We're celebrating Pride Month, and the release of the Pride & Joy collection, alongside LGBTQ+ families that feel pride for the journey and struggles of becoming parents, raising their children, and forming communities. We gathered families to feature in our photos for the collection and we chatted with them to share their stories.
Harvey and James, together with their 17-month-old son, Noah shared some of their parenting journey with us. They live in San Francisco with their 9-year-old dog. Harvey works as an Emergency Department nurse at a local hospital. In his free time, he is a self-taught baker and cake designer (harveymadecakes.com). James works in the technology field and enjoys playing piano and cello in his free time. For them, the rainbow represents how we show up in the world. Being able to show their pride through parenthood is a powerful message. They told us, “We are proud of how we are raising our family and proud of the community we are expanding”.
PLANNING A FAMILY
Both of us discovered we wanted to be parents a decade ago, when we were in our thirties. It was difficult to envision being able to have children at that time. Few of the gay couples we knew were successful with adoption or surrogacy. But just within the past 5 years, we've seen a number of couples within our community having children. It became easier to envision ourselves as parents, too. In fact, we actually met at a gay couple's baby shower.
LESSONS FROM PARENTING
Parenting definitely changes your priorities and shifts your perspective. Before Noah, there was a lot of freedom with traveling, going to the gym, and seeing friends. With raising a toddler, we've had to give up some of that free time, but we know that there’s nothing more special than raising a young child.
As an interracial gay couple, we are raising Noah to speak both English and Cantonese. Noah calls Harvey "Bah-bah" (which is Dad in Cantonese) and James "Da-da" or "Daddy". We continue to honor both his American and Chinese heritage, celebrating both cultural holidays. Since Harvey is an avid baker, Noah has started showing interest in playing in a miniature kitchen, and he enjoys the sweets from all pastries made by Harvey. James cultivates Noah's interest in music, and we hope to have him take lessons when he is older.
Living in San Francisco, Noah is fortunate to meet other children of same-sex couples and see different types of families.
A MESSAGE TO OTHER QUEER FAMILIES
It takes a village! Start by surrounding yourself with supportive friends and family that can offer support and provide much-needed breaks. Also, remember to fit in date nights.
It's hard work being a parent, but so rewarding. Seeing Noah grow into a healthy toddler and seeing his personality develop has been especially exciting.