Historic event celebrates gay/bi/trans/queer Fathers' Day



    Sometimes there's more than one dad to honor

    TORONTO, June 13 /CNW/ - There are so many ways to be a Dad and on June
14th. The 519 will celebrate gay/bi/trans/queer (GBTQ) men who are in fatherly
care-giving roles at the first-ever Fabulous Fathers' Day Picnic. This marks
an historical progression of possibilities for men as we celebrate the 30th
anniversary of Gay Fathers of Toronto and the 5th anniversary of Daddies &
Papas 2B. This Fabulous Fathers' Day Picnic provides a chance for
reconnection, building new friendships and celebrating the numerous ways to
become a father, no matter one's sexual orientation or gender identity.
    Hosted by The 519's unique family resource program for queer dads and
their children, Daddy Papa & Me, this picnic brings together men of various
ages, sexual orientations and gender identities - many are parents, some are
considering parenthood - making "Fathers' Day" their own.
    At the picnic, the Father Visibility Project will be launched featuring
six personal short-stories by gay/bi/queer and prospective dads about their
journeys into fatherhood. "I am humbled and amazed to say that my three boys
have come to terms with having a father who is gay," says Ed Oldford, one of
the projects storytellers, "and with all the pain that goes with it, they
still love me for being me, at last!"
    The project, funded by the Father Involvement Research Alliance, was
created in 2006 to address themes of visibility of GBTQ fathers, grandfathers
and prospective fathers. "It is really tough as a man to break into the 'mom
focused culture'," says Tim Wilson another of the project's authors, " -
playgroups, daycare staff, medical professionals - where they are used to
dealing with women as primary care givers and tend to discount men as
interlopers. We're doing our part to change this." These compelling stories
can be viewed at the event or at www.lgbtqparentingconnection.ca.
    Families and friends are encouraged to attend and bring a picnic lunch to
Cawthra Square Park (519 Church Street) starting at 10am and wrapping up at
1pm with formal speeches at 11:30am. We would like to acknowledge the generous
support of: The Father Involvement Research Alliance, The LGBTQ Parenting
Network - Sherbourne Health Centre, The Family Service Association of Toronto,
Lorraine Kymsa Theatre for Young People, Gay Fathers of Toronto, Queer
Parenting Programs at The 519.





For further information:

For further information: Chris Veldhoven, Queer Parenting Programs
Coordinator, The 519 Community Centre, 519 Church Street, Toronto, ON, M4Y
2C9, Tel: (416) 355-6780, Email: queerparenting@the519.org

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The 519 Church Street Community Centre

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