This wonderful photo was taken by my two year old son today, who commandeered my iPhone while we were in a lobby at Rady Children’s Hospital. We were waiting as his eyes fully dilated so that the optometrist could determine if he needs glasses. He will, but not for a couple years.
Funny thing happened during the appointment.
Doctor: “Which of you is mom?”
Kat: “Err, we both are…”
Doctor: “Ok, who’s bio-mom?”
Kat: “Uhh, well… I am, err…”
Kat helplessly looks at me.
I sheepishly grin as, in the flash of a few seconds, I weigh whether it’s necessary to out myself in this moment. The doctor then asks Katharine, “How long have you worn glasses,” and since I know Kat and I have both worn them just as long and that, genetically, it won’t make much of a difference, I decide to just let the moment pass by and let Kat answer all the family background questions.
Kat whispers “sorry” to me, feeling guilty that she choked and wasn’t sure what to do, since she didn’t want to out me against my will.
Shortly after that, however, when Kat got up to sit with Ben for the eye exam, the doctor turned to me and asked me how long I had worn them as well. When I replied she gently responded with a kind grin “So you’re all well versed in what it’s like to need glasses.” In writing, this sounds innocent, but in the moment it was clear that she had indeed clocked me, but also recognized why we weren’t stating and was gracefully allowing me to provide my answer without outing myself. Kat recognized it as well.
I’m very grateful for that moment. It was a wonderful example of how to provide affirming and allied care to LGBT families.
Rady is in the process of forming a gender care clinic for trans youth. They’re a truly wonderful organization and I’m so thankful to have them in San Diego.