We’ve all heard of Heather Has Two Mommies. That’s going to be in our children’s library when Jaime and I have kids, naturally. As soon as any children we have (We want no more than two) reach school age, they’re going to either become aware (or be made aware) of the fact that their family isn’t like most others, and that Momma Jaime and Momma Leah aren’t like other parents. I’m gearing up for that conversation, the day my children ask me why there is no “daddy” in our family (If we use a sperm donor, we plan on it being a close personal friend of ours, and having him be involved in the family, either as “dad” when they get older and wish to call him that, or as “Uncle X”)
I’ve rehearsed it a lot in my head, explained that there are many types of families, and our family having two mommies is no different from our family being binational, or some families being multilingual, or other families having only one parent, or some families having no children, or other arrangements. I’ve dreamed about endless child-friendly explanations for different kinds of love, and how I’ll always love them no matter who they decide to make a family with.
Jaime and I are pretty prepared for most of that when the time comes, and we’re hoping that by the time our child-having years come about, discrimination will not be an issue for children who come from families like ours. We’ve grappled a bit more with explaining Jaime’s trans identity, and have more or less come to decide that, “When Momma Jaime was born, people mistook her for a boy for various reasons, and when she grew up, she started making herself look more and more like a girl so people would stop making those mistakes” is satisfactory.
I still worry though. I worry about them being introduced to these differences not by curiosity or observation, but through bullying or adults making too big of a deal out of it (I.E, trying to have our children removed from a classroom, or being aggressive towards us about it, playground bullying encouraged by parents, etc etc) Life doesn’t wait until children are old enough to comprehend all these things to dish them out to them; I know and dread the thought that antisemitism, homophobia, transphobia, and disablism (if they are autistic) will play a part in their life experiences. It breaks my heart to think of that.
With that thought in mind, I must ask: Do you, dear readers, especially queer ones who are planning on parenthood, or are parents trying to raise loving, respectful children, how you would explain these things, and how you would ensure that the bullying, when (not if, sadly) it does happen, will not scratch them too terribly? I’m eager to know, as someone who will deal with these issues in 10+ years time.