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Contemplating Our LGBT Mother's Day

May. 9, 2017
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For the LGBT community, Mother’s Day has a very special significance. Aside from celebrating our own mothers, we recognize the more universal LGBT mom. Motherhood is a fluid notion. It can be best defined by the familiar Hillary Clinton book title, It Takes a Village. There have always been LGBT mothers, of course. But since our recent achievement of marriage equality and the debate that swirled around it, we’re certainly more conscious of them today. Opponents argued children needed a traditional parental unit of a mother and a father, but, in fact, same-sex moms or dads are model parents. As opposed to many a straight counterpart, LGBT ones want their children and go to great lengths and expense to have them. Besides, better a loving untraditional family than none at all.

A married lesbian couple I know just had their second child. Theirs is as wholesome a household as one can imagine. Like a diary, they post their daily experiences on social media. From marriage to the rigors of pregnancy (one of them has had both children), the details make me marvel at their dedication and love (as well as feel a bit guilty when they go on about all the laundry they’ve washed and folded).

Last year I took a photo of a friend riding in the Pride Parade with his newly adopted son. They’re both waving at me, beaming with that certain glow. They live on a small farm. When the extended family gathers, it requires rental chairs and tables set up in the barn to accommodate their numbers. The son has the best of rural life. He’s a 4-H Club member, an acolyte at church, a Cub Scout and Little League baseball player.

Another family I know represents gay and straight, mixed races, ethnicities and generations. The uncles, a gay couple of 20 years, live together in a Riverwest duplex with the sister of one and her two sons. Last year, the older boy graduated grammar school (given his stature and maturity, I thought he was going on to college). Then there’s Ethan. He just turned 5. A recent video posted on social media shows him singing with his church children’s choir. You can hear him, quite distinctly, joyfully belting out the spiritual “Walk Together Children” in his own key and tempo and, in the midst of it, briefly breaking his musical stride to call out a “Hi mom!” with a little wave before returning to the tune. He’s already mastered his uncle’s skeptical side-glance, too.

Every Memorial and Labor Day weekend they host a family barbecue with dozens in attendance. I look forward to them like Christmas.

Speaking of which, last December, one uncle posted a conversation he had with the then 4 year old while driving through the city.

Ethan: “Are those Christmas lights?”

Uncle: “Yes, it’s going to be Christmas soon.”

Ethan: “Do you know what the best part of Christmas is?”

Uncle: (expecting “presents,” of course) “No, what’s the best part of Christmas?” 

Ethan: “We get to make Christmas cookies together.” 

Uncle: “Making cookies is the best part of Christmas?”

Ethan: “Yup.”

So thanks to all the moms and Happy Mother’s Day!

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