Remember the Aunties on #LGBTQFamiliesDay

Sue Kerr Laura Dunhoff wedding
Photo: Jared Wickerham

This is my first #LGBTQFamiliesDay as a married lady. My wife, Laura, and I tied the knot on Groundhog’s Day earlier in 2021 after nearly 18 years of togetherness. You can read our story here if you are interested. It was a very cool political lesbian blogger wedding, but wildly different than anything I could have imagined.

While I don’t feel like we are ‘more’ of a family now than before, I feel ‘more’ aware of being a family now than before our wedding. I guess now I finally get what people were saying about marriage equality – the shift in legal and institutional recognition does echo through our relationship.

I’ve blogged before about our familial roles in other families, but it is equally important to consider their roles in our little family – that I now formally have a mother-in-law and so forth.  We have marital power of attorney! We have social security inheritance benefits! I am more firmly entrenched in this family than ever and I’m not letting go of that, not even a little bit.

Another thing that has changed is our final arrangements, especially our wills. I don’t have some vast fortune, but I have family and personal keepsakes that I want to go to certain niblings. I think about that now more often since we married.

I do still feel like a family of two married adults who are child-free is a second-tier from ‘real’ families with children. And I love kids, I love my niblings a lot, I do a lot of advocacy work around children. It hurts deeply when someone accuses me of somehow not valuing children because I don’t have any. My decision not to have children came from that love and understanding how the dynamics of my own childhood shaped me. I blogged about that perspective for the 2011 version of this day and a lot of those sentiments still echo through our lives a decade later.

This feeling is amplified simply because so many of our friends do not include us in activities with their children – we aren’t invited to dinner, to birthday parties, to recitals because of some presumption that we won’t be interested. I’ve watched kids grow up via Facebook and Instagram, but have barely, if at all, met them in real life.

We are interested. We know if takes a village of queers for children in queer families to grow up in a hostile world. Don’t cut us out because you assume we’d be unwilling to eat dinner where mac and cheese flows freely and there’s a lot of screentime so adults can finish their meals. Just tell us what to expect and we’ll figure it out.

Remember the aunties (and the uncles and the parsibs/tite/zizi/nini/bibi/untie/unty)  Include us and tell us how to include your family.

Read more posts at Mombian. 


If you would like to read our previous years’ contributions to #LGBTQfamiliesDay:

2020 – #MasQUeUp to protect your family on this 15th Annual #LGBTQFamiliesDay

2019 – We #AMPLIFY Stories from 50+ LGBTQ Parents in Western Pennsylvania on #LGBTQFamiliesDay

2018 – 50 LGBTQ Parents #AMPLIFY Their Experiences for #LGBTQFamiliesDay 2018

2017 – #AMPLIFY LGBTQ Families, 40 Parents Share Their Experiences

2016 – #AMPLIFY LGBTQ Families, 29 Parents Share Their Experiences

2014 – Summertime Traditions For Our LGBTQ Family

2013 – Blogging Because We Are Family!

2012 – Being an Advocate: 7th Annual Blogging for LGBT Families

2011 – Blogging for LGBT Families 2011 – Don’t Devalue the Aunties

2010 – Pittsburgh LGBTQ Families – a Blog Post

2009 – Blogging for LGBT Families in Pennsylvania

 

 

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