SHOW YOUR PRIDE by Mama Bear Tamara Cofman Wittes
Like many Mama Bears, I have a bunch of t-shirts with messages that indicate I’m an LGBTQ+ ally and I have a progress pride flag and a trans flag in my yard.
I often wonder if it’s all too much, but this week I was reminded that my visibility is important and makes a difference!
I was out in my garden talking to a neighbor, and wearing my “Trans Rights are Human Rights” t-shirt. A kid, middle school age, came by on a bike and asked if we’d seen a cat.
Turns out the cat is a stray and this sweet kid was trying to feed it and bring it inside.
I took down the kid’s mobile number and promised to text if I saw the cat.
Before leaving the kid says, “My name is _____ and I like your t-shirt.”
I say, “Thanks.”
The kid says, “I’m trans.”
I say, “Cool, so is my kid, he grew up in this house.”
“Cool,” says the kid..
“Are you gonna keep the cat if you catch it?” I ask.
“Yeah, I’m going to make my mom keep it,” says the kid.😊
As the kid rode away I wondered what it felt like to be so young and so open in their truth to someone they’d just met.
I thought about how my flags and t-shirt let them feel confident and safe to do that.
My hope is that seeing my pride flags and me in my t-shirt will help all the kids in my neighborhood grow up feeling like they belong just as they are, and know that my house is a safe place to come to if they ever need one.
Meeting this middle school kid reinforced to me that being a visible LGBTQ+ ally has impact well beyond our own families. So, I’ve decided that this year, during Pride month, I will wear one of my LGBTQ+ themed t-shirts every time I go out to run errands around town.
I am lucky to live in an area that is LGBTQ+ friendly, therefore, I’m not afraid to show my pride wherever I go. I know not all Mama Bears are so fortunate. But, if you do feel safe increasing your own visibility as a Mama Bear as you go about your daily life this June, I hope you’ll join me in showing your pride!
If you do show your pride I feel certain you will have a positive impact on some people around you whom you may never meet and some encounters that will warm your heart.
Serendipitydodah – Home of the Mama Bears is a private Facebook group for moms of LGBTQ kids. The official motto of the group is “Better Together” and the members call themselves “Mama Bears”
The group is private so only members can see who is in the group and what is posted in the group. It was started in June 2014 and presently has more than 33,000 members.
For more info about the Mama Bears and all of our groups, programs and resources visit our website at realmamabears.org
This story can also be viewed on the Mama Bear Story Project Facebook page.