Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 3 / 18 January 2018

Online Extra: Sampler: 'One of a Kind' tells story of boy who wanted to be princess


Danny Moreno at his college graduation with his mom, Laurin Mayeno. Photo: Courtesy Laurin Mayeno
Print this Page
Send to a Friend
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on MySpace!

A Berkeley woman has written a book based on her experiences with her gay son in order to help others.

Laurin Mayeno, who wrote One of a Kind, Like Me/Único como yo (Blood Orange Press) with her son Danny Moreno, 27, in mind.

"I want this book to get out into the world as far and wide as possible so other little children like Danny can see themselves reflected in picture books," she said, and so that kids who aren't LGBTQ can see children who are.

Mayeno and Moreno, who lives in New York, will both be on hand from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, October 2 at Centro Vida Children's Center, 1000 Camellia, Berkeley to promote the book, which is in English and Spanish.

Mayeno said that Moreno was almost 4 when they were in a fabric store and "he told me he wanted to be a princess for Halloween."

"My first reaction was panic," Mayeno said. "I was afraid he was going to get teased. I was afraid I was going to get judged."

She suggested being Peter Pan, but he insisted on being a princess.

"I couldn't think of any reason to say 'No' to him, so I agreed," Mayeno said. Moreno had already had toys typically geared toward girls, including a Barbie that he took everywhere with him, but the princess costume "was a turning point for me as far as my realizing it was important for me to let him be who he was," Mayeno said.

Even in Berkeley, which is known for being fiercely progressive, "there really wasn't a lot of information back then for parents dealing with gender-expansive children," she said.

Danny Moreno wore a princess dress for Halloween when he was a child. Photo: Courtesy Laurin Mayeno

Moreno eventually came out as gay after he graduated high school, and Mayeno and a friend who had a bisexual son started Out Proud Families, which works to support families that include LGBTQ people, especially families of color.

"I realized how passionate I was about using my voice as a mother to make change for other families," Mayeno said, and the book grew out of her Our Proud Families work.

Moreno said he's "super proud" of his mother "bringing the book to life. It's definitely been a labor of love."

He said, "It's a really important story to tell for parents who might not know exactly how to support their kids" in being themselves.

After the Berkeley event, Mayeno also plans to head to New York, Toronto, and Washington, D.C.

One of a Kind, Like Me can be ordered through


Gays with Kids site re-launches

A website that helps gay dads survive the trials and tribulations of fatherhood has gotten a makeover and is being re-launched after recently being hacked.

Gays With Kids ( helps gay men who are bringing up children, as well as those who are just thinking about it.

The shite, which gives gay dads a place to share their stories, was founded in 2014 by husbands Brian Rosenberg, 51, and Ferd van Gameren, 55, who live with their three children in New York City.

"Many smart and talented people were involved in the design, so I really hope you like our makeover," Rosenberg said in an email blast. "By the way, the new site includes most of the stories that were lost from our old site when we were hacked earlier in the summer. So if you've been looking for a story that was lost, chances are it's back up now."


Sampler is an online column highlighting LGBT performances, exhibits, and other entertainment in the San Francisco Bay Area. It runs every Tuesday. Contact reporter Seth Hemmelgarn at or (415) 875-9986 to suggest column items.




Follow The Bay Area Reporter
facebook logo
facebook logo
Newsletter logo
Newsletter logo
ISSUU logo