International Family Equality Day

Families are full of variables: gender, sexuality, culture, ethnicity, height, and weight. These things, these variables, make us unique as a family. Because I’ve never found two families the same. Yes, there is the traditional family that is a Cisgender woman, a Cisgender man, a Cisgender son, and a Cisgender daughter – but that schematic isn’t the only one that works, families of all different kinds work.

Family Equality Day is designed to showcase families that work well but stray from the traditional family schematic while promoting Family Rights in the world.

Let’s look at some GRSVP Families.

Neil Patrick Harris is married to his husband, David Burtka. Together they share two children, Harper and Gideon. When they announced that they were starting a family, I can remember seeing many people in the comments section of Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook slating the pair for not allowing the children to have a mother.
They were angry because it was two men raising children without a mother figure. However, that doesn’t matter, Neil and David have proven that – they’ve proven that children don’t need a Mother and a Father, they just need loving parents.

Sir Elton John and his husband, David Furnish, are another pair that have a beautiful, thriving family. They have two children together and have made such a difference, specifically in the UK. Sir Elton John talking about his family: “If you’d have said to me ten years ago I’d be sitting here married to the man I loved and have two beautiful children, I’d say you had put acid in my drink. But life throws you challenges and life throws you curve balls, and great curveballs, and these two children have came along at a time when I never thought I’d have children. They are the greatest thing in our lives. There’s no words to describe how much we love these boys.”[1]

Wanda Sykes came out at the age of 40, after previously being married, but is now happily married to her wife Alex and have two children together. “I will say that being out and talking about my wife and kids helps start a dialogue, I guess. People come up and thank me for talking about stuff like that because their child is gay or lesbian. When the conversation is out there, it does help.”

The Maloney family is another example of families straying from the norm. Kellie Maloney came out as a Trans Woman and began Gender Reassignment aged 60/61. Her wife (now ex) was incredibly supportive, even after they divorced. Their children, and Kellie’s from another marriage, have also been supportive. Kellie’s daughter Sophie said this:  “I don’t know if we’ll ever reach a final point in Dad’s journey. But when my eyes are closed and I give Kellie a big, protective hug, I don’t think it matters who I picture. Because I still feel like my Dad’s little girl.”

GRSVP families aren’t always Gay/Lesbian parents, or Trans parents. There are GRSVP families with GRSVP children and ally parents supporting them. A fantastic example is Jazz Jennings – a powerful, youthful Trans woman who has been supported by her parents throughout her journey, and I doubt any of that will ever stop.

Unfortunately, not every country provides Family rights to GRSVP people. For those looking to adopt, Joint Adoption is only legal in 33 countries/districts, and in 6 nations it is legal to adopt/become a guardian for a step-child.

To put this into perspective, Joint Adoption is only legal in 17% of the world, and only 4% provide step-child adoption (this percentage has taken into account the legal Joint Adoption countries).

GRSVP families should be supported, not punished or refused adoptions for simply being GRSVP. Family Equality Rights benefit everyone – especially the 1100 children in the UK waiting to be adopted or fostered.[2]

~Teddy

[1]  http://www.towleroad.com/2016/01/eltonjohn/

[2] Number of children on average waiting to be adopted/fostered in the UK from statistics of 2018.