Matt Shepard by Beth Loffreda
The murder in October 1998 of a twenty-one-year-old gay
University of Wyoming student ignited a media frenzy. The crime
resonated deeply with America's bitter history of violence against
minorities. While the details of the tragedy are familiar to most
people, the complex local context is not. This book explores why the
murder still haunts us - and why it should. Beth Loffreda is uniquely
qualified to write this account. As a professor new to the state and the
straight faculty advisor to the campus Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender
Association, she is both an insider and outsider to the events. She
draws upon her own observations as well as dozens of interviews with
students, townspeople, journalists, state politicians, activists, and
gay and lesbian residents. The book shows how the politics of sexuality
- perhaps now the most divisive issue in America's culture wars -
unfolds in a forgotten corner of the country. Loffreda succeeds
brilliantly in capturing daily life since October 1998 in Laramie,
Wyoming - a community in a rural, poor, conservative, and breathtakingly
beautiful state without a single gay bar or bookstore. Rather than
focusing on one person - Matt Shepard - she presents a full range of
characters, including the locals (both gay and straight), the national
gay activists who quickly descended on Laramie, the homicide
investigators, and even a cameo appearance by Peter, Paul, and Mary. Her
book not only recounts the typical responses to Matt's death but also
the surprising stories of ordinary people whose lives were transformed -
individual voices ignored in the media frenzy.
About the Author
Beth Loffreda is assistant professor of English at the University of
Wyoming and faculty advisor to the campus Lesbian Gay Bisexual
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Lesbian and Gay Parenting Handbook: Creating and Raising Our
In the past, most children of gay or lesbian
parents were born into heterosexual families that later broke
up. Today, more and more lesbian and gay couples are making the
decision to have and raise families together. The Lesbian and
Gay Parenting Handbook by April Martin is an indispensable
resource for lesbians and gay men who are thinking about, or
involved in, parenting. Martin, a psychologist and lesbian
parent of two children, has compiled advice and information from
almost 60 families and has drawn on her own experience. She
touches on every aspect of gay and lesbian parenting, and where
she doesn't go into depth, she refers readers to further
The Lesbian and Gay Parenting Handbook
covers a vast array of subjects about creating a family, from
decision-making to alternative insemination to surrogacy. It
includes details on adoption, gay men making babies,
and legal issues. Martin discusses family roles, dealing with
anti-homosexual bias, dealing with family crises, and how to
handle issues children may have about growing up with gay or
lesbian parents. This book should be an essential component of
every gay or lesbian parent's--or parent-to-be's--library.
here to learn more about this book
here for Queer Theory Texts
In 1979 a group of gay dads created the Gay Fathers Coalition.
This group later became Gay and Lesbian Parents Coalition
International (GLPCI), a grassroots organization whose primary
purpose was to connect with and support local gay and lesbian
parenting groups. Today, GLPCI has become the national non-profit, Family
Pride Coalition. We operate with an excellent volunteer board of
directors and a small full-time staff.
|Our members are individuals, families and parenting groups across
the country – and across the world. A wonderful mixture of men and
women who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered.
|Our members are straight spouses, heterosexual allies, LGBT
friendly organizations, grandparents, professionals and students.
|Our members are formerly married, considering parenthood,
pregnant, parenting, and awaiting adoption. Our families are
adoptive, foster, co-parented, step-parented and blended.|
Abigail Garner is a writer, speaker, and
advocate for children with parents who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or
transgender (GLBT). She speaks from her own experience of having a gay
father who has been out to her since she was five years old. Combining
her own stories with those of other young people, Abigail brings a
strong voice to a population that often seems invisible. Speaking to
schools, churches, and other organizations since 1995, Abigail reaches
audiences that have ranged in size from 15 to 300.
This web site is dedicated to decreasing isolation for children with
parents who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (GLBT), and
bringing voice to the experiences of these families.
Gay Parent is published every two months
online and in print. Print version is available at gay-friendly
bookstores, community centers and other establishments across the U.S.A.
or by subscription.
