HAPPY PRIDE MONTH!
The month of June is "Gay Pride Month" and we couldn't be prouder to introduce you to this family. Sam & Ashley, along with their son Wyatt have made Hoboken home. When we shared on our Instagram that we wanted to feature local LGBTQ families, these two reached out wanting to share their love and beautiful family with the rest of us. They wanted to help us highlight the diversity in our city, as well as normalize the conversation around LGBTQ families. We met up with them for a photoshoot & to discuss all that the community should know about this Hoboken family.
Tell us how you met! The good old-fashioned way-- at a bar! We both reluctantly went out on a random Thursday happy hour in the West Village with no intention of meeting anyone. Sam will tell the story that Ashley hit on her first, but ask Ashley how many times Sam texted to see her before she said yes.
Tell us about Wyatt & his personality! Wyatt is the most friendly, loving, active kid. You can always count on him to scream "Hi" to every person we pass as we stroll around Hoboken. You can also count on him to approach random strangers and ask them to go "up" into their arms! He loves to laugh and torture our dog. He's a genuinely happy boy. He keeps us smiling on the daily.
Having a baby can change a relationship in so many ways. What is something you’ve learned about each other since welcoming Wyatt into the world? We both learned that it's okay to let go. As two people with very specific ideas of how things "should be," we learned as parents that there is beauty in the chaos and that together we can maneuver our way through it.
Hoboken is a diverse community, but we also know that diversity can still sometimes feel isolating. What is something you’d like the community to know about being a gay family in Hoboken? Ashley speaking here: It can be hard when getting the question, "What does your husband do?" or "What does Wyatt's dad look like?" In a community that may assume I'm married to a man because I look the part, I find myself a little stressed when meeting new people. Even people that wouldn't bat an eye at knowing that I actually have a wife. Every day is coming out day for me! Sam on the other-hand fits more of the stereotype. Either way, we would love to have open dialogue about our family without any tip-toeing. We find that once we "come out," often times folks don't know what to say.
We would love our community to know that we are proud to be who we are and that we don't feel uncomfortable talking about it. It actually feels good to answer questions rather than go home wondering what someone may be thinking. It does not offend us if someone genuinely has questions. For example, and in case you were wondering- what to call us, are we both mom? Ashley goes by "Mama" and Sam is " Mommy" Does Wyatt have a dad? No. He has a donor from a cyrobank. Who carried? Ashley. Will we have more kids from the same donor? Yup! Etc, etc. We love opening up to our community, because taking the guessing away can also take away the stigma! Ultimately, we would love our community to know that when it comes to family life we are no different. We have the same fears, aspirations, and love for our son. We want Wyatt to be accepted and included in the Hoboken community as any other boy would.
If you could go back and give your pre-parent selves some advice about raising a child in a same-sex family, what would it be? Don't get a dog before having a baby! Just kidding! In all honesty, it would be to buckle up! The love you are going to feel will make any harsh comment, disgusted glare, or political injustice sting much more than when it was just about you. This innocent baby will change you, will grow you, and will make you fight harder than you ever thought possible.
Kids always have questions, and as mothers, we want to teach our children to ask honest questions and be accepting of all. What would you like us to teach our children when they ask about your family?
That families come in many different shapes and sizes. That Wyatt has two moms, and no dad. That some kids have two dads and no mom. That we all can't be exactly the same and that it's our differences that make this world so beautiful! Parents, whenever you find an opportunity to teach inclusivity please take it!
What is your advice to parents who suspect their child may be gay, or to parents whose children come out to them?
You know your child better than anyone, so if you have a feeling, you're probably right. The earlier you can start having discussions about diversity and being inclusive, the more your child will feel secure in coming out to you. There are tons of online resources to help educate parents who have children that are LGBT+, you can also find more support at the LGBT Center in NYC. It's only a 5 minute walk off of the 14th St PATH. At the end of the day, being supportive, affirming, and loving is what your child needs. We know from experience that those first few years can be difficult to navigate on both ends, but things get so much better with education and love.
One for the LH team- what is something we can do to support the LGBT families in town? A meetup could be fun, for LGBT families and allies. (Preferably one with wine.) We could also look into doing something for Pride. Jersey City has a huge pride event, but Hoboken not so much!
Now time for a #basic 07030 question: When you are not adulting, where can we find you on a parents night out? Anywhere with Mexican food or a good cocktail! We love Antique Bar and Bakery, Orale, and Grand Vin in Hoboken and Dull Boy and The Archer in JC.
OPEN ENDED: Give us one more thing you’d like to share! Anything from your favorite color to your deepest secret (just kidding, sort of.) We love Hoboken! As ex-Brooklynites, we sometimes get slack for moving out of the City, but we are constantly speaking the praises of this awesome community! We are on a mission to change the minds of any naysayers. We love that we get to look at our past across the river while we embrace mom life in our new city with our new friends.
Thank you for sharing your family with us, ladies! If you are another local LGBTQ family interested in a feature, or wanting to get involved with a meet-up, please reach out! firstname.lastname@example.org