Love is Love
My life started out quite bleak. A stranger, who found me abandoned on their doorstep in Nanjing, China, brought me into this world in 1995. I was brought to an orphanage, nameless. At the orphanage I was given a name, a birthday, and warm clothes. I was adopted 4 months later and brought to the small town of Ipswich Massachusetts by my wonderful lesbian moms.
As a child, I thought normal meant having a mother and a father, not having two moms. It meant having at least one sibling and not being an only child. Normal meant having parents that either didn’t care about you, or cared too much. But regardless, you had to fight with them over every little subject and topic.
As I grew a little older, normal also meant that I had to play sports whether I enjoyed them or not. I had to go along with other people’s opinions and always blend in. My whole life, I have always tried to force myself to be normal. In reality, I’m the farthest thing from normal. I remember purposefully instigating fights between my moms and I because I felt guilty. I felt guilty because my friends always fought with their family, and I always got along with mine. I remember lying to my friends, about how we were adopting another child so I wasn’t an only child. Throughout the years, I feel like I have lived the beginning of my life as a fake. Unintentionally, I tried to be someone else. I thought that being LGBTQ was a sin because I knew no other LGBTQ families. I was at the point where I felt my moms and I would never belong.
When I was six my parents signed me up for “Family Week” a summer program in Provincetown, Massachusetts, run by an organization called C.O.L.A.G.E, which stands for Children Of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere. During Family Week, kids of all ages got together and did activities like barbecues and beach days. We also did more serious things like workshops based on race, identity and bullying. The outcome is that I have friends from everywhere. I feel like COLAGE has helped me find myself and I owe the organization everything. It proved to me that there is no normal and that whoever you are in the world is fantastic.
By age fifteen I finally felt like I had found myself. I do what I want instead of what others want and I’m not afraid to share my opinions. It’s amazing how one little event can have such a significant impact on my life. I still go to COLAGE every year and now I am old enough to be a COLAGE staff member. One of the most important life lessons I have learned is that it doesn’t matter what gender, religion or race a person is. You can love whomever you want in life and you shouldn’t have to be ashamed of it. Love is love.
I’ve lived with my moms for nearly nineteen years now. I have no idea who my birth parents are, or where I came from. If that person didn’t find me, who knows where I would be now? But one thing is clear; I couldn’t ask for better parents. My moms have taught me many lessons, but most importantly, they have taught me to keep an open outlook on life and to be myself. Not everyone is “normal”; it’s okay to be different.