning to seem like a possibility. But the reality was still very hard to imagine. LGBT families were still rare and the routes to parenting were not obvious.
On top of all the usual challenges of parenting, LGBT families have to deal with a system and set of assumptions that are not designed for us. We find, even now, there are few role models.
We started our family eight years ago, despite not knowing any other LGBT parents. Today, more and more LGBT people are becoming parents, and living proud and open family lives. We believe that sharing stories, advice and experiences help us to be stronger together.