Recently I took my children to a pride festival for the very first time. Their reaction was so interesting, I had to face palm and inwardly say to myself, “You’ve totally failed as a LGBT parent Mary…”
Turn The Clock Back
When my wife and I first met in 2010, our first date was to a Pride festival. I had never gone to one. Hell, I had just started to realize I was bisexual, much less know what a Pride festival even was. My future wife had mentioned it. She essentially dropped the bait and I said, “Sure – sounds fun!”
Every year after that we have not missed one single year of going to the Flagstaff, AZ pride festival held in June.
Because it is a landmark event for our relationship, it has become sort of ‘our thing’. Our little romantic anniversary of sorts. If you are new to the blog I have to mention I have a husband and a wife. Even my husband doesn’t attend these events with us, so we have likewise never brought the kids.
Phoenix Pride 2018
Kalvin our transgender son, has been wanting to go to a pride festival for over a year now. We mentioned it might be nice to try to go to the Phoenix Pride festival. Last year we missed it, and so I made it a point to put it on the calendar months in advance this year. Because it sort of snuck up on us yet again, only Weyland, Kalvin, Jalix, and Mykal who went with my wife and I.
Jalix is eleven and as we were walking to the event from the parking lot (like half a mile away) Jalix was quietly observing the other participants on their way to the event. He suddenly turns to me and says, “Mom that guy is wearing a ballerina skirt!”
He wasn’t being judgemental. Living in a conservative state and slightly conservative town, you just don’t see dude’s in skirts. I turned to him and asked him, “Jalix do you even know what a pride festival is?” He shook his head no. ‘Uh-oh,’ I thought ‘I’ve seriously failed at being a LGBT parent.’
As we continued to walk toward the event, I explained everything in detail to him. Our first stop when we got through the gates was visit the drag show. Jalix was enthralled with the drag queens and kept saying, “Wow I can’t believe those are actually guys!”
As for Weyland and Mykal, they were happy to just be out doing something on a Sunday afternoon with their moms. Kalvin was really thrilled. It was everything he hoped and more. He met so many other transgender youth, and I think it really bolstered his spirit and courage in his own journey.
All In All…
We had a wonderful time. The kids got to see some great daytime drag shows that were more family appropriate for the family day crowds. Kalvin got brave and asked a boy for his number. The other boys, Weyland, Jalix, and Mykal got to experience some of the rainbow culture outside their home.
I walked away feeling satisfied but also a little irritated with myself. I supposed I assumed that our LGBT family, (which even in the community is very unconventional due to my polyamory,) was so open about these things that my children would just pick up on our conversations and understand what this is all about. It really never occurred to me that they outside of their family lives that they would realize there was a whole culture to support their sexual identities should they end up being on the fringe of society.
Moral of my story – and a bit of parenting advice – never ASS-sume! It really makes an ASS of yourself if you do!