Sadly, it's not hyperbolic to say all moms are shamed at some point. If you're anything like me, you're tired of this nonsensical judgment that
never helps people. Since much of mom-shaming is done under the guise of helpfulness or concern, I've decided to actually assist us all by helping everyone understand the cruelest things anyone could do to a queer mom. This way, when you're faced with seeing one of these things play out — or when you're doing one of these things — you can stop the madness and put an end to the viciousness.
I'm of the mind that we'd all be a lot happier, including our kids, if we helped each other survive this crazy thing called parenthood instead of
judging each other for our struggles. If this became a regular practice, I'm willing to bet we'd all find many more similarities than differences in our parenting journeys.
Now, I have not personally
been subject to a hate crime because of my queer identity. I hope it's obvious to everyone that any kind of physical or emotional abuse is the absolute cruelest thing you could do to a queer parent (or any parent, for that matters). Assuming we're all on board with that statement, I'm going to focus on the microaggressions that non-queer people might not even be aware are supremely cruel.
People are always assuming things about me. I don't know if this comes with the territory of being queer, or because I'm particularly fluid in sexuality and gender, or if people just assume things about everybody. I've spent a good portion of my life
battling the erasure of my identity as a bisexual person coming of age during the "bisexuality doesn't exist" era. It is personally painful and culturally damaging. I exist as a human in my own right, with my own identity. Those things don't change because of how my relationship looks to others.
Assume Anything About Our Parenting
Unfortunately, some people honestly believe queer people make worse parents than non-queer people. Here's the deal, ya'll. As I've said before, my
queer-ness doesn't make me a bad parent. It also doesn't make me a good parent. My queer identity is one of the many parts of me that make up my true self, and contribute to my parenting.
So what makes me a good or bad parent? You guessed it! How I actually parent.
Assume We Don't Deserve Privacy
For some reason, it's pretty commonplace for people who don't identify as queer to assume that people who do identify as queer should be fine with opening their lives up to everyone else. I'm like everyone in the sense that sometimes I'm OK educating people, and sometimes I am not.
Bottom line? It's not OK to assume that because someone's identity is different than yours, you automatically have the right to ask invasive questions.
It's not my responsibility to educate you. That's what Google is for!
In general gossiping about other parents is just gross, but particularly when someone belongs to a
marginalized group gossip. That gossip can, and usually does, become a source of real concern. If somebody shares a juicy bit of queer gossip with a fellow parent, and that fellow parent harbors bigoted hate, that innocent gossip could put me and my children in real, physical danger. Just don't do it.
Question Our "Choice" To Expose Our Children To Our Identity
What I want to know is, how could I not "expose" my identity to my children? Pretend not to be queer? How is that at all helpful to anyone?
The suggestion itself is beyond cruel. Like saying, "You're a
great parent! If only you were a different person entirely."
Wonder If [Insert Kid's Problem Here] Is Because Of Our Queer Identity
Just no. Parents come in all shapes, sizes, identities, religions, races, cultures, and any other identifier you could possibly think of. Nothing and no one exists in a vacuum. Assuming straight, cisgender parents are the default, and therefore any problem my kid has might be attributed to my queerness, is problematic and offensive. Oh, and it's cruel. Just stop.
Say "Love The Sinner, Hate The Sin"
Just no. My sexuality is not a sin. My gender is not a sin. You don't get to hate a part of me that some people are literally killed over, and claim to still love me. You certainly don't get to expose my children to this hateful idea.
To sum up? Don't be cruel.