This article was published on June 20th, 2020
How families look and how they are represented in mainstream media has changed significantly since over the past few decades, with more people acknowledging and respecting the notion that more children are being raised in single parent homes, adoptive parents, blended families, and yes, even same-sex parents. June is the month of Pride that reminds us of our history and how far people in the LGBTQ+ community have come, but the cultural recognition does not stop there. With Father’s Day just around the corner, this is a special day for all fathers, regardless of sexual orientation, and HomoCulture explores the ways that this day can be inclusive for LGBTQ families so that they can feel seen and supported.
Empathy and Understanding
LGBTQ families should be free to celebrate and honor their parents the same as any other families, and for Father’s Day, it is important to understand how children with two fathers might feel. If kids are participating in an activity at school for Father’s Day, this is the perfect opportunity to introduce a family dynamic to friends and teachers. It is particularly important to not assume that all families consist of a mother and father and come in all variations. Also worth noting is that LGBT families should have the option to choose whether or not they want to participate in any celebrations for Father’s Day – the same as any other family.
Bucking Traditions and Starting New Trends
Since there is no celebration that works across the board for all types of families, this is an area where LGBTQ families can create unique ways to honor their parents. Some options that incorporate the rainbow flag into the day could take the form of blue and pink pastries for lesbian and gay couples, reserving a night out to eat at a queer-friendly restaurant, or tickets to a local LGBTQ event on Father’s Day. It is just as important for members of the queer community to have traditions and for some situations, intent and creating new ways of celebrating can help to start a new trend that is recognized for years to come by other families in the future.
How to Be an Ally to LGBTQ Families for Father’s Day
Members of the LGBTQ community know all too well how repetitive the process of coming out can be – it is a fact of life that never ends, which makes visibility all the more important in order to redefine what Father’s Day should look like. The more that queer fathers and their children openly discuss their family and its dynamic, the more inclusive society at large will become. But it is not solely up to LGBTQ families to take on this task – it should take the efforts of heteronormative families as well. Allies can acclimate their children to LGBTQ families by talking to their children about what other families may look like, and there are several books and toys featuring diverse characters that can facilitate the process. If you are in a store and notice that there are no holiday cards that honor same-sex couples, speak to a store manager and make a suggestion. This is one step towards inclusion for all types of families.
Respect and acknowledgement should form the backbone of any discussions, and it is equally important to remind that all children should be cared for and loved unconditionally. Father’s Day is, after all, a celebration of every type of father.