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I Love My LGBTQ Family!

Inclusion and visibility; are two key parts in bringing an oppressed group out of the closet and into mainstream society.  I applaud the LGBTQ Parenting Connection in Toronto for launching the FIRST set of cards for parents who fall outside the heterosexual, monogamous, married, 1 son, 1 daughter picket white fence and hypo allergenic dog stereotype that we often favor.  Society at large doesn’t celebrate children (or the parents themselves) who are being raised by two moms, two dads, a trans mom, maybe a grandmother, a foster parent, or a caregiver.

I’ve seen it time and time again in my life, being excluded from very important pieces in my life.  I recently got married and with that event often come bridal showers, ‘buck and doe parties’… and cards. You don’t know how many people got to learn how difficult it is to buy a wedding card with two women on it. For that matter, how difficult it was for me to find a ‘to my wife’ card that didn’t explicitly say ‘from your husband’ or depict the happy couple using the ever famous boy and girl doves (and of course they have to be sporting a pink bow or veil and a tie to enforce that they are a boy and girl), squirrels, or traditional white dress and black suit garb.  Which means that the cards you receive aren’t really made for you (what a great feeling) – therefore you are excluded. They are generic, skirting around the issue that we aren’t all the same with their defiant refusal to adapt to the real world.

Not seeing yourself represented is hurtful, oppressive and can lead to feeling unimportant, invisible, meaningless (which not surprisingly leads to anxiety, self-stigma or discrimination and depression *and this is just the beginning). Similar to how we do not represent people living with mental illnesses in our community! I see a pattern here!

So in all my excitement, here’s the scoop. So that those of us who feel a certain unease around Mother’s day and Father’s day – the inclusive cards have arrived- and of course it did not come because “Hallmark” smartened up and decided to be inclusive, but because a smaller organization has put some creativity and love together to fill the gap!

They offer cards for celebrating the parents, caregivers, and other important people in the lives of kids in LGBTQ families. LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer) families are awesome! They come in many shapes and sizes; some have more than one mom or dad, some have none, and, hey, some have a whole team!  llustrated by local artists, “I Love My LGBTQ Family” cards were created for kids in LGBTQ families, to help them celebrate and say “thank you” to all the amazing people that support, love and care for them.

Give one to a special person in your life on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or any day that celebrates the people you love!