I wrote in my first post here on Gay Matters that I wanted readers' help understanding "what it means to be LGBT in Baltimore today," and Jenn Sulin-Stair obliged almost immediately.
Jenn sent me a picture of her, her wife Sarah Harding and their two daughters Ryenne and Charlize as they prepared to go out to dinner on a recent night.
"We are one of the faces of what it is to be a gay family in Baltimore and we are proud to share our story and proud of WHO we are and our family," Jenn wrote in her email.
The submission inspired me to think up a new regular feature for Gay Matters: Snapshot!
Each Snapshot post will feature an individual, a group of friends or a family in Maryland's LGBT community with a bit of back story and a photo.
At least that's my intention. How often we get to post will depend on how often people send in submissions.
So get some spirit, like Jenn, and send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now, back to Jenn.
Jenn and Sarah, who live in Catonsville, met at work and married in 2011 in Washington, D.C.
Jenn now works for the Delmarva Foundation and as an adjunct professor at Baltimore County Community College, and Sarah works for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Charlize, 7, is Jenn's biological daughter from a previous marriage, and Ryenne was born last May after the couple used a sperm donor and Sarah carried her to term. Jenn was able to legally adopt Ryenne a few months later.
The family belongs to the local pool and goes horseback riding, and Jenn described their families as being "amazing and supportive."
Jenn said sharing their story has brought about good in their community before.
"I think the most inspiring thing for both of us is that just by being 'us' and being who we are, a neighbor stopped by before going to vote for Question 6 and knocked on our door," she said. "She said by knowing us and watching us, it changed her mind about same sex marriage. She voted for Question 6 [which upheld same-sex marriage in Maryland]. I believe by being who we are and being true to ourselves, it helps others see and understand that same sex relationships are just as loving and 'normal' as any heterosexual relationship."
Thanks for writing to Gay Matters, Jenn! Who's next?Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun