Jaimie Kelton is the host, producer, and founder of The Queer Family Podcast, the show all about family, but with gay(!) The award-winning and Webby Honored show has been highlighting, uplifting, celebrating, and normalizing LGBTQIA+ families one weekly interview at a time for six years and counting.

479: Queer Family Life & Raising Inclusive Kids

Jaimie Kelton

There are all kinds of families, and while a majority may be heteronormative with a mom and a dad, plenty of kids grow up in families that don’t fit that mold.

Plus, we don’t really know what the gender expression or sexuality of our children may ultimately be.

So how do we talk about these things with our kids? How do we raise kids who feel accepted no matter what and are accepting of others?

Hunter talks to Jaimie Kelton of The Queer Family Podcast.

Queer Family Life & Raising Inclusive Kids - Jaimie Kelton [479]

Read the Transcript 🡮

*This is an auto-generated transcript*

[00:00:00] Jaimie: My dad took it real, like, on the cheek, like it was nothing. Well, okay, you know, and as many men do. Oh yeah, a lot of women try that and thought it was an experimenting phase. And my mom, it came as, like, a really big shock.

[00:00:20] Hunter: You're listening to The Mindful Parenting Podcast, episode number 479. Today we're talking about queer family life and raising inclusive kids with Jamie Kelton.

Welcome to the Mindful Parenting podcast. Here it's about becoming a less irritable, more joyful parent. At Mindful Parenting, we know that you cannot give what you do not have, and when you have calm and peace within, then you can give it to your children. I'm your host, Hunter Clark Fields. I help smart, thoughtful parents stay calm so they can have strong, connected relationships with their children.

I've been practicing mindfulness for over 25 years, I'm the creator of the Mindful Parenting course, and I'm the author of the international bestseller, Raising Good Humans, and now, Raising Good Humans Every Day, 50 Simple Ways to Press Pause, Stay Present and Connect with Your Kids. Hello, welcome back. A great welcome to you if you're new here.

So glad you're here. Listen, but if you're coming back, if you get some value from the podcast, please do me a favor, help the show grow by just telling one friend about it and it really can make a big difference. I appreciate it. My team appreciates it. Thank you so much. In just a moment, I'm going to be sitting down.

With Jamie Kelton. Jamie Kelton is the host, producer, and founder of the Queer Family Podcast, the show all about family, but with gay. The award winning and Webby honored show has been highlighting, uplifting, celebrating, and normalizing LGBTQIA plus families one weekly interview at a time for six years and counting.

And we're going to talk about all things inclusivity. You know, there are all kinds of families, and while a majority might be heteronormative with a mom and a dad, plenty of kids grow up in families that don't fit the mold. Plus, We don't really know what gender expression or sexuality our children may and ultimately be.

So how do we talk about these things with our kids? How do we raise kids who feel accepted no matter what and are accepting of others? So, I talked to Jamie about all of these things, and I know you're going to get so much out of this. So, let's dive into this episode.

Jamie, thank you so much for coming on the Mindful Parenting podcast. I just have to say first, I love the jingle of your podcast. It's so cute. I'm really jealous. And I can absolutely tell just from this like little bit of talking we've already had that you would have played little Bo Peep as a voice actor because her voice is so cute.

Yeah, and this is my adult, this is like my professional voice I'm using with you. Oh my god, can you give us a little, little Bo Peep? I'm sorry. Geez. What would you say?

[00:03:16] Jaimie: Oh, well, I, the, the, the show I was Lil Bo Peep, it was like, totally like, not for kids. But, yeah, like, not for kids. It was like, with Christopher Meloni, the guy from Law Order, and like, yeah.

It's like a really dark and jaded show. I couldn't even, I couldn't even watch it because there's stuff that goes on that I'm like, Oh my God. I'm sorry. I'm putting you on the spot.

[00:03:42] Hunter: That's okay. I'm just trying to think, like, what she would say. I can't even think of anything she would have said, honestly.

Okay. You should just, like, throw it in there later. Like, surprise me, I'm the, like, answer. I'm just kidding, whatever you want.

Um, that is not what we came to talk about, dear listener. Happy to talk about it any time, though.

Um, as you know from the intro, Jamie is the host and the producer and the founder of the Queer Family Podcast, so I'm excited to talk about that and all things queer family life and Before we do that, and it's often pertinent to the conversation, I always ask my guests about what was your own childhood like and how were you raised?

