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Abigail Garner

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Abigail Garner Biography

Abigail Garner was five years old when her father came out as gay and moved in with another man. Twenty-three years later, Garner is a nationally recognized writer and advocate for gay family rights. According to the national gay and lesbian newsmagazine The Advocate, Garner is among the “frontline soldiers in the fight for gay acceptance.” She has been a featured guest on National Public Radio?s Talk of the Nation, and has been published in Newsweek with her ?My Turn? commentary, ?Don?t Protect Me: Give Me Your Respect.? Garner consults with numerous organizations regarding LGBT family issues, including political organizations, counseling services, and adoption agencies. She has collaborated closely with LGBT family organizations, such as COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere) PFLAG (Parents Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays), and the Straight Spouse Network.

Garner?s new book, Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Parents Tell It Like It Is, intertwines her experiences growing up with a gay father and straight mother with those of other children who were raised by lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender parents. She doesn?t flinch from addressing the complex issues surrounding what it means for children raised in LGBT families, herself included, to be, in the words of advocate Stefan Lynch, ?culturally queer, erotically straight.? Vanity Fair calls the book ?indispensable.?

There are approximately 10 million children in the United States who have at least one parent who is gay or lesbian. Should gay and lesbian people be allowed to adopt or foster children? Do gay parents raise their children to also be gay? Questions like these spark heated debates about family and sexuality among politicians, religious leaders, schools and the media. The focus of these debates is typically on the rights of the gay parents themselves, seldom looking at the children’s perspective. Meanwhile, gay and lesbian people continue to become parents through adoption, fostering, surrogacy, donor insemination, and previous heterosexual marriages.

Weaving her own childhood memories with the stories of other sons and daughters, Garner?s thought-provoking presentation provides an honest portrayal of the diverse experiences of children living in gay families. She represents a population that is seldom heard, mainly due to families’ fears of harassment and custody battles. Whether these children grow up in supportive communities or endure daily harassment, they all know that plenty of people disapprove of?and even hate?their parents. Garner speaks on behalf of those who are caught in the middle of the political and moral debates: the children, who just want to be safe with the families who love them.

Garner was raised in Minneapolis in two households by three parents: her mother, her father, and her father’s partner of 23 years. She returned to her hometown after earning a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Wellesley College. In 1992, she received the Twin Cities International Citizen Award for her commitment to non-violence at the height of the nuclear arms race. She was also awarded the Rees Peace Award in 1990 by the National Council of Jewish Women.

Abigail’s message of justice and equality reaches audiences through a variety of media. She brings the family perspective to Fresh Fruit (KFAI-FM), the longest-running LGBT radio program in the United States. Her commentaries on LGBT families and allies are published throughout the country and have twice received the “Best Column” award by the Minnesota Magazine and Publications Association. And through her website,, she receives requests for advice and resources from LGBT families all over the world.

BOOK Abigail Garner

Speaker profile last updated by AAE Talent Team on 06/18/2024.

Abigail Garner Videos

  • Ellen Kahn interviews author Abigail Garner

Abigail Garner Books

  • Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Parents Tell It Like It Is
    Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Parents Tell It Like It Is

FAQs on booking Abigail Garner

  • How do I book Abigail Garner to speak at my event?

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  • What are the speaker fees for Abigail Garner

    Speaking fees for Abigail Garner, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Abigail Garner are for live events and for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Abigail Garner, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Abigail Garner speak about?

    Abigail Garner is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Authors, Culture, Diversity & Inclusion, Inspirational, Journalism, LGBTQ, Literary, Motivational, News & Media, Parenting, Personal Growth.
  • Where does Abigail Garner travel from?

    Abigail Garner generally travels from an undisclosed location, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
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    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Abigail Garner for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Abigail Garner for your next private or corporate function.
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Abigail Garner is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Abigail Garner for your event is $20,000 - $30,000. Abigail Garner generally travels from and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Victoria Rowell, Mariane Pearl, Sonia Nazario and Erin Gruwell. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Abigail Garner for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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