Queer Mom Chronicles: How Do You Create Queer Community for Your Family?

Friends! After a wonderful year, Queer Mom Chronicles is coming to an end! But never fear, this isn’t the end of parenting content at Autostraddle! And I’m not going anywhere either! To put a lid on this chapter, I would love to do a queer parenting Q&A. If there’s anything you’ve ever wanted to ask me about parenting, leave me a comment and I’ll gather them up in their own post!


In the past, I’ve written about wanting to find other families like mine so that we could have other people in our lives who get it. Finding and connecting with other two mom families, either by myself or with my family, has been so great. While our individual family dynamics are different, we can have conversations about the things that we all seem to face and there is an underlying sense of commonality. As we continue to navigate the world as a two mom family, and as our son gets older, having those other families as a part of our community continues to be invaluable.

Once I came out, it was important for me to have queer friends and begin building my queer community. Thankfully, I kind of fell into one thanks to the first woman I dated. She has an amazing ecology of queer friends who immediately took me and my son in as their own. She and I are still very good friends, so we get to be around that group quite often, which I love. Now, she has a son of her own, who she had with her gay male friend but was born via surrogate. My son, who was always used to being the only kid, now has a little buddy who looks up to him, and her son has someone who has a family that kind of looks like his.

After my wife and I met, we began to take stock of the community we were creating for our family. My son is lucky to have queer family members, but chosen family is also incredibly important to me. So many of our close friends are straight and cis, which is fine, but I wanted my son’s world to be bigger. I grew up around my mom’s queer friends, and I wanted my son to have that, too. Queer people are some of the most loving and amazing people that I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing, and I don’t want him to be deprived of having that kind of love in his life.

His world is rapidly expanding, and I want him to understand that queer people exist beyond what he sees on TV or reads about in books. We have trans and nonbinary friends, and those relationships helped him strengthen the connection in his mind for sure. Now when he meets new queer people, he’s relating those parts of their identity to the people he already knows, and it forms new, stronger connections for him.

I know I’m not the only queer parent who has thoughts and feelings about this kind of community building, so I reached out to some of my friends to ask them why it was important to create queer community for their families.

“I want my kid to see families like ours,” my friend Kelly explained. “It’s important that my kid be able to connect with other kids with queer parents. She needs that community — I don’t know what it’s like to be a kid with queer parents.” Our kids are friendly, and while I don’t think they’ve ever talked about having two moms, it’s good for them to know they have each other.

Kelly also explained that creating a community allows her daughter to “know and trust other queer adults in her life” beyond her moms, which is so important. The idea of safety and knowing that there are possibilities outside of the cis-het norm is one that is common. My friend Emily wants her kids to “expand their knowledge and awareness of what is ‘normal’ or ‘traditional’ because queerness is often a kind of permission or model for how to be yourself regardless of whether that pertains to your gender or sexuality.”

“Queer communities are some of the most diverse and expansive communities. I want my children to see countless possibilities of what rooting deeply in your authentic self and radical belonging look like in practice,” my friend Jasmine shared.

For my friend David, there are many reasons to seek queer community, but one thing that stuck out is how after he transitioned, his family started to look “straighter” to his kid. “When she was five she came to me and was like ‘I noticed that all kids have some kind of mom and some kind of dad’ and I was like ‘NO!!!!!’” he explained. “The world is vast and complex and full of variety, and I want my kid to experience some of that NOW. I don’t want to raise her in a bubble,” he explained. Like me, he feels it’s not enough for our kids to experience that just in books.

“It’s important for us, because my son is also gay, and between us and our close circle of friends, we are the only queer exposure he gets to others like himself,” my friend MyLove explained to me. “We are pretty isolated in our small town cis-het bubble, except for the rainbow island we carve out for him.”

For some queer parents, it’s finding safety for themselves in queer community that pushes them to create that same queer community for their kids.

“We need more queer chosen family as we grow and learn and love, we need queer role models for our children to aspire to be like, and we need to know ourselves as queer parents that we are never alone in this,” my friend Lindsay pointed out.

My friend Natalie’s daughter was around 10 when she came out, and for her, building community was a way to “assure her that life with me and my partner was going to be ok and better than what she always knew.” Natalie explained that her daughter grew up in Southern Mississippi where “exposure was slim and judgements were high.” But now, she’s 24 and “doing amazing.”

“I find kids of queer families are kinder, more well rounded and lots more loving than judging,” Natalie added.

Her point feels very true! Our kids are forced to move through the world differently, and while that doesn’t inherently mean they’re going to be more kind and empathetic, it lays a strong foundation. Even if their peers don’t treat them as others, our kids know they’re different. We as queer parents have to take the extra steps to make sure that our kids learn lessons their peers with cis-het parents don’t. Our family doesn’t fit into the same box as any of my kid’s friends’ families, so I knew I had to arm him with the tools to not feel bad or let others make him feel bad about being different.


Just know that if you’ve read or commented on this column in the last year, I now consider you a part of my queer community. How do you create queer communities for your family?

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Sa'iyda Shabazz

Sa'iyda is a writer and mom who lives in LA with her partner, son and 3 adorable, albeit very extra animals. She has yet to meet a chocolate chip cookie she doesn't like, spends her free time (lol) reading as many queer romances as she can, and has spent the better part of her life obsessed with late 90s pop culture.

Sa'iyda has written 122 articles for us.

4 Comments

  1. oh, i am sad to hear this column is ending. i am queer single parent and it is soooo hard to find anything in the parenting world that feels like our family can belong :) thank you for these columns i have loved them!

    • you’re so welcome! thank you for reading! i’ll still be writing parenting content, so if there’s anything in particular you want to see, please do let me know!

  2. I too will miss these columns- they’re a beautiful window into your family and the years ahead of us (our little is not quite 2). Thank you for all your writing and vulnerability!

    This specific column really resonated, too. Our family can look straight to the straights (my amab nonbinary partner gets read as a cis dude, and both of our bi-ness is invisible to straights despite a LOT of gay tshirts, rainbow paraphernalia, and my side shaved purple hair 🙄), so cultivating community where our full selves are recognized and celebrated-and where our kiddo can see other family models-is so so important.

    • thank you for always being so engaged with my columns, i always appreciated it!

      creating a community for celebration and validation is so important, and i’m glad you’re creating that. the toddler years are rough, you definitely need community support, lol.

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