Family Rhetoric: The Alphabet Tree

After years of planning and months of emotional anticipation, my partner gave birth to our first child in February of 2011. Eva is awesome and considerably well-adjusted for having two moms. That’s the catch and what I hope to point out. Twice a month, I will be sharing traditional stories happening in an untraditional family. There are differences and challenges my partner and I will experience as a same-sex parenting team, but at the end of the day we are like any other parents. We are two people who love our daughter.

The Alphabet Tree

Recently my one-year-old daughter, Eva, completed a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom art project at school.  Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is not only fun to say, though probably not worth saying unless you have a child, but it is a super catchy song book about an alphabet tree.  The project consisted of painting the babies’ hands and feet and placing them on a piece of construction paper to look like a tree.  Each baby then got to pick a few foam letters to place on their tree.

When Eva pointed and grunted to her masterpiece, I saw she had randomly selected the letters Q L and S.  I had two thoughts:  My daughter is a true artist; the way she placed the foam letters on her tree shows incredible genius and spatial awareness.  And, perhaps those letters were not so randomly selected.  Clearly she was trying to communicate the words queer, lesbian and same-sex marriage.

Between tax season and the current political shit-show, how could she not have those thoughts bouncing around her head?  Sure she lives in a house with two moms, but she doesn’t seem to have a problem with that.  I, however, am overwhelmed by the amount of people who do have a problem with it.

When our accountant does our taxes each year we are reminded of the federal benefits we are not allowed to have.  From health care saving plans to marriage benefits, we are denied.  And while we are fortunate to liv

e in a state that acknowledges same-sex marriage, in order to get those tax benefits of being married, we are required to fill out a federal tax form as if we are a married couple as defined by federal law. We pay to have this fairy tale form filled out and we can’t use it for anything else.  Should I really feel fortunate if I have to fill out a form to show money we could be getting from the government if my relationship was recognized?  Or should I feel fortunate because I need to fork over some of the money gained in the same-sex benefit to pay for a bunk form?

I get really aggravated when I read the paper or listen to NPR stories about these Republican candidates and their kooky supporters.  Sure, let’s ban contraception.  And when unwanted fetuses are made, let’s ban abortion or make it mandatory to perform unwanted and invasive vaginal procedures before an abortion can occur.  Let’s rape a woman (perhaps again) before she makes an incredibly difficult but perhaps the best choice for herself and potential child.  Best yet, let’s give birth to all of these unwanted or unhealthy babies and ban homosexuals from adopting them or any other child who needs a loving home.

Yes, let’s go back to the 19th century so I can stone these morons.

Instead, I get my daily dose of sanity and humor from Howard Stern.  Some of you may not like him, but he is and has been a very vocal advocate for LGBTQ rights.  When I am angry over another company (Chick-Fil-A) or law supporting anti-gay rights (there are too many anti-gay laws to know what is what), he is angry.  He publicly defends what should be my and the all of the LGBTQ (and S, according to Eva) community’s right to live a fair and equal life.

Rosie O’Donnell recently thanked Howard Stern for his support of her and her sexuality.  Yet, he is admittedly embarrassed that he or other straight allies need to be thanked for their support of homosexual and transgender people.  It’s just common sense.

And while the politicians scream about how marriage should be between one man and one woman, Newt wanted an open marriage and Mitt is a Mormon.  Another example in the confusion of marriage laws is Sean Keefe.  He raised a son for four years before finding out his son was not biologically his but the result of an extramarital affair.  However, upon divorce, his state of West Virginia requires Sean to pay alimony and child support because the child was born while he and his wife were married.  He is currently fighting this law to stop paying his cheating ex-wife alimony, but he insists on raising and paying for the boy as if he was his own, because he is.  Blood is not always what makes a family.  And marriage does not always come with sanctity.

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