Why is it that some days my life feels like a social experiment? My wife and I are not “in your face” kind of lesbians. We don’t have the rainbow sticker on our bumper or overtly advertise that we are in a same-sex marriage. Please don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with proudly and boldly living your beliefs……that just isn’t us. For myself I just don’t think it is a big deal; my friends and family don’t make it a big deal we are just who we are. But holding that attitude often does leave me feeling like a social experiment. Sometimes I forget that society does sometimes make a big deal out of same-sex marriages and families. So one never knows how people will respond to you, hence, the social experimental feeling.
Today I was speaking with another woman whom I did not know very well and we are in the process of building a working relationship. She had, according to societal standard, referred to my “husband” a few times. I have gotten into the habit of using the phrase “spouse” when both referring to someone else’s life partner as well as my own. I notice that most people do not pick up on this variance which is a shame and I do hope in time that this changes to become the societal standard when speaking about a life partner…..but I digress……
Many times I simply do not correct people. Now, for those who are ready to leave comments saying how wrong this is; that by not correcting them I am showing that I am ashamed of who I am…..please….hear my out…..and remember….I don’t like to make a big deal about this to others. To interrupt a conversation to point out that I don’t have a husband but a wife; THAT would be making a big deal out of a simple mistake. No one makes the assumption that everyone is married to a member of the opposite sex to be rude……that is how we were raised! Simple as that! That is not to say that when I did tell her that my spouse is a wife I was not afraid of her reaction; but only a small part of me was. I was willing to take the chance that, by telling her about my family, she would no longer want to work with me. She was, as most people I have met, very supportive and accepting or in other words, didn’t think it was a big deal. I have no idea what her personal views are on homosexuality and really it is irrelevant. She does not have to agree with my marriage to acknowledge or accept my marriage and family. I think this difference has been lost on society. To accept and to agree are not inclusive……they don’t actually go hand-in-hand. I can accept that someone smokes or drinks too much or cheats on their spouse but that does not mean that I agree with it. My experience today really had me thinking about this differentiation between accepting and agreeing. And then…..I read the post that I re-posted on my page…..
MommyMan decided to write a post about how straight parents can talk to their children about same-sex parents. What a wonderful post! Really….please…..I encourage everyone to not just read it but let’s take this viral!! Straight AND gay parents should read his words of wisdom!! His post, however, prompted me to recall a time when our family quite innocently became a learning tool for another family at our local dance studio. All three of our girls dance. Me, being the talker that I am, have gotten to know many of the families at our local studio. One day last year another mom told me that we were “the topic of conversation” between her and her two children after dance one week. In that moment…..when she first said that…..my brain was going a mile a minute about what they could have been discussing about us. Were our little ones having a fit in the hall? Were they running around screaming? I could not think of anything of any importance about our family that would warrant a conversation between parent and child.
She must have seen a look of apprehension on my face because she very quickly said, “Oh it is nothing bad….I actually wanted to thank you!” Hmmmmmm……..thank me!?!? O.K. She told me how her children began asking questions about our family having two moms. It seems that they had noticed throughout the weeks that there was no “dad” that brought the girls to dancing and that they called one of us “Mommy” and the other one “Mama”. She said that if it was not for us being part of the dance studio family she would not have had the natural opportunity to discuss the different kinds of families that exist in our society. WOW!! Was I ever blown away! Again, I have no idea what her personal feelings are on the subject of homosexuality; and again IT DOES NOT MATTER. She, and through her actions and conversations with her children, now her children accept us as just another family in the dance studio….no “big deal”……just as I dream of all families being thought of in the future.
So am I a social experiment? Yes, really if I acknowledge where society is at in it’s evolution of acceptance, yes I am. BUT I am ok with that. I know that us just living our lives as we do, a family of 2 mom’s of 3, we are helping to change society’s collective journey towards gender and sexuality “not big dealness”. When My children have children I firmly believe that we as a global community will no longer make a big deal out of how a family, marriage or couple is made up; just two people who love each other, decide to spend their lives together and raise a family based on mutual love. Its pretty simple when you put it like that……really….its no big deal.