[00:04:25] Jaimie: Oh, interesting. Um, well, I was born, I'm born and raised in San Francisco, um, so I live across the country. Now I've been here a very long time, but I was born and raised there, San Francisco girl through and through. Um, I have a mom and a dad and a brother. And, uh, pretty, I don't know, I'd say like, pretty great childhood, honestly.

Um, really, really close with my mom, a little less close with my dad, if I'm being honest. But they were both there, they were both very present. Uh, yeah, and you know, I'm from, you know, San Francisco, ex hippie people and all their friends. So, a lot of, um, yeah. Progressive thinking, liberal thinking, I'd say.

And just, um, openness and honesty and also like not too many rules or boundaries.

[00:05:28] Hunter: Okay, so I imagine they were super accepting when you told them that you were gay,

[00:05:34] Jaimie: Kind of yeah, yeah You know what like I think it didn't go as well as I thought it would to be quite honest Considering my parents were like so open and we knew gay people and you know, San Francisco in the 80s Come on, yeah, 80s and 90s is when I grew up.

So, um Yeah, I really thought It, my dad took it real late on the cheek, like it was nothing. Oh, okay. You know, and as many men do, Oh yeah, a lot of women try that and thought it was an experimenting phase. And, um, my mom, I think it came as like a really big shock. Um, cause you would have never, that's what my mother says.

You would have never, ever, ever known, knowing me growing up that I, I did. I checked all the, I'm doing quote unquote normal boxes, you know, and I dated guys in high school and seemed to thrive doing it and all the things. So when I came out, I was, uh, I had just got, um, graduated college when I came out. I think it was just such a shock to my mom that it took her a second to come around.

And it could have been way worse considering, I mean, like when I say it took her a second to come around, it took her like a couple of hours to come and hug me and tell me she loved me. And then like, you know, it was a year of us just figuring it out together and her figuring out how to accept the entirety of me, I suppose, and now she's, you know, my biggest ally in the world.

Um, my dad passed, but he was cool. He was cool with it. He's been cool with it ever since.

[00:07:12] Hunter: Yeah, I mean, I guess I can imagine, like, your mom has figured, like, you know, all of that, the time window for that has kind of passed, and she's figured out your identity is what it is, and then you're like, oh, it's different than what you think it is.

I can imagine there would be a lot of shock.

[00:07:29] Jaimie: Mm hmm. Yeah. I didn't think it would be as shocking to her, though, too. Honestly, because it's just the way I was raised and who we were and being from San Francisco and all the things and I didn't think it would be shocking at all or like I didn't think it would jolt her in any way and it did. So there's that.

[00:07:45] Hunter: It's interesting how those things kind of get in your head. So my daughter came out to me as lesbian when she was 14 and she's 17 now and I'm a girl. I'm, you know, we're like a very open minded family. We live in like this very, very liberal artist community, kind of the most liberal, it's, it's really like it's an intentional community and, and, um, And actually, so, uh, what happened was, uh, I, like, I had had this super stressful day.

I was just kind of at it, you know, up to here. And I came in, I was like, I just need to go for a run. Don't anyone talk to me. So I went upstairs, and I went into her room to get, like, a hair tie, and there was this brand new giant rainbow flag over her desk. And I was like, hmm, interesting. I basically, like, called down the stairs.

I was like. Hey honey, are you a lesbian? What's she looks like? Yeah, I thought you knew.

[00:08:50] Jaimie: Oh my God. That, that lesbian was your go to. First of all, I absolutely love that. Um, and wow. Good for her. That's so amazing.

[00:09:01] Hunter: She was like, yeah, I thought you knew because of like my musical choices. And I'm thinking to myself, like, honey, we all loved Indigo Girls.

It didn't mean we were all gay, you know, like, anyway, so I had just like, it was a lot, it was kind of a lot for me to process in that moment, especially being in the sort of like already stressed state that I was. So I went for my run. And I was like, wow, this is a lot. Okay. I was like, I'm going to go run and then I'll come back and we'll talk.

Okay. Like, it's just like, we're going to put a pin in this.

I'll see you in 40 minutes. Yeah.

[00:09:38] Jaimie: Put the phone on the back burner for just a second. Give me one sec. That's what's, I'm going to turn into interviewer for a second because I'm fascinated that you went straight to lesbian. Did you say lesbian? Did you really say lesbian?

