Monday, June 30, 2014

Good parents

For my final post for LGBT Pride Month (sadly neglected this year), a video that brought tears to my eyes. It's from parents who GET it: None of us are what our parents hope for or imagine: We are who we are. Good parents just make that easier.

Most of us don’t have the challenge of being trans* or gay or bisexual. Most kids grow up to be heterosexual and most of them go on to be parents themselves. But what of the rest of us?

LGBT history has been, until recently, the story of oppression, bigotry and repression. But now, finally, we see some faint glimpses of what true equality will look like. Now we also see parents willing to embrace the beauty of what their child IS, not what they hope that child will be—or reflect.

I'm well aware that this video will drive fundamentalist religionists fully round the bend. That’s their issue, their problem. Ryland is what he is, and all the ideology or politics in the world won't change that. His parents see that, and it’s worth noting (as so many have before me).

The point here is simple: We don’t own our children, we don’t even get much of a say in who they are. But we get a HUGE say in how they will feel because of us: Will they feel safe, protected and nurtured, or will they fell condemned, judged and disparaged? That choice is ours as adults, whether we’re parents, extended family, caregivers or of any other connection.

Because, at the end of the day, our job is never to judge or to dictate, but to make possible. Our sole duty to the next generations is to make them feel free to be who they are, what they are, and to achieve whatever they’re capable of achieving.

Ultimately, that’s the message of LGBT Pride Month: Be who you are, fiercely, proudly, without excuses or apology. That’s everyone’s birthright.

Celebrate diversity. Celebrate uniqueness. Celebrate the inalienable right of every person to be who they truly are. The parents in the video get that. And so must we all.

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