What It's Like to Be... A Girl With Two Moms

"I live in the US in a colonial-style town in New England. Living in the North, people tend to be more accepting of the LGTB [Lesbian Gay Transgendered Bisexual] community, or if they do object they tend to keep quiet about it. The place I see intolerance most is in my school where a lot of kids seem so mind-numbingly ignorant that I begin to wonder how this new generation can possibly be expected to eradicate the major issue of intolerance in the world if we’re too trapped in or own heads to see out into other people’s lives."
-Emily, on the right



There are some people in this world that are so charming and honest you can immediately start to see part of yourself in them. Within my first few lines of e-mail conversation, I could tell that Emily was one of them. Fun loving and feminine, she mentioned chugging Earl Grey tea and eating ice cream ("like it's my job!"), chick flicks, a freakish talent for the game Taboo, and always crying a little bit while reading the 7th Harry Potter book.

A dreamer, a spa frequenter, a tennis lover you would not want to be up against (she would probably kick your ass, sorry, truth) and a fashion lover, in her ideal world would be a musical where she could sing and dance, but also live in Starbucks and take only one class in high school: English, because it's obvious that she is a talented writer. However, a major aspect of her ideal world would be acceptance for the people she loves. You see, Emily's mother is homosexual, and Emily's here to tell you why it's no big deal.

M: Your mom came out when you were fairly young; did you understand what was happening?
E: Actually, since I was only in the third grade, I had little to no awareness of [what homosexuality was] at that age. When my parents split up I initially had no idea of the cause of it because they never told me the reason behind it. I think it took me around three years to actually figure out that her homosexuality was the reason for their divorce. [...]

I [had] known that my mom and her partner were friends before that time and assumed that was the only relationship that existed between the two of them. A year later, they started a business together so that just progressed in my mind from “friends” to “business partners”. Obviously, I wasn’t too quick on the uptake…

M: What do you think or do when you hear the words “That’s so gay” ?
E: A lot of the time I’m tempted to respond “That’s so straight”, or perhaps give the perpetrator a low-down on how the world really works, but then I remind myself that being volatile and argumentative never did anyone any good.

M: Can you tell us some negative experiences you've had from people because of ignorance in regards to homosexuality?
E: The most recent experience I’ve had with outrageous intolerance was actually through Facebook. Out school participates in The Day of Silence (happening this year on April 17th if anyone is interested) which is a day when students in support of gay rights take a vow of silence to raise awareness. It’s supposed to imitate the silence that people from the LGBT community must deal with every day of their lives from the silencing voices of bullying, name calling, and harassment. I recently found out from a friend of mine that someone in our student body had created an anti-Day of Silence group on Facebook claiming that the Day of Silence should not be allowed in our school because it wasn’t “right” that gay rights should be so freely advertised. Needless to say, I was livid. What hurt me most was that a really nice guy I had become friendly with had joined the group. It was kind of a shock seeing the diverse affect of intolerance happening right in my town. The group was shut down, but the impact remains.

M: What would happen if your mother was allowed to marry her partner?
E: It would help tremendously with financial and health concerns, and it wouldn’t be much of a change from the lives they lead already since they function as a married couple do.

M: What was your reaction when you heard prop 8 had passed?
E: Although gay marriage has been made legal in our state, I think they may be worried it could backfire like it did in California. I couldn’t BELIEVE that prop 8 passed, [...] Legalizing gay marriage in California made many people in the LGBT community believe that perhaps society was on the verge of some much needed change, having that taken away was extremely demoralizing.

M: There are a lot of themes of homosexuality in the media, but they do perpetuate stereotypes (Queer eye for the straight guy, the song I kissed a girl) How do you feel about this?
E: I just think people need to realize that those aren’t accurate representations of gay people as a whole group. In a way, I feel some of those things are good for ignorant people simply because it EXPOSES them to the existence of homosexuality in our culture. In many places I feel like it’s a taboo subject, but at least these things provide a presence of the LGBT community in these people’s lives that they might not get elsewhere.

