2016 was the first time my kids and I walked in the San Diego Pride Parade with my then new company. Without a doubt, it was a blast. From the great energy of the Sony team members walking in the parade, to the fun music and awesome Sony swag we got to distribute to the hordes of people lining the street, the event was memorable. Exhausted yet energized at the end of the parade route, my kids and I joined the throngs of people visiting the food, education, and commerce booths, and we listened to music performed at the various stages positioned throughout the park. We hung out at the Sony sound stage for a while, first to help set up PlayStations for guests to enjoy, and then to help guests play the then newly released MLB game.
Attending events meant to raise awareness, educate, and come together as an inclusive community has far-reaching benefits. Sometimes, those benefits are felt much closer to home. A few weeks after the event, during a drive to Michael’s to pick up supplies for a school project, my youngest child opened a dialog with me.
“Mom, I have something to tell you. I’m a little nervous. I know you’re going to be okay, I know you’re going to support me.” We were at a stop light, so I could give them most of my focused attention.
“You can tell me anything,” I said.
“Okay. Well. Mom, I’m Bi.”
I thanked them for trusting me. I celebrated their self-discovery and self-actualization. I knew they felt supported and was ready to move on when they asked, “What’s for dinner?” I can’t help but chuckle over my child’s resiliency; how quickly they transitioned from getting something off their chest to getting something into their tummy.
That night, after my kids were tucked into their beds for the night, I pondered what my youngest child shared. How do I support them and ensure their safety? What can I do to ensure they continue to feel supported and accepted? Oh, dang! I’m a writer and I didn’t think to ask what their preferred pronoun is! Something I addressed the next morning.
“Whatever, mom,” was their eloquent reply. “He, she, it. I like ‘it’. It’s all good” I then learned how many of the kids in middle school and high school figure out what gender use. They ask, “what’s your pronoun?” Huh, no guessing or making assumptions, just straight forward and accepting language. I find it fascinating how our youth can be excellent sources of information when it comes to navigating diversity linguistically.
Having volunteered with the Equality ALLiance at Sony for the Diversity Speaks panel put me in-touch with members of Sony’s LGBTQ community, and I feel fortunate to be an ally with this dynamic group. I have had the privilege of engaging in frank, open dialogues with many of the volunteers, which I believe has helped me better parent my gender-fluid child. I believe strongly in supporting the rich diversity of our community, and I am proud to work for a company who not only shares my beliefs but demonstrates their commitment to building an inclusive, intersectional world.