Fun, games and activism were the order of the weekend at the annual Families in the Desert event, as sponsored by Family Equality Council on October 8-10 in Palm Desert, Calif.,
Held at the Embassy Suites Palm Desert in Palm Desert, Calif., the event, now in its fifth year, resembled a summer camp for LGBT families, where family meals, pool games, movie night, BBQ and s’mores, an African animals safari and other activities brought together 60 families from San Diego, Los Angeles, and across the West Coast to meet other families like theirs, enjoy fun family activities and learn how to get involved in their community and make a difference in the lives of LGBT families.
At the annual State of the Movement address, Family Equality Council executive director Jennifer Chrisler updated families on current laws and policies affecting LGBT families and the efforts by FEC to lobby for fairness for our families. Christer urged parents to become activists, even though she understands why many parents are hesitant.
“There’s a tendency of LGBT parents to want to normalize our lives for our children. We don’t want them to experience thier childhood differently from other children who do not have LGBT parents. But then we are forgetting our jobs as parents, which is to make the world a better place for our kids,” she said.
Family Equality Council is living proof that charity begins in the home, as the group continues to grow in size and stature as the number of LGBT families continues to grow. Currently FEC boasts a staff of 14 and an annual budget of $2 million, earning Chrisler and LGBT families a place at the table with the heavy hitters of the LGBT movement as issues of LGBT parents and their children become part of the mainstream of the LGBT movement.