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SX News – "Rainbow Bridges" by Reg Domingo

August 22, 2007 Leave a comment


A new online group is helping connect GLBT parents and their kids, writes Reg Domingo.

Becoming a parent is a rewarding and fulfilling experience. But for many GLBT people, the road to parenthood can be a difficult one. Many face uncertainties when it comes to unearthing relevant advice; while for others, emotional support can be elusive.

Enter Rainbow Families NSW, a new online group designed to connect GLBT parents.
“The group was started in an effort to unite the two parenting groups that exist,” says group moderator Dom Gili. “There was no crossover between lesbian parent group, Rainbow Babies, and Gay Dads NSW. Individually, the role of either group is very important but from a lobbying and social point of view, I felt there was a gap that needed to be filled.”

ili, who is also the convenor of Gay Dads NSW and a proud father of two, says the group also helps link parents with health and community organisations. “I know organisations such as the Lobby are doing a lot of great work on our behalf but the gathering of support and stories from gay parents has always been a struggle,” he says. “I figured that by setting up this Yahoo online group and having plenty of gay parents, family, friends and supporters as members, then there is a direct line of access to relay info, to network and gather support for campaigns.”

rospective parents seeking advice will also benefit from the group. “I get so many requests from lesbians and gay men asking if I know where they might meet someone to co-parent with,” Gili says. “So for them this group will be a great forum to ask questions to those that have been through that experience and maybe even look for a co-parent to help them become parents.”

Furthermore, Rainbow Families NSW aims to reach GLBT parents in regional areas as well the children of gay parents. “It is important for our children to realise that they are not the only child in Sydney that has gay parents. I think it helps them greatly to recognise that they are not alone and have peers to share their experiences with and lean on for support as they get older.”

Gili adds that in the current media climate, which has recently put the spotlight on same-sex parenting, the arrival of Rainbow Families NSW is timely and crucial. “In the wake of all the positive media focus, including the release of the HREOC report and the Victorian Law Reform Report, the timing is perfect for all gay parents to get a little proactive in lobbying for equal rights. The online group will be a great forum for people to share what they are doing to make a difference.”

To join Rainbow Families NSW and Gay Dads NSW visit http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/rainbowfamiliesnsw and http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/gaydadsnsw .

Gay Dads NSW and Rainbow Families NSW will also be hosting an info night from 7pm on Monday, August 27 at Twenty10, 43 Bedford St, Newtown. Guest speakers include GLRL spokesperson Ghassan Khassisieh, Dr Kerry Robinson and Anthony Seamann. Places are limited. To book or for more info, email nsw@gaydadsaustralia.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or contact Dom Gili on 0400 296 253.

[Link: Original Article]

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Categories: Dom Gili, gay, Lesbian

Sydney Star Observer – "Celebrating Gay Dads’ Day" by Ian Gould

August 31, 2006 Leave a comment

A GROUP OF NSW GAY DADS WILL CELEBRATE FAMILY AND IMPROVE VISIBILITY THIS FATHER’S DAY WEEKEND.

When Reymon Leglise and his three children attend a picnic in Centennial Park with friends this Saturday, they’ll be just another group celebrating the Father’s Day weekend.

But they also hope to increase the profile of gay fathers and their children, as prejudice against some gay men who choose to have kids persists.

Leglise runs Gay Dads And their Young (GDAY), a social group he set up two years ago to support fathers like himself.

“The biggest challenge has been if you’re gay and you have children, you’re instantly classified as being a pedophile, which is quite an ugly stereotype to be faced with,” he said.

“But I’ve found with time a lot of people are starting to come around as well. They’re realising now that [we’re] simply dads with their children, same as every other family.”

GDAY now has about 20 families and includes around 30 kids.

“Something which surprised me was the diversity of some of the fathers,” Leglise, a father of three children from a past heterosexual relationship, said.

“In the group now we have dads who were originally donor dads, we have foster dads and we’ve also got a couple from England who adopted their two children before coming to Australia.”

Dom Gili, another gay dad and convenor of the Gay Dads NSW information and support group, agrees the gay fathers events are helping improve visibility.

Gay Dads NSW is co-organising this Saturday’s picnic with GDAY. They are expecting more than 20 families on the day.

“I’ve heard a lot of dads say that their biggest regret in coming out is that they thought that they were giving up the opportunity of having kids,” Gili told the Star.

“We’re showing gay men that that opportunity still exists. That’s not something they have to give up in coming out.”

After the picnic Leglise and Gili plan to celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday at home with their respective children, just like dads across the country.

“Hopefully I’ll get breakfast in bed,” Leglise said.

info

The GDAY/ Gay Dads NSW picnic is on Saturday 2 September in Centennial Park from 2pm to 5pm. For more information email monny_l@bigpond.com or info@gaydadsnsw.com.au.

[Link: Original Article]

Sydney Star Observer – "Gay Dads Put Family First" by Ian Gould

March 23, 2006 Leave a comment

A COMMUNITY INFORMATION NIGHT WILL LOOK AT HOW GAY MEN CAN BECOME FATHERS AND WHAT BEING A GAY DAD IS REALLY LIKE.

When Dominic Gili set up the Gay Dads NSW group last year, his main aim was to provide a social outlet for other gay fathers.

But as the group grew to include about 60 gay fathers and intending dads, its scope moved beyond dinners and picnics.

“I’m getting a lot of emails from men who are looking to be fathers but they don’t know how to go about it,” Gili told Sydney Star Observer.

“They’ve just been asking a lot of questions that I can’t personally answer.”

In response, Gili, himself a father of two children whom he co-parents with two mothers, is organising Gay Dads NSW’s first information night on 3 April.

The evening will include two expert speakers and two gay fathers, who will share their parenting experiences.

“I included two of the men in the group who have children, one via surrogacy and one via co-parenting, so it’s listening to personal accounts,” Gili said.

Providing expert advice will be Paul Boers, a family law solicitor, and volunteer at the Inner City Legal Centre in Darlinghurst.

Boers will discuss the options for gay men wanting to start a family and provide information on who can be a legal parent and how to acquire legal parental responsibility.

Dr Kim Bergman, co-owner of US surrogacy agency Growing Generations and co-chair of US LGBT parenting advocacy group Family Pride Coalition, will also talk about how gay men can become fathers through surrogacy.

Gili is hoping for a strong turnout next month after an impressive response to the Gay Dads NSW stall at Fair Day last month.

“At Fair Day we had a stall near Kidzone and we must have got a list of about 30 guys interested in joining us,” he said.

Gay Dads NSW plans to hold similar information nights every three months.

“The interest seems to be growing, I think, as the word is going out,” Gili said.

The Gay Dads NSW information night is on Monday 3 April from 6:45pm to 9pm at the Twenty10 office, 43 Bedford St, Newtown. All are welcome and admission is free. RSVP by 27 March to info@gaydadsnsw.com.au.

[Link: Original Article]

Categories: Dom Gili, gay, Paul Boers