By Mikayla Denault
Entering high school has been an amazing experience for me, meeting strong-willed people who accept you for you, being able to express your individuality, and doing the activities you love with people who love it just the same. I have been blown away by the positive responses made by many of my peers when I “came out” about having two moms. I have gotten comments such as, “That’s so cool! When can I meet them?” and, “Tell me about their wedding!” Also, I have met many LGBT students who ask for advice from my parents and me and who have read all of my articles to support by spreading of awareness. Every day, I have had at least one person come out in the middle of class, and my heart is filled with joy to see change happening. Never once have I had any negative response about my two moms. Even throughout elementary and middle school, the differences in my family were celebrated by my friends. Recently, I interviewed close friends, one from elementary school and a new friend from high school, who reflect on the moment when I first told them I had two moms.
My friend whom I first met in 4th grade had one of the most memorable reactions. I told her about my parents that year, and I will never forget her reaction because of her sweet heart, confusion, and excitement. It all began after lunch with her quickly walking up to me with much confusion shown on her face. After that, she whispered to me, “Hey, Mikayla, can I ask you something?” With me saying yes, she frantically asked if I had two moms. Before I could respond, she then said my favorite line, “I know how babies are born, my mom told me. I don’t understand how you were born. Things aren’t adding up.” With me being strangely weirded out and not knowing the answer, I hopelessly proclaimed, “I’m a miracle!” She then with a great smile on her face continued to tell everyone I was a miracle like Jesus was in my Catholic school.
Today, I was gratefully able to contact her and interview her on what she was feeling at that moment. M will stand for me, Mikayla, and A will be for my anonymous friend.
M: What was your most distinct memory from that moment? What stood out to you?
A: I guess it was the fact that I was so confused. I had no idea how you could’ve happened. Like I understood how you could have two moms, but I didn’t understand how you weren’t adopted. I couldn’t grasp the concept.
M: What was your reaction that you displayed, and what was your reaction on the inside?
A: I was so confused for so long, and I think maybe that showed outside for a while.
M: What did you think the others in the class and school thought about my two moms?
A: I didn’t really know what to think about everyone else. I thought maybe you were made fun of for it actually. Now I know that wasn’t the case. I feel like a lot of people were pretty accepting at MBS. I didn’t experience it first-hand though.
M: What was one action in that moment that you are so glad you did, and one thing you regret? (which I don’t think you need)
A: I was definitely glad that I asked you because then I didn’t have a million questions. I don’t really regret anything in that particular moment.
M: Would you have reacted differently now?
A: I feel like I would’ve been a lot less confused if I had asked you about it now because society has made it more known.
M: Compared to when we were younger, it was less big of a deal in high school. In fact, people don’t even flinch, and they actually think it’s cool and want to meet them. Do you think as the years have gone by, the circumstances have changed because people are becoming more accepting, we are becoming more mature, it’s becoming more frequent, or something else?
A: I totally think that people have become more open to different circumstances and we have gotten more mature than when we were 9 or 10.
M: What do you think is the most difficult and easiest part of me coming out about my moms?
A: I wouldn’t know how it feels to you, and I really have no idea what the easiest part about having two moms is. I guess the hardest part is that people aren’t always accepting all the time.
M: In high school, I have been blessed with amazing LGBTQI+ friends that are so confident in their own skin. What are some qualities that they need and I need to be able to come out and spread awareness to stop terrible occurrences such as derogatory language and bullying?
A: People in the LGBTQI+ community need to be brave because it won’t always be easy. Because you are right. People bully when they get scared of things they don’t know about. With more people educated, the more open we will be. At least, that’s what I believe. I felt no different about who you were as a person when you told me.
M: Since that moment of me introducing my family in 4th grade, how do you think we’ve both changed since then?
A: I didn’t feel the need to change the way of how I saw you. I feel like you were almost as if more open to me after I asked you. It definitely made me more aware about how not everyone has a mom and a dad. I realized having two moms is no different. It’s just how your family is.