M: Do you attend parties/parades/ events sponsored by the LGBT community? What are they like?
E: One thing I can say is that the gay community REALLY knows how to throw a party and how to generally have a good time. My family has been involved with organizations such as Love Makes A Family and Stonewall Speakers, and I’ve been to a few debates and workshops, but there’s never anything as huge as a parade happening here-about.

M: Is anyone in your family religious yet still accepting of your mother’s sexuality? How do you feel when people use religion to insult you?
E: My mom’s mom is very VERY Catholic, so it was a struggle at first for my grandma to accept my mom’s sexuality, I think. But in the end I think she decided that the creed of Christianity is love because God is love, so it would only be right for her to treat her own daughter with the love, kindness, and respect she deserves. My mom is now a part of the Episcopal Church, where homosexuality isn’t shunned and looked down upon. This is a tough subject for me as I am deeply religious.

A lot of people are misled on this topic as there is actually no place in the Bible that deals with same-sex marriage. In the Old Testament, a little bit is mentioned of sinful sexual activity between either men and women or two men and two women, however during the time the Bible was written, there was virtually no knowledge of the existence of loving and committed same-sex relationships.

The way I see it, Jesus preached love of all people to his followers, and treating everyone with love is how I intend to spend my life on Earth. Those who would use religion to insult and condemn don’t understand that it is not their place to condemn because ultimately it is only God’s judgement that matters.

My philosophy? Treat everyone with love, for in the end only God can judge them.

M: People say that having two mothers can make boys feminine and girls tomboy and all that lame stuff. Care to laugh in their face and prove them wrong?
E: Hah. Every time someone asks that I smile.

Here’s the way it is: I am possibly one of the most feminine people in my circle of friends, I hate having my hair short because I think it makes me look like a boy, I’m fashion obsessed, boys are one of my favorite conversation topics, I can shop as if my life depends on it, and chick flicks are TOTALLY MY THING.
Conclusion: I am NOT a tomboy. I repeat, NOT a tomboy.

Earth shattering, isn’t it?

Other causes Emily supports:
"Something I’m really involved with is juvenile bipolar research. My little brother was diagnosed with bipolar 1 when he was 3 and he’s lived an unjustly fair life being brought down by the disorder. Very little is known about bipolar and there is not currently a cure. Bipolar can tear a lot of families apart and I’d like to raise awareness for the serious nature of this disorder.

[Here is a] good website for information and this moving article from the New York Times accurately shows what it’s like living in a bipolar household."

Emily Digs...
"Dustin Lance Black is who you might recognize as the writer of the movie Milk. I hadn’t heard much of him before the Oscars, but while watching his acceptance and hearing his speech I was so moved and proud of his achievements and attempt at spreading the message of Harvey Milk in our society."

"Bishop Gene Robinson is someone I deeply admire for his both his faith and bravery in the face of opposition. He’s the first openly gay bishop and he gave the invocation prayer at the Inaugural concert for Obama. His interview with Jon Stewart is something that should really be watched, he’s quite witty."

Mary Recommends...
"Combating bigotry the gayest way I know how"
"This pepper shaker is so 16 year old boy with a cheesy mustache" JUST SAYING! I love Wanda Sykes...
The Day of Silence (I'm partaking! You should too!)
Emily's Blog

Always,
Mary

31 comments:

Adela said...

that is such a sweet picture! i love reading your blog =)

http://pinkchampagnefashion.blogspot.com/

Tavi said...

Great interview. There are SO many people I'd like to show this to. There are a number of gay/lesbian families in my town and our community is generally very tolerant and supportive, but the kids at my school that have two moms or two dads get made fun of a LOT. One girl was talking about how much she hates her dads the other day, said they're not "manly" enough etc. It really bothered me, especially because if someone who has gay parents talks about how they dislike them on account of their sexuality, the people around them will think it's okay to do the same. Thank you for this interview Mary (never not inspiring posts!)

