We Are Family
LGBT families must find a way to connect for the sake of their children.
I often take Maggie to an indoor playground facility near our house. It’s a glorified jungle gym where she can run around, jump on a trampoline, bounce in a bounce house, sink into a foam pit and follow the big kids around. One time, when we were there, the coordinator asked me if I would be interested in a same-sex parent/child playgroup. She was very gentle and upbeat about it. Apparently, another same-sex parent confessed to her that her daughter was starting to question why other kids had a mom and a dad, and she only had two moms. The poor little girl was even getting teased about it at school. Unfortunately, the parent didn’t know any other same-sex couples with children. So the coordinator suggested putting together a playgroup.
“Are you interested,” she asked.
“Of course,” I said in my most earnest voice.
I’m pretty lucky, I suppose. I have friends who are gay and married with children. We see them often, so Maggie gets plenty of interaction with other kids of same-sex couples. That's why I felt so bad for this little girl. When kids reach the age where they start to become keenly aware of things, especially societal "norms", it's crucial because they need to know that there are a variety of families, races, cultures and religions - and they are all perfectly normal. This would be great advice for the parents of the kids at schools making fun of the little girl, but what this little girl needs to learn is that there are other families that are just like hers. and that requires something more than just an occasional playgroup at a children's facility.
The fact is that there are a lot of two-mom and two-dad families all over the country. Yet, most local LGBT organizations are often concerned with providing entertainment and functions for adults. While I agree that these are important for keeping the LGBT community vibrant and connected, I also think that some of that energy should be focused on LGBT families as well. We have an opportunity to connect and offer our children a chance to play together. This is something that generations before us were unable to do for a variety of reasons. Why aren’t we taking advantage of this gift?
We still haven’t had the LGBT family playgroup at the indoor playground facility yet, though I ask about it every time I’m there. I don’t want that little girl to feel so alone and confused. More importantly, she shouldn’t have to.