Outspoken Voices - a Podcast for LGBTQ+ Families

By Family Equality

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The Outspoken Voices Podcast is created by Family Equality, with a new episode delivered every month. With help from invited guests, we address discuss essential topics for LGBTQ+ families, or members of the LGBTQ+ community who are thinking about starting a family.

Episode Date
Author, Poet, and Activist: Sunu Chandy

In this episode host Emily McGranachan and co-host Dakota Fine meet with Sunu Chandy and discuss her recently completed book of poetry My Dear Comrades. On the pod, Sunu reads three poems and gives careful thought to her work and life as a lawyer, mom, wife, daughter, and outspoken member of the LGBTQ+ community.

We discuss: being the child of immigrants, fertility issues, adoption, misassumptions about identity, and being a parent and a caretaker.

About Our Guest

Sunu is an activist, civil rights attorney, creative writer, and parent. She is the Legal Director for National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) and is a boardmember of the Transgender Law Center. Her book of poetry is titled My Dear Comrades, to be published by Regal House Press in 2023. Follow Sunu on Twitter and sign up to receive more information about her book here

Links to Learn More

  1. Single Mothers by Choice 
  2. Split this Rock
  3. Terry Boggis, LGBTQ Center (NY) 

Nov 02, 2021
An Open Book: LGBTQ+ Inclusivity in Children's Books with Alli Harper at Ourshelves

Whether you're searching for your child's first picture book or striving to diversify your neighborhood library, it's not always easy to discover books that represent diverse families in a loving and respectful way. In today's episode, we're joined by Alli Harper, founder of Ourshelves: Diverse Book Boxes for Children, to talk more about the impact of diverse storytelling and how we can come together to advocate for more LGBTQ+ representation in #KidLit.

About Our Guest
Alli Harper is the founder and owner of OurShelves, a diverse children’s books subscription service and advocacy effort. She is also a lawyer and community organizer who believes in fairness. She and her wife, Jenn, are "Mommy" and “Mama” to Anna (ages 8), Isaac (age 2).

Links to Learn More

  1. Learn more about Ourshelves. 
  2. Check out the Mombian Database of LGBTQ+ Family Books, Media, and More.
  3. Visit Family Equality's Book Nook
  4. Explore the Diverse BookFinder to identify and explore multicultural picture books. 
  5. Discover Stonewall Award-winning books and books on the ALA's Rainbow List
  6. Read, "Inclusive Bedtime Stories: Finding Books that Celebrate Trans, Nonbinary, and Gender Nonconforming Identities.
  7. Check out our Back to School resources 
Aug 09, 2021
Intersecting Identities 2.0

LGBTQ+ families, adoption, and identities intersect in many ways. Previous guest Nishta and Tatiana return to discuss how adoption factors into their family stories and how discrimination and unequal systems for parental recognition continue to harm our families. Learn and laugh with these two rockstar parents of color, from the south, in multiracial families.

About our guests

Tatiana Quiroga is the Director of Family Equity and Diversity for Family Equality, and also previously served as Director of National Family Networks and Southern Regional Manager. Tatiana has an extensive background in the non-profit sector, mental health counseling field, and higher education. She earned her Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling from Rollins College and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Central Florida. Originally from La Paz, Bolivia, Tatiana grew up in the Boston area. Now, she resides in Orlando, FL with her wife, Jen, and their sons, Lukas and Gabriel.

Nishta Mehra is the first-generation daughter of Indian immigrants, born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. She is a proud alumna of St. Mary’s Episcopal School, Rice University (B.A. in Religious Studies), and the University of Arizona (M.F.A. in Creative Writing). Nishta is also a partner, parent, teacher, and writer. Her publications include two books, The Pomegranate King, and Brown White Black, published in February 2019. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her wife, Jill, and their kids Shiv & Jesus.

Apr 01, 2021
LGBTQ+ Adoption & Foster Families

Matthew Ramsey shares his story of fostering to adopt 2 brothers with his husband. Matthew offers wise and insightful advice for anyone considering adoption and for all parents who want to make sure their kids feel loved and supported. They also discuss the work Family Equality is doing to ensure that as many kids in the child welfare system as possible can find loving homes. 

