Blogging for LGBT Families Day
I read about the 6th Annual Blogging for LGBT Families Day yesterday, and promptly dismissed it since it seemed too late. Plus I don’t have a family, yet… do I? When realized I could still get my submission in today, bam! inspiration hit. Better late than never. Enjoy.
Presently Thinking About the Future
My significant other and I have been together for over 4 years now. We’re a family, an illegal one (because if it’s not legal, it’s illegal, right?). But most importantly, we’re partners. I don’t come home at night expecting the beds to be made, the laundry freshly pressed, and my tortillas warmed. Neither does she expect me to hand her an allowance to pay for the groceries she bought. Yes, that’s how it was in my family growing up, but that’s not how it is in our family. We’re equal partners, we both do the laundry and shop for groceries and warm the tortillas, together.
And we both think about kids. Our future kids (very future kids, but kids nonetheless). And about raising our adorable wonderful kids in an equal partnership, queer, household.
But with great children comes great responsibility. Especially if they grow up in a loving, caring, LGBT environment. The loving and caring part is no sweat, we’ve got plenty of it and are busting at the seams ready to let it flow out. But the LGBT part, well… our questions are plenty, our fears ever-mounting.
The Unknown Future
First of all, I’m transgender, outside of the binary, gender-neutral. Not a man, not a woman. Which means I’m going to be a parent, but what kind? Not a mom, not a dad. But still, a capital P parent.
So, to start, what the heck will my kids call me? Dad? Papi? Coco? Oh loved one, purveyor of goods and comfort and care? (honestly I’m not expecting a 3-year old to catch on to that one). Next, what will we tell their teachers? What will they tell their teachers? What will they tell their friends? What will their friends tell them?
Inevitably, the questions will pour. The hard questions, those which have no clear answer but which absolutely require one (because kids need, nay, demand, answers). Why is the sky blue? What are those scars on your chest? Why don’t you have a moustache like other dads? Why do we celebrate (or not celebrate) father’s day? Why do all my friends have a mommy and a daddy and I don’t? Who is my real daddy? Where do babies come from? Where did I come from?
Wait, it gets trickier. What happens when we go to a restaurant and the waiter asks if I’m their older brother? Trust me, this will happen.
How will my children handle this situation, and countless others? At 5, they’ll hopefully be like true children, handing out a brutally honest and directly obvious answer. At 9, they’ll squirm uncomfortably. At 11, they’ll be embarrassed, or ashamed, or just plain tired – tired of the teasing, tired of explaining to their friends why their other parent doesn’t look like other dads, nor like other moms.
How do I comfort my children knowing there is nothing I can do to change? Knowing that it is entirely my fault they are different?
I have a whole entire blog dedicated to exploring, expounding, and explaining my gender identity. But I still don’t even know which bathroom to go into! So how can I explain to a 5 year old why they have one mommy and one…. parent-something-or-other? And how can they explain it to others?
And if I haven’t sorted all this out yet, how can I expect my little chilpayates to do it too?
The Unknown Future Has a Past
Thankfully, we won’t be the first LGBT parents to start a family. Nor the second. Not even the fiftieth, hundred, thousandth. There have been many many many who have come before us. Plenty of other parents out there have asked themselves the same questions, and have had the chance to answer them in various ways and in different circumstances. They’ve clearly figured something out, and if not, it’s still up for figuring. And I’m a sucker for puzzles.
They have stumbled upon the pebbles we foresee. They are laying the grooves in the pavement for us to follow, so we may go around the large pebbles, and stumble upon the smaller ones instead. With this thought alone, I am assured that, barring scraped knees, everything will turn out OK in the end.
The idea of a family of one mother and one father is so engrained into our culture, in our everyday life, that it will likely be more than difficult to start with unbuilt foundations. I am and will be grateful for those parents, and children, who make up the endless configurations of an LGBT household – one mommy, two mommies, three mommies and a daddy – endless! Those are no ordinary families, they are the pioneers, brave souls who looked forward and saw unsolved mysteries, untold sorrows, but also unequivocal joy. And we hope to join those ranks, someday.
You see, at the moment we’re teetering on our mid-twenties. Yet unlike other people our age, we don’t spend our Friday nights drinking at bars, or hitting the town, or even going on date nights. Our idea of fun is inviting a 40-year old couple for dinner, busting out the board games, or running around with kids half our age (but twice my size) in laser tag. Evidently we wouldn’t renounce a buzzing socialite life by having kids; all we’d have to give up are our long hours at work, which we aren’t that keen to hold on to anyway. And to think, we’d actually have a good excuse to go out for ice cream!
However, you won’t see us sprinting to the fertility clinic, because, like I said, we’re only 25. What’s the rush? In the meantime, we’ll keep naming our stuffed animals.