Creating our own traditions

HOLIDAY GUIDE: A guide to the holidays for queer and sex-positive families

Sex-Positive Parent, en situ: Airial Clark in her Oakland home.

HOLIDAY GUIDE Hold onto your butts, sweethearts, 'tis the season. Your kids are about to be out of school, your extended family is about to fly in, and your alone time is about to dwindle down to a nub.

Don't fear, we've got you covered.

This holiday guide is designed specifically for LGBTQ families, sex-positive families, and other parents who don't fit into the monogamous, heteronormative mold. Why? Most holiday advice directed at families comes with a heaping dose of heterosexism. Plus, feeling isolated from larger community networks — a common experience for parents — is especially prevalent among parents with sexual identities that reside outside the norm. That feeling of not being connected can result in stress on alt-families during the holiday season.

But not this season! This year we've got tips, a recipe, and events to keep you loving your queer, kinky, radical-parenting self.


The easiest way to stay sane during the holidays is to maximize the friends and family you've already got. If you're not careful, a house full of holiday guests can seriously cut down on the already limited amount of sexytime parents are allotted.

So don't think that you have to be the one to take your children to the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band's Dance-Along Nutcracker. Try to get your in-laws to do it, while you squeeze in a quickie with your partner or have a grown-up play date with your friend with benefits. Sure, you still have to wrap the kids' presents — but you should really have someone unwrap your clothing first.

In this truly unique SF version of the Nutcracker, the audience dances along while the Freedom Band plays Tchaikovsky's classical suite. Tutus are available for rent on site.

Dec. 8, 2:30 p.m. and Dec. 9, 1pm, $25 for adults, $16 for children and seniors.


The best part about being a non-traditional parent is that we create the rituals. Here's two family-focused events that each seek to empower parents.

At Rad Dad Zine's 23rd issue release party — celebrating an end-of-the-year issue appropriately titled "Making Family" — parents will do short readings from the zine, followed by a discussion on radical parenting at this kid-friendly community gathering. Parenting norms? Hmph, let's go poke at stick at them.

Dec. 15, 5-7pm, free. The Holdout, 2313 San Pablo, Oakl.

You're encouraged to "bring the foods and holiday traditions that make this season meaningful to your family" to the annual Our Family Winter Solstice Party. This year, the LGBTQ group is partnering with San Francisco Recreation and Parks to hold the celebration at the Eureka Valley Recreation Center, where the party will feature a magician, the group's legendary multi-table gingerbread-making station, and other arts and crafts.

Dec. 16, noon-2:30pm, free. Eureka Valley Recreation Center, 100 Collingwood, SF.


I encourage potluck-style casual dinners with other families during the holiday season. It doesn't have to be a big production, and if it's other parents who are coming over, your house doesn't even have to be super-clean. (They get it.) Just offering a space to gather is an important contribution, and if it goes well, next time around a different family can host.

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