Visibility

Zebra-doctprToday we took our boy to “Purim-palooza”.  (For those of you who don’t know, Purim is a very celebratory Jewish holiday full of costumes, sweet treats, games and revelry.)  It was a blast, especially since M won the costume contest.  He was a zebra-doctor if you can’t tell from the picture.  I think he was the youngest one on the stage and that is why they gave him a prize, but regardless it was awesome.

I met a woman during the festivities who said something I keep thinking about.  She is a straight mom who moved to my town from Seattle.  After a few minutes of chit-chat as the four parents watched our sons come down the huge inflatable slide, she whispered, “So, I am assuming you are together.”  She motioned to S and then back to me.

“Yep,” I said.

She proceeded to tell me that all of her friends in Seattle had been gay moms and that once she moved to the south she kept thinking, “Where are they?”

The reason I keep thinking about this is because we are everywhere.  Maybe it is my skill of being able to spot a our kind from twenty yards, but I see queer families all over the place.  Why hasn’t she seen us?

I think this has to do with our families so often being invisible.  One parent is often perceived as the parent and the other is just the ‘friend’.  Or, my favorite, the nursing mom is the mother and the non-nursing mom is her sister.  It seems that even with folks who consider themselves to be totally liberal and accepting, first impressions can often be quite wrong.

At dinner with some dear friends last night (themselves queer mamas to a three month old), one of them told me a story about how they were out and about and an elderly couple came up to them.  The interaction went something like this:

“What a beautiful baby!”

“Thank you!”

“He is so lucky to have two wonderful mamas!” And the couple was on their way.

A moment of real visibility for my friends’ family.  A beautiful moment of people really seeing each other.  I love that story.

-Betsy

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