In the U.S. alone, there are an estimated 2 million children being raised by 1 million lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) parents. Globally, that number greatly increases. Family Equality Council, the nation's foremost advocate for LGBT families, announced this week they will launch a series of annual celebrations in honor of the first-ever International Family Equality Day on May 6, 2012.
With events across North America and Europe, International Family Equality Day's goal is to bring together LGBT families of all kinds to celebrate their family pride and ongoing efforts for full family equality. This year's U.S. events will include venues in New York, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and Dover, New Hampshire. Events outside of the U.S. will be held in Canada, Germany, Finland, Switzerland, South Africa, and beyond.
Family Equality Council's signature event will be held in New York City in partnership with R Family Vacations and the LGBT Community Center. At 11am, families are invited to meet at the TKTS booth in Times Square for a family photo shoot. At 12pm, families will come together at the LGBT Community Center for an afternoon press conference for families and advocates at the LGBT Community Center, followed by a family luncheon and tea dance. These afternoon events will include food and drinks, a DJ, and activities for children of all ages.
"There is a need not only to recognize and celebrate our families at the local level, but to also take a moment to appreciate the global LFBT family community we are part of," said Brent Wright, Director of Programs at Family Equality Council. "For the first time ever, LGBT parents and their children from across the world will come together on this special day to celebrate the amazing progress we've made over the years and to recognize what efforts still remain. On this day, I hope families will realize they are part of a worldwide community bound by love for their family, commitment to their children, and shared hope for a world where all families can be celebrated and valued."
The launch of International Family Equality Day is especially significant because it comes as the organization recognizes its 30th anniversary. For 30 years, Family Equality Council has fought on behalf of the LGBT family community. Because of their work, LGBT parents are able to come together in a strong, supportive community where all families are recognized, respected, protected, and celebrated.
"R Family Vacations is proud to participate with Family Equality Council and LGBT organizations and families globally in the very first International Family Day," said Gregg Kaminsky, Founder of R Family Vacations. "Our mission is to bring together LGBT families around the world and we're thrilled to celebrate all of these wonderful children who are so loved."
"We're thrilled to stand with our national and global partners, to commemorate the first annual International Equality Day," said George Fesser, Director of Center Families at the LGBT Community Center in New York. "This is a time to amplify LGBT family voices across the world, paying tribute to our lives and the love we have for our families. The Center is pleased to welcome the New York contingent of participants to our space for an afternoon of fun, information sharing and collaboration."
For a list of all May 6th's events, including those organized by Family Equality Council's international partners, visit the International Family Equality Day website at www.familyequality.org/international.