Three Reasons LGBTQ Pride is for Everyone


Recently I talked with my mother about what Pride means to us as a family. As we reflected together, I realized pride actually impacts ALL of us — not just the LGBTQIA community.

My Mother is Gay.

When I was a child growing up in the 80s and 90s, sharing that my mother was gay wasn’t something I readily did. It wasn’t something that was really talked about back then. My mother is a hard-working, selfless, kind, hilarious, loving, kind of mother. She wasn’t a perfect parent, because none of us are! My mother is gay but like, so what? To me, it just never stood out as the most important thing about her. In the 80s and 90s there was a lot of shame and fear wrapped up in being openly gay. Now as a gay grandmother it’s still not the most important thing about her. I would instead describe her as a grandmother who loves her grandchildren. She’s playful and caring, often says yes to babysitting anytime I ask and calls to check in everyday. Her sexuality has never mattered in her ability to be a friend, parent, worker, co-worker, caregiver, grandparent. She’s just a human being like all of us. A pretty great one. (loved this post from fellow moms’ site in Houston about being raised by a gay mom). 

Waking around the Seacoast over the last few weeks I noticed rainbows and symbols for the PRIDE celebration everywhere I turned. For the first time I either seemed to notice it more or there was just more of it. There are lots of celebrations planned for PRIDE, parades and events. Check out Seacoast Outright for local happenings!

We spoke together recently about how the pendulum has swung on the acceptance and openness and about what PRIDE means to me as a child of a gay parent.

There are 3 main things PRIDE can mean for all of us.

PRIDE is about kindness

My daughters grow up loving their grandmother and knowing that her partner is a woman. They don’t bat an eye. They are growing up now where this is normal. In a way, I feel whiplash. I did not get to grow up like that at all. I got to grow up hearing negative phrases like “that’s so gay” about anything or everything under the sun. When I was young, people would make jokes about someone being gay. It was a put down. We have years to make up for that. For me PRIDE is about being kind to one another. Period. And knowing that you never truly know what it is like in someone else’s shoes or home. 

PRIDE is about healing

I think growing up in a society with that negative attitude towards people who just love differently than you might be familiar with – especially when they are your family member – creates so much hurt that can last long term. When you have had to live with many in society hating on your family member or especially a parent or a child that is gay, there is some major healing that needs to happen. When I saw those rainbow cookies at the local bakery and the advertisements for the parades, it made me really pause and think about how much has changed. Instead of hiding, we are now celebrating! All the healing that could be done over the years to come could be huge. I think about all the shame and self hatred that can come crumbling down just by simply celebrating. In public! 

PRIDE is about acceptance

Baby we are born this way!! I think PRIDE can open the door for future acceptance of ourselves. Instead of beating each other up about how we live or love, we could be accepting each other and seeing past all the ways we aren’t alike. Human Beings come in all many different shapes and sizes, colors and gender. So what?! Accept that someone is not exactly like you and carry on. Accept yourself and with all that extra energy you could change the world.

My family carries our own PRIDE. It’s understanding and kind and inclusive. We’ve lived through many years of quiet so thank you for celebrating. 
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When I was 12, I received a coveted writing award at my 8th grade graduation. So right about now my 12 year old self is super pumped to be writing for Seacoast Moms! Writing loads of poetry helped get me through many challenges as a preteen. Even as a poet, I also write in advocacy and about deeper challenges as a parent and as a woman. Expressing my feelings and writing about what I've learned while becoming a grown up may hopefully be relatable to others. In college I was set on a law career but took one intro to education class and fell in love. I received my Master's in Education from Lesley College through a life changing program called "Art Integration in the Classroom". During my years teaching 4th grade, I also coached for The Girls on the Run program and witnessed the importance of extracurricular activities, teamwork and movement for children. Once my daughters came along, I made the tough decision to pause my career and focus on motherhood. I became the organizer of my family (and chaos) as a stay-at-home mama. The trick I found to support my extrovert passionate personality was to not "stay-at-home". My children and I quickly became involved with our community in Portsmouth, NH. I suddenly found myself as a master non-profit volunteer, becoming skilled at event planning and fundraising and eventually social media marketing and management. I helped lead a nature playground committee at our local school which successfully raised tens of thousands of dollars over several years. Within our PTA, I've planned many events and led our group members to think of outside of the box while using ways to connect with the community and secure sponsorship for The Ecology School Fund as well as The Nature Playground Fund. I've dived in to Social Media management promoting kindness, connection and celebration. Motherhood has found me coaching a youth sport that I knew nothing about, navigating the health and special education field for both my daughters and advocating for enhancing special education and for invisible disabilities such as Dyslexia and PANS/PANDAS awareness. Over the last 12 years as a Seacoast Mom the one thing that I've learned is that kindness can go a long way and that you truly never know what another mom or family could be dealing with. So offer a helping hand when you can, a compliment or an unexpected smile. It can and will change someone's life. I like to speak up when it's important and believe we should skip the small talk and get to the grit of life. I love my family, friends and community fiercely.