What Does a Kid Know about Marriage … Quite a Bit, Actually.

The Divine Miss M is a bona fide Harry Potter nerd so she was rockin' the Dumbledore sign at a recent Marriage Equality Rally

The Divine Miss M is a bona fide Harry Potter nerd so she was rockin’ the Dumbledore sign at a recent Marriage Equality Rally

PFLAG National filed an amicus brief with the Tenth Circuit in the marriage equality appeals.  It filed a similar brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in the Prop 8 case.  Their approach is to tell stories of inequality not just from the perspective of the lesbians and gays affected but from their parents, families and friends. As our daughter, the Divine Miss M falls into the category of families of lesbians and gays. PFLAG National contacted her to see if she would like to share her perspective. She submitted the following which was included in the amicus brief filed today.  (No, we’re not at all proud of her and of course, I don’t get choked up every time I read it and even as I type this):

C. Story of []

My partner, Jodi, and I raised our daughter in Oklahoma before moving to Colorado in 2012. As lawyers in Oklahoma, we were not “out” professionally for fear we would lose our jobs. A year after we moved to Colorado, we were able to obtain a Civil Union License. While having a “civil union” carries with it certain legal benefits, Jodi and I want to get married. We want to be responsible for and held accountable to each other for all of our days. Marriage is the strongest commitment you can make in this country and we want to make that commitment.

Marriage equality is also important to the other member of our family: our 13-year-old daughter. Her feelings about why she believes Jodi and I should be allowed to marry are as follows:

“One of the things that I like to do with my best friend is to plan my parents’ wedding. My best friend and I make lists of people to invite to the wedding. We also talk about who the bridesmaids should be. But we don’t talk as much about where or when the wedding will take place. That is because I have two moms, and right now they are not allowed to get married in Oklahoma, the state where I was born and grew up, or in Colorado, the state I moved to two years ago.

I think it’s unfair that my parents can’t get married. I can see that they love each other just like my grandparents love each other and just like the straight parents of my friends. I see them hugging each other. I see their togetherness – the way they treat each other with respect, the way they work together as a team.

We are a true family. My two moms are great parents to me. They always tell me when they are proud of me. I know that I can go to them with any problem. They teach me great lessons about standing up for what you believe in, not giving up, but always being respectful of people who disagree with you.

My family is just like everyone else’s and my parents deserve the same rights as everyone else. Everyone should be able to marry the person that they love and the gender or race of that person should not matter. Knowing that my parents are not allowed to get married makes me feel like some people don’t believe that we are a real family. It feels lousy and hurts my feelings. But I’ll keep planning my parents’ wedding and looking forward to the day when they can get married.”

This is by no means the first time she’s participated in an ‘activist’ role, nor is her passion limited to LGBT issues.  Her submission was, however, the first time she’d ever voiced the specific concern to us that other people didn’t see us as a real family.  I suppose we never know just how many ripples in the water inequality leaves in its wake.  But I do know the Divine Miss M is stronger, more self-assured and believes more in the possibility of changing the world than I did at her age – probably because she’s already started.

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7 Responses to What Does a Kid Know about Marriage … Quite a Bit, Actually.

  1. The Labor Coach, Tribal Founder :) says:


    • Jen says:

      Me, too. ; ) She was so excited yesterday when she knew it had been filed! She read the whole brief to me while I was cooking dinner. We both got choked up at different portions – some stories were heartbreaking but most of them were very touching stories of support (and advocacy) from friends and family of lesbians and gays.

  2. Jenny says:

    Good job, Miss M!
    Good job, Moms.

    • Jen says:

      Thanks, Jenny! Our local PFLAG chapter presented her with an official copy of the filed brief yesterday so she was pretty excited about that. Now the interminable wait for the ruling some time this summer.

  3. Lisa Winterstein says:

    That is an incredible young lady you have there. It is a shame the three of you have to fight for what is and should be your God-given right.

    • Jen says:

      Thank you, Lisa! We think she’s pretty incredible as well (and maddening at times!). : ) I’ve said many times that I don’t particularly like that we have to fight for these rights, but I’m not without appreciation for how grateful it makes me as we make progress, how little I can take for granted. I think these struggles have also lent themselves to teaching the Divine Miss M a lot about compassion and empathy – those aren’t the easiest lessons to teach a child so there are these positives to keep my eyes upon.

  4. Yvonne says:

    Hello Jen,Just want to say you are a wonderful pranet. I am a 53yr old trans woman who was totally rejected by my pranets. They are both dead now giving me some peace. I knew I was different when I was around 3 or 4 yrs of age. I transitioned when I was 40 when my pranets were still both living. It was their mission in life to cure me. Their belief system was deeply rooted in religion which made me an evil unwanted child in my mind. My life was hell on earth. It has affected me horribly and still does to this day to not have the love and acceptance of your pranets. Shortly after I transitioned they tossed me aside as their child never to speak to me again. They both died without ever conversing with me ever again. It is a very difficult set of circumstances to live with the rest of your life. I have 2 beautiful loving accepting adult children who make my life worth living but sometimes I am sure I would not be here if not for them because of the damage my pranets inflicted upon me my entire life while they were alive.YOU are doing the right thing! Love your children as they are! I never chose to be brought into this world but my pranets never wanted what they got. I always feel so cheated when I read of a wonderful pranet like you!As for my own children I love and support them no matter what. They had no choice to come into this world; I made that decision along with my wife. It is a pranet’s responsibility to love and accept their children unconditionally. It is a persons’ duty as a pranet.Lots of love,Sara

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