Today is LGBTQ Families Day! This is the 3rd year that I’ve participated in this event. It’s one of my favorites as it’s a time mid-year for me to reflect on my advocacy work. Every year I think long and hard about what I want to share out.
It’s been a big year for me so far. I decided several months ago that I wanted to expand my business and start creating artwork for LGBTQ+ families. I’ve spent my spring turning my dining room into an art studio, buying supplies, and creating an inventory. I’m proud to officially launch my artwork in two weeks at Boise Pridefest.
When it comes to my advocacy work, everything I do is focused on ‘filling a gap’. I’m constantly looking at our community and what resources we lack and trying to figure out a way to reduce or eliminate that gap. This is why I published my book on growing up in a closeted gay family. It’s why I gave a TEDx talk last month and why I’m now creating art. There is a lot of family art, but very little that is specific to the LGBTQ+ community. And there is LGBTQ+ art but little that focuses on families.
As a child growing up in a closeted LGBTQ+ family in a very conservative state 20 years ago, the only positive representations I had of our family were within my own home. My dads bought books and artwork to decorate our house. One of my favorite pieces was by Gary Dorothy and is of a wedding cake topper with two groomsmen. While it wasn’t a family, it was a beautiful reflection of same-sex love. When walking down the hallway, I often used to stop in front of it and just smile.
I see a need to blend LGBTQ+ identities with the theme of ‘family’. 22% of the LGBTQ+ community in Idaho has children, the fourth highest in the country. We should all have the opportunity to decorate our homes in beautiful ways that reflect who we are.
If you want to see examples of my work, please pop over to my Artwork page. I’m continuing to expand my inventory and would love any feedback on what other types of designs people would like to see.
Happy LGBTQ+ Families Day!
*If you’d like to learn more about #LGBTQFamiliesDay, check out Mombian and Family Equality Council.
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