What does it mean to be a family?

If you listen to some people a family is a dad and a mom and 2.1 children. I feel back for  poor little .1, never getting invited to play, not even big enough to be thrown out of a bathroom because there’s only like an arm there, but I digress.

It’s an Ozzie and Harriet view of Americana and I don’t know that it really ever existed behind the doors of Levittown where those affordable suburban homes were put up or Daly city where Malvina Reynolds mocked the American dream. Behind real doors both parents often worked and sometimes dad or mom ran off for one reason or another.

Behind the real doors of every country unspeakable things happened to spouses and children. Unfortunately that’s the real world that people inhabit. Alcoholism and drug abuse. But also parents die, become disabled, get sick, and so on.

Then someone wants to adopt a child and it’s two gay men or two lesbian women or god forbid it’s a couple and one of them is one those freak transgender people who’s really a man trying to sneak in the ladies room and you know they just want to convert that poor innocent child into a satan worshipping gay transexual freak….. really, you’d swear that they think that, wouldn’t you? I mean that must be it?

Why is it that when, pardon the language, a straight person hears a word like lesbian or gay or transgender or bisexual their brain suddenly stops working? I’ve raised a child as part of a standard issue heterosexual couple. I’m here to attest that while sex may be part of a marriage it has blessed little to do with parenting. If it does you had better stop right now or you’ll justifiably end up in jail.

It seems to me that we don’t, in fact, have a standard issue family and have never had one. Children have been raised by single parents, maiden aunts, one or both grandparents, a friend of the family, foster parents, and unfortunately on the streets.

People still, at this point in time think there’s some gay germ that children can catch or a secret agenda that will be instilled. I wish they’d understand that at least the lesbian couples I know raising children want the same for their children that we all want. To provide them with a loving home, to give them the opportunities they deserve, to shower them with love and to see them grow up to be independent human beings.

As far as trans people having children, I’ll tell you a secret, many of us did so in disguise and you never even knew. Jokes on you! I don’t see why our being able to transition first would make any difference unless people want to hurt our children with bigotry and violence – doubtless motivated by their deep convictions brought on by religions that preach peace, love and acceptance.

So what’s a family? A family is some small unit of  people knit together by bonds of love and affection and committed to providing each other shelter through life’s storms. Open your arms and join the greater family.

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