Judy McClure Founder, JEM Productions
Creator, Our Family Game

Imagine: “Kate” legally marries her partner, “Layla,” in Beverly Springs, W.V. Their heterosexual neighbors bake them organic brownies and little “McKenzie” and “Juniper” learn about their lesbian mommies’ history by playing a round of LGBT Trivial Pursuit. LIES ALL LIES. Minus the last one, which is 100% fun-filled, potluck, game-night truth.

Meet Judy McClure, founder of JEM Productions and mastermind behind the clever, colorful Our Family Game, a project she spent seven years researching. “The response has been overwhelming,” says McClure. Released in October of 2005, her brainchild includes Luck Cards that illustrate realistic situations, i.e. Mom finds adolescent Stevie dressing in drag (if Mom kicks him out, move back; if Mom buys him a mani/pedi, move forward). McClure says that her concept was put into action not only to entertain, but to educate people about the LGBT community. “I’ve always been concerned with equal rights,” she adds. “It’s something that’s near and dear to my heart.”

McClure traded a career in pharmaceutical management to develop a concept whose future was, well, questionable. But by tirelessly self-promoting, networking at every Pride Festival from Cincinnati (where her business is based) to Atlanta and passionately believing in a noteworthy cause, Our Family Game’s popularity is inching forward. “I feel very positive about what I’m doing,” McClure says. “And the sales have been good.”

While McClure, who is African-American and bisexual, has dealt with her share of discrimination, she says she continues to be surprised at people’s response to the game. “The designer, a white Republican gentleman in his 60s, from Nashville, TN, immediately embraced the game and saw its potential,” she says. “I went in with a certain expectation and it didn’t happen that way and it made me realize I was on the right path.” –IJ