Sunday, June 19, 2011

Out Spotlight

Today’s Out Spotlight is not a person, but a group of people coming together and building a bond. They come together in support and community, a creating place for their children to build friendships and interact with families just like their own and a place where dads could find a place to come together and discuss the unique situation they face as gay fathers. Today’s Out Spotlight is The PopLuck Club. (PLC)

PLC began in Los Angeles in August of 1998, with founder Paul Oberon and a small group of guys who started meeting on a regular basis, with the intention of creating a place for themselves and their kids. The mission was to create a sense of community, not only for the kids to interact with families just like theirs, but also where dads (and prospective fathers) could have a place to discuss the issues they faced. The hope was that these gatherings “would help provide mutual support in their individual quests to become great fathers.”

Each gathering was centered with a potluck dinner, and the families shared their favorite recipes along with their personal experiences. Soon the meetings began to grow quickly in size. Today, PLC has grown into the largest known gay fathers organization in the world, with hundreds of families in their community. Not long ago, they celebrated their 500th child.

They continue the simple tradition of each member sharing food and stories, but now it has “evolved into a substantial voice, helping to support the growth of our wonderfully diverse community.” They have pot-luck play dates. They hold support groups and host discussion forums. They have family events and mentorship programs for new fathers. And most importantly they promote the love that can exist in a gay-male run household, and that families can be formed in all different kind of ways.

"Mark Brown, the secretary of the organization and a member since its second year, has watched many of these children grow up. 'Many of the issues we deal with,' he says, pare age related. The first one that usually starts in preschool is 'where's your mom?' And these are easy answers. We tell them that some families have two dads and they get that. But as they get older, things get more complicated. With girls, we always face the challenge of hair and clothing. Right now my daughter is on the verge of puberty and is pretty comfortable discussing things with us, but going bra shopping was a little bit of an embarrassment for her. Basically, I had to go and buy an assortment of them, have her try them on at home, then buy a half dozen of the one she liked."

Their mission is to advance the well being of gay prospective parents, gay parents and their children. And they do this through mutual support, community collaboration, and public understanding. For those considering becoming a parent, PLC provides information on the many options that possible for creating a family through adoption, co-parenting, fostering programs, and surrogacy as well as other options.

For those who already have children, PLC is there to facilitate social interaction, help to develop mentoring relationships, and share positive images of gay parenting with the community at large.

As an all-volunteer, non-profit organization, PLC also produces special community events, such as their annual “Kids’ Fun Fair,” and co-sponsors other events, such as “Families In The Desert” with The Family Equality Council as a part of their programming.

Today PLC , is holding the area's largest Father's Day celebration to encourage the gay community to consider their options in parenting and building families with a Sunday brunch celebration taking at The Abbey, in a West Hollywood . The celebration will feature the Heart Gallery, a LA-a photo display of children in the foster care system who in need of a family, as well as a book signing by Fox 11 news anchor Christine Devine, whose "Finding a Forever Family" was inspired by her on-air "Wednesday's Child" news segments. Representatives from the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center's Family Services Program will be on hand to talk to those interested in their options for starting or expanding their families.

Rich Valenza, co-president of PLC , sees the collaboration as groundbreaking. “Many gays and lesbians do not realize that we can create our families through fostering and adoption. Bringing these resources to The Abbey, our community's favorite hot spot, will inspire prospective dads and moms to take the next step as they plan their families."

Bryan Miller, a Supervising Children's Social Worker with LA County, explains why they are reaching out to the gay and lesbian community. "On any given day, we have about 500 children in LA County who are in need of safe, permanent homes. The gay and lesbian community is an underutilized source of potential foster and adoptive parents for our children."

"It's a perfect time for new parents, as well as families considering adding a sibling, to consider fost/adopt," said Tannia Esparza, Family Advocate for the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center's Family Services Program. Adding, "We offer support throughout the parenting process. It gives me great pleasure to see so much joy come into the lives of our LGBT parents and to see their children thrive."

In 2009, the L.A. County DCFS' Adoption and Permanency Resources Division earned the Human Rights Campaign's "All Children - All Families Seal of Recognition" for it's excellence in serving LGBT families.

In beginning of this year PLC announced the launch of the "Raise A Child" campaign. One of the main goals of the campaign was to increase awareness and understanding in the community for gay fathers and their families. It also attempted to inspire gay fathers and those who aspire to be gay fathers, promoting the variety of ways that one can start a family. Highlighting surrogacy, fostering and adoption. The ad campaign done through radio public service announcements and ads highlighted families that are a part of PLC around LA as a way to reduce the stigma that still surrounds gay parenting. "We make lunches for our kids, get them to music and karate lessons... just like every family. …With this campaign, we are putting a real face on gay parenting."

