I’m sitting here, fighting back tears. Tears of sadness, anger, frustration. I just finished reading a post. A post of a fellow mother. A post about Orlando, but so much more. A post about her worries for her child. A powerful post of being strong, having faith in life and about fear. Fear because her child is “different”.
Initially I wanted to share the link in my Picks Of The Week tomorrow but it’s one of those posts that is too strong for me to wait. Too many thoughts in my mind at this very moment.
Her child is a rainbow. Her child is born as a girl in the body of a boy. It took me a while to find the right way to explain it. I tried “her son is a boy who wants to be a girl”. But that’s not true. It has nothing to do with what he wants. It has to do with what she is.
“My youngest son started showing signs of gender nonconformity at age three, started describing himself as gender nonconforming at five, self identified as a member of the LGBTQ community at eight.
Little did I know that the worry I’ve always had for my LGBTQ brother’s safety had a long lost twin – it’s the worry I have for my LGBTQ son’s safety.” – Lori
We all worry about our family, about our children. About their future, the people they will encounter and the challenges they will have to overcome. We worry about the wrong influences and wrong decisions in their life.
My children are happy in their bodies, with the gender they were born in. At least so far. When my daughter was a baby and my son little we lived next to three gay men who lived together for over 30 years already. They soon became my son’s “adopted” grandpas. I’m thankful of the years we lived next to them. I’m thankful about the fact that my children grew up with three amazing neighbors we could always count on. I’m thankful that my little son freely asked all kind of questions and they all answered ever single one of them honestly and as child conform as possible. Much better as I could have ever done.
As much as I, as a parent, would have tried to teach them having an open mind, it was spending time with our gay friends that actually taught my children that everything is normal. People who love and respect each other are normal. People who treat others well are normal (or should be normal). Tolerance, love, respect should be normal. Having an open mind should be normal.
My children learned from a very young age that men can kiss men because they love each other or they want to kiss each other. Just as much as a man wants to kiss a woman. For the same reason. They learned that men can live together as a couple, as a family because love is love. They learned that you don’t have to look twice and whisper if you see a man holding hand with another man or a woman with another woman. Because it’s just like a man holding hands with a woman. Love is normal, relationship is normal, feelings are normal.
“I daydream about taking him to his first gay club. I want to open the doors and walk in first, turnaround and see his face as he takes it all in and realizes that he has – finally – found his people. Standing in that gay club, staring at my rainbow boy, I’d think to myself, “You’ve found your people. You’re safe here.”
I awoke this morning to news of the shooting in Orlando. The deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. At an LGBTQ nightclub. The shooter was angry because a couple of months ago he saw two gay men kissing. At least 50 people are dead and at least 53 more are injured.
My brother is not safe. My son is not safe. Even if they find their people. Because monsters can find them there, too.” – Lori
But obviously it’s not. Some people are not as open. Some people have agendas. Or they just don’t like what doesn’t fit in their little mindset.
We all have our fears. Mother, fathers. We fear for our children. Monsters come in all shape and sizes with all kind of agendas. Monsters are out there and they want to hunt, they want to hurt, they want to take what they feel they have a right to take. Monsters with their twisted minds.
We all fear those monsters. Because they are a threat to all of our kids. Every single one of them. “Pulse” was a gay night club. But that doesn’t mean that there were no straight people. Extreme thinking, sick minds, trigger happy individuals are a threat to all of us.
Of course Lori’s rainbow, her family unfortunately faces more challenges than my kids. And still we have the same fear. We fear the monster that might hurt our child, our children. We fear the monster that can’t deal with love and happiness of others. We fear the monster with the twisted mind.
We fear the same monster. Just a different shape or size. We want to keep them forever safe, hoping that they find their people and will be safe, all of them. But we do realize that not even their people might be able to keep them safe if the monster gets to them.
So there’s our hope. Our hope that they and the people they will find over time will be strong enough to keep them all safe. Or that the monsters will never find them or will disappear forever. Basically all we can do is trust. Trust in life, trust in our children to make the right decisions, trust in the world to become a better and much more peaceful place.
We can teach our children to be acceptable, to accept and tolerate. Teach them that out of the ordinary doesn’t mean bad or impossible. Who knows, maybe one day the ordinary will be a much more tolerate state of mind… Life truly is about so much more and as long as our children and the people they surround themselves with in the future understand that they will be on a good path. Life is about values, respect, tolerance and about love. Most of all in regards to people it’s about the person itself. No matter the skin color, the religion, the body shape, the tone of voice, the hair color, the hair length, the scars, the tattoos, the language, the gender or if they are lesbian, gay, bi, transsexual and so on. My children live by this now. A good person is a good person. A good heart is a good heart.
I can only hope that they will always stick to that. Even if one of their friends will try to convince them of something different. I can only hope that they will be strong enough to stand up to what’s not right and turn around, even if it’s in regards to their best friend, and simply walk away if necessary.
All our kids are our rainbows. Some of them are more colorful then others, some stand out more than others. What I want is that we can truly say, that we found the right people. Even if they are miles away. We found the right people, people who stick together and make this world a better place.
The right people who will stick up for others and keep everyone safe…