My LGBTQ Experience At Tam


(Tahlia Amanson)

By Kennedy Enlowsmith, Editor in Chief

When most people think of a family, what first comes to mind is a mom, a dad, and children. It’s what’s defaulted in our minds and all that a lot of us know and were taught. But what if I told you my family isn’t like that. That my whole life, people have assumed that my family is something it’s not. I have two moms. Now, this may not sound like a big deal because there are a lot of LGBTQ people in Marin. However, throughout my childhood growing up in Marin County, I’ve always been one of the few kids at my school with gay parents, and my experience hasn’t been easy. 

Although Marin tends to be a liberal place, being queer isn’t fully normalized and I’ve always felt like people excluded my family.  My teachers always refer to parents as “your mom and dad.” They just assume that everyone’s family is straight and that has made it difficult for me to feel like my family belongs in Marin. 

People have become more educated on the LGBTQ community over the years, however; when I was growing up, people would always invalidate my family for being queer. Kids would ask, “who’s your real mom,” and say that my family situation “didn’t make sense.” This made me extremely uncomfortable and embarrassed for having gay parents at a young age. The lack of queer education, representation, and influence in Marin County makes it hard to be LGBTQ or have a family that’s queer without having to explain yourself and how you’re valid. 

Another thing that people don’t consider is that people aren’t always cis (their gender identity meets their sex at birth) and straight. Kids would constantly question how I was born and why I don’t have a dad. People would say that I had to have a dad and that he must’ve died which has made me feel out of place. I feel bad correcting people when they assume that I have straight parents and I often just go along with it because I feel guilty about correcting them. After years of feeling bad and dealing with people who don’t put in the effort to learn, I’ve come to the realization that I shouldn’t feel like I have to pretend my family is something it’s not to make it easier for people that don’t want to understand it. I’m tired of having to explain how I have gay parents because people should understand that not every family is the same.

As I got older and entered middle school, I started to come to terms with my own sexuality as well. When I discovered I am queer, I wasn’t too worried about how my parents would react since I knew that they’d have my back as members of the LGBTQ community. What I was most worried about was what other people would think about the girl with gay parents also liking girls. I didn’t want to make my family stand out even more than it already did. 

Being queer in Marin and at Tam hasn’t been too much of an issue for me personally, but I still feel uncomfortable talking about my sexuality with some of my straight peers and I feel like I often have to code-switch. In sophomore year, I had a girlfriend and a lot of guys would ask me weird and personal questions about our relationship such as asking for details about it. One guy even told me he’d pay to see me make out with a girl.

Not only have I felt uncomfortable about my sexuality with some guys, but also with straight girls as well. Since a lot of people know I’m queer at Tam, in the locker room I worry that girls are uncomfortable around me since I like girls, even though I have no interest in them like that. I just feel like some straight girls feel weird about it and assume that I like them just because I like girls.

I’m tired of feeling self-conscious about being queer and people not understanding my family. I don’t want to feel weird about having two moms or being LGBTQ just because people don’t respond well to it. We queer people don’t want to have to hide that we’re different and we just want to be treated normally. We all want acceptance and we shouldn’t have to owe an explanation for our identities and lifestyle. I don’t want to be seen as a queer person with gay parents, I just want to be seen as a person with a regular family.