Angela Watson (angela at therainbowbabies dot com)
ANGELA WATSON is a graphic design veteran of the corporate wars, having worked for the US Navy as a civilian, as well as in retail, consumer, white collar, higher education and non-profit positions. After working in all those industries, she realized she wanted to do something that would support the LGBT community.
It’s just in her nature to be “out,” and corporate America is not always the most receptive place for LGBT people, as many of you well know.
In trying to decide what she would do when she was a grown-up, she would listen to her friends talk about their struggles with becoming parents, whether by insemination, surrogacy, or adoption and thought that if they could tell their stories, then other families-to-be could get encouragement and support.
So, in a crazy moment of inspiration, she thought that she would create a website where parents could post their family stories, as well as get timely information on ways to have families, read book and movie reviews related to LGBT families, as well as learn about pertinent legal and social issues related to being LGBT parents in the U.S. today.
Katharine Swan (writer at katharineswan dot com)
As a child, KATHARINE SWAN always knew she wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Discouraged by well-intentioned adults who tried to make her see “reality,” she lost her way for a while.
Her dream was finally realized after she earned her B.A. in English and got a job as a technical writer, which she left a year later to pursue a career as a freelancer. Her progress can be tracked at www.katharineswan.com.
Judith E. Beckett (judith at therainbowbabies dot com)
JUDITH E. BECKETT, R.N. worked for the past 37 years, until her recent retirement, as a registered nurse, most recently in a rural New Hampshire birthing center where she was also a perinatal counselor and certified childbirth educator.
She is a lesbian, an artist, writer and political activist. She says that writing for TheRainbowBabies.com brings all of these parts of her together in cyberspace.
Judith says, “I am a birthmother and I surrendered my daughter for adoption in 1963 and was reunited with her 25 years later. I have a six-year-old granddaughter.”
In her LGBT family, she has a grandson who is also six. He has two moms but was short one set of grandparents until she and her former partner stepped into that empty space. She also has grandsons, ages fourteen and five, who came to her through that same relationship.
Judith believes, “There are so many ways to make a family!”
Dr. Snunit Ben-Ozer (doctordoctor at therainbowbabies dot com)
Snunit Ben-Ozer, MD is Board Certified in both Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility (REI) and in Obstetrics & Gynecology. Dr. Ben-Ozer is committed to educating medical professionals and the public about fertility and the limitations of fertility treatment. Dr. Ben-Ozer is an associate clinical professor at UCLA Geffen School of Medicine. She is involved in educating OB/GYN residents, OB/GYN physicians, women’s health nurse practitioners, and patient groups. Dr. Ben-Ozer has recently co-authored a book for patients. Dr. Ben-Ozer is the founder of the Tree of Life Center in Tarzana (main office) and also practices in Beverly Hills. She specializes in third party cycles (egg or sperm donation, surrogacy), diminished ovarian reserve / advanced maternal age, and recurrent pregnancy loss. For over 12 years, Dr. Ben-Ozer has helped same sex couples, single women and heterosexual couples achieve their dream of starting or growing their family. You can find more information about Dr. Ben-Ozer at www.TLCfertility.com.
Tamberly Mott (tamberly at tamberlymott dot com)
TAMBERLY MOTT, MFT is a licensed MFT, Life Skills Coach and writer working in the San Francisco Bay Area where she finds her passion working with children, youth and families; often meeting with her clients in their homes or in outdoor spaces.
Her clinical experience includes: trauma (grief, suicide, rape/family violence, and chronic illness); eating disorders and self-harm behaviors; adoption and attachment disorders; divorce/custody, blended families issues; various LBGTQ issues, gender confusion and alternative lifestyles; religious/cult persecution; academic and related social issues.
In addition to play therapy, she has pursued training in Hakomi (a somatic-based therapy), and studied at Saybrook Graduate School, growing her knowledge in Humanistic/Transpersonal Psychology. She continues her holistic studies in Applied Ecopsychology and is presently earning her PhD through the United Nations Economic and Social Council, Akamai University, and Portland State University, cooperatively.
Now in private practice, Tamberly describes her unique approach, “Unlike most other therapists, I regularly take clients to outdoor spaces to encourage reconnecting with the earth. I believe much of our mental/physical/spiritual/social pain comes from being detached from nature, which gives and sustains life. Healing this disconnect is positively impacting relationships to self, others and the environment.”
Arlene Istar Lev (ArleneLev at gmail dot com)
ARLENE “ARI” ISTAR LEV LCSW, CASAC, is a social worker, family therapist, educator, and writer whose work addresses the unique therapeutic needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. She is the founder of Choices Counseling and Consulting (www.choicesconsulting.com) in Albany, New York, providing family therapy for LGBT people and is on the adjunct faculties of S.U.N.Y. Albany, School of Social Welfare.
She is the author of The Complete Lesbian and Gay Parenting Guide (Penguin Press, 2004) and Transgender Emergence: Therapeutic Guidelines for Working with Gender-Variant People and Their Families (Haworth Press, 2004).