I believe I did. Are you? Yeah. I mean, it's amazing because I have found, and this is one of the things I say all the time, like, A lot of, especially parents, the word lesbian is so taboo, and like, even like moms that I'm friends with will like, in the middle of a sentence, if a lesbian's coming in, lesbian.

Like, it's like this really weird taboo word, so I commend you for just going straight to the lesbian, the L word, go for it.

[00:10:18] Hunter: Well for her it really did. It really did. Like, I was like, oh, this is just very, in keeping with who you have been your whole life, it retracts with who you are. It wasn't very surprising and a lot of that girl, um, go ahead.

I like that. That was kind of how that went there. Um, so that's cool. Uh. Okay. So you started the Queer Family Podcast like six years ago. You guys, how old was your child then? 

[00:10:48] Jaimie: Well, so I have two. Um, my, uh, so I started the Queer Family Podcast when I was pregnant with our second, um, and he's six now. So yeah, I was like seven months pregnant when, when I started it.

I had a co host. I started it with co host, co founder. Um, she's since left and I'm on my own now. Uh, yeah. Six years.

[00:11:13] Hunter: And I imagine, like, this podcast, like the Mindful Parenting podcast, it, were you, like, looking, was it possible that you were, like, looking for something to support what you wanted to talk about and were interested in and maybe weren't finding it?

[00:11:28] Jaimie: Yeah. Yeah. So, basically, I mean, kind of, yeah. In a nutshell. So my wife gave birth to our first, our daughter, who is now 10. Um, and then it was my turn. We both knew we wanted to carry, so we took turns. And when it came to be my turn, I was younger. That's why I went second. We thought I was just going to get pregnant real quick and be done with it.

And we were going to have two kids real close in age and boom, bada bing. And I didn't get pregnant and it took me about three years. to get pregnant. So I went through this whole bout of unexplained infertility. They never figured out why, um, but I went on every fertility drug you can imagine, IUI, IVF, like years of just crappiness and as happens when you're going through something like that, sometimes you get a little lonely. You want to find community who is in the same boat as you. And I started looking around, um, and I wanted to hear my story basically mirrored back to me. Um, a queer woman, second kid. Like I, you know, I thought, surely something like this exists.

Couldn't find it anywhere. I would find And I was starting to look in podcasts. I just discovered podcasts. And I, you know, surely there's a podcast about this. There's a podcast about everything. And this was even like seven, eight years ago. Um, And I found some fertility podcasts, but they were always heteronormative.

They were always, you know, very straight leaning. They talked about their husbands a lot. Jesus would enter the picture a lot, which, you know, no, no shade, if that's something that works for you, but that does not work for me, talking about the Bible and Jesus, and, um, I just couldn't find it. And this little bug got in my head, like, Oh my God, somebody needs to create this.

Why doesn't this exist? Why can't I hear my story? I know so many gay moms who have made their babies and have families. Where are these stories? You don't see it on TV. You don't see it in movies. You don't see it in books. So. Somebody's got to do this. And then finally, after thinking about it way too long, I thought, okay, well, I guess I have to do this.

I'm going to do this. And that's how it came about because I wanted to hear my story and Mary back, Mary back to me.

Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

[00:14:00] Hunter: I love that. That's so cool. I love that you guys could just like take turns. That's really kind of a cool concept. That's the beauty of having two uteruses. Or uteri. Like, okay, I've done that. Now I'm done. But I can still have another child. Oh, that's great. Wow. But I mean, I just was just thinking, as we're thinking about it, that's really wonderful.

But it must be very challenging for, uh, gay male couples because your child's gonna have some birth trauma no matter what, because they're gonna be leaving, you know, it's gonna be that separation from a birth mother. Yeah. I guess. Yeah. I mean, you know, hopefully, like, you're right there. Maybe if you're right there at birth, then it's a different story.

Yeah. But,

[00:14:43] Jaimie: you know, that's a general, like, yeah, please, correct me, what you think. No, no, no, I'm not, I don't need to correct you. I just think that. That's the thing with our families that are all, mostly, most of them built outside the box, right? And there's always a helper, usually, not every time, but most of the time there's a helper involved to help us make our families however they come to be.

And there are many, there's a myriad of ways that we make families in the queer community. Um, but I don't know, you know, like a lot of times in a surrogacy journey, the, the dads are right there, the entire time are right there when the birth happens. And so in all, uh, like in a nutshell, they, they're the first person the baby goes to, you know, uh, chest to chest right away.

