Pride. We marched in Saskatoon's parade today and took the kids, but it got me thinking about why doing that felt important. Pride is more than wearing rainbow face paint, more than feeling free to put a fun wig on, more than walking in that parade once a year. For many people, being who they were born to be isn't as uncomplicated as it was for me as a straight, cisgendered female and though the climate is headed in a more positive direction, it's important to recognize and celebrate our differences to keep the trajectory strong. As a parent, it's my responsibility to pass Pride along to my children by teaching them to respect everybody no matter what they look like, who they want to be with, or the gender with which they identify. When my daughter, Petra talks about something being just for girls or boys, it's on me to explain that anyone can like anything. When she talks about mommies and daddies or whether someone is a boy or a girl, it's up to me to offer a larger frame of humanity than binary. I want her to know that it's not just our bodies that define us. Most girls have vaginas, most boys have penises, but it's not that detail that makes a person who they are. And though this might seem like a confusing concept for a child to understand, I'm happy to report it just isn't. Wonder why?
First, we believe what we're told. I believed that Santa was a literal 200-year-old person that delivered gifts down my chimney. No chimney? No problem, he's magic. I didn't even question the narrative until I was older and even then, I only accepted that he was just the metaphorical spirit of Christmas when my friends convinced me and my parents confirmed it.
Second, kids' minds haven't spent years absorbing what this largely patriarchal society silently says is right. As time goes on, we'll talk more about the history of opression so they grasp the importance of equal rights, but for now, we're keeping things pretty basic. Understanding that everyone is worthwhile is easy, because it's true.
Who knows if you're raising an ally or a person in the LGBTQ2+ rainbow. I don't want Paris or Petra to ever question coming out to me-- the conversation should already gently be in place so no matter their gender or orientation, our kids know our family is their soft place to fall.