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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 3, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 14
JESSE'S JOURNAL: LGBT Grandparents Group: Still coming on strong
Section One
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JESSE'S JOURNAL: LGBT Grandparents Group: Still coming on strong

by Jesse Monteagudo - SGN Contributing Writer

Two years ago, I wrote a piece about South Florida's LGBT Grandparents Group; the first and, perhaps, still the only one of its kind. The product of SunServe and other community organizations - Women In Network, PFLAG, the Pride Center and Women with Pride - the Grandparents Group held their first meetings at the Wilton Station clubhouse in Wilton Manors. At the meeting I attended, two-dozen men and women gathered to enjoy a continental breakfast and talk about their grandchildren and their relationship with them and their partners. Unlike other community groups, the LGBT Grandparents Group does not have a formal structure; and the participants like it that way. It does not have corporate papers, by-laws or a board of directors. Also, unlike other LGBT organizations, the Grandparents Group has virtual parity between men and women.

Two years later, the LGBT Grandparents Group is still coming on strong. Now a SunServe support group, the Group meets on the third Saturdays of the month at SunServe, 2312 Wilton Drive, in Wilton Manors. It is a drop-in group, which means anyone can drop by for a meeting without signing-up or making a reservation. Although Lisa Peters, SunServe's Director of Senior Services, was present, she was not in charge of the meeting. Meetings are moderated by the grandparents themselves, in this case by June Cashwell-Spivak, one of the founders of the Grandparents Group. (Her wife, Denise Cashwell-Spivak, was featured in the first GG article.) There were ten people present at the recent meeting I attended, including some newcomers as well as some who were present at the meeting I wrote about in my previous column. In one important respect, the LGBT Grandparents Group has not changed in its two years of existence. It still has gender parity, with women and men both equally represented.

After we introduced ourselves, the Grandparents Group meeting took the form of a free-wheeling discussion on a variety of topics. One man, a relative newcomer, talked about his troubled relationship with his many grandchildren, and their parents. Two of the women discussed their recent health problems and their upcoming wedding, to which they invited those who were present. Going further afield, the grandparents talked about the controversy brought about by fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, whose comments about the surrogate children of Gay parents brought upon them the wrath of Sir Elton John (among others). All in all, it was an interesting, productive meeting, as I can attest.

Though the LGBT Grandparents Group currently limits its activities to its monthly discussions, its members hope to expand its scope to include social events for its members and their families. Meanwhile, the monthly meetings seem to adequately satisfy and fulfill those who attend it. Readers who are interested in the LGBT Grandparents Group should e-mail Lisa Peters at lpeters@sunserve.org or phone her at 954-764-5150 ext 103. The LGBT Grandparents Group is open to both biological and non-biological grandparents.

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