Parents with Pride
For Father’s Day and in honor of Pride month, Fluide is celebrating the proud parents of LGBTQ kids and teens. Fluide spoke with two fortunate teens who shared their stories of coming into their identity with the help of their parents.
Fluide: Thanks for talking with us, Jonah! Tell us about yourself.
Jonah: I’m a gay trans guy. I’m 18 years old. I really like dogs. I’m pursuing art education and I want to be a high school art teacher because I think art is a great way to connect people and to spread love and acceptance.
Fluide: How has your father helped you through your experiences?
Jonah: My dad has always been really supportive, which is nice and I realize that I’m very lucky, because I know a lot of people who have not had supportive parents. He really helped me, especially with kicking off my medical transition. He helps me get in touch with all the right doctors and makes sure I have all my therapist letters and shit aligned for getting in line for testosterone and top surgery. He also does my testosterone shots for me every two weeks because I’m a weenie and I can’t do it myself. (Laughs)
Fluide: Do you have anything you’d want to say to him?
J: I’d probably want to say to him that I really appreciate that he’s been so open minded throughout this entire process, because I know as confusing as it was for me, it was also confusing for him. Like at the beginning when I first kind of came out and was like, “Hey, I don’t think I’m a girl.” And I really appreciate that he seems to have done a lot of self reflection on his views about certain things. Like dealing with LGBTQ people and he’s been willing to call himself out or check himself when he does problematic things.
Fluide: Do you have any advice for someone that might be struggling with an unsupportive parent?
Jonah: I think if you have unsupportive family members, the best thing to do is to surround yourself, if you can, with people who do support you. Whether that’s friends or teachers or coworkers, anybody outside of your household. Even if being in your house sucks, it’s always nice to have somewhere else that you can go that you know people will be accepting of you and love you regardless.
Meet Oskar, 18 year-old from St. Louis, Missouri, heading to art school in the fall.
Fluide: Oskar -- what is your earliest memory of your mom supporting your identity or sexual orientation?
Oskar: In fifth grade, when I was 10 years old, I wanted to go as Lady Gaga to my elementary school Halloween parade and party. My mom was on board 100 percent, and she helped me go full Gaga: Giant teased hair, makeup, silver platforms, metallic dress. People were shocked (there weren’t any other boys in drag right about then), but we loved it.
Fluide: Do you have any other childhood memories?
Oskar: The next memory that stands out is when we went to visit my aunt in Washington DC when I was 14. My aunt gave us some makeup she didn’t want, and my mom was totally ok with me wearing lipstick. I was a freshman in high school then, and that was the first time I wore lipstick to school. My mom thought it was great.
Fluide: What would you like your mom to know?
Oskar: I am so grateful to my mom for offering unconditional love and support to me. She is my biggest fan and biggest supporter. She lets me be me. She lets me wear what I want, dress how I want, and be who I am, (as long as I’m home by 10 on weeknights and midnight on weekends…).