The LGBTQ+ community has broken down many barriers over the years, but family planning is still a battle.
Bubly and nonprofit organization Family Equality partnered to promote inclusivity for LGBTQ+ families and provide critical financial support.
“We believe all individuals, no matter their background, sexual preference or circumstance, have the right to pursue their fullest life, including the path to parenthood,” Zach Harris, vice president, Water Portfolio at PepsiCo Beverages North America, told Campaign US.
The campaign, which is pegged to International Family Equality Day on May 2, includes a picture book, a baby registry and a social media campaign called #IntheProcess.
“The Path to Parenthood: LGBTQ Edition” is a picture book, illustrated by London-based artist and community organizer Wednesday Holmes, that visually tells the story of LGBTQ+ parents’ journeys to expand their families. Proceeds from the books will go to Family Equality.
Holmes’ “vibrant” illustrations and personal connection to the LGBTQ+ community made them the “perfect visionary” for the project, Harris said.
The Bubly baby registry lists faux items such as a baby rattle and sippy cup that are visual representations of the financial roadblocks LGBTQ+ parents face. Funds from the items will also be donated to Family Equality.
Bubly’s social media campaign, #IntheProcess, will feature first-hand accounts from LGBTQ+ parents about their personal journeys to parenthood access Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Couples were selected in partnership with Family Equality.
Most people aren’t aware of how “complicated” family planning can be for LGBTQ+ couples, said Stacey Stevenson, CEO of Family Equality.
“Imagine deciding that you're going to start a family, and after making that really big decision, being denied that right,” Stevenson said. “When my wife and I decided to have our family we were told by an agency that the birth mother would not select us because we were two women. This is something that happens day in and day out.”
Despite the challenges, 3.8 million LGBTQ+ millennials are considering expanding their families, according to a 2019 Family Equality study. But, adoption and assisted reproduction expenses are high, and costs can have a damaging impact. According to the Williams Institute, the LGBTQ+ community has a collective poverty rate of 21.6% compared to 15.7% of cisgender straight people.
Because financial assistance is critical, Bubly is donating $100,000 to Family Equality and will include the nonprofit as one of PepsiCo’s charity partners for its employee match program.
More than anything, Stevenson wants the campaign to give people “insight” and “empathy” for LGBTQ+ parents.
“I hope people know that our families are just like theirs, and they learn to embrace LGBTQ+ families who are in their neighborhoods or in their own families,” she said.
Bubly has supported the LGBTQ+ community since its launch in 2018, providing financial support to organizations including GLAAD, the Center for Black Equity and the Stonewall Community Foundation, and serving as the official, non-alcoholic partner of RuPaul’s Drag Race.