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Archive for the ‘hope’ Category

To celebrate Blogging for LGBT Families this year, I’m blogging with/about gratitude.

This occasion crept up on me, as I’m not quite ready for June. And, it reminded me about how neglected this blog is. It’s been complicated, thinking about what to share here, what to write, what to keep private. As Q gets older, he continues to navigate the world in complicated ways. And, at the same time, he is so purely himself — a true stereotype breaker. The identity he grabbed onto with such zeal at 4, and the one that still sticks with him today, at 9.

For a kiddo like him, it can be hard to be in the world. Heck, it’s not always easy to be in the world as a queer family (connecting back here, to the purpose of this post). So finding places where it is easy to be? Well…it fills me with gratitude. We are so lucky to live in a community among many other queer families. To have allies around us.

As I thought about this post, though, I thought about how lucky Q is for the school he attends. I’ve been in a bit of a muddle about Q and school lately for a number of reasons. But at the end of the day, my kiddo is known there. He is loved for who he is. And he can shine.

Beyond that, our family is known, loved, and not alone. And that is rare. All too rare. For queer families, queer kids, gender non-conforming kids. Every year, Q takes the stage as co-MC at his school in order to lead the annual LGBT pride celebration assembly. I see his chest swell with pride. He plans his outfit with care (this year it included a rainbow ribbon braided into his hair), and he proclaims it, every year “one of the best days of my life.”

How can I not be grateful for that? As an educator, I think that schools need to take the best in every child and bring that out. Celebrate it. And for Q, that’s what happens at that assembly. He beams with pride. And in those moments, I can feel nothing but gratitude.

The MC in action

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Another blog I read has a tradition of Gratitude Fridays. There’s much that I’m grateful for, but I think it can be summed up by my heart full of love for my boy.

My boy, who can so easily morph from being dressed up as a vampire for his school’s Fall Fest one moment to a “pink kitty” (of his design) the next. That flexibility, the open-mindedness…I love it!

What are you grateful for today?

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Today Obama signed into law the Hate Crimes Bill. Inclusive of gender identity. Groundbreaking stuff, I tell you. And not an easy path. I have yet to hit the airwaves, so to speak, to here from those who decry this action. And yet I can’t help but honor those who have given their blood (literally), sweat, and tears in the fight to bring this bill to fruition. For that deep courage, thank you.

 

My own little guy’s fight against stereotypes, while certainly not as monumental, has definitely hit some bumps of late. Hence the many questions I’ve posed here. It’s been wonderful hearing from you. Those of you just stopping by for the first time (thanks NY Times parenting blog commenter for the mention!), welcome, and please do join in the conversation!

Q is in first grade, and the gendered pressures are definitely hitting him in a new way. While in kindergarten he wrote for his first writing assignment that something he likes about himself is that he breaks stereotypes, he’s now hitting some bumps in that road. Recently, his pink and purple bandanas have garnered him some teasing. And as he grows his hair out, he’s VERY choosy about what he’ll use to hold it back out of his eyes. Whereas headbands used to be de rigour last year, they are off the table as an option for school. He’s also making certain choices, explaining that they work “only on the weekends.” Partly, this breaks my heart, as he encounters the reality of society (albeit in his generally lovely and accepting, sheltered school environment). Yet he’s also been able to take this opportunity to grow his strength. To tell other kids that he can wear pink “because I like it!”

He has a new conviction behind his choices, and I so love that about this boy. He’s learning a bit more about what it means to stay true to his own likes and beliefs, and that will surely serve him well in life, whether it’s about what he wears, who he hangs out with, what he does for fun, or what he does for work.

And, this journey does take courage on his part. And brings some sadness and frustration on his part (and mine/ours). But I’m thinking that today’s signing of the Hate Crime Bill is a fine example of where these little acts of courage can get us. And I know that my boy’s courage will get us far, too.

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All it takes is love as the lens!

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This post is a love ode to Q’s school, pretty much.

In a chat with Q’s teacher the other day, we were talking a bit about gender dynamics and how they play into Q’s friendships, who he seeks out to play with, etc. As he and his classmates get older, it gets a bit trickier that he gravitates mostly towards girls, given dynamics among groups of girls, at times.

But that’s not the gist of this story. Apparently the other day at lunch someone was talking about Q and used the pronoun “she.” Under his breath, Q whispered, “I guess some of them in here don’t know.” He wasn’t perturbed, according to his teacher, he didn’t come report it at home. Really, it’s an everyday occurrence that people don’t know his sex/gender. And it’s not a big deal to him. But here’s where the real chords should be struck in this ode to Q’s school: The teacher didn’t feel the need to correct the kiddos, nor did any of the other kiddos. Those who know Q is a boy took it in stride. Q took it in stride. And the teacher took it in stride. It was a non-issue.

And for that reason, for letting my boy just be himself, that’s why my heart aches with love for his little school, his teachers, everyone there who thinks so carefully about the very best ways to take care of and nurture children.

Should anyone from said school be reading, know that you are thanked and honored. Deeply and continually.

Q's current growing-out-his-hair look

Q's current growing-out-his-hair look

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Hearing in CA supreme court today about the constitutionality of Proposition 8.

Here’s just a smattering of coverage of the day from the internets:

I’m humbled by everyone taking up this struggle in their own way, from arguing directly, to being in the streets, to blogging the events, to donating money, to sending psychic energy….really, I think it all makes a difference in this here global community. And I don’t think it can hurt that Ken Starr seemed to be, shall we say, not in top form….here’s hoping we don’t have to wait the full 90 days for a decision. And that it’s the right decision.

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Looking towards tomorrow and the days and months and years to come, I am filled with hope.

A boy looking toward the future

A boy looking toward the future

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