Family Affair

COLAGE celebrates its 20th birthday in Washington

At the two-decade mark, COLAGE is going through some changes. The acronym, for instance, stands for Children Of Lesbians And Gays Everywhere. And while the group keeps its ”COLAGE,” the modifier is being tweaked to ”People with a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer Parent.”

And what better 20th birthday present than greater inclusivity?

While the national organization is based in California, its 20th birthday party is scheduled to take place in D.C. on Sunday, Oct. 10.

”We’re the only youth-driven network of people with a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer parent, and Washington, D.C., is significant to COLAGE for many reasons,” says Beth Teper, executive director of the organization for the past eight years.

Teper says COLAGE has a strong base of supporters in D.C., including families who have been in active with the organization.

”In fact, it was in 1990 at a lesbian/gay parenting conference [in D.C.] where young people who were in attendance … arranged to lead workshops for themselves,” she says. ”It was at that conference that they elected a steering committee wrote up a set of bylaws, made an annual plan and launched the group from there.”

The last time COLAGE celebrated its birthday in Washington was five years ago, Teper adds.

Wilson Cruz, the gay actor who broke new ground with his portrayal of a gay teen on ABC’s My So-Called Life in the mid 1990s, will serve as emcee of the event, which includes music, food and a silent auction.

COLAGE will also premiere a short film titled Family Time, documenting the past two decades of the LGBT family movement, at the event.

”Being in D.C. is significant for COLAGE because we’ve been really conscious of pushing for public policy to protect our families, youth with LGBTQ parents, and really to gain the right recognition, rights and respect that all families deserve.”

Tickets for COLAGE’s 20th Anniversary Party are $50, or $20 for youth. The event runs from 2 to 5 p.m. at The Mansion on O Street, 2020 O St. NW. For details or to purchase tickets, call 415-861-KIDS or visit colage.org.

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