It has definitely been the year of saying no to our kids, to ourselves, to our friends and family – all in an effort to keep everyone safe. But there are some times, especially as parents of LGBTQIA+ kiddos, we just need to say yes even when it’s hard.
As a mom of four – ages 15 and up, here are some things I’ve said yes to this year:
- Buying their first binder
- Procuring birth control without making it weird.
- Planning Pride outfits for whenever we get to do that. It doesn’t matter that we’re not doing it right now. It will happen again some day and we will be there – with a look you’re proud of. We will feel that joy again.
While things are slowly starting to open up again, we’re not in the clear yet. For at least a chunk of the summer – maybe even well beyond – we will continue to be the primary members of our childrens’ community. We have to be their safe space, their cheerleaders, their confidantes now more than ever.
Putting questions on pause
It’s been such a long journey. The feeling of isolation has been a blessing for some, a real hindrance for others, and somewhere in between or constantly back and forth for most of us. So when a kiddo comes to me and asks, “Can I buy this binder?”, I say yes immediately with no hesitation. My brain may have a dozen questions within thirty seconds. But my job in this crazy period of history is to say yes. I’m putting extra mental energy into making sure my face remains neutral and my voice is enthusiastic. We can have important conversations later if we need to. Today is hard enough without 30 questions from the parentals. For now, saying yes and meaning it is one of the healthiest things I can do for my children when it comes to LGBTQIA+ issues.
We need EVERYONE
I’ve also said yes to the vaccine and I really hope you will too along with anyone in your orbit who can. We need you. We need more people saying yes to supporting LGBTQIA+ students in schools. I want to celebrate our children and ourselves with you at Pride when it’s safe. And this world needs you to say yes in the voting booth to elect candidates that protect us and our children. Say yes because we can’t afford to move forward with less members of our community, parents and allies. Just say yes.
Note: This article was originally published in the May 2020 newsletter of HAVE A GAY DAY, a non-profit supporting the needs of the LGBTQIA+ community in southwest Ohio. You can show your support at HaveAGayDay.org