Discovery Center

Parenting While Queer

2SLGBTQ+ Parents & Allies Take Action

Thursday, September 21, 2023 | 5:30 - 7:30 pm PST
Gallery image of a visitor looking onto two portraits of a queer couple holding their newborn at the hospital
Guests explore exhibits at the grand opening of "Designing Motherhood: Things That Make and Break Our Births" at the Bill and Melinda Gates Discovery Center in Seattle, Washington, on February 15, 2023.

The Discovery Center, in partnership with The Family Court Report and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Employee Resource Groups: Out for Good and Working Parents & Caregivers, brought together parents from across the LGBTQ+ spectrum to explore how definitions of family are evolving. The event connected to the exhibition, Designing Motherhood: Things that Make and Break Our Births, and dove into such issues as: unique family challenges for LGBTQ+ caregivers and children, visibility for birthing dads  and transgender parents, and critical conversations about identity and contemporary life.

Watch the event video

Recorded at the Discovery Center on September 21, 2023.


Jess Dugan leaning against a grey wall holding a camera and smiling.

Jess T. Dugan (they/them) is an artist whose work explores identity through photography, video, and writing. Dugan’s work is regularly exhibited internationally and is in the permanent collections of over 50 museums. Their monographs include Look at me like you love me (MACK, 2022), To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults (Kehrer Verlag, 2018) and Every Breath We Drew (Daylight Books, 2015). They are the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and an ICP Infinity Award and were selected by the Obama White House as an LGBT Artist Champion of Change. 

Jesi Allen Garibaldi and family. Jessi and their wife are holding their young child. All three of them are smiling at the camera.

Jessi Allen-Garibaldi is a Two-spirit (twin spirit), Afro-Indigenous (Blackfoot), first-time parent. They have been married to their wife for seven years and have been a youth, family, and community educator for 10 years. They obtained a master’s degree in health education with a concentration in community health from the University of New Mexico. All of their experiences have been gained through working with specialized populations that are marginalized, underserved, and underrepresented. The populations they have worked with range from youth and families experiencing homelessness to immigrant and refugee communities and babies and young children. They currently work at the Native Family Learning Lodge serving Indigenous families providing free, Indigenous-centered childcare for children birth-5 years. They currently work at the Native Family Learning Lodge, which serves Indigenous families by providing free, Indigenous-centered child care for children from birth to age 5.

Ari wearing a gray shirt and smiling at the camera.

Ari Robbins Greene (he/him/they) is a local attorney, activist, health care advocate, and advisor to Designing Motherhood: Things that Make and Break Our Birth exhibition. Ari was the gestational dad to their oldest child in 2020 and is now a dad of three. He has firsthand experience navigating q/t reproductive health care. Ari works to bring visibility to birthing dads.

A headshot of Kristen Leong, smiling at the camera. She is wearing a black leather jacket, a white striped shirt, and bright red lipstick.

Kristin Leong M.Ed, (she/her) is the founder of The Family Court Report and an award-winning multimedia producer. She is a 2023 Creative Capital awardee, AIR New Voices Scholar, international TED-Ed Innovative Educator, and Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award nominee. She was previously with KUOW Public Radio and is currently working on a hybrid memoir exploring America’s broken family court system. Learn more and subscribe to her newsletter for misfits and unlikely optimists at

A first-generation scholar and originally from Honolulu, she now lives in Seattle with her wife, son, and rescue pup, Radley.

Sign up for our bi-monthly newsletter

By clicking Submit, you agree to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Privacy and Cookie Notice.