This episode is Episode 33 of the Today We Tried Podcast by Colugo.

Dec 16, 2020
Our (Queer) History

LGBTQ+ history is part of our family stories. We’ve been creating and recreating family forever. This episode author Sarah Prager tells us more about a few beautiful and complex LGBTQ+ families from history (and today). 

Nov 12, 2020
LGBTQ Sandwich Generation

Brent Wright is one of 64 million sandwich generation Americans who has simultaneously cared for an aging parent and his kids, all under the same roof.  What made their setup unusual? His mom moved in with Brent and his husband, Sandis, plus their two daughters.  Brent tells us how the dynamics in their family changed when his mom moved in, and how his 7- and 10-year-old daughters help care for their grandma.  

This is Episode 185 - LGBTQ Sandwich Generation from the Agewyz Podcast.

Feb 04, 2020
COLAGE Community

Three queerspawn share the history and future of COLAGE and their own stories of finding community. 

Jan 21, 2020
2019 Highlights

2019 was a powerful year for Outspoken Voices. With over twenty episodes released, stories of LGBTQ+ families ranged from trans pregnancy to the perspectives of adopted queerspawn. Listen to some highlights from the year and get inspired for what's to come!

Jan 07, 2020
Donor Conceived Queerspawn

The options for known vs anonymous vs identity-release sperm/egg donors and the ability to contact donor-siblings have undergone big changes in recent years. Today, we’re are coming across people who share DNA through test companies – sometimes accidentally. To share our own experiences and to dig into the realities and ethics of it all, are two fellow donor-conceived queerspawn – Jamie and Lilly! 

Dec 17, 2019
Queer Families & the Classroom

Education touches all our families around the world in very different ways. This episode is dedicated to the ups and downs, challenges and inspiration of pushing for LGBTQ+ inclusive policies and practices in schools, especially early education. Guests Justine Gonzalez and Caitlin Ryan share perspectives as advocates, parents, and educators. 

Dec 03, 2019
Listening to Adoptees

National Adoption Month continues! This episode features a special live taping of Inside Out LGBT Radio. Activist, author, and trans-racially adopted queerspawn, Tony Hynes, hosts a powerful and honest discussion about trans-racial adoption, ethics, and adoptee experiences. He is joined by Schai, adopted internationally by a white single parent, and Beth, a white adoptive parent to two children of color. This powerful and raw conversation is not to be missed. 

Nov 19, 2019
Adopted Queerspawn of Color

November is National Adoption Month! To dive deeper into the experience of adopted queerspawn of color, guests Weston and Kaley share their stories and advice of both foster care and international adoption. Learn about how they found community, ways they discussed their identities at home, and why their voices are so important in the movement. 

Nov 05, 2019
Tag-Team Pregnancy

Some LGBTQ+ parents take turns carrying a pregnancy as they grow their family. What’s that experience like when shared by partners? How can partners support one another as their choices and paths differ? Moms Hideko and Cherie share their stories and advice on everything from being first-time parents to bonding as the non-biological parent. 

Oct 15, 2019
Supporting Trans Pregnancy

Family Equality believes everyone deserves to grow and sustain their family. That includes transgender people who want to have biological children. Two trans dads share their pregnancy journeys. 

Oct 01, 2019
Intersecting Identities

LGBTQ+ families exist at the intersection of many different identities. How can we navigate these many layers in multiracial families? Two LGBTQ+ parents of color, from the south, in multiracial families share their experiences, funny stories, and hope for the future.

Sep 17, 2019
Parenting is Political

How do we disrupt patterns of white supremacy and racism at home? Guests Jasmine and Mo of the Parenting is Political podcast join to share their experiences, advice, and compassion. We're in this together. 

