This isn’t a venue that I’d typically assert my opinions too vocally, nor would I usually speak on behalf of the other writers or staff members of EverythingMom, but to me, I think the perfect – and most painful – time is now. Here at EverythingMom, we’re not just about strollers and meal plans, though those are obviously important parts of a busy mom’s life.
We see past the long work days and the gagets and laundry piles. We’re not simply seeking to make motherhood simpler, easier, more glamorous or technologically-advanced. We’re about Everything. We’re about you, and me, and her, and her. Inside and out.
There’s a vocal movement going on now, journalists, writers, speakers, politicians, educators, bloggers, mothers, children, fathers and friends, so many of us, whatever our labels, are all banding together to spread a simple message it’s okay to be you.
Whether you’re a devoted Oprah-viewer and subscribe to the ‘Live your best life’ philosophy or not; or you’ve been reading Eckhart Tolle since his first book was published; whether you’ve questioned your identity as a mother, a wife, a partner or businesswoman; or you’ve read of tragic deaths in the past few weeks and thought that it was horrifying, that someone could feel so minimized by society as to end their live, I ask you to think: are we all so different? Don’t we all seek to be our true selves, fulfilled, accepted, successful and loved?
A teenager struggling with their sexuality may seem worlds apart from the friend you know who is struggling with her first months of post-partum depression, yes, but ultimately, don’t they have in common a questioning of identity, and a need for love and acceptance? Would the mother be more worthy of this care if she were straight, or would the mother who has her child with a female partner, via sperm donation, not be?
We’re all humans, and we all need the same things: shelter from the elements; nourishment, both physically and spiritually; love, kindness and support from those we love, and even from those we don’t know. Most of all, we all feel hatred, judgements and recourse (for our life, our choices and who we are) just as deeply.
I’m lucky, and have aligned my priorities, to live within Vancouver’s “gay neighbourhood”. It was integral to me that my daughter grow up in a haven of tolerance, where taboo is questioned openly (and sometimes non-existent). What I’ve learned most from this home is that with the acceptance of homosexuality you find, you also see tolerance for other sometimes-frowned upon people: those living on the street, those with mental illness, immigrants without strong English skills, people of all shapes and sizes and colours and sexes. A beautiful transgendered woman will walk down the street, stopping to buy flowers from the little Asian market with the two owners who speak only enough English to conduct business, while outside, a homeless man sits, collecting change, and drinking a coffee that a passer-by gave him. And no one glares at anyone. No one is judged as lesser than or wrong.
The reason this all works this way, as I see it, is because a) everyone sees their own role in the community as a valid one, as well as others’, and b) no one is more or less deserved of kindness, regardless of their status, bank account or who they love when they get home.
Today, I want to ask you this: how do you think that you can create such a microcosm in your own life? Your neighbourhood or community?
What if mentoring a child or teenager was the different between them feeling unlovable and unacceptable, and caring about not only themselves, but becoming an agent of change for further positivity? What if you explained to your children from a very young age that people can love each other, even if they’re not a prince and princess, or a mommy and daddy? What if pride was more than a parade that was held one day a year, in major metropolitan areas – if we all took pride in the fact that love is a major human need, regardless of what sex the person giving it is? And we gave it, consistently.
How whole would it make you feel to be part of a butterfly effect that stopped another teenager from ending his life, or another from feeling shame for who she is? How great would it be, if we could just accept – ourselves, each other – without condition, just like we would hope anyone would accept us? My friend, Angie‘s started this facebook page, a blog movement and hashtag on Twitter, Gay is Okay. Maybe joining is a first step for all of us?