My ’21 blogs’ series, in the lead up to WDSD16, is raising money for Down’s Syndrome Scotland. Please take a moment to donate if you enjoy reading this blog to support the vital work they undertake.
Thanks for reading, Dave
Being raised by two moms was never complicated until society made it so. I had a childhood full of family memories, loving parents, and endless opportunities. The only thing that I was lucky enough to experience that was different from most people were the social activism events we attended. Being at rallies and marches for equality are some of my first and favorite memories. This strongly fostered my passion for justice-work and shaped who I have become. I am currently trying to find a way to afford attending college at my dream school, Prescott College, which is entirely based on environmental and social justice. I believe activism is rooted within me, but being raised by two incredible women certainly multiplied this and provided me with ample opportunities and experiences.
I am incredibly grateful that I have been raised the way I have. I believe that the world would be an exponentially better place if everyone had had similar experiences as me, for it has left me extraordinarily open-minded and conscientious. I never understood that I was living such a different life from my class mates until someone blatantly asked me what it was like. Before that, parents just seemed like parents, regardless of their gender. Soon after, I went home and asked my moms why our family was considered unique. Coming to understand this was baffling, especially comprehending that not everyone in the world was accepting of this. I had two parents who loved me and cared about me much more than many heterosexual parents did for their children – I was lucky!
This did raise a lingering question as I came to understand conception. I began to obsess over who my biological father was. It wasn’t that I felt that I was incomplete or anything was missing in my life, I just had a burning curiosity. Did I look like him? Did I have other relatives? Did we have similar personalities/preferences? My moms were happy to discuss him with me and I eventually got to meet him! This man was a family friend who donated his sperm only to my moms; he is a music teacher who travels the world and is currently living in Prague, which I believe this is where I get my music skills and my wanderlust-ness. I’ve gotten to spend some time with him during summers, but I’m always hoping for more. He is a wonderful man that I am grateful to come from and to have as a part of my life!
There is a joke within the GLBTQ* community (note: the asterisk represents the inclusion of everyone, without exception) – what do lesbians bring on a second date? A U-Haul! In my experience, this has proven true. My moms split up when I was in second grade and they each found new partners fairly quickly. My biological mom and I have moved in with two different partners since their separation, but my other mom soon married her new partner and they are still together. This has involved many moves and different homes, but it’s all been an adventure. There is another stereotype that I have found to be true in our life – my moms know a lot of the lesbian community! I was raised with many different GLBTQ* people supporting us, and to this day, I recognize many older GLBTQ* people in Fort Collins! I’m so grateful to have this support system; it’s just another fabulous perk of being raised by two moms.
Despite some difficulties with friends’ parents, bigotry and negative pre-conceived notions, and the awkwardness of first telling people, I would not change anything about my family. The love and support I am constantly receiving is more valuable to me than anything in the world and I know this love would be different with a mom and dad. The feminine energy surrounding me, although at times too much, has ultimately shaped me into being strong and independent.
Families with differences like this are bonded more deeply than most. In addition to the normal trials families go through, we have survived so much more and have come through together stronger. I’m sure the same is true for families like David’s with disabled children. Everyone could benefit from an experience like this. It only makes the individuals come out more prepared, loving, and open-minded.
Olivia lives in Colorado and is a senior in high school. She is hoping to attend Prescott College in Arizona in the fall to study sustainability. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, backpacking, playing horn in the Denver Young Artists Orchestra, and volunteering.