Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 29+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-02-25
Download Issue
  News Index   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds     AIDS @ 32       Marriage
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

Chicago endurance athlete Hupe excels in marathon, Ironman Chicago endurance athlete Hupe excels in marathon, Ironman
Twice during a 10-week stretch last fall, Curt Hupe heard those magical ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times

MOMBIAN Back-to-school ABCs
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Dana Rudolph
2012-09-18

facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


My son is about to start fourth grade. I'm excited to shop for school supplies with him and thrilled that he's growing and learning—but like many parents, I also wonder what the school year will have in store for him.

As an LGBT parent, I worry about whether this will be the first year he will be teased or harassed about having two moms, or will hear negative phrases like "That's so gay." A number of LGBT organizations, such as the Family Equality Council, HRC's Welcoming School project, PFLAG, and others, have created excellent guides and other materials to help parents, teachers, and others work towards a world that better includes students from LGBT families (and LGBT students). I recommend them heartily. But they address only one facet of my concerns.

For all I know, my son will be teased for his glasses but not for having two moms. Or he will struggle with an academic subject and self-doubt. Or he will encounter any one of the endless possible situations that can make kids feel excluded or socially awkward.

I try not to let my worries get the better of me, though. The world has enough overprotective moms as it is. I'd rather rest easy knowing he has the resilience to get through whatever obstacles come his way, both LGBT-related and not. Okay, maybe no parent ever rests completely easy—concern for our children is part of the job description—but I try my best.

Part of that effort involves teaching him what I like to think of as the ABCs:

Awareness: By this I mean first and foremost self-awareness, a sense of his own feelings and perceptions. I try to ask him "How are you?" as well as "What did you do today?" when I pick him up after school, for example.

Coupled with self-awareness, however, is awareness of others. This can mean helping him understand how his actions affect the people in his life, but can also mean teaching him about the wider world of people, families, opinions, and perspectives. Just as I insist that others be inclusive of him and our family, I want him to be inclusive of others in return. I do this in part by discussing personal experiences with him, but also by exposing him to a wide array of people and viewpoints in books, movies, and other media.

Bravery: I try to help my son be brave, whether that means answering in class, standing up for himself or others, or knowing when to walk away. I try to build his self-confidence through praise, encouragement and the assurance that everyone makes mistakes. I will love him no matter what. I hope he is always brave enough to be himself. I hope he is brave enough to admit when he is scared.

Communication: Nineteen years of marriage have taught me (sometimes the hard way) that good communication skills are essential to avoiding and assuaging misunderstandings. I hope to pass the same lesson on to my son. And if confusion or conflicts occur with peers or teachers (not to mention his moms), I hope he is able to discuss them with his other mom and me and work towards a resolution.

In addition to the ABCs for my son, I try to keep this set of ABCs in mind for myself:

Allies: I am grateful for the allies I have on LGBT issues—and try to be a good ally to others in return, on the issues that matter to them. I know that although we are one of the few LGBT families in our school, we are not alone in wanting an inclusive, safe environment for all our children.

Bridges: We need to reach out, take risks, meet people halfway, and find common points of connection even to those who may not be obvious allies. This applies not only to LGBT issues, but also to the great variety of matters that affect our schools.

In many ways, our ability to build bridges is a test of how well we ourselves have learned the lessons of awareness, bravery and communication. Sometimes I still get my feet wet.

Community: From allies and bridges can come a web of community, and a community in the strongest sense of the word—caring and connected—is a powerful force against many ills.

Do I always remember to live by the above principles? By no means. I am still learning and growing just like my son. But September reminds me, as we begin the adventure of the new school year, how important it is to try.

May the year be welcoming and wonderful for you and your children.

Dana Rudolph is the founder and publisher of Mombian ( www.mombian.com ), an award-winning blog and resource directory for LGBT parents.


facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily
agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here.
Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you
stay on this page, the more you help us.

Entrepreneurs event hosted for youth 2015-03-01
Alfre Woodard talks 'State of Affairs' before local benefit 2015-02-25
Youth homelessness behind teaming of AFC, Vida/SIDA 2015-02-25
LETTERS Not cool for school 2015-02-18
ELECTIONS 2015 High school teacher Meegan seeks to upset 33rd Ward dynasty 2015-02-17
ACLU urges federal court to force DCFS changes 2015-02-16
Muslim youth group condemns shooting in Copenhagen 2015-02-15
Black Youth Project 100, changing world one meeting at a time 2015-02-11
Study: Coming as LGBT in school contributes to well-beling 2015-02-10
Nominations sought for 30 Under 30 Awards 2015-02-09
ALMA names recipients of Young Latino Leaders for Creating Change scholarship 2015-02-04
Kirk co-sponsors safe-schools act 2015-02-04
PBS series includes 'Limited Partnership' and 'Homestretch' 2015-01-28
Apartment Adoption Projects starts for homeless Chicago youth 2015-01-28
Lambda Legal on nomination of Rev. Meeks as Chair, IL State Board of Education 2015-01-23
Performance series highlights youth, seniors, LGBTQ isolation 2015-01-21
National roundup: Pol backs Leelah; GLSEN's week; gay Nikon ad 2015-01-20
Community responds to Rauner's nomination of Meeks as ISBE Chair 2015-01-20
Shimer College president talks about 'worst college' label 2015-01-14
YEPP event features Crys Matthews 2015-01-13
Study compares mental health of trans, non-trans youth 2015-01-09
National roundup: Indiana gay-straight alliance; 'gay panic' bill 2014-12-30
Local teen's giving campaign 2014-12-24
EDITORIAL Unconditional 2014-12-21
ACLU files Federal complaint: School board segregates trans bathroom use 2014-12-19
Children's book about embracing differences 2014-12-17
School board member causes controversy with anti-gay remarks 2014-12-14
EI wants Warren Township School board member to resign 2014-12-12
Intergenerational 'Vives Q' takes place at renowned museum 2014-12-09
Evanston Unitarian church hosts panel on youth homelessness 2014-12-07
Evanston church, Crys Matthews to benefit youth 2014-12-05
Coming up: Homeless LGBT youth panel; World AIDS Day at Center 2014-12-03
Apartment Adoption Project starts for homeless Chicago youth 2014-12-03
Holiday gift guide to new LGBTQ-inclusive kids' books 2014-12-02
'The Homestretch': A movement to end youth homelessness 2014-12-02
Chicago police violence against Black, Latino youth focus of UN committee 2014-12-01
Fred Says to give 50,000+ to groups working with HIV+ youth 2014-11-28
Evanston panel to discuss homeless LGBT youth 2014-11-26
Chicagoans among POZ 100 youth 2014-11-26
Center, chef host homeless dinner 2014-11-26





Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 

Emanuel to face Garcia in April runoff; gay Latino wins big
 
Entertainment: Darren Criss; Kelly Clarkson; chef Art Smith; Tom Ford
 
National: Pol and trans granddaughter; suicide; FBI and Fred Phelps
 
Jeb Bush maintains anti-marriage equality stance
 
Chicago endurance athlete Hupe excels in marathon, Ironman
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now
Sponsor


Sponsor

  News Index   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds     AIDS @ 32       Marriage
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.