On New Year’s Eve our firstborn daughter announced to us that she is, in her words, queer.
I consider myself to be a very socially liberal person. We of course thanked her for confiding in us, and told her that we accept and love her for who she is, including her queerness. But I shocked myself when my immediate, first unspoken reaction was “Well, she’s too young to know that about herself! This must be just a phase.”
I’m ashamed now to admit that my gut reaction to our daughter speaking her truth was denial. It’s not like either her dad or I were raised in households where being gay had a negative connotation.
I realized how wrong my attitude was thanks to a podcast. I was listening to an episode of one of my favourite podcasts, , and one of the hosts, Jesse Thorn, . I immediately had an epiphany. If Jesse and his wife Theresa could trust their 5-year-old to know her own self, why couldn’t I trust our 12-year-old?
(Jesse and Theresa Thorn also were about the experience of their child identifying as non-gender-conforming and what it was like to speak publicly about it on their podcasts. )
Since a piece of pop-culture entertainment helped me to understand myself better, I started to seek out other pieces of entertainment that showcased queer or non-binary characters. I may not be able to offer any advice to our daughter about being LGBTQ, as I’m not a member of that community, but I can at least make sure that what we watch and read as a family includes positive representation from the LGBTQ community so she can see herself reflected in the culture.
And that’s why we’re here. To share what I’ve seen or read, so you can know what’s out there that showcases non-hetero characters and/or narratives that are appropriate for pre-teens and teens.