Parenting While Queer: 2SLGBTQ+ Parents & Allies Take Action

Hosted Thursday, September 21, 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 was connected to our current exhibition, Designing Motherhood: Things that Make and Break Our Births, and it highlighted 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.

Our panelists included Kristin Leong, M.Ed, award-winning producer and educator who founded The Family Court Report; Ari Robbins Greene, proud dad to three children, Jessi Allen-Garibaldi, a Two-spirit (TS-twin spirit), Afro-Indigenous (Blackfoot), youth, family, and community educator and first-time parent of a 1 ½ year old, and Jess T. Dugan, an American-born artist whose creative practice centers around an exploration of identity—particularly gender and sexuality— through photography, video, and writing. The panel was moderated by local writer and storyteller Rosette Royale.

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Ari Robbins Greene (he/him/they) is a local attorney, activist, healthcare 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 healthcare. Ari works to bring visibility for birthing dads.

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.

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, an ICP Infinity Award, and were selected by the Obama White House as an LGBT Artist Champion of Change. 

Jessi Allen-Garibaldi is a Two-spirit (twin spirit), Afro-Indigenous (Blackfoot), first-time parent of a 1 ½ year old. They have been married to their wife for 7 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, immigrant and refugee communities, and early childhood development with 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. Through this, they are reclaiming traditional kinship practices, cultural traditions, and languages for their babies and communities.

Rosette Royale (he/she/they) is a lover of words by heart and a storyteller by profession. Currently, Rosette serves as the Managing Editor for the South Seattle Emerald. Prior to this position, he has worked in the Seattle region as a freelance writer, storyteller, videographer, and emcee/host. Before his freelancing career, he served as a staff reporter and assistant editor at Real Change from 2003 to 2015.

Rosette is also working on a book about his experiences being a Black, queer person who ventured into the backcountry of the Olympic rain forest — and took a solo backpack journey.

The resources below link to third-party websites that are not affiliated with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation is not responsible for any actions once you leave this site.   

Program Resources

Watch & Listen

Gender Reveal: Check out one of our speakers, Ari Robbins Greene, on the Gender Reveal podcast as they discuss giving birth on a TV show, pregnancy advice for transmasculine folks, raising babies without gendering them, and more

The Queer Family: Hosted by award-winning actor, voiceover artist, podcast host and author, Jamie Kelton, this podcast humorously explores what it’s like to live as an LGBTQ family in a heteronormative world.

Masculine Birth Ritual: Through in-depth conversations with birth parents, queer and trans birthworkers, spiritual leaders, and writers, this podcast was created to support queer and trans parents and people trying to conceive. The conversations are also being used as a resource for people who don’t have this experience to understand a little more about those who do.

Life Out Loud with LZ Granderson: Award-winning journalist LZ Granderson draws from his own lived experience as a gay, Black father to host thought-provoking, poignant and engaging conversations with some of the most influential and inspirational people in the LGBTQ+ community.

What Does “Two-Spirit” Mean? | InQueery | them.

Geo Neptune explores the history of the term “Two-Spirit” and who it pertains to. Does it mean two genders? Can anyone use it to describe themselves?
Season 3 of Battle Tactics For Your Sexist Workplace is out now! Listen wherever you get your podcasts.

Battle Tactics For Your Sexist Workplace: Battle Tactics is a delightful podcast about a dismal topic – sexism and racism in the American workplace.

Read All About It

Confessions of the Other Mother: Non-Biological Lesbian Moms Tell All: This candid peek into a previously unexamined side of lesbian parenting is full of stories that are sometimes humorous, sometimes moving, but at all times celebratory. Each parenting tale sheds light on the many facets of motherhood, offering gay and straight readers alike a deeper understanding of what it means to love and parent in the twenty-first century.

Raised by Unicorns: Stories from People with LGBTQ+ Parents: Author Frank Lowe has carefully edited an anthology that reflects on the upbringing of children in many different forms of LGBTQ+ families. From Baby Boomers to Generation Z, this book features diverse stories that express the distinctiveness of this shared journey and of each particular family. It’s visceral, raw, and not always pretty, but love is always the common thread.

How We Do Family: From Adoption to Trans Pregnancy, What We Learned about Love and LGBTQ Parenthood: Trystan and Biff had been dating for just a year when the couple learned that Biff’s niece and nephew were about to be removed from their home by Child Protective Services. Immediately, Trystan and Biff took in one-year-old Hailey and three-year-old Lucas, becoming caregivers overnight to two tiny survivors of abuse and neglect. In this inspiring memoir, Trystan shares his unique story alongside universal lessons that will help all parents through the trials of raising children. How We Do Family is a refreshing new take on family life for the LGBTQ community and beyond.

Blogs & Articles

The Family Court Report is a multimedia platform that shares news and human stories from the front lines of America’s Family Court system. Sign up for their newsletter or take a look at their published stories here.

Gays With Kids, an organization whose mission is to inspire, inform and guide gay, bi and trans men throughout their journey of family building, and then to support these dads to live their best authentic lives while navigating fatherhood.

Recent articles:

Mombian, a lifestyle site for lesbian moms and other LGBTQ parents, offering a mix of parenting, politics, diversions, and resources.

Recent articles:

Gay Parents to Be, the leading international fertility and family-building resource serving the LGBTQIA+ community, whose mission is to help hopeful parents in the LGBTQIA+ community achieve their fertility and family-building goals with expert support.

Recent articles:

Advocate & Learn

We Are Family: The Struggles of LGBTQ+ Family-Making, And How It’s Changing

LGBTQ couples push for ‘fertility equality’ in family-building benefits

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