Emlyn said...

Very moving interview, I have two acquaintances with two moms, and it just amazes me how ignorant people can be about the LGTB community.
I was also pleased to find it was Emmy, who's blog I've begun following a few days ago!
I'm going to check out this day of silence...

Cassiopeia said...

Great post... Such insight and heartfelt thoughts. I just don't understand how some people can be so bigoted and closeminded.

Thanks for the lovely comment too :-D

Xxxc

http://clothestohealabrokenheart.blogspot.com/

bobb said...

A good thought provoking post and interview.

You might be interested the editorial that appeared in my local paper this week about Senate Bill 2278, which would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation here in North Dakota. You should be able to access it without registering. If you can't I will cut and paste it into an e-mail.

http://www.jamestownsun.com/articles/index.cfm?id=82666&section=Opinion

Ellie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ellie said...

You guys look so... warm, lol. Can't wait until the summer months. Great interview. It's hard to believe that gay marriage isn't legal everywhere/most places.

Annie said...

great great great interview.

dustin lance black is so inspiring to me. he's so open and eloquent, and channeled his passion into something as beautiful as milk.

Anonymous said...

thanks again for kindly challenging people's ignorance! i love that emily is a devoted christian that accepts LGBT beliefs. great and insightful interview!

Twobreadsplease said...

This is a wonderful interview, thanks to both of you. xx

Hayley said...

this is such a great interview and i enjoyed reading it!
i'm very religious, and so is all of my family, and the other day in church school we were talking about issues like homosexuality and the church and stuff, and my church school teacher was basically telling us that homosexual people are wrong and shouldn't be accepted, and it made me so angry! i went home and got so worked up about it and was talking to my mother and we both agree that GOD LOVES EVERYONE and its our job TO LOVE EVERYONE. and it angers me when people say that its against god's teachings to even accept gay people, because i think that god want us to accept someone, and if he doesn't want people to be gay then people wouldn't be BORN gay and he teaches that everyone is equal.
i get so worked up about topics like this, hha.
but i just wanted to tell you that this was amazing, and i loved reading it (:

Hayley said...

OH MY GOSH. i'm just going to post again. haha. i just said something to my friend and they replied 'that's so gay' i hate it when people say that. seriously. i used to, but now i find it so offensing even though i'm not gay myself. but seriously. and when people say 'that's retarded.' i just blame their ignorance, but seriously i wince everytime someone uses 'gay' or 'retarded' or god's name in vain.

Isabel said...

You are SUCH an inspiration, Mary! I love how you totally break the mold of a "fashion blog" and talk about things of great importance. We love you for it. You rock never change!

Morena Doll said...

Ugh, I love Emmy.
Absolutely do. Great post.

Amy said...

Hey Mary! Thank you so much for your lovely comment, it's really nice to know people are enjoying my blog when i'm just starting out!

I have to say that i love what you write about and what you wear! Gap is one of my favourite stores :) And i would probably cut off a few toes for your Marc Jacobs leather bag. Just sayin'...

It's so important for young people to raise awareness for issues such as darfur, sexuality, and tolerance (leading eventually to ACCEPTANCE) of different lifestyles. Great interview :)

In-tree-gue said...

you are the nicest person i know, and its great that you did this, i was just thinking about children with homosexual parents today. I think it shouldn't matter at all, since love is an out of body connection with 2 people and physical characteristics shouldn't be a boundary. And you do more for Darfur than the US government, just putting it out there.

Sylvia Cunningham said...

Love this interview. Great questions and great answers. Insightful, elegant, all so well done. I already got my Day of Silence shirt ready to go.
I get so incredibly angry when people insult and surpress those of the LGTB community. One of my friends (he came out officially just about three months ago) and uncle (who very sadly passed away about two years ago) are gay. I just don't understand how people can be so stupid and close minded. People who don't try to see from other perspectives aren't really doing their duty as a human being. My teacher once quoted Charles Dickens as saying "Every human’s responsibility is man kind.” It's our responsibility to care for those around us. Not to go off on a tangent...but it's the same thing with genocide (which I absolutely love you for caring so much about.) We're supposed to love and care regardless of race, religion, orientation...I mean, really, aren't humans supposed to be intelligent?