Sep 03, 2019
Changed by Family Week

As the host of Outspoken Voices, you've heard Emily share some of her story growing up with LGBTQ+ parents. She is sharing even more of her journey to contact her sperm donor and donor siblings in the podcast, Rashomon. Listen to Season 2, episode 2 of Rashomon to hear Emily and her moms talk about their family journey and how Family Week in Provincetown changed everything. Then go and listen to the rest of Rashomon season 2 for even more of the story! www.rashomonpodcast.com 

Jul 16, 2019
The Bi+ Postpartum Experience

Each person who grows their family through pregnancy has their own journey. Something not as often discussed, the emotional, physical, and personal challenges postpartum.  

The research is still growing, but that show patterns in how the pregnancy, birth, and postpartum journey uniquely impacts bi+ people. In this episode we discuss personal experiences, the findings of the research, and what we can do together to support bi+ folks.

Jul 02, 2019
Answering Tough Questions

All parents hear some challenging or confusing questions from their kids at some point. For LGBTQ+ parents and caregivers, the questions can be a bit trickier. How do some parents navigate answering potentially triggering questions with honesty, care, and a dash of humor? Two parents and a queerspawn discuss the funny, random, and probing things kids in LGBTQ+ families say. 

Jun 18, 2019
Queering the Campaign Trail

Running for elected office is exhausting, vulnerable, exhilarating, and unpaid. Two transgender parents who ran for local office in 2018 share their experiences of hitting the campaign trail, families in tow. They'll make you laugh, reflect, and maybe even get involved in your community. 

Jun 04, 2019
Co-Parenting Alternative Families

LGBTQ+ families are formed in many different ways. Parents Jeff and Mayeti were friends who decided to conceive and raise a family together, as co-parents. As a multi-racial family sharing time and homes, they know a thing or two about communication, honesty, and centering their kids. Co-parents, alternative/intentional families have a lot to teach us all. 

May 21, 2019
Generations of Queerspawn

Some queerspawn carry with them generations of LGBTQ+ identities – their own, their parents, grandparents, and beyond. These second, third, and even fourth generation queerspawn often carry a beautiful lineage of pride, love, and trauma. What does it mean to come from a direct line of LGBTQ+ people over generations? How can inter-generational dialogues and support change our community?

May 07, 2019
Trans Dads

As people are able to come out earlier and technology catches up with LGBTQ+ families, more people are becoming parents after transitioning or coming out as trans or gender nonbinary. Two activists and trans dads talk about their experiences, finding community, and falling in love with their kids. Kris is a brand new dad with a three-week old and Robbie is the veteran dad with a three and one-year-old. Dad jokes are kept to a minimum, we promise. 

Apr 16, 2019
LGBTQ Divorce Equality

Divorce and separation with LGBTQ+ families is complicated and contains so many extra layers of bias, homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, and social expectations. And it impacts the kids, not matter their age. Three queerspawn who have experienced divorce in their families talk about the experience and why we're still fighting to normalize it.   

Apr 02, 2019
People with Trans Parents

Sometimes our parents come out and transition after children are part of a family. The impact that a parent's transition and/or gender identity has on a family can be profound. And it can be a powerful moment of love and truth. Two people with transgender parents (PTP) share their stories and experiences of having parents who transitioned while they middle schoolers. Get ready to learn and be inspired. 

Mar 19, 2019
Getting Campy

As Family Week in Provincetown is celebrating 25 years, there are a growing number of LGBTQ+ family summer camp weeks and weekends around the country. Why are LGBTQ+ family spaces important? Are spaces like camps made queer just by us being there? Two parents and attendees of Camp OUT in Michigan join the host for a conversation about how we form LGBTQ+ family spaces and how they are changing. 

Mar 05, 2019
From Single to Step-Parent

Being a parent can be hard. Being LGBTQ+ can be hard. Dating can be hard. For single LGBTQ+ parents, combing all three is a whole other thing entirely. The whole process of dating, becoming a step-parent, and blending a family is hard to navigate. LGBTQ+ families can feel like they're in uncharted waters. How did one family weave their own path? 

Feb 19, 2019
Soccer Star & Olympic Queerspawn

Retired U.S. Women's National Soccer Team player Lori Lindsey joins our host to talk about the politics of coming out in professional sports, growing up with LGBTQ and straight parents, and being second-generation queer. Next time you cheer on your favorite athlete, you may be rooting for an Olympic queerspawn like Lori!