They have their own. room in the hospital when they give birth. And it's a very, it's, it's a very smooth process. I don't know about birth trauma. I've never heard any dads that I've interviewed or anybody who's used a surrogate. Talk about that, the birth

[00:15:52] Hunter (2): trauma. I guess I was just assuming like, like, I guess my brain went to like adoption, right?

Like, with that kind of every adoption, there's a, you know, a general separation trauma, right? Mm hmm. Totally. But, but I guess maybe if it's a surrogacy journey, that's very, that's different from an average adoption. Yeah. But I don't know. Yeah. I mean, that's not, that's not really like, it's But that's the thing.

My burning question, I was just,

[00:16:19] Jaimie: it just occurred to me. It's kind of like one of the reasons why. I feel like my podcast is honestly so important because I'm literally the only one out there exploring these themes and questions and ideas with, like, real people who have gone through whatever it is they've gone through.

Every single story is completely different, even if it's men and a surrogacy journey and an egg donor. Still, completely different journey, story, everything. Yeah, and I don't know the answer to that, and I'm gonna ask the next two dads I talk to. Hey. To what their thoughts are.

[00:17:00] Hunter (2): TBD. I have no idea. Good question.

Good question. All right. So, I wanted to ask, I wanted to ask you some questions about queer family life, kind of from the perspective. of, you know, the, the average listener who may, may have some queer families in their life, or may not have some queer families in their life, right? But wants to do the right thing and wants to raise their children to, to be open and accepting and things like that.

And so I wanted to think about asking, like, you know, how do, how can a parent explain to kids about different family structures, like friends with two moms and things like that? Do you have any thoughts on that? I think

[00:17:43] Jaimie: just in general, and, and, and queer families do this from the start because we are already out of the box and our kids.

See it when they watch TV and they see it when they're out and about in the world or when they hear people talk about parents, they usually say mom and dad, you know, we're still trying to fix the language surrounding parents. Um, so we do this just from the start, just because it's so glaringly obviously obvious and we have to, right?

To, to just talk about. other families. I think the most important thing is to constantly have an open dialogue with your children that highlights how all families come in different shapes and sizes and colors and genders and, um, constantly being open about it and also realizing your children can hear things that you might think they're too young to hear, you know, like my children have known since birth.

How babies are made, you need sperm and an egg, because from the start, like I said, they see that their family's a little different, and so from the start we have to explain to them how did they come to be so that they are well equipped to go out into the world and explain it when the questions come, and the questions do come.

Um, I think the most important thing is being prepared. Open and honest and having an open dialogue as early as you can. And I'm a huge fan of books to help with that. Children's books. There are so many children's books that explore all the different types of families there are that you just, you put them on your shelf and you keep them in the nighttime rotation and they have age appropriate, you know, books for every age, for every level.

And you have a full shelf full of these inclusive books that you just pull out from time to time. It's like, they call it in the adoption world, um, the dropping the seed theory, right? So when you have an adopted child, It's important that they know their origin story. It's important that they know where they come from.

It's the same with LGBTQIA plus families. It's important that they know their origin stories. And so from as early as you can, you drop the seeds of where they came from. And the idea is the children at age appropriate times, pick up what they're ready to pick up and hold onto it. But your story remains the same and your story continues through your child's life.

Always constantly, so, Mm-Hmm, .

[00:20:33] Hunter (2): So they may, so say, you know, there's a child in a hetero family, uh, normative family, and they're asking how babies are made. Um, I imagine that's a challenging enough question as it is for most parents, but they're in bed not like, well, and let me also tell you, you know, I imagine that most parents aren't then like, let me give you the addendum to all the other different ways that this could happen.

Are there certain times in a, you know, maybe if that happens, I don't know, when a kid is four the first time they ask or something like that, but like, are there times you would that then it becomes important, like, you know, a certain age or anything like that. Like, are we talking like preschool or, I

[00:21:22] Jaimie: don't know.

Well, as soon as they start asking, asking the question, they're ready to hear it. And I, and the other thing is that I want to stress is that Like, for instance, with our families, we can't just say, uh, you came from mommy and mama because you didn't, right? And I feel like that would be the go to for like a hetero couple.

Well, you came from me and daddy and we love each other, right? We can't go there. And so what's the easiest way to explain to a child?

It happened without going into the icky, icky parts. Right? So a lot of times for us, like you just break it, break it down into the science, right? And so from the start, when that question comes up for my family and also for countless other LGBTQIA plus families that I've talked to and who I know, it, it comes down to the science of it.

