My Son was a Princess for Halloween and I Became a Better Parent

Posted on Oct 1, 2015 in Gender and Sexual Orientation, Lessons from the Field | 0 comments

(published in Huffington Post on September 30, 2015. Also published in Polish, here. See related story on Good Morning America, here.) A few weeks before my son Danny’s 4th birthday, I asked him what he wanted to be for Halloween. “I wanna be a princess,” he said. He didn’t hesitate for a second. But I did. I cringed inside and tried hard not to show it. “My reaction was clouded by visions of children teasing, of...

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Transgender Women’s Lives: A Family Matter

Posted on Sep 4, 2015 in Gender and Sexual Orientation, Lessons from the Field | 0 comments

Also published in the Huffington Post, here. This year we’ve broken a record, and it’s not a good one. More transgender women have been killed in the U.S. than in any other year on record. I’m heartbroken and angered that women keep dying, most of them women of color, most of them Black. Most were between the ages of 17-25, just coming into adulthood, when their lives, dreams and futures were stolen. They were sisters,...

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Six Cultural Barriers to Family Acceptance

Posted on Dec 1, 2014 in Gender and Sexual Orientation, Lessons from the Field | 0 comments

People often ask me about the cultural barriers that I see working with Latino families around family acceptance. I hesitate to answer this question because I don’t want to feed into stereotypes. The term culture is often used to talk about people who are considered different than the mainstream, but not about U.S. culture in general. This post discusses dominant cultural beliefs and norms related to gender and sexual orientation that I grew...

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How Gender Boxes Harm All Children and What We Can Do About It

Posted on Apr 9, 2014 in Gender and Sexual Orientation, Lessons from the Field | 0 comments

My early parenting experiences were sometimes hard. I had a son who liked to play with dolls and dress up as a princess and I didn’t know if that was okay. I’ve learned a lot since then, and today I’m sharing some of what I’ve learned about the impact of gender boxes on children. As early as two years of age, children learn that there are different rules for boys and girls that they are expected to follow. They learn by...

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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – Why are we talking about this?

Posted on Dec 20, 2013 in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Gender and Sexual Orientation, Lessons from the Field | 0 comments

In my work with organizations around topics of diversity, equity and inclusion, I often hear that a few people are asking “Why do we need to talk about this?” This usually happens in organizations that serve very diverse communities, with staffs that aren’t as diverse. And, usually, there’s less diversity in the senior management and board. So, isn’t the answer to that question a no-brainer? Well, actually, no, it isn’t. I am glad...

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Falling in Love with Our Work

Posted on Sep 27, 2013 in Authentic Communication, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Gender and Sexual Orientation, Lessons from the Field | 0 comments

Happy Fall! I have the great privilege of doing work that I love, both as a consultant and as a volunteer. One of my greatest aspirations is to help people fall in love with their own work building organizations and communities where everyone is valued, included and treated fairly. This work may go under different labels such as “diversity,” “multiculturalism,” “equity,” “anti-oppression,” “cultural competence” or “social...

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