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Parenting Pride: Baby Steps

Parenting Pride: Baby Steps

A few years ago I realized that if I was not being my authentic self, I was preventing others from doing the same. I became a single parent to two wonderful boys who are just as proud of me as I am of them.

Everything in life is about balance; work, play, relationships, my checking account—but, with kids in the mix, every decision manifests from the position of parent. What am I cooking for dinner tonight? Will my kids eat it? Will my kids like her? When should I tell them? How do I raise them to be compassionate human beings? 

No one handed me a manual when I gave life to the most precious souls in my universe, and no manual would be sufficient because every child is different. There is, however, an analogy to be made with the progression of walking: it starts with baby steps. 

Similar to my “coming out,” which was a realization that happened over time, involving my children in the culture of gay pride began with talking to them about the importance of love. Feeling loved and returning that feeling is part of being complete. If we can't be loved for who we are, then that love is not genuine.

No one is more influential in a child's life than their parents; they believe everything they are told and mimic our behavior. Children are born to love unconditionally and that aptitude needs to be nourished or they will begin to believe it is acceptable to place conditions on love. 

I kept my cultural lifestyle separate from my parenting life until I felt comfortable explaining to my oldest son what Pride represents. To me, Pride is an opportunity to be free from the judgments of others and provides an example of acceptance for my children. I thought I was protecting my son by delaying this explanation, but setting an example of being proud of who I am has led him to his own self-acceptance, which is protective in itself. My youngest son is happy being anywhere there are rainbows.