Metro Weekly

We Are Family

Biennial conference strives to answer questions about LGBT parenting

LGBT families come in all shapes, sizes and colors.

And while Ellen Kahn, president of the board of Rainbow Families DC, says there is not one right way to raise children, there are some things all LGBT parents should know.

”There are some common experiences that I think we can all learn from and benefit from sharing with each other.”

Whether it’s how to do deal with school bullying, what to ask your pediatrician, or how to respond to homophobic harassment in front of your children, Rainbow Families’ 2010 Conference strives to provide a place where LGBT families can connect on these issues and more on April 24 in Washington.

”There will be people there like Michele Zavos and Sue Silber, whose kids are in their 20s, who are like the pioneers in this queer-parent world, and then there’s folks like me,” Kahn says.

”Our kids are 10 and 12 and we can sort of reflect back, ‘what I wished I knew,’ or, ‘what I wished I prepared for.’ We’re all sort of willing to share that and be open with the next generation of parents.”

That includes prospective parents.

The conference, which originally started as a parenting conference organized by Whitman-Walker Clinic in 2006, now includes more than 30 educational workshops.

”This year we’ve added a couple of legal workshops that address the context of having marriage equality for the people in D.C., and to some extent Maryland, and so what does that mean for our families?”

Rainbow Families, DC’s conference runs 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday, April 24, at the Georgetown Day School High School Campus, 4200 Davenport St. NW. Registration is $40, $35 for members, $20 for kids. To register, or for more information, visit