Tony Madril (tony at tonymadriltherapy dot com)
Tony Madril, MSW, BCD is a board-certified clinical social worker, licensed to practice psychotherapy in the State of California. He has over a decade of experience treating children and adolescents with an array of emotional and developmental disorders. He is an active member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and serves on the field faculty of several University Graduate Schools of Social Work. His private practice offices are located in the cities of Los Angeles and West Hollywood where he specializes in working with LGBT families.
Video Grrrl (VideoGrrl at therainbowbabies dot com)
VIDEO GRRRL attended the University of South Carolina at Columbia (whose mascot are The Gamecocks; go figure!). She graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. After graduating, Video Grrrl moved to Los Angeles in March 2002.
Video Grrrl had dreams of working in “The Movies.” She quickly got employment working as a production assistant on a few film sets. After working there for a while she decided she needed a career that was more stable, both in terms of a situational nature and also who she was working with. She swears movie people are the craziest folks around. So she ventured into corporate America, little knowing how crazy people are in general.
She currently works in Redondo Beach, CA and writes movie reviews under the pseudonym “Video Grrrl,” thus satisfying her desire to work in “The Movies.”
Mary Stockton, LUTCF (stocktonm at ft.newyorklife dot com)
For more than eleven years Mary has been a successful Financial Services Professional with New York Life and Stockton Financial and Insurance. She has earned the award of top producer and continues to thrive in the financial marketplace. Prior to moving to San Diego in 1996, she owned and operated the women’s bookstore, Crones’ Harvest in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Her business became a valuable cultural center and she was honored with the Helen Diner Community Leadership Award.
Her community involvement also extended to the arts, where she took pleasure in producing plays, poetry slams, concerts, and witnessed the burgeoning talent of many successful progressive artists’. She has served on the Board of Directors at Stepping Stone of San Diego, volunteering for four years in an effort to promote alcohol and drug rehabilitation for the LGBT community. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of The San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center and The Board of Trustees of The Diversionary Theatre, Inc.
She resides in the North Park area of San Diego with her partner, Alison McManus.
Barbara Ashcraft (barbara at therainbowbabies dot com)
BARBARA ASHCRAFT was born in Texas (San Antonio, to be exact) sixty-two years ago and has lived all over the world. She spent time in the Orient and Europe as a youngster.
She retired after 34 years of service as a civilian computer specialist for the U.S. Navy in San Diego. She was married for 27 years but has been widowed for a number of years, and now shares her home with 2 furkids, Yin and Yang.
Her only child, daughter Angela, lives in Long Beach and works incessantly on this website. She has been involved in the arts most of her entire life, both as a participant and as a spectator. She loves good books and movies. She likes pottery and ceramics, stained glass, and rubber-stamping. And now, (because her daughter whined at her) she is reviewing LGBT movies, with emphasis on families and children for this website.
Joyce Kauffman, Esq. (joyce at kauffmanlaw dot net)
JOYCE KAUFFMAN is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts/Amherst (B.S. in Child Development), Lesley University (M.Ed. in Counseling Pyschology), and Northeastern University Law School. She specializes in family law, co-parent adoption, and mediation, with an emphasis on legal issues affecting lesbian and gay families. She has handled several same-sex divorces since the Goodridge decision in Massachusetts, which allows same sex marriage.
Her efforts to provide protections to gay and lesbian families include obtaining a three-parent adoption (for a child’s two lesbian mothers and the gay father) and obtaining a court order mandating that two women be placed on their son’s birth certificate at birth where one of the woman gave birth to the other woman’s biological child through IVF.
Attorney Kauffman was on brief in the historic co-parent adoption case that established the right of unmarried cohabitants to jointly adopt in Massachusetts and, since then, has represented hundreds of lesbian and gay families in their quest to legalize their relationships with their children.
She has written numerous articles on these issues and is a frequent speaker at seminars, conferences, and in community settings on issues of importance to lesbian and gay parents, co-parent adoption, and family law, and more recently, on how same-sex marriage will impact the lesbian and gay community.
She is the mother of a 21-year-old daughter who is the reason she does everything she does!
Attorney Kauffman is a past co-chair of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Lesbian and Gay Bar Association (MLGBA) and current chair of the MLGBA’s Family Law Section.
Cherie Verber,M.F.T. (email: cherie at therapysandiego dot com)
CHERIE VERBER is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, with a private practice in San Diego, California. She earned an M. A. in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling from the University of San Diego , and also has experience in business, education, the military, and pastoral work settings. She is a former teacher of all grade levels, a Sunday school director, a youth minister, a public speaker, a mother (both by birth and by adoption), and a grandmother. She and her life partner, also a Marriage & Family Therapist, share a home with their four dogs in San Diego, California.
April C. Ball, Esq. (aball at gracehollis dot com)
April C. Ball, Esq. is an associate tax attorney at Grace Hollis Lowe Hanson & Schaeffer LLP. Raised in Los Angeles, April attended California State University, Northridge, where she graduated with honors with a degree in Business Administration, emphasis in accounting. She obtained her Juris Doctor degree at California Western School of Law in San Diego, California, and then earned her Master of Laws in Taxation from the University of San Diego School of Law.
