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the lovers, the dreamers, and me

{photo by Alex}

Oh, the difference a year can make. This time last June was our family's first adventure into Boson for Pride. We were ready to show up and include the kids. What felt tender and a little scary even, was a huge step forward for all of us. Are we doing the right thing? - the eternal question on a parent's mind. There were a lot of new conversations, questions, curiosities, and probably even uncertainties. Even Alex was stepping out in bigger and braver ways to be the kind of man and father he believes in. It meant so much to stand beside him. To see him and love him in all the ways. It still does.

Though time shifts all things, and this year's parade was different for all of us. Still celebratory. Still questions. But the conversations expand and feel more rooted as we all integrate information with experience. 

At 6, he has not yet asked about how babies are made, but love, he understands. He is learning to question the confines of gender and cultural expectations. He wants to wear nail polish and likes the color pink, and knows how hard even that can be for a boy. Seeing a world, if even for just one day, where barriers don't exist is incredibly important at this time. To see his wonder and joy amidst it all is a gift, and not something I could ever explain or teach. It's something that simply seeps in.

At 12, there is now a righteousness born out of greater wisdom. Seeing marriage equality come to pass and knowing there is still resistance and small-mindedness bears out more complex questions, abut sexuality, about life choices, about our places of belonging in our communities. His values are solidifying. He is more at ease. He's beginning to understand the wider landscape with fresh maturity and open-minded curiosity. This day means something to him, even bigger than just his family. Inside every truth, there is LOVE - the most important belief of all.

Alex, in this last year has naturally risen within the community as the leader he is. Using his superpowers as a space holder, connector, and trailblazer, he is heading up a local community group for bisexual men, a nearly invisible demographic on the spectrum. The BRC and Fenway Health have his back, which feels profoundly meaningful and ripe. Expansion is happening for him in ways I am truly in awe of, but not at all surprised. To be walking in the parade this time was both an honor and a new way to celebrate his own coming out as the complex and powerful inch by inch process that it continues to be.  

For me, this year was a realty check in the most humbling of ways. There was a moment on the train ride in to Boston, when were packed together like a rainbow colored clown car hurdling off to the happiest place on earth, where I felt terrified. The fear and hate seeped in, and I caught myself looking around at all the faces, all the backpacks, all the eyes I could not see into, wondering if this was somehow a terrible idea, putting our family in the line of potential fire. The thought wasn't fleeting. There were police and swat teams looking under cars, bomb dogs weaving through the crowd, and I thought about what it means to live in this world, what it really takes to stand in solidarity, in truth and love. When I read about Orlando the next day, I can't even begin to parse how broken and afraid it makes me feel. As a mother it feels almost unspeakable. But then so does hiding under the covers and allowing hate to win. 

This year's celebration was a solemn reminder. I know I must somehow continue to be a light-bearer even at times when it feels impossibly hard. Especially in those times. 

To be a Love Warrior, and never forget the sacrifice.

To choose love, again and again.

To live in love, and believe in love. 

There is no other way. There is work to be done.

Because love is love is love is love.

And that is the world I want us to live in.


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