LGBT History Month – Featured Families: The Gayby Project.
I have followed the ladies from The Gayby Project for a long time. They’re not only one of my favourite favourite bloggers, but we actually shared our bump time; with our beautiful sons only being 2-3 weeks apart!
In addition to all this, not only are they a frickin rad couple (which you can see in their wedding photos alone) but they’re extremely passionate, especially when it comes to LGBT rights.
So when it came to contacting my favourite families to feature on our blog, I couldn’t not ask Andie, and I’m so so glad I did.
Very few things make me speechless these days, but when Andie sent me a letter I was lost for words.
By the time you can read this, you’ll know at least a little bit about the world, your family, and yourself. One of the things you might realize is that your family looks a little bit different from some other families. It will start gradually, when you start to see difference in gender, notice the words people use to describe themselves and their parents don’t quite match the words you use. You’ll start to understand that you have two moms, and other people have a mom and a dad, and some have only a mom or a dad, and some have a Baba or an Abba or Nanas and Poppy’s who care for them.
But there are many children like you now. In fact, just last week, there was a Facebook group (do we still have Facebook, in the future? I sort of hope not!) with 10,000 self identified Queer Mamas. So I know, at the very minimum, there are 10,000 babies who are growing up with families that look at least a little like yours.
This wasn’t always the case, though.
I’m sure I seem so old to you now, but my life has been short in comparison to the long struggle of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer folks. When I was a kid, one of the most progressive president’s to date signed legislation that made my marriage to your mommy impossible, and even Ellen Degeneres was pretending she was straight. When your Uncle Joe was coming out, there wasn’t even an AIDS crisis yet, and the LGB community was still freshly releveling in no longer being considered mentally ill (though our Trans brothers and sisters still bear this burden now.)
And when your Nana and Papa were children, it was illegal everywhere to be gay and people hid in their homes for fear of violence, made up secret signs to know one another in hiding (my blue star tattoo pays tribute to this sad time in our history) and knew they might be risking everything in their lives if they chose to come out.
And now, we are common place. Not even someone’s entire lifespan, and we’ve gone from hidden to pedestrian. Of course, the work isn’t done just because both your Mommy and I got to sign your birth certificate. Some of the people who love you most dearly still have to be careful with their lives, because other’s don’t understand them and the world doesn’t welcome them. In some places, two people can get married on Sunday and then lose their jobs for that marriage on Monday. Our world is still a very, very hard place to exist for trans people of color, especially.
But I want you to know that things can and do change. They change because people – all kinds of people – demand that it be so. Lots of people hid in the 1950’s, it’s true, but then a group of beautiful, bad ass drag queens stepped up and threw rocks and now we celebrate the difference that act of defiance made each June. So many of our beloveds were dying from AIDS and the government didn’t care until a group of people called ACT UP shut down the Golden Gate bridge and made them pay attention.
I am so very glad that you will grow up in a world where your Moms were able to be so openly, so forthrightly, your moms. But I hope that this goodness will not make you complacent. I hope that whoever you grow to be, you keep looking for the places where people are left out, or hurt, or ignored. I hope you will use whatever you have in you – your privilege, your defiance, your sensitivity, your passion, your charm – to carve out a space for them. I know already that you possess the gifts to do this.