Family Equality Council, the national organization that connects, supports, and represents the one million parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) and the two million children they are raising will welcome hundreds of LGBT families later this week to Family Week in Provincetown, including the Bermea Family of Gilbert Arizona, who will be featured as the grand marshals of the Family Unity & Pride Parade.
“We are incredibly proud to welcome the Bermea family to Family Week to honor their work to ensure all families are protected in their own communities,” said Family Equality Council Director of Programs, Brent Wright.
Felix Bermea, his partner Roy Messerschmidt of Gilbert, Arizona and their four children recently endured three months of threatening phone calls, property vandalism and break-ins to their home. Because of their untiring advocacy, the local police department has committed itself to working closely with their families and others who believe they are the victims of bias crimes.
The family is being sponsored to attend this year’s Family Week through generous donations during a recent fundraising campaign. They will be the honored grand marshals of the Family Week parade.
The 17th annual event, held from July 28th to August 4th in Provincetown, MA, is the largest gathering of LGBT families in the country and comes as Family Equality Council celebrates its 30th anniversary.
Wright said this year’s celebration will be special because it will highlight some of the ways the organization has worked to ensure all families are recognized, respected and protected.
“Over the past 30 years we have worked to build a strong community that supports LGBT parents and their children,” said Wright. “Today, we have an incredible network of parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, who reach across this country. Family Week allows us to bring them all together for one week to celebrate their diversity, connect with one other and commit to help us create a better world for our families.”
Family Week will also welcome Zach Wahls as a special guest to this year’s celebration. Wahls, a national LGBT family advocate and author, will speak to several youth gatherings about his new role with Family Equality Council’s “Outspoken Generation” initiative which empowers youth with LGBT parents to speak out on behalf of their families.
“Zach has been such an incredible advocate for the LGBT family community and we are so proud to be working with him as one the Outspoken Genration’s co-chairs to inspire a generation of young people who are eager to join Zach in telling the truth about their families and ensuring they are respected,” said Wright.
Wright also added that the week-long event will feature children’s activities, adult panel discussions, picnics and beach gatherings for the whole family – all designed to celebrate the 30 years of positive changes that have made the world a better place for those 1 million families with parents who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.