Thursday, November 16, 2006

It’s all in a name – Advice to gay parents

Over the past few weeks I have received several e-mails
asking for advice on what names gay and lesbian parents should be addressed by
even gay grandmas seem to be getting stuck on this one.
Mama and Mommy
Daddy and Papa
Mom, Ema, Bubby, T-Mom, Daddy Joe or simply Kate
The list goes on and on and on
As gay and lesbian people
We always seem to settle
Happy for what we get even if it is not what we truly desire
our decisions at times fully dictated by the world around us
how will my family relate?
how will the school relate?
will this confuse and cause controversy?
We were the same with words like “friend” - ah the infamous friend
Girlfriend, boyfriend, lover and partner (what are we, in a law firm?)
When domestic partnership began we were all so thrilled
Progress is progress
But separate is not equal
Not by a lot.
So here in the name game I say again
Ask for and demand what you want.
Care not about the confusion or worry of others
I say wife and I say married
I am Mama and she is Mommy
Our son sometimes called us both mom but he has Never been confused.

When he was three we went to a park
A little boy was trying to get his mother's attention
Mama he yelled from his swing. No response
Mama! Again no response
MOMMY!!!! His mom turned to him.
Zion my son looked at me in shock
“How can she be both people in there?”
He was already crystal clear that I am one and she the other

I do not care about the world
Its rules and roles and labels
I do not care about the moral majority's confusion
Our kids are clear on who we are.
When I went last week to get my daughter at nursery school
A teacher yelled out
Torin, your mommy is here
And Torin said, where? As she ran into my arms.
Torin just demanded that her teachers use more care
In addressing her family.
I am Mama – not hard to remember
Grammy and grandma
Grampy and grandpa
Daddy and Papa
All equally valid
All equally understandable
Like marriage.
Other than cultural names with which you feel
A connection and have a history
I encourage you to hold you what you want
I would never want to give the impression that one of us is less of a parent
Less of a grandfather
Less important
So to all of you out there
Wives, husbands
Daddies, papas and mommies to be
Have no fear
Your child will not be confused
And it’s okay for the rest of the world to struggle a little
Don’t you think?