It was the day I had been waiting for. The day many of us dream of. The day I would proudly walk the streets of our local pride festival, but not alone, not slinging beers with friends, and not even hand in hand with some new cutie. But with my family. My beautiful wife and our sweet baby boy.
Long before we were even pregnant with our son, my wife and I talked about including our potential children in all of the lgbt events and festivities we participate in. How fun to stroll down the street of the pride fest, pushing a stroller, showing the world “I am a lesbian. And I am a parent!” Well, that fantasy came true yesterday afternoon.
A Whole New Kind of Club
What was quite interesting, that I would normally have never noticed, is the slew of other dyke moms out there! No joke, the streets were flooded with them yesterday. And the feeling you get when you exchange nods with one of these other women, sort of like a secret society of lesbo mothers symbolic head gesture, is really fantastic. When you step back and look at the bigger picture, how cool to be in a safe space, out in the open, as gay parents. What’s even better is not that we are gay parents, but we’re parents. Doing things parents do. Asking one another “how many months old is he?” Showing your baby the brightly colored rainbow flags, rubbing on extra sunscreen because the sun’s rays are extra fierce on baby skin.
Why it Meant So Much
This particular pride festival took place in one of the smaller Metro Detroit cities near our home. It is not the big Motor City pride that is in downtown Detroit. The smaller, intimate festival was actually where my wife and I had reunited (after parting ways post-high school) eight years ago. I remember she was looking all hot and tanned, and we were both a bit tipsy. We were at the ripe age of 22, and we quickly fell wildly in love. It’s a story we enjoy telling, and we were both feeling sentimental bringing our sweet little bundle to the place that started it all.
The Great Divide
A slight twist of events occurred when attempting to meet up with our group of friends. Apparently something happens when you become a parent. That is, you’re interests differ in ways unexpected from your peers. While we were enjoying walking around absorbing the scenery, my (child-less) friends had interests in other alcohol-fueled directions. My wife and I found an outdoor table at this cute hipster fro-yo shop, while the gang was trying to make room for our stroller in the pub. We politely declined, and instead, introduced strawberries to our son for the first time. (He loved them by the way!) I suppose in past, had my friends and I spent pride in different arenas, I’d probably be disappointed. But, this time around, I wasn’t the least bit bothered. I respect that they want to do other things from what I hold a priority now. I loved doing the family thing with my favorite people.
Children Are the Future
It is so important for kids to experience pride the way that we do. Of course use your discretion on age appropriate activities, but let them see different kinds of people. Let them see there are other families like theirs- two moms or two dads. Show them different symbols and flags. Children really are our future. These young minds are developing new ideas as we speak. Hate is not something we are born with. Teach them about equality. Let them see love. Feel love. Human beings benefit from diversity. I stand firm that this is something I want my son to know. And by letting children attend pride events, parents are teaching the right message.
This was definitely a unique way to experience the pride festival. I’ve been attending pride since I was 18, and I’m now in my 30’s. This year was different from all the rest. In the past, I was more into partying or shopping, or meeting new people. I feel like this time, we created a new milestone as a family. My heart is filled with warmth and love.