PLC has also participated in the "It's Get's Better Campaign" sharing their stories about how their paths to becoming gay fathers, and proving it gets better.

"Growing up, many of us felt sadness that coming out as gay would end our dreams of parenting. I now know that becoming a father and providing a loving home for our child is the most important and rewarding thing I have ever done." - John Ireland

The PopLuck Club


AUS10 said...

Happy Fathers Day, Dad. You won't see this. Cause you aren't on twitter. So happy#fathersday to all the dads out there
1 hour ago

Jersey Tom said...

AUS10 said...
Happy Fathers Day, Dad. You won't see this. Cause you aren't on twitter. So happy#fathersday to all the dads out there

Jake said he be a Dad in two years. I wonder if he has interviewed the perfect woman yet.

If Ted was right I wonder what his kid or kids are gonna say to him when they become teens. Are they gonna ask "Dad why did you choose HW, money, and fame over me." :-(

prairiegirl said...

Let us hope not, Tom.

Wonderful OutSpotlight, Special! That is fascinating and I love the posters. What growth, starting from just a few to now over 500. They should have these Pop Luck Clubs all over and not just in L.A.

prairiegirl said...

Hope everyone is having a great Father's Day out there, having cookouts or going out to eat. OOPS, guess I better call my brother. lol

I haven't heard this Eric Clapton song for quite awhile - I like this one.

prairiegirl said...

This is really getting entertaining. Austin & Sophia have 53 comments on JustJared. Some of those ol' gals are just really going at each other. LOLLLL!!!

They're arguing over her, over Austin, over her dating all of her co-stars. it's pretty funny reading.

I've seen several comments about how much weight Austin has lost.

I guess I hadn't noticed that much but if joe blow's on JustJared are noticing enough to comment, then it must be pretty noticeable. Have you guys noticed him losing a lot of weight?

Why would this be, I wonder? One of the girls on the Forum said he looked so tired.

Methodical Muser said...

One possibility is that Austin may be losing some weight for Season 9 of OTH. Since filming will begin in the middle of July, he'll be heading for NC to begin rehearsals in the next week or so. And, those Just Jared comments are hilarious. One of the posters said that they didn't like Austin with a beard. Ha! Somehow, I don't think that person realized exactly what she was saying, but I defintely agree with her assessment!

Let's get real. Soapy and her "me-centered" antics would make anyone tired.

Methodical Muser said...

Awww. A lovely comment for Austin over on Just Jared. Looks like the big guy knows how to make an impression:

Rachel @ 06/19/2011 at 2:00 pm

Ummmm, Austin is pretty damn HOTT. I should know seeing as how I’ve actually seen the guy twice in person. He’s ridiculously good-looking and has an awesome personality. I became a fan after I met him and he is so down to earth and so sweet that you can’t help but swoon when he’s talking to you.

prairiegirl said...

One possibility is that Austin may be losing some weight for Season 9 of OTH.

Yeah but M&M I'm not sure how that can be the reason. It's not been all that long since they finished filming, what was it the end of March? So was he heavier in the last several episodes? Was he supposed to put on weight for the Daddy episodes? If fans are noticing, then he must have been heavier during the show and if he's returning to the show, why would he lose weight?

I'm lost. When exactly did he lose all this weight? He looks about the same to me.

Maybe all that hair is consuming all of the epidermis and therefore reducing the surface area of actual flesh.

prairiegirl said...


I cracked myself up. surface area of actual flesh. **snort**

I think I'm going to have to dig into my little Santa bag of avatars and dig out the ollllllll' Toro pic.

I'm thinking along the lines of the Toro 59165, which is their Super Recycler & Super Bagger. This particular Toro model would be in keeping along the lines of congruency of Austin's green philosophy yet would be powerful enough to shear, sythe, and mow through the hedge, thicket, bramble, shrubbery and brush which has suddenly overpowered the once-delicate epidermis of Austin's face.

Special K said...

It's been catch up with old friends today. I got a call from a friend who was entertaining a mutual friend of ours we used to work withwho was back visiting from Chicago. So I got see him and hear all about Boys Town.

I did notice that Austin was look very trim and it made me thing a couple things.

1) No way the picture from Bonnaroo was him this year. The setting - 2011, but Austin nope. He couldn't drop that much weight in a week to show that much of a difference.


2) That Austin is got down to his film weight. Maybe not just for OTH but for the movie he did. A lot of actors get themselves down to a very very trim "fighting weighting"for the camera especially for film. And doing a movie set in 1969 he might have wanted to get that really lean look to fit into the time period and in some Robert plant tight bell bottoms.

Methodical Muser said...

Austin definitely weighed more in the final episodes of Season 8 and I certainly wouldn't suggest that the reduction of "surface area of actual flesh" (LOL!) is explained solely by the upcoming filming schedule, but it might be a contributing factor. The whole Soapy mess might be contributing as well, never mind a certain someone who might be trying to push that raw food diet of his. ;-)

destiny said...

