TNF: How did you start your family?
COURTNEY: Mia and I have been together over 12 years and after finishing our graduate degrees, settling into our new home and jobs, we knew it was a good time to start a family. We also wanted to do some travel as a couple so we traveled to Italy in 2013. I wanted to get remarried (civil union in 2012) in Maui since it was legal. We made that a reality last June.
TNF: Did you always want to have kids?
COURTNEY: I always wanted to have children. It was a dream To be a mother ever since I was a young girl. Mia, did not have those same initial feelings. She wanted children but it took time for her to realize those wants.
TNF: How has marriage equality effected you (if at all)?
COURTNEY: Marriage equality has allowed Mia and I to get married in Hawaii. Yet to start a family in Kansas is much more difficult. I have no legal rights to Giselle. I do have medical power of attorney but if Mia were to die, I would have to fight for custody of our daughter. Luckily, our parents are both now supportive and would never want anything different than for us to keep our children. It is scary and heartbreaking.
TNF: Where do you live?
COURTNEY: Wichita, Kansas
TNF: What is the greatest (and the toughest) thing about being a parent?
COURTNEY: The greatest thing about being a parent is the bond you establish with your child. I get the privilege to help mold her into a happy, healthy person. The most difficult is the pressure (internal and societal) you feel regarding how to raise your child to set them up for success and happiness. Those aren’t always the same or a given. It takes thoughtfulness and accountability.
TNF: Does your family feel adversity?
COURTNEY: I would say we live in a community that doesn’t hinder us as a family but I think we have much unspoken adversity just being two females raising a daughter. Who will be her male figure in her life? Who is more motherly? All questions that are asked or want to be asked. I think all parents face adversity just by taking on the role of parenting.
TNF: Do you have any advice for LGBTQ youth?
COURTNEY: My advice is to surround yourself with accepting, loving people. That may be friends, family, educators, peer groups. Talk about how you feel. Be accountable for your actions and those feelings. You do matter.
TNF: What’s one life lesson you want to teach your children?
COURTNEY: I want to teach our children to be who they want to be; not who mamas, friends, society think you should be. Do all things in love and kindness because ultimately that is what wins.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful family with us!