April is licensed in both California and New York, and focuses her current practice on business transactions, asset protection, tax planning, estate planning and domestic partnership issues. She participates in community events, advises non-profit organizations, prepares articles for local newspapers and regularly conducts seminars on a wide-range of topics for clients and the community at large.
Nancy Silverrod (nancy at therainbowbabies dot com)
NANCY SILVERROD has rarely ridden a horse, nor rustled cattle, but she’s certainly read about both. An incurable bookworm who rarely liked to play outdoors unless it involved acting out adventures from the books she read, she grew up doing just about anything that she could be paid to do that related to books, including working in bookstores, hand bookbinding, and finally majoring in English Literature and Spanish at Eastern Michigan University, and going on to library school at the University of Michigan.
She worked for eleven years as a children’s librarian, before switching to adult reference work at her current job at the San Francisco Public Library. Her love of children’s and young adult literature continues, and she fortunately has a number of nieces and nephews and one stepson on whom to inflict her favorite titles. One of her particular interests is LGBT literature for children and teens, and she has quite a large collection at home.
She has written, and hopes someday to publish, a few LGBT picture books. She looks forward to sharing her favorite titles with visitors to this website. She lives in San Francisco with her green-cheeked, yellow-sided conure, Pip. Her other interests include knitting, and more recently, needle-felting.
Susan Little (susan at therainbowbabies dot com)
SUSAN LITTLE, while starting her career out as a writer, actually ended up as a computer artist working on feature films at Walt Disney Feature Animation, and has worked on such noteworthy films as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and The Polar Express, as well as some considerably less noteworthy ones (which we won’t mention here!).
She’s a never-ending consumer of movies and enjoys watching any and all movies (television ones included) except those which are the most prolific of all: boring. She has a B.A. in Studio Art from the University of California, San Diego and hopes to one day actually sell her writing for more than 20 bucks.
Jennifer Polk, MA, Ed. (jenny at therainbowbabies dot com)
Jennifer Polk is a true 21st Century Renaissance Woman. She started her professional career as a firefighter in a time when not many women were accepted into the profession. After a knee injury, she changed jobs and became an elementary school teacher. She attended National University where she earned her BA in Cross Culture Education with a minor in Literature. She went on to receive her MA in Education.
She has worked with both Special Education students as well as the mainstream student population. Now a stay-at-home mom, she really enjoys writing, hiking, creating mosaic artwork, and spending time with her retired husband, Bill, her very spirited 5-year-old daughter, Ayla, and the 120 pound sledge lion, Aru (aka the family dog).
Hilary Neiman (HilaryNeiman at yahoo dot com)
HILARY NEIMAN, Esq. of The National Adoption and Surrogacy Center, devotes her practice exclusively to family formation through adoption and assisted reproductive technology, including all aspects of surrogacy, sperm donation, egg donation, and embryo donation. Hilary brings a unique perspective to family creation combining a great deal of knowledge and experience in the area with her warmth, caring, and understanding of the issues involved in surrogacy and adoption. Hilary holds a Masters of Science, a Juris Doctorate, and is currently a candidate for an LLM degree in International Law. She frequently lectures on family building in the gay community.
Sharon Bruce, D.C. (drbruce at therainbowbabies dot com)
SHARON BRUCE, D.C. is a certified chiropractic sports physician in private practice in Long Beach, California. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Longwood College in Virginia in 1986 and her Master’s in Exercise Physiology (Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist) in 1989.
In 2000, she graduated from Lifewest Chiropractic College as a Doctor of Chiropractic. Additionally, she has completed post-graduate courses at CCSP and Spine Research Institute of San Diego.
Paij Wadley-Bailey, MA, M.Ed (pwadleybailey at aol dot com)
PAIJ WADLEY-BAILEY grew up in West Hills, CT; she earned a Master’s in Social Ecology at Goddard College in Plainfield, VT as well as a Master’s in Education at the University of Vermont at Montpelier (UVM) and has also earned credits in their doctoral program.
Paij developed the Lesbian & Gay Studies Program and Center at Goddard College. She was also the first coordinator of the LGBTQA Services Program at UVM, while concurrently serving as faculty at each of these colleges.
Paij is the (unpaid) Director of the Vermont Anti-Racism Action Team (VARAT), which maintains a hotline for complaints about racism in public schools. She is also the statewide director of Reading to End Racism (RER), an initiative to help eliminate racism through interactive personal and literary programs that educate and empower youth. Additionally, she is also an anti-racism trainer and diversity consultant.
Paij identifies as a “bull-dagger”: her forebearers were black women who, as cross-dressers, herded cattle (referred to as “doggies”) and helped to “tame the Wild West.” They were also among the first “rodeo-ists.” When it was discovered that they were female, the “o” was dropped in their case and an “a” inserted to denote they were females.
Paij has been living in Vermont for 32 years and currently resides in Montpelier. Prior to finding herself, Paij was married and bore two sons and two daughters. She is active in the Queer Community, having helped coordinate many events and celebrations.
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