Who Are Your Favorite LGBT Couples?
The IMPACT Program has been asking young LGBT couples, “Who are your role models for having a healthy relationship?” In response, youth have mentioned parents, family members, and friends, but there were few answers that highlighted healthy LGBT relationships.
These findings are not surprising. Coming out as a member of the LGBT community, as we know, is still a social struggle for many. However, as gay marriage continues to be legalized and celebrated, individuals are finding the strength to comment on their sexual orientation and the number of positive role models for healthy, lasting, LGBT-tastic relationships are on the rise (so are the number of visible non-heteronormative relationships). It is especially important for youth to have positive role models in their lives as adolescence is a time of extreme vulnerability and the foundation for establishing one’s general character. LGBT youth are no different.
To celebrate the importance and growing visibility of positive LGBT relationships, we have compiled a list of LGBT people who are living their family lives openly and with pride.
> Over 20 Olympic athletes were open about their non-heterosexuality during the 2012 London Games, including Megan Rapinoe, US Soccer player and now, Olympic Gold Medalist, who is in a three-year relationship with Sarah Walsh, an Australian women’s soccer player.
> Hammer thrower Keelin Godsey came within one spot of qualifying for the Olympics this year. Keelin came out as transgender in 2005. He and his fiancée live in Massachusetts.
> Pop idol Elton John and partner David Furnish are in a civil partnership that has resulted in a beautiful son and are awaiting the birth of their second child.
> Laura Jane Grace, lead singer of rock band Against Me!, recently came out as transgender and has been performing with the band as female. She’s married and raising her newborn daughter with her wife Heather Gabel.
> Wanda Sykes, comedian, and wife Alex Sykes are proud mothers to twins.
> Kirsten Vangsness, an actress on the television drama Criminal Minds, and fiancée Melanie Goldstein are planning their wedding for 2013.
> Neil Patrick Harris, actor, and David Burtka are engaged and currently raising twins.
> Erwynn Umali and Will Behrens were the first same-sex couple to get married on a military base. Read more about their love story, and their family, here.
> Barney Frank, US Representative from Massachusetts, married Jim Ready in Summer 2012. Frank was the first member of Congress to choose to come out as gay, and has been a vocal advocate.
So there you have it, a list of well-known LGBT relationships and families, from actors to athletes. Identifying your role models is totally your choice—based on what you value in relationships and in your own life.
Who do you look up to, and why?
*This post was written by IMPACT summer intern Sydney H.