June is the perfect month for reflections on fatherhood and pride, understanding where we’ve come from and considering where we’re going.
Most people, especially those in the DMV region, know that June is a month of celebration in the LGBTQ+ community, “Pride Month.” This is most often known to commemorate the uprising at a New York City gay bar, the Stonewall Inn, when the queer community stood up against regular police raids, arrests and brutality. Today, Pride Month seems to be everywhere. Large companies display rainbow-themed ads on TV and social media, cities large and small have Pride festivals and there are opportunities for allies to celebrate at our sides. We also remember those who went before us, and work together for a more inclusive, safer future for us all.
For those in our community who are also parents – especially those of a certain age – there is cause for even greater reflection and celebration. Until quite recently, LGBTQ+ people who wanted a family embarked on, essentially, a subversive act. Familyhood was not legally recognized. Medical providers, adoption agencies and other organizations didn’t know how to assist, or outright refused. It was often disempowering, especially as one of the parents was usually relegated to “roommate” status. And in almost every case, the process was incredibly expensive. Parenthood in our community is incredibly intentional. Then and now.
Growing up, most of us never imagined parenthood as an option. Yet on the day we met over 25 years ago in our Silverlake neighborhood of Los Angeles, my now husband said to me “you should know, I want children.” And as I reflect not only on Pride Month, but also on Father’s Day, I am filled with awe and gratitude for that moment, for him and for the beautiful baby we adopted at birth who somehow turns 17 this summer. Through all the challenges, roadblocks and struggles on our journey to parenthood, we would do it all over again to become the parents of this person, the absolute light of our lives.
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, uncles and grandparents and all father figures who love and care for our families.