After my article about Pride Awareness in 2020 I’ve been asked to write another this year. It didn’t take long for me to decide what to write about as it is at the forefront of my mind everyday currently.
I have chosen to write about is pride awareness but from a slightly different viewpoint. You see I am embarking on a journey with my husband into the world of adoption. This is extremely exciting and wonderful, and we cannot wait to have a son or daughter to love and cherish and call our own. But in the back of my mind I cannot help but have some fears as to what we as a family and my child may have to face.
Why have you got two Dads?
Moments, such as, when I go to drop my child off at school and other parents ask me or my child about their mother. The awkwardness in class around Mother’s Day. The comments people may make in passing as we are all strolling to the park. Conversations about ‘Why have you got two Dads?’. These are some of the situations that I think will likely crop up.
I know that people are inquisitive, and many will ask questions not because they are being malicious. And I am not worried about answering these questions either, as I am extremely proud of who I am, and I cannot wait to become a father. What does concern me and what I fear most is that because some in society are still not fully accepting that a gay couple could or should raise a child, the types of reactions we may get as a result and how this could impact our child.
I am relatively thick skinned and I can take some peoples views or thoughts with a pinch of salt no matter how hurtful they make me feel. I am not as confident as to how our child will cope with it. A child who in all likely hood is going to have experienced some form of abuse, trauma or neglect and is now wondering why people are staring at them, asking questions or saying nasty things, and making them feel like they are not normal because they have two daddies. Why should this child have to go through this? Have they not been through enough?
Changing old stereotypes
I appreciate that to some readers this may seem extreme but believe me this is a reality that most same LGBTQ+ parents are faced with. It is therefore important that we challenge those who say this is wrong. To change the old stereotypes and help create a world where no one bats an eyelid at a child being raised by same sex couples.
I have recently read news stories and social media posts about various companies bringing out a pride themed product or changing their logo to incorporate a pride theme. They usually come with a huge amount of support but unfortunately also a lot of hate.
I’ve read comments such as “Why don’t we have a straight pride?” or “You don’t see them changing their logo for anyone else”. Quite often these are comments are made by people who are quick to say they are not homophobic or against the rights of gay people, however, that is to miss the point. These types of comments are exactly why we need Pride Awareness. It’s not to celebrate being gay but to raise awareness that it is “normal” and “okay”, to enable two people to walk down the street and hold hands and not be mocked or ridiculed or even worse.
Allow love to win
Once we start to make these basic changes and equal rights start to mean that everyone is treated fairly and equally, then hopefully some of the other issues facing the LGBTQ+ community will be problems of the past. For example, did you know that according to AKT (a charity supporting LGBTQ+ young people aged 16-25 in the UK who are facing or experiencing homelessness or living in a hostile environment) that 24% of all homeless young people in the UK identify as LGBTQ+? Out of the young people that AKT supports 77% believe that coming out at home was the main factor in causing their homelessness. By helping change perceptions, we can help tackle a wider range of challenges which the LGBTQ+ community faces.
I appreciate that Pride covers a whole multitude of situations and I have only explored one part of it. I thank you for taking the time to read this and ask for your support to stand up and help challenge society to do more, to do better and allow LOVE TO WIN.