LGBTQ marriage has been legal in the U.S. for several years, but elsewhere in the world it's still illegal for two men or two women to marry each other. And that has apparently caused some confusion about what constitutes a "real family."
The same-sex marriage debate currently raging in Australia, for example, has affected Katherine Jorgensen's 7-year-old son, Nicholas. Jorgensen is raising Nicholas with her partner, Roanne Blackler, BuzzFeed reports. And because he has two moms, Nicholas' peers said on the playground one day that his family "is not real."
Clearly, that made him sad. And it made his moms angry. Jorgensen took to Twitter to call out the moment and speak up for her family.
And his moms aren't the only ones fighting for Nicholas. His godmother, Bek Allcroft, wrote him a tear-inducing letter to make sure that the little boy knew his family is definitely "real." Because, in case anyone needs a reminder, queer parents are still parents and families can be built from any combination of people who love and support each other.
"I got home very angry and I sat down and I banged away at my laptop keys," Allcroft told BuzzFeed. The resulting letter makes it clear to Nicholas that while his peers may not have been trying to intentionally hurt his feelings, what they said is wrong. And the people who believe that two women cannot love each other or make a healthy, happy family are also wrong.
"Sweet boy, lots of people will say mean things to other people because they are scared, or because no one has ever taught them how to be kind, or because no one has ever been kind to them," Allcroft wrote. "My hope for you during this difficult time and for always in your life is that you have the courage to stand up for what you know is the truth, and that you will find ways to spread kindness wherever you go."
While it certainly shouldn't be the responsibility of Nicholas or his moms to have to educate his peers, it's an unfortunate truth that queer people or the kids of queer parents often have to prove that their families are real and normal. And as is clear from the U.S., legalizing same-sex marriage won't necessarily keep kids like Nicholas from hearing bad things about their families, but at least it'd be a start.
Refinery29 has reached out to Jorgensen and will update this article when we receive a response.
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