At first glance, the family tree posters dotted along the main hallway of the City View Alternative School in Toronto just seem more colorful and artistic than the conventional genealogical diagram. It's only upon closer inspection that one can see the real difference: this family tree has no names, just words: heterosexual, bisexual, queer, lesbian, straight, intersex, transgender, questioning, gay, transsexual, and two-spirit.
"We called the project 'Queering the Family Tree' because we wanted to broaden the notions of what a family tree can look like and what families can look like," said Rachel Epstein, member of the Queer Parenting Initiative, as the poster was launched in the Toronto senior elementary school. "Most families actually don't look like that traditional model of mom, dad and kids, so there are our families and lots of other families that don't fit."
Epstein, a lesbian mother, and the rest of the Queer Parenting Initiative were motivated to make the poster after hearing stories of children of diverse family structures becoming uncomfortable when making their family tree in school - something that's required under the Grade 2 Ontario curriculum.
You can read more about this story on the 365gay.com web site at http://www.365gay.com/Newscon05/11/111505familyTree.htm