Feb 05, 2019
Protest Signs & Strollers

There has been a surge of public activism over the past several years. From Black Lives Matter to the Women's March, people are taking to the street across the country. How do families fit into these mass movements? We discuss how and why protesting must be a LGBTQ+ family affair.

Jan 15, 2019
Desperately Seeking Queer Characters

The representation of LGBTQ families in the media has been uneven, at best. Queer families are hungry to see themselves in print and on screen. Guests Sadie Epstein-Fine and Makeda Zook join the host to talk about their sagas of searching for representation (The Ellen Show VHS tapes are still floating around) and creating their own media with their new book, Spawning Generations

Jan 01, 2019
Up For Debate

When the rights and dignity of LGBTQ families are up for political debate, youth within our families are harmed...and called to action. Queerspawn activists can be the strongest voices for LGBTQ family rights. Listen to hear inspiring stories of people with LGBTQ parents turned experiences of political discrimination into powerful opportunities to use their voices.

Dec 18, 2018
Bisexual Parents Rock

Bisexual parents are a huge percentage of all LGBTQ parents, yet they continue to face challenges and discrimination from within and without the community. Here we talk about the fierce pride of bi+ people and parents, and how biphobia and bisexual invisibility is compounded by parenthood and having LGBTQ parents.

Dec 04, 2018
We Chose Each Other

This National Adoption Month, meet the Simmons-Cianciotto Family! After years in the child welfare system, twelve-year-old cancer survivor Derrik found his forever home with dads Jason and Courter. The road through foster care and cross-state adoption wasn’t easy for the family. As dad Jason says, they are a powerful example of why LGBTQ parents AND youth shouldn’t be discriminated against in the child welfare system. Through it all they found each other to form their forever family. Today, Derrik is flourishing and the Simmons-Cianciotto family is complete.

Nov 20, 2018
Latinx Irish Soda Bread
This National Adoption Month, meet Rosemary Caldwell Llewellyn! Rosemary and her twin brother Robbie were adopted from Peru at six months old. Their adoption was the first second-parent adoption by a gay male couple in the city of Los Angeles. Now a professional social worker, Rosemary reflects on her experiences growing up in a trans-racial adoptive family, her identity, and how her parents supported her through the years.
Nov 06, 2018
A Forever Home for Every Child (BONUS EPISODE)

November is National Adoption Month! Recently we’ve seen a wave of ‘license to discriminate’ bills in ten states that allow foster care and adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ children, youth and qualified prospective parents. The Every Child Deserves a Family campaign promotes the best interests of all children in the foster care and adoption system by increasing their access to loving, stable, forever homes, and works to ensure safe and supportive care for LGBTQ youth seeking family formation. Julie Kruse, Family Equality Council's Director of Federal Policy and Schylar Baber, CEO of Youth Dynamics of Montana, join the host to share personal stories and dive into what LGBTQ youth and parents are facing in the child welfare system. Get inspired to take action! 

Nov 01, 2018
Exploring the Queerspawn Legacy
In the past twenty years there has been an increase in published books by people with LGBTQ parents or featuring their stories. Author and activist Jenny Rain discusses her own journey to telling her story through writing and why sharing queerspawn history is so important for all generations of people with LGBTQ parents and parents themselves. Jenny recently published one of her stories in the new anthology, "Raised by Unicorns: Stories from People with LGBTQ+ Parents", edited by Frank Lowe, a gay dad. It is filled with stories by people with LGBTQ parents.
Oct 16, 2018
Let's Talk About Trauma
All families can experience trauma, addiction, and health struggles. For LGBTQ parents and their children, layers of stigma, isolation, and fear of discriminatory intervention can cause some to not seek help or feel alone. We're breaking down the taboo on talking about it today.
Oct 02, 2018
Biology Doesn't Define Our Family

Queer people have had to create and recreate family for a very long time. The meaning has changed and biology doesn’t always play a big role, or a role at all. All the same, the experiences of people whose families are a mixture of biological and non-bio ties are complex. 

