I told myself I wouldn’t write this post until I was calm and had finished ranting to whomever would listen. Since M started school we’ve had a few events occur that have caused me to express my frustration in how times aren’t changing as quickly as they should.
I feel the LGBT community has come so far in so many ways in my lifetime yet things still fall at the first hurdle in some areas. My son is my world, he is our everything and we are raising him to be a loving, kind accepting little boy. To think of him upset, or confused or feeling like he doesn’t fit in, is a thought filled with fear. But he does fit in, he does have friends and he seems to be quite popular among his classmates. So it’s a shame that it’s the adults that are letting him down.
In 2016 we have the power to raise the next generation to be accepting and inclusive, we have the power to bring LGBT families into children’s TV shows and not just have them as token characters in soaps. We have the power to produce media that shares our families in a way that kids just grow up accepting that LGBT families are just families, as kids are remarkably accepting.
There are many ways we can introduce LGBT families into the media so that in years to come children will just accept that some kids have a mum and a dad, some have a mum and a mama or even a dad and daddy, heck some kids are raised by their grandmas. This should just be the norm in books, magazines or TV shows.
But adults have to accept this all first. Adults have to accept change and not try and erase LGBT visibility. When we make an adjustment to a form about being M’s parents and it is ignored and one of us is placed as “other family member” that is not good. But that is an adult making that change, deciding not to accept us. It may seem like a simple thing to anyone else, but to read one of us is “other family member” it is quite sad. Surely changing the text input on a form is quite simple when it is a task humans control. These little things make a big difference to us.
Another issue is not having a representation of families like ours in many schools. I know Stonewall make some great posters to put up in school’s, but it takes adults to order and put them up. It also takes an adult to source inclusive books and update outdated library books that tell your child that “every child must have a mum and a dad”. Children are far more accepting, but they look to adults to set the example. So many people tell me their children don’t see any issue with M having two mums, but it’s the adults that needs to work on making a difference.
So what can you do? Well I previously wrote a post on being a good LGBT ally which is worth a read and I encourage you to educate your children about ALL types of families, but also be aware of what your child’s school is teaching and the information they are making available.