Don’t Miss this Post: When Your 7-Year Old Announces ‘I’m Gay’.
“When Your 7-Year Old Announces ‘I’m Gay’” Huffington Post author “Amelia” on Michangelo Signorile show today, Friday, February 17, 2012 at 4:30pm EST. On Ch. 108, OUTQ SiriusXM. Free trial of SiriusXM online available.
My daughter woke me this morning with a sign that read “I Love U.” She’d gotten up early, made the sign, and actually waited until the alarm went off at 7 a.m. to run in and yell: “Happy Valentine’s Day!”
That is love.
Then we snuggled under the covers. She asked me to be her valentine. Of course I said “yes” and then we talked about what lie ahead for the day. In 5th grade Valentine’s Day is a pretty big deal. Her friend, S., likes a boy, A., and she left a note in his desk reading “Will you be my valentine? I like you.” She didn’t sign it, but all the girls are dying to see if he’ll drop a special valentine in her box.
My daughter’s friends have told her a boy in her class with blond hair and glasses likes her and everyone is speculating that he will give her a valentine. She said he reminds her of QKDad. Apparently that is a good thing, still.
She is not shy telling boys who declare their like for her that she likes girls, but I think she’d be perfectly happy if this boy sends her a nice valentine.
Seriously, who doesn’t like to be liked?
Today I appreciate those around me AND I am valentine to one of my favorite people in the world. Happy Day y’all.
I love how our queer kid has changed our lives.
Because of her . . .
I work harder to make the world better for all queer kids.
I have the chance to participate in her own amazing, unique journey.
I see the world through different eyes.
I am more courageous.
I demand more authenticity and truthfulness from myself. If she is going to put her identity on the line, I better do it too.
I have a great role model to follow.
I am a better person.
Thank you, my sweet girl. I love you.
Hugs. Lots of them.
It is clear to me now that holding my daughter is the most important gift I can give her during this period of intense growth. Since she chose to come out to the world she has grown up so much, but she also wants her mama to embrace her more than ever.
Last night during a long period of silent embrace she whispered, “it’s good to know someone’s here for me, whether it’s grades, sexual orientation, or sexual [gender] identity.”
These days I wonder all the time what we can do to inoculate our kids against the insidious onslaught of a bigoted society? Perhaps holding them as much as they need to be held, every time they ask for it is a start.
Check out the amazing video I just linked to on the Raising Queer Kids Facebook page. It is both a work of art and so touching. Watching it made me feel so clearly the importance of supporting kids, our own and others.
I so appreciate Randy Potts’ sacrifice and courage to go public. His story gives birth to real understanding, empathy, and conversation. Thank you Randy, even if I never meet you.
Hiding out in the bedroom with my coffee, sleeping dogs, and the laptop, the room is bright with the east light of late morning.
I hear giggles, shrieks, and incessant chatter. I smell bacon. More happy girl shrieks.
It is the morning of a sleepover with two of my daughter’s best friends.
Last night they were so loud, shrieking and laughing, and running out into the living room to show us their zombie makeup or the “NOH8″ they’d stenciled on their faces like photos on the internet. I looked at my partner, winced, and said:
“I think it’s going to be like this for the next six years.”
He mimed wanting to end it all at the thought.
But I know this is exactly what being 10 years old is supposed to be like . . .
and in this moment I know everything is just as it should be.
Today is the 13th anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard.
As a parent I want to make this world safer for my own child and everybody else’s gay child.
I won’t be able hide behind trees and crouch behind bushes while she goes to out into the world in order to make sure no harm comes to her.
What I can do is try to engage others in conversation about queer kids. Until she is older I can try to protect her from the ignorance or prejudice of people who know she is out.
I can be an ally and an advocate.
Yesterday I went to Safe Zone/Ally Training. I suggest that anyone who wants to make the world a safer place for members of the LGBT community consider spending an afternoon at a local training. I will proudly display my Safe Zone sticker beside my office door, so that anyone who needs a safe space will have one.
Moreover, displaying the Safe Zone sticker let’s others know they aren’t alone.
One can find plenty of information about being an ally information here.
Many universities regularly offer Safe Zone/Ally Training. Check with your local university’s LGBT Center or Women’s Center to see if or when they will offer a training session.
My daughter knows her type. When we were playing with the FaceYourManga application a while back she said she was going to make a picture of her ideal girl. After careful creation this lovely gal was created.
Dreamgirl X is definitely a variation on a couple of girls that caught my daughter’s fancy over the years.
In fact this girl looks like every doll (Barbie and otherwise) that my daughter picked out for herself between years one and three. I guess age four is when you learn from god-knows-where that you are supposed to choose dolls that look like you, not dolls you like the look of.
Interestingly, this imaginary girl also looks suspiciously like her biological dad’s long-time girlfriend. I have heard numerous declarations of how pretty, nice, affectionate, and good smelling the girlfriend is.
When I asked what this girl is like as a person she said, “she’s nice and she loves me.” That sounds like a good start to me.
October 12th will mark the 13th anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard.
I just read a blog which reminds us, in the words of Indira Gandhi that:
Martyrdom does not end something, it’s only a beginning.
Jamie Morris Shacker writes a blog, this positive life and recently published a post Thinking of Matthew. He writes about Matthew Shepard, his own identification with Shepard, and his own life as a young gay man in a small town. I was especially moved by his story,
Growing up, I lived in fear of my hometown; I never felt safe there. I remember walking home from work late at night wondering who was going to jump out of a car and attack me. I still dream about those nights. They were few but impactful nonetheless. Or the bullying in the halls, on the play ground or just the looks and whispers behind my back, into books, etc…
Being a queer kid in a small town is not always an easy thing, in fact I cannot think of a single instance where it is. I cannot speak to what it is like in larger cities, that simply was not my experience. I think it must be the same, I mean no matter how big a city is, if you are ten, your world is your school and you do not have access to others outside of that world. Well, maybe they do today with the internet. But in my day, if you will, we certainly did not have that luxury. Either way for hundreds of kids a computer is simply not enough.
I just wanted to write something, to express these crazy feelings I am having, to emote as I said earlier and to ask all you to never forget Matthew Shepard and to find all of those little queer kids (or any other kid who seems a little alone and isolated) and give them a hug or whatever you believe proper, so they know someone is on their side, that they are not alone. And, when given the opportunity, speak out against hatred and violence towards anyone; words do harm and words can be violent. When you hear someone make a negative comment about gay people in general, a specific person or any group, remember it is these attitudes that brought two young men to a field in Laramie, WY to kill. It is this attitude and ignorance that ended a life.
Everyday I try to let my little queer kid know she is not alone by loving her and celebrating her, but just as importantly I try to surround her with as many vocal allies as possible. Yet for every one child lucky enough to be born into a queer-positive family like ours there are scores out there who are scared and alone. There are scores of children who are being negated and threatened by their own families and communities.
Most assuredly I will remember Matthew Shepard, on October 12th and every day.