June is Pride Month and an opportunity to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community, their history, and their contributions to society. By sharing Pride Month with your kids and family, you help instill values of acceptance, respect, and inclusivity. It teaches them that everyone deserves love, respect, and equal rights, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
At Little Sleepies, we believe in promoting acceptance and inclusivity through our work, products, and designs, and partnering with people who share our values. We interviewed a few of our favorite collaborators in the LGBTQIA+ community and asked them about their families and how they raise good humans.
Tell us about yourselves (& how you met your partner).
We are two dads having a great time with a two-year-old son and a French bulldog! We met in 2009 while living in Florida, moved across the country a few times, and then got married in 2016. Before our son was born, we traveled and ran half-marathons, running more than 30 half-marathons across the country and a few in Europe. About a year ago, we noticed that our “father figures” started to take shape and we got into CrossFit! This has been a great way for us to get out, have adult conversations, and talk to other parents in our neighborhood about what our kids are doing. - Chad and Michael, @doublethedadjokes
Jordana and I met on the NYC Subway! I noticed her as she walked on and to start a conversation, I told her friend that I liked her bag. That started a conversation and after introducing ourselves, I realized that I knew of Jordana – turns out, the girl that I had been seeing was trying to date her at the same time! I messaged her on Facebook to invite her to my birthday festivities. She politely declined but I was persistent, and we had dinner the next night. The rest is history. - Genavieve Jaffe, @genajaffe
Tony and I have been together for eight years and married for six. We met while I was on a weekend getaway in San Francisco where Tony lived, and then we started dating long-distance in 2015. Tony relocated to Houston after a year and we got married in 2017 at the Disney Aulani resort in Hawaii and it truly was a dream come true. We knew we wanted to start our family but great things always take time, right? Our twin girls were born prematurely earlier this year and it was the most chaotic and beautiful day. - Eric Vaughn, @mrvaughntrainor
How do you celebrate Pride Month with your children, friends, and loved ones?
Rainbows everywhere – I always stock up on new Pride merchandise, including pajamas! It’s just such a beautiful time for our community. Seeing others embrace the rainbow, people speaking out, and allies joining in. I only wish we could celebrate Pride year-round and not just during June. - Genavieve Jaffe, @genajaffe
We celebrate with our children by showing that while some families may look different, they are all built on the same thing – love. We attend pride festivals together … and celebrate our LGBTQIA+ brothers and sisters who fought for the rights we have today, and to continue fighting for these rights that are in jeopardy. - Eric Vaughn, @mrvaughntrainor
Our neighborhood holds an annual Pride picnic in our local city park each year. Friends and neighbors from all walks of life bring their families, pets, and positive energy to support the LGBTQIA+ community. It is a fun and welcoming event that allows everyone to feel supported and seen … During the rest of the year, we support LGBTQIA+ businesses, brands, and creators. - Chad and Michael, @doublethedadjokes
What does allyship look like to you? Do you have recommendations for educating kids about supporting the LGBTQIA+ community year-round?
To me, allyship means advocating for the rights of all LGBTQIA+ people, and standing up to LGBTQIA+ hate when you see it in person or you read it on the internet. You never know who’s paying attention when you choose to speak up, and you might be the person they need to hear it from.
When it comes to families, allyship starts with all parents! It’s every parent's responsibility to teach their kids to embrace differences and to accept all people. - Eric Vaughn, @mrvaughntrainor
A great ally is someone who is supportive of LGBTQIA+ causes, welcomes and embraces our family - and those like us - wholeheartedly, and advocates for the rights of others in whatever capacity they can. They don’t pack away their rainbows on June 30, and instead proudly advance the importance of LGBTQIA+ representation and equality all year long. - Chad and Michael, @doublethedadjokes
The change starts with us and we can shape future generations to be inclusive, loving, and kind. Read books to your kids that have different family structures. Please don’t assume that a child has both a mom and a dad, and consider that some kids may only have one parent or gay or queer parents. Be careful what you characterize as boy or girl things as it can unknowingly shame your child. It’s ok if a boy wants to play with Barbies and if a girl wants to play in the mud with trucks and bugs. Adding a few diverse books to your shelves is an easy place to start. - Genavieve Jaffe, @genajaffe
How do you build a foundation of allyship with your kids? How does your family celebrate Pride Month? Let us know if you have any traditions or ways to engage your children in conversations that empower them to become agents of positive change.