Lesbian Dad

Historic report on Bay Area LGBT families released

[Below is a press release from the Bay Area LGBTQ Family Collaborative.]

OUR FAMILIES: Attributes of Bay Area Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual
& Transgender Parents and their Children

(SAN FRANCISCO, CA – October 30, 2007) The Bay Area LGBTQ Family Collaborative, comprised of three organizations — Our Family Coalition, The San Francisco LGBT Community Center, and COLAGE — has published a report titled Our Families – Attributes of Bay Area Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Parents and Their Children. (You can download a PDF copy of the report here.)

“Our Families” fills an existing gap in documentation of LGBT families with children and their basic demographics in the San Francisco Bay Area. Utilizing data from the 2000 US Census, as well as from other research professionals and publications, the report reinforces little-known facts about LGBT families. For instance, the average household income of same-gender parents in California is $13,000 lower than the average household income of married couples with children. While this data is astonishing, it is even more startling that there may be countless more LGBT parents locally and nationally who have not yet been recognized due to fears of coming out and the limitations of current research around working class LGBT families.

The report details information on same-gender couple households with children in San Francisco county including:

Median Age of Parent: 43 yrs
Median Age of Child: 8.4 yrs
Average of 1.4 children per household
Parents’ Education: 59.1% college degree
Parents’ Employment: 22.6% unemployed
Median Household Income: $83,060

The report details information on same-gender couple households with children in Alameda county including:

Median Age of Parent: 38 yrs
Median Age of Child: 6.2 yrs
Average of 1.7 children per household
Parents’ Education: 40.7% college degree
Parents Employment: 26.8% unemployed
Median Household Income: $70,000

Additionally the report also reinforces details of the lives of LGBT families statewide:

• According to the 2000 U.S. Census, in California, 52,000 gay and lesbian couples are raising 70,000 children. These figures are believed to drastically underestimate the actual population.

• Ethnic minority couples are much more likely to be raising children than white couples.

• Economic and legal disparities affecting same-sex headed families are the most difficult challenges to children’s well being.

•  Good news is included in this report as well. Increasingly, gay and lesbian parents are having children after coming out of the closet. This increasingly hospitable environment, not without its noteworthy challenges, can be partly attributed to the work of LGBT family advocacy organizations like COLAGE and Our Family Coalition.

“This report sheds light on the incredible racial, economic and geographic diversity of our LGBT headed families in the Bay Area,” said Judy Appel, Executive Director of Our Family Coalition. “We are everywhere — in schools, in places of worship, in your community — ready to build strong ties of mutual respect and understanding between our families. This adds value not just to the lives of kids of LGBT families, but to all kids.”

The report concludes with specific recommendations for better serving LGBT Families, some of which are:

• Combat anti-gay and gender bias in schools through increased partnership with educators and school districts,

•  Create sound public policy that ensures equal rights for LGBT parents,

• Increase funding for research about LGBT parents, guardians, and their children.

“The recommendations of this report are crucial to the development of our entire community,” said Rebecca Rolfe, Interim Executive Director of The SF LGBT Community Center. “By arguing passionately for the recognition and celebration of LGBT families with children, we are securing the wellbeing of these children’s futures. We believe it’s vitally important to advocate for equality in every sphere of our lives – personal, professional, and political. The LGBTQ Family Collaborative is tirelessly working to assert that LGBT families in the Bay Area are strong, abundant, and significant.”

“This report is one of the first of its kind nation-wide,” added Meredith Fenton, COLAGE National Program Director. “Access to data about youth with LGBT parents and their families is the first step toward creating truly celebratory communities. COLAGE is thrilled to work with our collaborative partners to release this groundbreaking report. ”

[Appreciate what you’ve read? Want to support the kinds of ongoing work the report recommends? Consider donating to Our Family Coalition. This fall they’ve received a challenge grant, so every dollar you send will be doubled!]

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