My Big Gay Family is a safe, inclusive space to explore and celebrate the depth and diversity of all LGBTIQ families.

The creators of My Big Gay Family

Zann Michaels and Chris Samios were colleagues in a small creative agency when they discovered a shared love of big ideas and a desire to change the world. For the last 6 years they’ve been friends and project partners. My Big Gay Family is their second LGBTIQ-focused project. Below, they explain why creating space for the LGBTIQ community is so important to them.

Zann Michaels

zann michaels headshot bw small

Zann Michaels, Founder

When I was a kid, gay people didn’t exist. I was raised in a country town, in a Mormon family, before the internet. Although my parents always allowed me to be my tomboy self, I didn’t know anyone else like me. As young teen, I figured it was easier to conform than to follow my heart, when that destination was completely unknown and undesirable.

I didn’t know a single real life out gay person until my late teens, when I  began exploring my own newly discovered lesbianism. This was the early days of the internet, before social media. Information was scarce. Community was non-existent.

My entire 20’s was spent discovering who I was and how I could navigate the space in the world I occupied. It was constant learning, mostly through experience, as information just didn’t exist. From dating, to coming out at work, to undergoing IVF – normal life as an LGBTIQ person is filled with small and sometimes challenging complexities.

These days, I am happily married to a wonderful woman and we have two perfect daughters. I live openly and honestly because I know how important it is to be seen. I also appreciate how valuable information is.

My commitment is to help you be informed by providing educational content, diverse views and inclusive dialogue. I want you to feel empowered to make the right decisions for you, every day, in every situation.  I want you to feel connected with your community and your family, the one you were born into the one you’ve made or the one you’ve chosen.

Chris Samios

chris samios

Chris Samios, photo by Stillpixels.com

As a straight ally I believe it’s really important to support the LGBTIQ+ community and I am an advocate of socially conscious business practices.

I know that purely because of the way I was born, I am lucky enough to identify as someone people listen to more often than others and who has automatic acceptance. I am aware of that privilege and try to use to make spaces friendlier for other people.

Though I don’t know that many openly LGBTQI+ people, a handful of close friends identify as one or many of those groups and I personally can’t see why anyone wouldn’t want other people to feel happy and safe in their own skin and their own lives.