What a great sounding organization.

Austin looked like he got a bit heavier there for awhile, early last season. Now he looks to me more he's just more muscular and less of a youngster's body. I think he's been looking really good lately.

prairiegirl said...

Smokey & the Bandit is on their cable right now. Jackie Gleason was hilarious in that movie.

Hope everybody wished their dad or brother a Happy Father's Day.

Come on, New York. After Monday, the State Senate is going to go on summer recess and so they need to get something done.

Who is this New York Giant David Tyree guy saying that if the same sex marriage passage occurs in NY that it would be the beginning of our country sliding toward anarchy. What??? What in the heck is he talking about.

If NY could pass this law, it would be a big win.

Special K said...

Did anyone else notice the difference between Sophia when she was photographed alone and when when she was photographed with Austin?

And just for keeping everything together and easier to find later here's the link to the story on Just Jared.

Just Jared: Austin and Sophia 24 Hour Plays

And you really know she has Jared in her pocket because 1) there were much big stars at the event who were participating and 2) Really is it that big of a story that it had to be one of the banner stories on JJ today?

prairiegirl said...

I think it's very obvious, Special, that Jared Eng touts the 24 Hour Play event ( Oh, and note that on Just Jared, it is Sophia Bush and Austin Nichols: 24 Hour Plays ) with a post but did he cover Austin being the Grand Marshal of the L.A. River Ride???

I ask again, did he?? Talk about an honor! Grand Marshal. I don't see Soapy being named Grand Marshal of anything.

Now you better believe that had Soapy been at the L.A. River Ride, ol' Jared Eng would've done a splash on it. Sure's shootin'.

Jared Eng is doing her favors. Plain and simple. There's something going on there, not sure what, but there's something to the publicity that he gives her.

Soapy's smile looks forced in the pictures with Austin - look how tight-lipped she is. lol

prairiegirl said...

The OTH girls can continue to breathe their obviously big sigh of relief over the 24 Hour pictures but they better Rewind a bit and ask themselves why Sophia did not appear at the L.A. River Ride and why she didn't even tweet about it.

That is a huge glaring omission on her part.

I agree that this 24 Hour Play thing must've already been committed to because if they did this together, then why ever on earth did Sophia never mention Austin's being Grand Marshal nor did she promote the River Ride?

prairiegirl said...


I just went to that Sophia website and looked at further pictures of those 2. I'll just say there is a largely significant difference in the interaction between those 2 in those pictures than in all their previous pictures.

For one, Sophia is tight-lipped in all of them except for one. In all the pictures of herself only, she's all open smiley, turning it on for the camera. In several of the pictures of her & Austin, she acts like she doesn't even want to touch him and is standing back away from him even though he has his arm around her waist. She looks like she can't stand to be with him there.

Those pictures of them are absolutely terrible, lol. Uh, they better work on that chemistry before the season starts again because it is Gone.

You know how they look? They look exactly how Reeke looked in their final months.

Special K said...

There is a distinct difference between when they are posing together and when she is posing along. You can see her turn it on (by herself) and off (with Austin)

Also look at their eyes, they're not looking at each other in the pictures, they're looking past each other or in other directions.

There is big difference in body language from their other pictures. Sophia is definitely not into their picture game this time.

It seems like a passive aggressive vibe kind of what happens when a couple is fighting at a party and are trying to hide it until they get home and really have it out. She looks like "let's get this done so I can get my own pictures taken", and he's like whispering under his breath "smile... isn't this what you wanted" and then turns on the charm for everyone else.

What's funny is that Austin seems he's got a little bit sass in him with how he's posing.

Special K said...

No mention of Austin but the UK's Daily Mail had a story about the 24 Hour Plays along with pictures of some of the plays.

Daily Mail

destiny said...

Agree with what you're all saying about the body language in the latest photos, and that this was something they probably committed to a long time ago.

Noticed that about JJ not covering the River Ride, that would have been such a good thing to do too. JJ is very pr friendly, I'm sure Sophia's people are feeding JJ the things they want him to cover, plus he seems to have a soft spot for her.

Special K said...

Random trivia here.

Mark Gordon's (producer for TDAT and Source Code)ex wife, Canadian philanthropist Karen Gordon, was married to Earl Spencer, brother of Princess Diana this weekend.


Jake at U2 Saturday said...

Tonite we have seen Rick Rubin, Tom Morello, Jake Gyllenhaal,Quincy Jones, Tony Kanal, Cindy Crawford,Gina Gershon all at U2 Anaheim #U2360
19 Jun

Jake Gyllenhall in the house for U2 in Anaheim tonight... #U2360
19 Jun!/KeithRusso

the real m said...

