BUILDING OUR OWN FAMILY COMMUNITIES

 

Sometimes the people I meet on a daily basis can be the inspiration for me writing an article.  Case and point:  I met a young lady who is a lesbian, in a long-term relationship with her partner and they just gave birth to their first child together.  When she told her mother about her pregnancy, not only was she met with rejection and disdain but her mother has not, to this day, taken any active role in seeing or participating in the life of her new grandchild.

Now I don’t know the grandmother’s reasons and I’m not here to judge, but in talking with this young lady it’s obvious to me that her mother is not happy about her Lesbian lifestyle and refuses to acknowledge the birth of her child or accept it as her grandson.

After hearing this story, I realized and I’ve probably known this for some time, that there are those in our community that don’t have the support of their families and it got me to thinking about how as Lesbians and Gays we raise our children with some semblance of a normal family environment.

I mean, our families won’t accept us, so what do we do.  Well I suggest we begin form our own families.  What do I mean by this?  We become open to meeting other families like ours.  We begin, if not already, to form friendships with other Gays and Lesbians who are beginning their family journeys.  Those friendships blossom and eventually become our extended families with the support we have been lacking from our regular nuclear families.

Unfortunately, we cannot change the old and bigoted ideas that are stuck in the minds of some of our family members.  Nor should be spend time exhausting the arguments we are going to have with them to try to convince them of something with which they will never agree.  It’s up to us to move on when others will not.

I know this is hard for some to do because we so much want the approval and acceptance of the ones we love.  But if those people refuse to come around, we must step back and realize we have chosen to bring a life into the world.  And the worst thing we can do is take a child around hatred and bigotry.  We owe our children an environment of support and if we cannot get it from our natural family members we should begin to create our own extended families through friends and other Gays and Lesbians.

We already have our community but we need to extend a hand to one another and come together as a closer community to build our own families.  I’m not saying cut your family out and never speak to them again.  But just step back and allow them to wallow in their own hatred.  DON’T PARTICIPATE!  And hope that one day, they will come around and want to participate in our new families.  People make journeys in their own time and we must allow them to take that journey on their own.  And if and when they do come, welcome them with open arms and then PARTICIPATE.


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