In the 1970s in Washington DC, a group known as Gay Fathers was created, with chapters including New York, Los Angeles. In the early 80s, lesbian mothers groups were added, and in 1984 became known as “G&L Parents International”, led by Wayne Steinman.
In 1981, Michele Zavos and her then-partner formed a Lesbian Mom’s Group with upwards of 50 women who gathered weekly to discuss conception, adoption, parenting ideas, ‘safer’ schools for their kids, navigating extended family and more. This would eventually become part of the Whitman Walker Clinic’s Lesbian Services Program.
In 1988, the Washington DC chapter branched off to officially become Rainbow Families DC, led by Scott Davenport & Tim Fischer. As one of the most visible gay male couples with kids in the area, they had a desire to connect with other gay parents so they began an AOL listserv. They held social events at their home, local parks, skating rinks, etc. This listserv was among the first resources nationally, with the mission to help other gay parents find one another, compile contact information, and share information.
*Information courtesy of James Fagelson, Rainbow Families DC Board Member 1984-1995