Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-10-22
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 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

LGBTQ youth job fair Oct. 22 at Center LGBTQ youth job fair Oct. 22 at Center
CHICAGO—The Chicago LGBTQ Job Fair will be held Wed., Oct. 22, 2014, ...

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.

Project Fierce, Breakfast 'N' Beds to support LGBTQ Youth Housing 2014-10-23
More than 100 attend Chicago LGBTQ Job Fair 2014-10-23
ALMA announces scholarship at event 2014-10-22
LGBTQ youth job fair Oct. 22 at Center 2014-10-22
Point accepting applications as of Nov. 1 2014-10-22
Cumberbatch on OUT cover; lesbian pundit canned 2014-10-21
Point Foundation honors scholars at Chicago event 2014-10-21
True Colors hosts national summit on LGBTQ homeless issues 2014-10-18
Chicago LGBTQ Job Fair Oct. 22 2014-10-15
Chicago LGBTQ Youth Job Fair Oct. 22 2014-10-15
LGBTQ youth job fair Oct. 22 at Center 2014-10-15
Illinois Safe Schools says farewell to David Fischer 2014-10-13
Sociologist Pascoe on youth and homophobia Oct. 22 2014-10-13
Sami Grisafe inducted into school's hall of fame 2014-10-13
LGBTQ youth job fair Oct. 22 at Center 2014-10-08
Notes: Holy Name event Oct. 14; NU school asks orientation 2014-10-08
Alliance brunch looks at progress, challenges for safe schools 2014-10-08
Illinois Safe Schools Alliance welcomes new ED 2014-10-07
Upcoming: LGBT veteran event, NO H8 photo shoot, Safe School brunch 2014-10-02
Town hall focuses on bullying prevention 2014-10-01
Group offering youths five LGBTQ trips to Israel 2014-10-01
Alliance Brunch to recognize leaders in LGBTQ Safe Schools Movement 2014-09-27
NU grad school adds sexual orientation question 2014-09-27
Illinois Safe Schools, CPS collaborating on trans* policy 2014-09-24
UIC receives national award for diversity 2014-09-24
VIEWS Black children are beloved and beaten 2014-09-24
MTV, LOGO TV to premiere "Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word" 2014-09-18
UIC receives national award for diversity 2014-09-18
Life: Twelve 2014-09-17
Openly gay Roosevelt Univ. president to retire 2014-09-17
Chicago 2014 Homeless Youth Summit generates projects 2014-09-17
Fed Appeals Court upholds NJ law banning conversion therapy 2014-09-11
Rep. Harris honored by Almost Home Kids group 2014-09-11
Chicago LGBTQ Youth Job Fair Oct. 22 2014-09-10
Chicago LGBTQ Youth Job Fair Oct. 22 2014-09-10
Youth counselor talks Night of Hope, suicide prevention 2014-09-02
Study: 19% of L.A. County foster youth identify as LGBTQ 2014-08-27
GLSEN launches 25 Days for Safer Schools 2014-08-26
Campus Pride's LGBT-friendliest schools 2014-08-20
Report has what youth of color think about LGBT agenda 2014-08-20





Copyright © 2014 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.

 

 

 



 

Aon, KPMG hold pro-LGBT event
 
Sophia Bush on 'Chicago P.D.' and being an LGBT ally
 
ELECTIONS 2014 Printable Election Guide Charts
 
Gay in the Life: Justin Romme
 
Dining news: "Dinner Party" Oct. 27; Cicchetti closes
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now



  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 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      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
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.