First off, thanks so much to Mombian for this annual tradition. I believe it’s so important in the name of visibility, dialogue, voice, and community.
I’ve been thinking a lot about visibility lately. Recently, my wife experienced an intriguing event in which she talked about her queer identity with a number of folks who she thought knew quite well that she’s queer. In fact, they didn’t. While none of the details are important, this event has caused me to think a lot about visibility, comfort, coming out (again and again and again) and community. We are lucky enough to live in a community where I don’t worry about our family’s safety. Where I am pretty certain my kids won’t get teased for having two moms. Where I can walk hand-in-hand with my wife, and people know we’re together.
Yet I’ve been thinking of the flip side of this comfort. Of the fact that because there’s much acceptance, we don’t necessarily come out, name ourselves as queer or as a queer family. And that there’s value in that overt action. I’m not saying it should be or must be our (or anyone else’s responsibility), but there’s something to be said for being overtly out, for naming our relationship, our family for what it is. So that people we talk with often, interact with on a daily basis, are not left wondering or are, dare I say, forced to confront our status as a queer family. Forced to think about and embrace our family.
It’s an intriguing balance, and I think I’m seeing, more and more, the importance of being in dialogue about identity. I know I work hard to be in dialogue about Q’s identity, and being more so in dialogue about our whole family’s identity, or my identity, will support him. I think my naive self thought we were, potentially, past that, at least in our cozy little neck of the woods. But I know now that we’re not, and that being out is as important as ever. I know it’s not for everyone, and that we’re lucky enough to be safe, protected, LEGALLY married, even. But for me, for our family, it’s something I’ll be working on in the coming days and months. And my hope is that this dialogue will stretch beyond our streets and help to increase visibility for more families like ours, to open a few more minds and hearts. Because open hearts is really what I hope is out there when my kids head out into the world….
Big Q and Baby W
Posted in family, identity, love, queer | Tagged blogging for LGBT families, family, LGBT families, LGBT rights, queer, queer families | Leave a Comment »
Now that we have a baby in the house, we play around a lot with gendered stereotypes. Q loves to say, “Thank goodness she’s wearing pink so we don’t forget she’s a girl!” I like the lighthearted way that we all get to play with these gendered norms that still are a powerful and sometimes frustrating or overwhelming force at other times, especially for Q (current agony involves locker rooms and when to wear the hair in a ponytail).
I shot this video the other day to document W’s new crawling ability, but a conversation about gender ensued spontaneously. I thought I’d share it here. Just know that there’s lots of sarcasm in there that you can’t necessarily note unless you know the subtext. And pardon my loud laughs. I was wielding the phone-as-camera.
OK….video not uploading. Any hints? Working on this….
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I’ve had a few identity conversations lately with Q. Not of the “what’s your identity” type, as he doesn’t seem to have many questions around that, but more of the type that gets into the grey areas of how he plays out his preferences. Like about his hair and his clothing choices. It’s interesting to notice how ensconced he is in his staunch view that choices he makes are because he LIKES things. And that clothes should be for KIDS, not for boys or girls. And on and on down that line of reasoning. I think he’s so settled in this place, for now, that he told me today that thinking about “boys liking girl things” is sort of outside of the domain of his thought. Today I was chatting with him about The Princess Boy. And, in many ways, Q’s response was, to one extent or the other, “What’s all the hullabaloo. He’s a kid and that’s what he likes.” I’m intrigued by this all, particularly as there are still parts of who Q is that make life quite hard for him at times. Our biggest struggle of late involves locker rooms and the pain that he’s experienced there…for both being mistaken for a girl and for being questioned about his fashion choices.
Choices, mind you — as in, “choosing what I like to wear.” Not “choosing to wear girls’ clothes.” I appreciate that there’s a nuanced distinction for Q. And that he can voice it to a certain extent. I don’t think the world is yet that nuanced, unfortunately, but there are many paving the way. Thank goodness.
So, identity. It’s an intriguing thing.
Posted in clothing, equality, expanding gender notions, gender funneling, gender roles, identity | Tagged boys and girls, clothing, gender, identity, struggle | 6 Comments »
There’s been so much support from folks on this blog. But right now I just need to admit that I worry a lot. I worry about Q’s future, no matter what it holds. I’ll support him. We’ll support him. But what will he encounter “out there?”
That worries me. A lot. And often.
I love this boy so much.
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