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and
Gays promotes the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and
transgendered persons, their families and friends through: support, to
cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed
public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil
rights. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays provides
opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity,
and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human
Hundreds of support groups for lesbian and
gay families exist throughout the country. The following list comes from
Gay and Lesbian Parenting Handbook.
Browse through select chapters in a gay-parenting handbook, get contacts for advocacy groups or subscribe to the Family Next Door newsletter.
Read the results of a psychological study on the mental health and fitness of lesbian and gay parents and their children.
Like families headed by heterosexual parents, lesbian and gay parents
and their children are a diverse group (Martin, 1993). Unlike
heterosexual parents and their children, however, lesbian and gay
parents and their children are often subject to prejudice because of
sexual orientation that turns judges, legislators, professionals, and
the public against them, frequently resulting in negative outcomes such
as loss of physical custody, restrictions on visitation, and
prohibitions against adoption (Falk, 1989; Editors of the Harvard Law
Review, 1990). As with all socially stigmatized groups, the beliefs held
generally in society about lesbians and gay men are often not based in
personal experience, but are instead culturally transmitted (Herek,
1991). The purpose of this summary of research findings on lesbian and
gay parents and their children is to assist psychologists and other
professionals to evaluate widespread beliefs in the light of empirical
data and in this way ameliorate the negative effects of unwarranted
Charlotte J. Patterson, University of Virginia
Gay and Lesbian Parenting: A type of
family that is emerging.
While some gay couples decide to have or raise a child together in a
"nuclear" family, other families headed by lesbians or gay men
are blended families. Sometimes a parent in a heterosexual marriage may
realize that he or she is gay, and goes on to a homosexual relationship.
The gay partner may act as the stepparent of the child, although he or
she may not have the full complement of legal rights and
responsibilities that ex-spouse's new spouse may have. In other cases, a
gay couple might co-operate in baby-making and childraising with another
individual or couple. Below find some of the extensive web references I
Lesbian and Gay Parenting
Lesbian and Gay Parenting: A Resource for Psychologists is a
joint publication of APA's Committee on Women in Psychology (CWP),
Committee on Lesbian and Gay Concerns (CLGC), and Committee on Children,
Youth, and Families (CYF). In 1991 CWP and CLGC published Lesbian
Parents and Their Children: A Resource for Psychologists, which was
intended to provide assistance to parents, lawyers, and psychologists
facing contested child custody cases involving a lesbian mother and a
(usually) heterosexual father. When CLGC and CWP reviewed Lesbian
Parents and Their Children: A Resource for Psychologists in 1993
with the goal of updating it, it became clear that contested child
custody cases resulting from heterosexual marriages, while still a major
concern, are now part of a larger picture.
More and more lesbian women and gay men are choosing to parent. They
are adopting children, becoming foster parents, having biological
children through donor insemination, etc., either as single parents or
with other gay or lesbian coparents. To reflect the changes in the world
outside psychology, the decision was made to not only update, but also
expand the publication to include psychological literature on all forms
of lesbian and gay parenting. CYF agreed to join CWP and CLGC in
producing the publication. Lesbian and Gay Parenting: A Resource for
Psychologists is the result.
Parenting Info for Gays and Lesbians
The following list of links is for gays and lesbians wanting info on
building their families. These resources should be helpful for those
beginning their families through either adoption or biological parenting
and for those who already have a family. We believe that every child
should have a safe home with a loving parent or parents, and we would
love to in our own small way help those with this dream in their hearts.
Best wishes, Amanda and Jill
Contrary to what some people think, lesbians
and gay men can and do have children. The Stonewall Parenting Group
campaigns for equal rights for lesbian and gay parents.
Mystic Women, a world of clothing and accessories designed
with beautiful, empowering, and positive images and messages
that reflect your family. For children of lesbian and gay parents, mystical/pagan families, and children of adoption - and plenty of
stuff for their mommies and daddies, too!