Well, it takes sperm. and an egg to make a baby. And some bodies have sperm, some bodies have eggs, and you need both pieces to make, to make a baby. Me and Mommy, we have two eggs, so we needed help. We needed sperm. And there was this lovely person, a helper, who we call A donor who gave us his sperm so that we could have you and then we, you know, we went to the hospital and the sperm and the egg were put together and then they were put in my tummy and then that's when you were, and then you came out, you know, so you break it down to these easy to digest scientific facts, uh, with, you know, and then it's, and then they get it to the degree that they get it, and Our family is somewhat explained for them.

Um, and everybody can do that. And then the conversation

[00:23:25] Hunter (2): continues. I love that though, that like, I appreciate you breaking that down, like how you would do that as an example, because sometimes it's hard to think outside of your own experience, you know, like how would I say, right? We

[00:23:39] Jaimie: have our notions about sex and all the things, and oh God, they can't know about the penis and the vagina.

Yes, they can. Most bodies that have penises have sperm. Most bodies that have vaginas have eggs, however, not every single one, you know, you just, I, I really, like, it sounds simple, but it is simple, even though it's not simple, I don't know, it's, you know, and then there's so many books that help explain it all, which I have like a shelf full of books that I just hold down, let's read this one today.

[00:24:13] Hunter (2): Yeah, one of my favorite books was, um, Who Has What? Which you probably know, and it shows like the insides of like, not only a little boy and a little girl and a man and a woman, but also like a puppy. Right. I said, so it's like, oh yeah, all these creatures. We all have these parts. This is, you know, it's just an, and I think that's such an, for me, that was, that's such an interesting book.

nice way of like kind of ushering me into like, Oh, these are basic, simple facts that we can talk about. And it was so, it was like such a nice

[00:24:48] Jaimie: picture for me.

[00:24:48] Hunter (2): I take

[00:24:48] Jaimie: the stigma out of it, right? Because we're adults, we have our own preconceived notions about all the things and take the stigma out of it.

We're not talking about sex yet. We're just talking about the science of how did you come to be? This is how you need to be. And then a lot of love, too.

[00:25:08] Hunter (2): Okay, this is a question that we got, um, from our group. How to talk about my kids outward gender expression. And that's not from any specific viewpoint, obviously, but how to talk about kids outward gender expression.

I mean, I wonder about that, like, in the terms of, you know, when my girls were little, I was very sensitive to the idea of. I don't know, I'm just like kind of being girly stuff. So, I had clothes that were from the boys section and from the girls section. Sometimes people complimented me on my beautiful baby boy and it was like, whatever, it's fine.

And, um, And, uh, anyway, this is, this is, uh, a question that people have about gender expression, and I think this is from the point of view of, you know, when kids are little, we don't know, right? When, when they're little kids, we don't know whether they're going to be hetero or they're going to be, you know, Queer, whatever, you know, and we want to raise them to be A, either accepting of variations or accepting of themselves if they are some variation, right?

Like, so, then how, from that perspective, how do we talk about gender expression to it? Kids.

[00:26:23] Jaimie: Well, so I'm speaking as a cisgendered lesbian. I am all, um, woman hear me roar here. But, um, and so I can only speak from my perspective when it comes to gender. Mm-Hmm. . But I. I got a really great piece of advice from a trans woman who I interviewed, who has a beautiful family and, um, spoke really eloquently about gender.

And, uh, she said, when I asked about, you know, just how does some, like, you know, when it comes to gender and when it comes to, um, people, uh, being, I don't want to say confronted, but for lack of a better term, confronted with a gender they're not used to. Or you know, out, out of the box person that they're not used to seeing, be they gay or be they transgender, be they non-binary, whatever.

Mm-Hmm. . How do, how do we explain to an outsider how they should talk and think about, uh, genders, you know, especially when it comes to their kids and all the things. And she said to me, she said, when somebody tells you who they are, believe them. That's it. That's it. It is not for you to even think about.

It's not for you to even have feelings about. When somebody tells you who they are, believe them. So if I were to tell you, I am non binary, you just have to take it for what, oh, okay. So that's Jamie. Jamie's non binary. If I, you know, you know what I mean? Like, why do

[00:28:13] Hunter (2): we So, but I can imagine I can imagine like you're a kid, right?

