What I've Learned From The Girl Gang
It all started with a conversation in 7th grade on the couch in our living room. By this time my parents had both divorced, remarried and given me 3 amazing younger half siblings. My mom had told me a few weeks ago she was getting divorced again, this time with my stepdad. This made sense to me but I never in a million years could have predicted what would come next. A movie was on when my mom turns to me and asks how do I feel about gay people. How do I feel about gay people? What kind of question was that? And that's when she came out to me. At first I was confused because my mom had been married to two boys before so I responded with a very middle school answer of; "oh ok cool, as long as you don't go crazy and march in parades." I will never forget that conversation. A year later my mom married Jenny, her high school sweetheart. Now five years later not only does my mom go crazy marching in gay pride parades, but I always march right alongside her.
When my mom and Jenny got married I gained two new stepsisters, thus creating a beautiful family of 6 girls. The Girl Gang is what everyone calls us. Even our two dogs are girls. People love asking me questions about how we survive without a man in our house. Who opens the jars and does all the yard work? Well that would be my moms. What about chopping wood and grilling? Yup my mom's do that too because they are badass and don't follow gender roles. Trust me the only bad thing about living with all girls is we all have to share one shower.
Growing up with two Moms has very much influenced who I am as a person. My levels of awareness and compassion for others has increased significantly. The assumptions that are made about our family are endless. I couldn't begin to tell you the amount of times "Oh girls night out?" is asked to our table at restaurants. Well sure I guess, but that would make every day a girls night out. I've learned how important it is to be true to yourself, even when it doesn't fit into what other people believe is "right." There is no right or normal. My mom never hesitates to introduce my step mom as "my wife Jenny" even though people still look surprised or confused that two girls are married. Her confidence and smile as the words "my wife" roll off her tongue could move mountains. I've heard girls at my school repetitively use the word gay in a negative way. It's taught me to stand up for what I believe in. To pull that girl aside and tell her to be careful how she uses that word because it can offend people. Having two moms has opened my eyes to how unaware people can be and sparked a desire for me to change that.
So I urge you reader if you have learned nothing from my letter just remember one thing, keep an open mind. Don't make assumptions about anyone and be kind. You don't know anyone's story and people don't know yours. If you live your life with an open heart and mind you will learn more than you think.