Sep 18, 2018
Grandparents and Advocacy
Grandparents and beloved elders can have a special place in LGBTQ families. How does one lesbian grandma stay in touch with grandkids, keep up with changing language, and stay motivated for another wave of anti-LGBTQ backlash? Dr. Ronni Sanlo's story of losing custody of her children because of her sexuality through healing and joy in becoming a grandparent will inspire you.
Sep 04, 2018
Power in the Telling
Telling our family stories can be liberating, uneventful, isolating, and even dangerous. How do we reclaim power in the telling? Why do LGBTQ family legacies matter? In this episode we talk about how we bridge the gaps of our queer homes and the rest of the world.
Aug 21, 2018
Outnumbered at Home
Two teens talk about what it's like growing up in a LGBTQ family and being totally outnumbered at home by parents and siblings who are all of a different gender. What is it really like being a young woman raised by two men or a young man raised by women? Short answer - it's complex and awesome.
Aug 07, 2018
Why Second-Parent Adoption?
Second-parent adoption for LGBTQ families is many things - confirmation, injustice, expensive, and a celebration. What is it, why do lawyers still recommend LGBTQ parents do it, and how does it feel for our families?
Jul 17, 2018
From Closet to Comedy
Elizabeth Collins went from staying quiet about having gay dads while growing up in Texas to telling stories about her family on stage. How does a person go from closet to comedy success?
Jul 03, 2018
Trans-racial Adoption & Identity
When LGBTQ people adopt children of a different race or ethnicity than themselves, what does it mean for both parents and kids?
Jun 19, 2018
What's In a Name?
To start Season 2 of Outspoken Voices, host Emily McGranachan talks with a parent about one of the first questions new LGBTQ parents hear – What will the kid call you?
Jun 05, 2018
Season 2 Teaser
Outspoken Voices is back for Season 2 starting in June! Don't miss new episodes the first and third Tuesday of each month. This Season we're talking about all things LGBTQ family!
May 17, 2018
New Year Resolutions and Healthy LGBTQ Families
In this month’s episode of Outspoken Voices, Emily talks with Jane Barber, a nurse and adaptive sports professional with a passion for yoga and mindfulness. Emily and Jane discuss how to overcome some barriers to healthy practices and why self-care isn’t selfish, but rather valuable for our families. Learn more at https://www.familyequality.org/podcast
Jan 08, 2018
LGBTQ Family Formation Options
In this month's episode of Outspoken Voices, we talk with three experts in family formation for LGBTQ parents. Scott Brown joins us from California Cryobank to discuss working with sperm donors and cryobanks, Erica Horton of Growing Generations discusses surrogacy and egg donation, and Dr Juan Alvarez of Fertility Centers of Illinois explains fertility treatments for gay and lesbian prospective parents. Here are links to some of the websites mentioned in this month's episode: - California Cryobank: https://cryobank.com/ - Growing Generations: https://www.growinggenerations.com/ - Fertility Centers of Illinois: https://fcionline.com/ Find more episodes of the Outspoken Voices Podcast at: https://www.familyequality.org/podcast/
Dec 11, 2017
National Adoption Month 2017 Stories
This month’s episode of Outspoken Voices is dedicated to National Adoption Month. We’re joined by Jamie and Bo Nabozny, and Katie Mitchell, who shared their adoption stories with Emily McGranachan. Read more LGBTQ adoption stories at www.familyequality.org/adoption. Outspoken Voices is brought to you by Family Equality Council, the nation's leading advocate for LGBTQ families and those who wish to form them. Thank you to our National Adoption Month sponsor, Johnson's Baby, for supporting this month's Outspoken Voices podcast.
Nov 13, 2017
Donor Siblings: Creating Families and Relationships
In this month's episode of Family Equality Council's Outspoken Voices Podcast, we're talking about using sperm donors, and the unique families and relationships that can emerge when "donor siblings" come into contact. We talk with Scott Brown from California Cryobank, Amber Leventry, a parent from Vermont, and Emily McGranachan, Family Equality Council's East Coast Regional Manager. Find more information on our guests at http://www.familyequality.org/podcast
Oct 09, 2017
Planning For College
On this month's Outspoken Voices podcast, we talk to three financial professionals about how to plan and save for college. All of our guests make an effort to ensure financial planning and advice are accessible to members of LGBTQ families. Listen and learn their tips for investing in your children's college education. For more information and to meet our guests, visit www.familyequality.org/podcast
