My children grew up with a deep dark secret. Their mother (me) was/is a lesbian. They usually confessed this to their friends after they felt confident in the relationship. But school in the 80s and 90s really was a toxic sea of homophobia and I can quite understand their reluctance.
One day post school, my daughter was chatting with a group of her old class peers. One boy said that he really regretted not telling everyone that his mother was a lesbian. My daughter, astonished at this revelation said the same. The group then discussed how this news would have been treated and agreed that they would have been really cruel to both of them.
I felt an overwhelming sadness that both children endured living with this dark secret alone and unsupported. I can only hope that this is less likely today. But this requires making information like this safe and ordinary and standing up against campaign like ‘think of the children’
My six-year-old son’s best friend is an amazing girl called Pascal. They have been solid buddies for almost three years now. They don’t attend the same school, but have regular play dates and sleepovers, where they play outside in the dirt with items pilfered from my kitchen concocting’ant stew’ (which doesn’t actually involve any ants), make indoor tents out of sheets strung over dining chairs, and put on puppet shows using old fridge boxes as the stage. They have tennis lessons together on a Friday, joyfullyrunning to meet each other at the courts and racing around in circles like a pair of excited puppies.
Their beautiful, innocent meeting of hearts and mindshas given rise to a broader friendship at the family level, which has been cemented through trips to the theatre, lunches and dinners out, birthday parties, and camping trips. The camping trips have been a real revelation, as anyone…
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