Friday, June 5, 2015

Families Come in All Colours, Shapes and Sizes


As you know, I have begun the journey of learning how to make my classroom (and help my agency become) a saf-ER space for newcomers who are members of the LGBTIQ2+ community. During a recent meeting with others engaged in the same process of education and self-assessment, I mentioned that I had created some materials for my literacy learners in which non-traditional families such as those with two moms or two dads were part of the lesson. One person helping to facilitate the workshop I attended expressed interest in having me share these materials and how I use them with other instructors.

Before I would feel comfortable or confident sharing what I've created, I would want to flesh it out A LOT. So I had the idea of creating a series of vignettes of some less traditional family models. So! I need some families living in Canada who would be willing to write a little autobiographical blurb about the members of the family OR tell the story of their family. The subjects are free to focus on the thing that makes their family less traditional or not mention it at all, rather talking about family members' hobbies or the like (or a bit of both).

I would like to offer students of settlement English an illustration to go with each family bio. While I prefer a high resolution, quality colour photo or two, for those families not comfortable with that, we could perhaps produce a line drawing based on a photo or substitute stock photos that resemble the family members.

As for names, I would ideally like to be able to use first names and province, but I am open to publishing some "names have been changed" stories as well. As Erin--one of my consultants on this project--has helped me to see, varying degrees of willingness to out oneself in published photos is in itself a reflection of an aspect of Canadian society that our newcomers can learn about.

If you feel that the kind of family of which you're a part is under-represented or not accurately represented in teaching materials and you would be willing to star in this little book I'm putting together, then it's you I'm looking for.
Aaron and Steph, Childfree by Choice

I am still in the brainstorming / collecting stage, so perhaps the material I receive will dictate the direction in which I take this.

To initiate email correspondence, you can leave a comment on this post or use the flying envelope (contact me) icon at the bottom of the ABOUT ME page.

Thank you so much!



  1. Hi Kelly,

    I think it's wonderful that you're doing this! I hope you get lots of response to your request for families to contact you. Your project will be a great resource for exposing newcomers to the diversity of families and the gender spectrum, as well as a benefit to the those newcomers in the LGBTIQ2+ community. Best of luck with this!!

    1. Hilary,
      Once again I must thank you for almost solely constituting my cheering section. Without you out there continuously encouraging me, I don't know that I would have continued this website and blog after the first month or so. So glad you think this booklet or series of vignettes is a good idea. K

  2. Hi. I have just read this and LOVE your idea. I am sharing your post with some of my colleagues.

    1. Val, thank you for helping get the word out. I quickly found two families willing to be portrayed but have hit a wall. Nobody else has come forward yet. I'm still hoping.


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