Largest Queer, Black Parent Community to Host Summit in Washington, D.C.
Black, queer parents from around the country will gather in the nation’s capital this weekend for a few days of community, education and fellowship.
xHood, the largest organization for Black, queer parents, will host its second annual Black Parent Pride Summit in Washington, D.C. from May 26-28. The three-day conference coincides with the city’s Black Pride weekend, so xHood founder Mia Cooley is hopeful that the sophomore event will expand its reach.
“There’s a little bit of something for everyone. Relationships and romance, sex as parents,” said Cooley, who started xHood as a Facebook group when she was looking for support as an LGBTQ+ mom who wanted to grow her family.
Cooley is mom to 5-year-old Nova, who will be a big sister this summer; Cooley’s finance is currently expecting.
xHood is designed to build and nurture Black, queer parents through community. They are often excluded from parenting spaces, and Cooley sought to change the narrative.
xHood creates deep connections and support systems, while partnering with key providers that help educate and guide Black, queer people to parenting.
This year’s Black Parent Pride conference is expected to attract at least 150 people, and Cooley is implementing feedback from the inaugural summit last year in Atlanta.
She said xHood will incorporate panel discussions about varying family styles, reproduction, stigma, safety and more.
State of the Black Donor is the only panel set to repeat, but they’ll expand the conversation this year. Discussing fertility and family planning options is an xHood priority in the conference space.
Black birthing people remain largely impacted by infertility and are less likely to seek treatment. When it comes to cryobanks, a facility that preserves donor sperm, less than 4% of available sperm at the top four United States facilities come from Black donors.
In addition to furthering last year’s conversations, this year will include small support groups for single parenting by choice, transgender parent support, grieving parents and more.
“That’s something I’m really excited about this year,” Cooley said.
While the conference will help support Black, queer parents and families, Cooley understands that parents deserve rest and relaxation, too.
That means: there’ll be some partying. Last year’s feedback included spending a bit more time together outside of the panels, so she implemented more bonding time.
In just a few short years, Cooley has helped change lives and is soaring in her purpose.
“I feel that’s truly the work I’m here to do, so I don’t feel like it’s anything special,” she said. “I just know I want to make it possible for families like mine.