With marriage equality now legal in New York and at least six recent polls showing majority support for granting marriage protections to same-sex couples, this year has seen a growing trend towards recognition of LGBT parents and their families. In an article titled ‘The New Normal,’ the December issue of Parenting magazine reflects this trend, examining the evolving idea of what makes a family. (Parenting reaches 2.2 million subscribers, an audience of over 9 million, and over 2 million unique visitors come to Parenting.com every month.)
“There was a time when gay parents and single adoptive mothers were unheard of, but the new norm is that almost anything works well as long as there's a dedicated adult and plenty of love,” the article states.
‘The New Normal’ profiles three different families — one with two gay fathers, another with a single adoptive mother, and a third with a stay-at-home dad. The gay couple, Christopher Fraley and Victor Self, have a 20-month-old daughter they conceived through surrogacy, and have held three separate marriage ceremonies, the most recent being July 24 — the first day same-sex couples could legally marry in the state of New York. Their story, like those of the other families, is told with sensitivity and frankness, acknowledging some of the challenges they face — such as the need to educate their child’s friends — but establishing these difficulties as akin to those of every other American family.
“Is it such a big deal?” Fraley asks in the feature. “Look around. All families are different.”
Fraley and Self, who have both been media trained by GLAAD, have been featured in a number of pieces about marriage equality. Indeed, they were selected for the Parenting article after the reporter read about their story in her local newspaper.
GLAAD applauds both Parenting and ‘The New Normal’ reporter Deborah Skolnik for including gay parents in their discussion of the changing configuration of American families. By showcasing Fraley and Self’s story alongside that of a single parent household and a family where the father stays at home to look after the children — family types that are increasingly accepted and visible within society — Skolnik shows that families with LGBT parents are just the same as any other. GLAAD encourages other media outlets to follow Skolnik’s example by telling the stories of LGBT parents in their coverage of family issues.
‘The New Normal’ is available to read online and can also be found in the December issue of Parenting, which is available on newsstands now.