We had our first family outing to a pride event this past weekend. The perky positivity peddler bought front row seats to a soccer game downtown and had a large pride event incorporated into it for all of us. It was a great way for the older girls to bond and enjoy something that the PPP loves, soccer, but also let them express their individuality and allowed them to be supported as they navigate different aspects of gender identity and sexual preferences. These kids are so much more inclusive than I was. Sure I had friends who were openly gay or bi, but we never had events to attend or fundraiser for support. Being gay or bi as female was definitely more socially acceptable and increased a woman’s sex appeal. It wasn’t as accepted to be a man that identified as anything other than straight. We were the era of “the dl”, “that’s so gay”, “All homosexuals have AIDS” and closeted friends scared to tell their truth. That definitely was a time for pride for any of us. I’m happy to be a part of a new era that gives loves freely and rights are shared among all. It’s beautiful. There is still hate, stigma, and insults but the LGBTQ+ community has grown in both people that are out and those who struggle, along with a major shift of support from their heterosexual allies. I say you do you boo. Live your life and love whoever the f^€k you want!
You may have noticed I refer to #2 of my threefold, as having a “person” instead of boyfriend/girlfriend type label. 2 is openly into the same sex/non-binary people, but recently she is also showing interest in boys again. Her preference is strongly more towards a person biologically the same sex as her. #1 of my threefold prefers the they/them pronoun and has renamed themself a more gender fluid name than their birth name. They are comfortable with being partnered with any lgbtq+ person and is more into personality and connection than gender or sexual orientation labels. My bonus kid, also is similar to 1. in these beliefs. However, BK and 1 currently have partners of the opposite sex.
#1 of my threefold, tried telling me a million times that they were struggling with how to identify and who their people were going to be. They fluctuated from gay to bi to straight and back around again. This made it difficult for me to accept as a truth, even though now I realize it wasn’t that it was not spoken in truth when they said it, it was more of a sliding scale that I honestly did not understand. I will be forthright in saying it took #2 coming out to me and my always feeling she may be from a young age for me to truly come around to the ideas of all things lgbtq+. That wasn’t fair to 1. I’m not sure if I was being told by my peers that it was “a phase” or that “all kids feel a need to have a label” or my own personal stubbornness and feelings to accept what 1 was telling me. I’m forever sorry for not allowing her to truly express themselves. I am extremely proud of DEFCON 4 for feeling allowed to be their authentic selves in my presence without fear of persecution or judgment. I hope they always know they have my unconditional love and support regardless of how they identify.
I won’t lie, I struggle I have a hard time referring to 1 as something other than the name I gave them. I say she/her because I’ve had 17 years of practice at both. Changing any repeated behaviors after that long is going to be difficult for anyone. I struggle with 2’s person as well . I often say she/her, because it is difficult to transition back and forth. I do call them by their chosen name though because that’s how I was introduced to them. The first time I met their father and he repeated their birth name I honestly didn’t know who they were talking about! I had to retrain my brain to refer to them as they/them, and now he is saying she/her. Then I could only assume they weren’t comfortable coming out to their father or he was having a hard time like me changing a habit of 14 years to fit the identity they are now.
I’ve learned so many things from DEFCON 4 (as I want to be inclusive of my BK when it regards her as well) I’ve learned more about sexuality and expression. I’ve learned about identity and being fluid. I’ve learned that we all have the right to be loved and accepted as we are regardless of any label, race, sexual orientation, ethnic back ground, religious beliefs, or gender identity. They have taught me to be more inclusive and accepting. They have taught me the meaning of love. A million times over I am grateful for their lessons.