We’ve written before about how great the COLAGE programming was for our older kid (age 8) at Family Week in Provincetown, MA last year. Our family is making it a priority to get her there if at all possible each year (our younger kid isn’t old enough yet).
While our whole family had a good time, and our daughter in particular seemed to get something she really needed in her time with other COLAGErs, as parents, we struggled because trans parents were virtually invisible in Provincetown that week (and I sincerely doubt it was because so many of us were there “stealth”…). Historically, Provincetown is a stronghold for cisgender gay men, and over time cisgender lesbians have also found footing there (and like much of the Cape, this is mostly affluent white folks). But, like many places that historically cater to gay and lesbian people, it’s not automatically a comfortable place for all trans people (or bi people…).
Even though the town itself is not the most comfortable place for us, the COLAGE programming that week is the most accessible way for us to surround our kids with a community of folks in similar, if not perfectly identical, shoes. We have been nothing but impressed with COLAGE as an organization. The organization was built by children of GLBTQ people to serve the needs of all people with GLBTQ parents, and they place the needs of our kids first — before our needs as parents, before any concerns about how our families “look” or how our kids “should” frame their stories for political lobbying or fundraising goals. And while COLAGE historically, reached out to children with gay and lesbian parents, they have clearly done very real internal work as an organization to make certain they are being truly inclusive of people with trans, bi and queer parents. They have produced the only published resource I know of that provides information and support to people with trans parents in their COLAGE KOT guide. We’ve also seen evidence that they are doing real work around race and class issues among GLBTQ-headed families.
So, our family will be there in 2015 (July 25-Aug 1 2015). This coming year, some friends (in a family with a similar configuration) are also planning to go. We wanted to put it out there publicly now, while it’s still possible to make reservations (p-town can be a hard place to find lodging unless you start early). We will be staying at Dune’s Edge campground (the cape is expensive, and camping is how our family can afford to go). Have you considered going, either to join other queer families on vacation or get your kids (ages 8 and up) to COLAGE, but maybe held back because you thought your family might be the “only one” with a trans parent? Well, this year you won’t be the only one, so consider joining us.
If you decide to go, please get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org), and when it gets closer to that time, we’ll arrange for a low key unofficial meet-up. Here is a link to register for COLAGE at Family Week, which serves kids entering 3rd-12th grade in the fall. Volunteer positions are also available for kids over 18 (applications due March 2). COLAGE has also put together some tips for making the trip on a budget.
To be clear, I really wouldn’t call this official organizing. We’re not affiliated with either the COLAGE organizers or the broader “Family Week” programming. We’re just a family that contains a trans parent, and we want other people in similar shoes to know we will be there. If you decide to come, you won’t be the only one, your kids won’t be the only ones, and we’d love to meet you. Together maybe we can carve out a little corner of P-town for us all to feel a bit more comfortable. Please be in touch.