A Pride Month conversation by and about LGBTQIA+ adoptees. All are welcome!
Join us on Thursday, June 23, 2022, at 4pm Pacific/6pm Central/7pm Eastern to talk and be with LGBTQIA+ adoptees, including Sanjay Pulver, Sandra Steingraber, Chelsey Wright, Diane D’Angelo, and Angel Joy Lester.
The insecure, conditional attachments to family experienced by so many
adoptees is intensified for queer adoptees, who sometimes feel doubly dispossessed by their identities. This panel discussion, presented by queer adoptees from varying generations and backgrounds, will explore this intersection and offer reflections on the experience of being both queer and adopted.
Of special interest: the experience of coming out to adoptive and biological family members; search and reunion as a queer person; talking to potential adoptive parents within the LGBTQ community; transnational and transracial issues; parenting as a queer adoptee; queer defogging; the limitations of binary thinking about adoption when considering the well-being of gay kids, and more.
Video Replay from June 2022
Diane D’Angelo (she/her/hers)
Diane D’Angelo is a Baby Scoop Era Adoptee. She met her birth mother in 1997, but that reunion fell apart once the “honeymoon” period ended. Diane was disowned by her adoptive family after coming out in the 1980s. Meeting other adoptees has been a game-changer, for which she is grateful. Diane has worked as a mental health counselor and interfaith hospice chaplain.
Angel Joy Lester (she/her/hers)
Elizabeth, neé Angel Joy Lester, was adopted through Catholic Charities in 1978 but didn’t learn of her closed American domestic adoption until 1991. With no road map of identity to follow, Elizabeth struggled to find herself and understand her sexual identity. It took moving overseas to finally come out of the closet at 28 years. Since coming out she’s been active in the Wellington New Zealand LGBTQIA+ community and has served on the Tū Whakahīhī e Te Whanganui-ā-Tara (Wellington Pride Festival) Committee. Elizabeth is also a Drag King performer, actor, and private chef. She stumbled across her birth family 3 years ago and is in process of reunion.
Sanjay Pulver (he/him/his)
Sanjay is a transnational, transracial, and transgender adoptee. He was born near Hyderabad, spent his first 10 months in an orphanage, then a foster home through his 1st birthday. He was brought to the US at 13 months old. Sanjay is an only child to his adopters but has 4 older sisters, one older brother, and a fraternal twin brother back in India. He came out as gay in high school and started his gender transition in 2014, and even more recently came out as ethically non monogamous in 2017. Sanjay is currently an advocate and mentor for the transmasculine community in San Diego as well as an advocate for sex education, kink/Leather, and now adoptees. He is excited to bring his intersectional experiences to the discussion.
Sandra Steingraber (she/her/hers)
Sandra Steingraber is a Baby Scoop Era, domestic adoptee from the Methodist Church-affiliated Baby Fold, in Normal, Illinois, which got its start in 1902 as a whistle stop for the so-called orphan trains. Prompted to search after being diagnosed with a rare cancer at age 20, she is not in reunion but recently obtained a copy of her original birth certificate. In her day job, Sandra is a biologist who works on climate change and environmental justice. She thinks a lot about the interplay between genes and environment.
Chelsey Wright (they/them)
Adoptees United Board Member
Chelsey Wright is a South Korean born adoptee. They currently oversee the operations at Movement Law Lab and previously ran operations for a Washington State non-profit supporting advocacy work in the gun violence prevention space. Outside of advocating for Adoptee Rights, they can be found advocating for LGBTQ+ issues and supporting the work of Luminous Minds Project.