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  • Jessika Highers

Parenting Doesn't Come with a Manual -- LGBTQ+


We as women feel like we're under a microscope. That we must conform to being the correct type of parent. I'd personally like to say there is no handbook for being a good mother. If there is, I guess mine got lost in the mail. For me, personally, being a good mother is always showing up, and enjoying the little moments. None of us are perfect, myself included.


I was really torn with how to lead this segment -- so, I decided to lead with my heart.


I’ll never forget the moment I knew my child was, like me, different. He was no more than three, and I was picking him up from daycare, in a panic because I didn’t see him anywhere in the building. Upon asking the teachers there, several seemed uncomfortable and quietly pointed to a group of little girls playing in the corner. There was my child, in a dress and wings, twirling around, the biggest smile on his face, crying, “I’m a fairy! I’m a fairy!” The joy I saw there was indescribable and the type of joy only innocent children are allowed to have, it would seem, as these teachers were snickering and intent on making him feel badly about this. Never one to cower, I used my voice to stand up for my child that day, and will continue to do so until my dying breath – just like I will do for you! It’s hard to figure out where to fit, so I carved my own space, and I hope that one day my son will feel I helped him on his journey.


While I am grateful that sexuality that varies the norm has become more and more accepted. There is still a long way to grow. There are so many gaps that still need to be filled, on the way to equality. Recently, in my career, I took it upon myself to introduce a program that provided support for the LBGTQ+ in a recovery center. While that may seem small, this was in a state where the panic defense was still legal until this year! For those of those not familiar, this was murder defense! Meaning if you feared a person of the same sex approaching you, it was a defensible murder. Let me advocate for you as well!


While my own journey with sexuality has not been as rocky as others, it has been a society challenge forced on me. I knew I was bisexual as a teenager. I have always found the female form more attractive than the male form, but never understood why. The LGBTQ+ community in my early years told me to pick a side, and the straight community fetishized me. As an adult, I have taken to identifying as “sapiosexual” or someone who is attracted to intelligence (gender does not matter). This has given me the freedom to be me in a way that I cannot explain!


With gender and sexuality finally beginning to be accepted as fluid, we are starting to be able to navigate these new and scary waters. I am self-disclosing this information to let y'all know that I haven't just learned what I know from a book. I would never expect anyone to do anything that I haven't done myself first! Don't be afraid. When you rent a home, you leave it bear. When you buy one, you decorate. It's time to move into your body, be you, decorate, and live the life you've always imagined was never possible.

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