Wow, what a terrific organization. I'm so glad you told us about it.

Sad to say but the fastest way to lose a long time friend is to start doing business with them. And bearding is business. They've been off for a long time now. Posing for the camera only. It even comes through on OTH episodes if you look closely. Acting or not there is only so much that can be hidden.

The weight loss could be from the recent bike ride which I think was pretty long. Also Jake is working out these days in prep for his movie so Austin may be working out as well. I thought the funniest part was his wild hair. I don't think he bothered to comb it.

Music Lover said...

What a wonderful OutSpotlight - it's nice to read about people experiencing the big and little joys and sometimes challenges that are the rewards of being a parent, and that there's a group such as this.

Hope everyone had a great Father's Day!

Music Lover said...

I got a little teary-eyed about Clarence Clemons too - I was playing some Springsteen in his honor, and I was struck by how much passion and soul was in his sax playing, especially live, that just can't be captured in a recording. He'll be missed.

Music Lover said...

^^Oops, I meant a polished studio version of a song, which are beautiful too. A live recording can capture a lot of it, the improvisations and verve. I love live music. :)

the real m said...

Brief Toothy mention by Ted this morning. - "Dear Ted: How about looking into your crystal ball and attempting to predict Toothy Tile's future? Is T.T. more likely to (a) out himself, (b) be outed in a scandal or (c) remain closeted forever?

Dear Blue Balled:
B or C, these days, tho it's seeming more like C. Such a shame too."

The use of blue balls is odd. Especially in rely to a woman. I don't know if Ted means anything by it or he was just lazy in preparing the reply. Personally, I think answer B is more likely over time.

Also, new pictures of Jake on IHJ and he looks like a deer in the headlights. The bright camera flashes I guess. He's been wearing the blue SC shirt and the tan pants to death. Reminds me of those old jeans and the postal T shirt he used to wear all the time.

prairiegirl said...

There is no way those guys & their kids can remain closeted forever.

I refuse to believe those 2 guys are that stupid or selfish.

And if they don't come out when their kids are school age?

They will be outed in a way that I'm beginning to think that Tighty Whitey picture was meant to do, which was to be scandalous.

Someone will get fed up with both of them thinking they can spin the world on the tip of their finger and they will be outed.

That is not a threat - I don't have the means to do it nor would I.

It's simply a prediction. A prediction which I can see happening. You cannot hide a family forever like they are doing.

And they ought to be thinking of doing it on their own terms before someone decides to do it for them.

prairiegirl said...

That Q/A of Ted's was simply maddening.

destiny said...

Yes it was PG.

prairiegirl said...

And if I didn't know any better, I'd say Ted had nothing else better to write about and is just trying to stir something up.


Although after such a Toothy drought, I find it very interesting that all of a sudden lately, Ted is writing quite a bit about Toothy Tile and not only that, but after an even longer drought, he mentions Baby Tile several days in a row.

And we know what happens when he mentions BT like that. It means there's been a kid recently born or about to be born.

Special K said...

Blue balls is an interesting turn of phrase for Ted to use.

Don't think Ted meant it in the sense that Toothy is not getting any (sex), but more like he wants something(ie coming out) and can't get it now.

It doesn't say why he isn't or why he can't. It sounds more like he is waiting until he can and wait is killing him.

It reminds me of a comment Jake made about the gift of discovery a friend(Austin) wished him on his birthday. He said he was waiting for that to happen.

Jake's not a wait around guy. He's a jump into the moment guy. What is he waiting for? And that's why Blue Balls makes me think that Ted is saying that there is waiting and that it is getting more difficult to do.

I think now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for OTH is in a way of making it even harder. I think they are both looking at that being over as very significant.

I have said way back when on the original WFT that Jake's thing of having sex in public places wasn't just about the excitement of it being caught having sex but in a way more about a way of getting outed. If he came out on his own he would be "in trouble with" or "make upset" a lot of people (which as a pleaser is the last thing he wants to do) but if someone else outed him it's not his fault, it just happened.

PG you may have something about the picture, but I thought of it in a different way. That it was a way to someone to out Jake for Jake than Jake out himself and when it got found out, it shut down quickly, before anything could happen.

destiny said...

I don't see how Ted writing about BT points to another one on the way. I think Ted is just writing about BT and Toothy because of Father's Day.

Methodical Muser said...

It's also interesting that the letter writer is named "Evelyn." I think Ted is once again telling us the only reason Jake had not come out yet is related to Hollyweird's ways. It's not about the kids, it's not about Austin. It's about business.

I definitely think blue balled is a euphemism for prolonged stimulation with still no satisfying resolution.

Special K said...

Great pick up on the Evelyn M&M. That didn't even register with me until you mentioned it.