Van Nuys, CA - Almost one year after its release as an international GLBT parenting magazine, Alternative Family Magazine has gained a loyal and growing following. "This is a place where gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender families have a voice - a place where their stories can be told," says publisher Kelly Taylor. "We've heard from people all over the country and all over the world that the time is right for a magazine like ours. In some areas of the country and abroad, its meant a breaking of the isolation for many parents, and a chance for their kids to see that other families like theirs exist, and are thriving."
As if launching a publication were not enough, the last year has also seen another major change in Taylor's life - a very happy one. In early September of last year, she and her partner became parents of a baby girl. The experience has transformed them both, she says, and now she understands first hand the challenges and the joy that surround the arrival of a new child. " As I gaze into her tiny eyes, I can't help but wonder what the future holds for her. My partner and I have resolved to do everything in our power to make her future one full of promise for her and to do our part to build a world in which her family is respected and supported," she says.
In its first year, the parenting magazine for GLBT parents and their children has taken on many of the subjects that other parenting magazines cover: health, nutrition, and child development issues. However, it also covers issues most mainstream and GLBT magazines don't cover. Things like what being "out" as parents means to your children, how to negotiate your way through the sometimes hostile institutions important to your children's lives, and how parents can claim their place in gay community events like pride festivals.
"One of the most important things we do is to provide a voice for children in GLBT families," observes managing editor John Quinlan. "Regardless of their own orientation, these sons and daughters of GLBT parents derive a sense of identity and belonging from the GLBT community as a whole. Most of whom, from an early age, face the same prejudices facing GLBT youth and adults, especially in the schools. However, they are loved and supported and wanted in a way that few children are - and it shows in the young people and adults they become. Many are already working to change this world. In so many ways, they are our community's future."
Like most new ventures, the magazine has been a learning process for both Taylor and Quinlan, who produce it from their homes in California and Wisconsin with the help of freelance contributors from around the world. Despite the initial costs involved, Taylor has insisted on instituting high production standards, including high quality glossy color covers, and quality paper stock inside the magazine as well. "It's important for us to do this right because we want to produce a magazine that mirrors the beauty and integrity of GLBT families," Taylor notes. Currently, as the magazine reformats in advance of changing printers, publication is on a several month hiatus, and regular publishing resumes with Alternative Family Magazine's 1st year anniversary issue, due out this spring.
Readers have been supportive and understanding during this transition - and it's typical of the interactive relationship they have with the magazine, Quinlan notes. "Every day, we receive new testimonials about how seeing other healthy, thriving families like their own in the pages of the magazine has made a difference in people's lives," he says. "Thanks to countless 'angels' who support us in a big way, word about the magazine has spread like wildfire. And many of these same family members have become contributors to the magazine - reaching deep into themselves to share their stories through words and photos."
Potential subscribers and contributors to Alternative Family Magazine can find out more by calling 1-800-256-8519, by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by visiting the magazine's web page at http://www.altfammag.com.