Sep 11, 2017
Stories Behind the Every Child Deserves a Family Act (Part 2)
This month we're focusing our attention on the Every Child Deserves a Family Act (or ECDF) – a bill that was recently introduced in Congress that would eliminate state laws, policies, practices and procedures that exclude potential adoptive and foster parents because of their marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity. Passing ECDF would dramatically increase access to permanent, loving homes for foster care children. In Part 2 of this two-part series, we talk to guests Kristopher Sharp and James McIntyre, who both aged out of the foster care system without finding forever families or permanent placements. Kristopher and James talk with Senior Policy Counsel Shelbi Day about the challenges they faced growing up in foster care, and how they have continued to become powerful advocates for reform in the child welfare system. Learn more about out guests at www.familyequality.org/podcast
Aug 23, 2017
Stories Behind the Every Child Deserves a Family Act (Part 1)
This month we're focusing our attention on the Every Child Deserves a Family Act (or ECDF) – a bill that was recently introduced in Congress that would eliminate state laws, policies, practices and procedures that exclude potential adoptive and foster parents because of their marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity. Passing ECDF would dramatically increase access to permanent, loving homes for foster care children. In Part 1 of this two-part series, we talk to guests Dr. Philip McAdoo, and Aaron and Rich Hooks Wayman about their experiences forming their families through foster care. Learn more about out guests at www.familyequality.org/podcast
Aug 07, 2017
All About Family Week 2017
Family Week in Provincetown, MA is the largest annual gathering of LGBTQ parents and their children in the world. Before Family Week 2017, Family Equality Council and COLAGE got together to talk about what the week is all about, why we love it, and why it matters to hundreds of families.
Jul 10, 2017
Becoming an Empty-Nester
It's high school graduation time, so on this month's Outspoken Voices podcast we quiz a two parents about their experiences as empty-nesters, as their kids grew up and headed out into the world.
Jun 12, 2017
Stories From Families Formed Through Foster Care
This month is National Foster Care Month, so we're dedicating our Outspoken Voices podcast to hearing from two families formed through foster care.
May 09, 2017
What to Consider Before Tying the Knot and Starting a Family
In April's Outspoken Voices podcast, we talk with two professionals about the financial and legal considerations that LGBTQ individuals should contemplate before for getting married and/or starting a family. We discuss the importance of financial planning, estate planning, the financial benefits of being married vs. not being married. Looking beyond marriage equality, we discuss the differences between and importance of second parent adoptions, step-parent adoptions and birth certificates. Our guests also give suggestions about how to have these conversations with your partner and discuss the importance of being proactive and open with these sometimes challenging topics.
Apr 11, 2017
Inclusive Summer Camps
March’s Outspoken Voices brings together three summer camp professionals and fans to talk about finding inclusive summer camp spaces, prepping youth for the experience, and why a welcoming and celebratory summer camp can have a big impact on youth. In this podcast we talk about how families can identify welcoming camps, ways to prepare youth for a sleep-away experience, and why camps created with our families in mind can be important for youth.
Mar 13, 2017
A Celebration of Black History Month and Parenting
February's Outspoken Voices podcast is a celebration of Black History Month and parenting. We are joined by two amazing guests highlighting how our multiple identities impact our daily lives. Both guests and their families are longtime supporters of Family Equality Council. In the podcast we hear our guests share their story of family creation, highlighting major identity markers and talking about the triumphs, joys and challenges of being a single parent, as well as how race has helped shape their family.
Feb 14, 2017
Empowering our Kids to Navigate Changing School Climates
In January's Outspoken Voices Podcast, Family Equality Council hosts guests Johnny Cole and Nicole LaFlamme for a discussion of ways LGBTQ parents can help children navigate the changing climate in schools as we enter 2017. Learn more about Family Equality Council at www.familyequality.org
Jan 10, 2017