M: Knowing I have a friend like you has helped me grow so much in belief in myself and have the strength and hope needed to share the amazing story of my parents. What do you think the responses have been in high school, and what do you think has helped me throughout all these years in making me feel comfortable in these types of circumstances?
A: Your moms are literally the best people I have ever met. I feel like having people that accept them makes it a whole lot easier too.
The next interview includes a different perspective on the LGBT community, with him being a part of it. I met this friend on the 1st day of school in government class with me sitting right next to him. I saved the moment of telling him I have two moms for this article, and this is his reaction.
Again M will be me, and A will be anonymous friend.
M: Hey, A, I need to tell you something.
A: Sure! What’s up?
M: I never told you that I have two moms, and I wanted ask your permission to ask you a few questions and post it on a blog.
A: Oh my gosh! I had no idea. This is amazing! Yes, of course.
M: What was your first initial reaction?
A: I was caught off guard because I didn’t know what the survey was going to be about.
M: Does this change the way you look at me and why?
A: It doesn’t change the way I look at you because I am very in tune with the LGBTQI+ community.
M: How do you think others have reacted about my two moms?
A: I feel that others would react negatively with the fact that you have two moms.
M: If this wasn’t on snapchat, what would be one sentence or question would you say to me right now about my two moms? (I will answer question)
A: Do you feel that people are overall negative towards your parents?
M: To be honest, I barely have had any negative responses and many people say that’s surprising since I previously went to a Catholic school. Especially in high school, every day in one of my classes, at least one person comes out. In high school I’ve found I can truly connect with my individuality. What do you think the hardest and the easiest thing is for me with having two moms?
A: I agree. High school is more of an open place to find who you truly are, and seeing others be themselves is truly inspiring.
Hard: Dealing with negativity
Easy: Being in tune with the LGBTQI+ community
M: What are three emotions going on inside your head right now?
A: Loving, caring, and accepting
M: What qualities did I need to tell you about my moms just right now?
A: Loving, happy, and accepting. The same as me right now. 🙂
M: How do you think the world has changed for the LGBTQI+ community?
A: I feel that slowly everyone is becoming okay with it because it is starting to become a normal thing, and we are kind of forcing it upon the world.
M: How do you think it was for me when I was younger and telling people about my two moms?
A: I think that you were kind of burdened by the fact that everyone thinks it’s unnatural, and that is what I hate about the world.
M: Love is love is love. Do you believe there are any differences with LGBTQI+ families to others?
A: I think that LGBTQI+ families are more loving towards diversity than other families, but that is just my opinion.
M: I’m very surprised with these answers. Can I ask you a few more? What experiences have you personally witnessed or confronted that were negative? I’m very interested on your perspective.
A: No problem at all. This is making me so happy. Well, I moved here from a bad school that was very racist, sexist, homophobic, and negative overall, so I basically grew up in that sort of environment. I knew that something was wrong. I grew up as a child that was very girly compared to the guys in the school. I always played dress up and mostly hung out with girls, because that was who I felt comfortable with. My dad always told me to be manlier and less girly, but I knew I didn’t want to be that way. In middle school, I started to become in touch of who I really was. Even with all the negativity around me, I knew who I was. When I moved here, I told myself I wasn’t going to hold back, and I would come out to at least one person every day. I now know that isn’t really necessary; I just need to be myself.
M: You never have to worry about me accepting you. I will always be there for you, and if you need anything, just talk to me. Thank you for sharing your incredible story.
A: I will! I love this so much! You made my day!
These interviews have opened my mind to two different perspectives on the LGBTQI+ community written by two amazing people taking two completely different roads in life. This experience has made me closer to these two people now that I comprehend what they are thinking and going through. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to share this with the world. These interviews I hope have given you a sense of how my experience coming out to my peers have been, and to others who fought long and hard to be resilient through all the negativity.