Growing up with gay parents
Happy Mothers Day to all the mothers out there! Here’s a picture of me with my mothers.Yep, for those of you who are new here, I grew up with a gay mother, so I’m a part of the small portion of people who grew up with two mothers. Navigating childhood, 30+ years ago, as a child with a gay mother was pretty tough. Not because having a gay mother made parenting any different from my perspective, but because the opinions of the people, whom my mother’s sexuality did not effect in anyway shape or form, were not accepting of same sex parents. Thankfully, opinions have changed over the years and as a society we’ve grown far more accepting, but that’s not to say it didn’t negatively affect me during those critical years of my development. Fearing judgement and potential retribution, I spent the majority of my childhood having to lie about my family life. Kids can be horrible at the best of times, I could not imagine how I would have been treated if I had been honest about my family life, especially in high school. The problem was, this period of my life taught me subconsciously that the person who I was, the real me, was not good enough to be accepted by my peers. This is something that followed me into adulthood, and until I engaged a counsellor 11 odd years ago, something I had never stopped to consider. Through a lot of challenging, and often emotionally draining internal work, I processed these things came to see this tough period of my life as somewhat of a gift.
Because of the fear of judgement I grew up with, I developed into an adult who was accepting and loving of all people, from all walks of life, irrespective of my own personal beliefs. It also helped me employ boundaries which I now use ruthlessly to ensure the people within my circle are those who love and care for me, and are accepting of the choices I make as I journey through life, even if their choices differ from my own. The thing I have come to learn is that we all have trauma from our childhood, no matter how seemingly perfect it appears externally. We often forget that our mothers also carry this trauma, and this also shapes them, their decisions, and their parenting techniques. It’s easy to forget their trauma in the face of our own, but I think it’s vital we remember this in order to move forward in life and learn from the negative memories, and the resentment people often have towards their parents. Whilst this childhood trauma can present challenges, it’s how we take those challenges, learn from them, and use them to grow, which is what’s most important. None of us are perfect, instead we’re all just out here doing the best job we can.So thanks Mum and Reb. For the good times and the bad. Thanks for sitting in the rain watching me learn to surf, thanks for helping me develop a strong work ethic at a young age by washing dishes in your restaurants, thanks for allowing me to continue to pursue my passion of skateboarding despite the endless injuries, broken boards, destroyed shoes, and bloodied clothes. And most importantly, thanks for helping me learn the value and importance of being a present parent, because in another life, with other parents, I would not be walking the journey I am with Jaiden, both of us learning and growing every day. Whilst we’re not together today, I hope you enjoyed your little visit with us last week. If anybody needed a getaway, I know it was you guys. Happy Mothers day to all of the mothers out there, and also those of you whom are not mothers, yet fulfil that often thankless role, day in and day out.