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Families Like Mine

by The Next Family November 17, 2009

By: Brandy Black

Sophia

A while back when Sophia was 6 months old, Susan and I attended a dinner party where there were a few other lesbian couples with their kids. We don’t have many close lesbian friends, so we took the opportunity to ask a lot of questions:

Do children at school treat your kids any differently?

What do the other parents think?

Are the teachers handling it well?

Are there other gay parents in your school?

One of the moms was very open about everything. She actually went so far as to call her children over and ask them some of the questions for us. The kids were polite and incredibly well adjusted. At the time I remember feeling a little weird that the children were being brought into the conversation, as if they were models of the gay family lifestyle, to be examined and questioned as scientific specimen.

Now I’m reading a book called “Families Like Mine”, about children of gay parents who share their feelings about being part of a gay household. I have been forcing myself through this book, not because I don’t like it, but because some of what I’m reading is painful to learn. Don’t get me wrong; these children are happy with their parents, but their honest voices pierce through my heart. The children explain that oftentimes they feel that they have to be a “good kid”, a “perfect kid” so that they can represent the “gay family” well because there is so much scrutiny on the topic. These children need to compensate for their parents in order to prove to the world that it’s OK to have 2 moms or 2 dads. Because they are under a microscope, some of these children feel like they can’t be just kids, make mistakes, be fuck-up’s.

I sit in bed at night wondering how I can make sure that my daughter doesn’t feel this way. I want her to be exactly who she is regardless of her parents. I don’t want her to fight our battles or even think about them. I want her to be strong and independent and 100% Sophia.

I will think my way through this now because when she gets older and the tough questions come, I need to be ready to answer with ease and strength.

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