Changing the world for our grandchildren

Robin’s daughter, Michelle, once gently reminded me to be patient with people who had not yet wrapped their minds – or hearts – around acceptance for people whose sexuality was different from what they considered “normal”.

She was right. She is a wise young woman, and that’s good. Because soon she will be the mother, and wisdom is a useful trait for parents.

Pacific black ducks

In parenting, love counts more than gender (Pacific black ducks in Melbourne's Albert Park)

She and her partner, Miriam, are exceptional in many ways. They’re both beautiful, intelligent, creative, warm, and very determined. That’s why they’re going to have a baby soon. As a same-sex couple, their journey was potholed with heartaches and legal and medical wrangles. They never gave up, and a healthy baby is nearing its entrance into the world beyond Michelle’s womb.

Robin (aka Popsy) and I started loving this child when she or he was still a distant dream. (Falling in love with Peanut and Farewell, Peanut, and thank you.) We want this new grandchild to grow up in a world that cares more about the quality of love and nurturing parents shower on him or her than how their relationship is configured.

So I’m keeping my antennae waving in the wind for signs we’ll get our wish. I’ll try to be patient, for the little one’s and her/his parents’ sake, and because my own journey to open-heartedness was helped by so many beautiful people.

As the baby’s birth day nears, I offer thanks to some of the many people working to make this world a welcoming place for all, such as the ones below:

  • Tasmania now recognizes same-sex unions registered in other states or countries.
  • Ordinary people and celebrities are recording messages about their own experiences, to let LGBTQ youth know It Gets Better.
  • The Opening Doors project is trying to make life better for LGBTQ youth by reminding adults, “Our kids are listening. It’s up to us to make sure they hear the right things.”
  • All Out brings “together lesbian, gay, straight, transgender and all that’s between and beyond – to accelerate the move toward full equality”.
  • The Minnesota legislature has been debating a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. Representative Steve Simon and 24-year-old Madeleine Kochargued eloquently asked the amendment.

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14 comments for “Changing the world for our grandchildren

  1. May 11, 2011 at 8:04 am

    Congratulations!

  2. May 12, 2011 at 4:33 am

    Compassionate as always, Cathryn. I was reminded of something my father once said as I read your post. My dad was a real New Yorker, born in Brooklyn, full of life,back then he would have been called a “man’s man.” I remember he was having a discussion over a beer with one of his friends and the friend let out some disparaging remarks about gays. My father looked at him and said, “Why on earth do you give a shit about what two people do in their bedroom? How is this a problem? Don’t you have enough problems of your own to worry about?” I’ve always remembered that and my father’s tolerance of others.

  3. May 12, 2011 at 4:39 am

    What a heartening post. Thanks and congratulations to the mothers-to-be and grandparents.

  4. May 12, 2011 at 8:28 am

    Charles, what a wonderful story about your father. With that kind of example, you had a head start becoming the compassionate, open man you are.

  5. May 12, 2011 at 8:30 am

    So many good people have dared to be open about who they are. I’m honoured to have some of those brave, beautiful souls in my life. Much has changed for the better in my lifetime. I figure it’s my responsibility to try to nudge acceptance further along.

  6. May 12, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Thoughtful of you to say that, Cathryn. Thank you.

  7. May 15, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    It is unfortunate that some people have to find a reason to dislike others. Isn’t life hard enough?
    The ride on the third rock from the sun is short enough, too bad we all couldn’t work together to make it as enjoyable as possible.

    Bill

  8. May 15, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    I heartily agree, and I’m still working on my own shortcomings in that arena. You’ve given me a lot to think about with your post, “Are Some People Born Evil?” Tolerating violence, hatred, and stereotyping encourages the perpetrators. You pose interesting questions about the origins of evil.

  9. May 15, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Thanks Cathryn, always enjoy your material & tweets.

  10. Michelle
    May 16, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    Wow Cathryn (aka Tutu!) – my tears flowed as I read your amazing blog about our personal story. You and Dad have been a powerful and integral source of love and support in our determination to believe in our dreams. Your unwavering focus to make the world a better place certainly shines a light for so many. Thank you from our hearts for your generous compliments. Whether the answer is nuture or nature, this special soul (currently doing Cirque du Soleil in my tummy!) will always know they are loved – from right here in our home – to across the world in yours, and we will continue to lovingly push for all those in between.

  11. Miriam
    May 17, 2011 at 12:27 am

    Michelle just showed me your blog, and it truly touched my heart. Thankyou for your kind words and thoughts tutu, it’s always reassuring to know we have our family who love us so much, no matter our path.

  12. May 17, 2011 at 7:34 am

    Miriam and Michelle – you two enrich our lives enormously. I’m grateful for that and for you.

  13. Rena
    May 26, 2011 at 12:42 am

    Changing the world, one story at a time. Thank you Cathryn. It’s not perfect, but we have come a long way these past few decades and I’m so grateful for people like P.E. Trudeau, who in 1967 said: “There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation”. My best wishes to Michelle and Miriam and their wee one.

  14. May 26, 2011 at 7:28 am

    Recently there were some incidents in the Lower Mainland that highlighted our need to continue working toward a society where such things don’t happen any more. But I’m happy Canada is more open and tolerant than when I arrived in 1990 and that signs of positive change are happening around the world. I will pass on your good wishes to these two beautiful women.

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