Sammie said...

The interview is wonderful, and very insightful. I'm participating in the Day of Silence this year; I did last year and it was great. For the most part, the kids at my school seem to be pretty accepting of the LGBT and those who aren't are just generally ignorant people anyways. Also, I love that Emily is Christian and still accepts the LGBT community and gay marriage. I'm hoping that it'll be legal in the future because after all, love is love.

Emz said...

I really like this interview! People need to read this and accept it

Daisy said...

Fantatic post!!

La Femme Chic said...

Great interview. Really fantastic.

Gabrielle. said...

i really enjoyed reading that. keep up the good work, mary. if your future career plans include journalism, i'm sure you'll do an awesome job.

and emily's story is quite inspiring, i might add. i hope someone with ignorant viewpoints on homosexuality reads this, honestly. i think it might just let them see things in a new light.

bravo!

leilanigl said...

this is a brilliant post, i love this new series of yours!
also, that first link at the end, "combatting bigotry," is hilarious and so thoroughly researched. however do you find these things?
best!

Austere said...

An amazing interview. I come from somewhere that is prob more accepting than others, but there are still stereotypes. It's really annoying that people make assumptions based on who a person's parents are. I just think a person's relationship is their business and as long as their kids are safe we shouldn't interfere. She's an amazing girl. Hopefully many, many people will get an opportunity to read this.


Oh, and lolz at the Wanda Sykes video.

Lee said...

Wow, that was such a great thing to have up. It's sad (and a little disturbing) that anyone would be so ignorant and rude as to make an "anti-Silence" day.

This reminds me of a lady in my bioethics class. She kept complaining that homosexuals (whom she continually referred to as "gay men"-- as if there are no gay women) are able to be covered by their partner's insurance when they are not married, yet she could not be covered by her boyfriend's. I kept thinking, well you have the option of marrying your boyfriend-- they don't. What are they supposed to give up health insurance because we won't let them get married? But she continued to act like she as a heterosexual was being wronged by the rule. I'm like, fuck, this is the ONLY thing that comes close to being a disadvantage when it comes to being a heterosexual. God.

Um, yeah. It made me angry. Anyway, wonderful interview, and Emily, you are so articulate-- not to mention very inspiring.

Lee

Ana said...

I love that you showed how religous beliefs and tolerance for gays can exist together. If more people read your blog I think the world would be a better place. Promise me that when you're a famous political activist or whatever you want to be, that you'll let me photograph you? :D

Ana said...

Oh by the way can you replace the Snazzy Fashion link with my Silver Wings blog? Gracias!

keira antoia rose said...

Adore this interview. It was so insightful. Not only is she a great writer, but a great person. I wish everyone in my family and in my community would read this. The amount of people in school and in church that are not accepting of homosexuality is appalling.

xoxo Isabella Clarisse xoxo
www.tasteoffashionkar.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Your activism is such a great thing. Your post inspired me to ask one of my teachers on monday to start the day of silence at my school. thank you.

love = sympathy = tolerance = peace

Cat's Meow said...

I agree with the comment below me..It is a VERY moving interview. If everyone was as open minded as you were, the would would be a lot more pleasant.

I always enjoy reading your blog.<3

P.S. thanks for the comment, Mary! ^_^

Becca Jane said...

this was such an amazingly great interview, I was so happy to read it.

I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with what she said here:

"The way I see it, Jesus preached love of all people to his followers, and treating everyone with love is how I intend to spend my life on Earth. Those who would use religion to insult and condemn don’t understand that it is not their place to condemn because ultimately it is only God’s judgment that matters.

My philosophy? Treat everyone with love, for in the end only God can judge them."


This girl is fabulous!