And you're, I don't know, like you're in a gathering with your parents and you register somebody as different from the other people around it because we can, we can register, okay, this person is not kind of fitting into this group or this group that I'm seeing, right? Doesn't look like a cisgendered person.

Yeah, exactly. Like from, you know, especially like say from like a five year old's point of view where five year olds are like five, the age of five is like when we're like the most categorizing of. Kids, you know, where we're right and categorizing rigid is important for children. Yeah. And it's an important part of their development, right?

So they may register a difference and we may, you know, want to talk to them. We want to talk to them about wanting to be open of talking to our kids about anything. So then in a situation like that, like how do we talk to our kids in a way that's open and inclusive and respectful, but also like acknowledging that, yeah, there's a difference in that person.


[00:29:14] Jaimie: Yeah. Well. You know, I'm trying to think if my six year old came to me and said that, that person, what is that person a boy or a girl, mom? Um, I would say, well, I don't know, cause I haven't asked them. Um, and so we want to ask, we can ask in a respectful way, but also just know that, you know, There are boys like you.

You are a boy, and you know you're a boy, and you love to be a boy, right? The answer would be yes, and then we'd probably see some ninja moves. And then, and I would say, and Mama, I'm a girl. I love being a girl. I feel very much like a girl. And then I would say, and then there's some people who don't really feel like they're all boy or all girl.

They kind of feel like they're somewhere in between. And there are some people who are born into the body of a boy, but their hearts and their minds, Inside don't feel like a boy. And so they try to make their outside match what they feel on the inside. And so sometimes you'll see that and you might think, Hmm, that looks interesting, but it doesn't mean it's any, it's not weird.

It's not different. Well, it shouldn't be different, right? I don't know. I would just go into it. There are, you know. Uh, yeah, yeah, yeah. I love that. In, in, in the vein of being open and honest, just being open and honest about gender. There's nothing dirty about gender. It just is what it is. And gender is between the ears.

Gender is not between the legs I like. Right. And we say that to my kids too. How do you feel? Do you feel like a boy? Well, she feels like a girl. So we, so she's a girl, so we say she, when it comes to her or whatever, you know, the situation is.

[00:31:17] Hunter (2): Uh, the question was brought up, how do you bring up differences if you're in a conservative neighborhood?

Like, for people who are living in a very conservative place, and their kids may be getting different ideas in school that may be different from what you're teaching at home. And I guess it's the same thing though, you're just gonna talk about things the way you're gonna talk about things. I mean, at home,

[00:31:41] Jaimie: the discussions are.

Always the same, and like, oh, okay, well you learned that in school, interesting. Let's pull down this book and read what they say about gender. Let's look at this story about Julian who wants to be a mermaid. Let's look at this story, and, and like, for instance, my son has long hair. Plus, I think he's vain in some way and he gets compliments on it.

So he does somewhat cut his hair, but he gets mistaken for a girl all the time. And kids call him a girl. Uh, adults call him a girl and it really, really bugs him. So I have that to lean back on too. That's well, you know, when it comes to like, you're a boy, right? Yes. Does it bug you when people call you a girl?

Yes. Wish they would stop, you know? Okay. Well, and that's also, you know, so I don't know, like calling on your kids experiences and also just knowing that the ultimate goal is, and always is, inclusion, honesty, upfront, open, and just, uh, an ongoing conversation. It never ends. It never stops.

[00:32:51] Hunter (2): Yeah. Yeah. I love that.

I, you know, I was mistaken for a boy a lot when, when a certain point in my life, because my name is Hunter and I love that in like second or third grade, I cut, I think my brother did this. So I cut my hair really short and I had a rat tail.

And my favorite outfit, I think, at that time, it was like these yellow pants with dinosaur prints all over them and like a yellow sweatshirt with like Heath Haring on it. Are you sure you're not an ARC? Can we go to Union Center? That's a bit like people I know.

[00:33:28] Hunter:  I was called weird for many years. I learned to take it as a compliment.

It is. Weird is the best. That's what I tell my kids. Weird is the best compliment ever.

Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

[00:33:51] Hunter: Now what would you say to a kid who, you know, I mean, have you ever have you seen like any of your kids or kids being bullied for their family differences in their families? And how do you protect kids from that?

[00:34:05] Jaimie: Um, I mean, it's tough. I live in Manhattan. I live in a pretty great bubble for who we are. So there's that, um, And it's hard, I mean, it's so hard to say like what I would do, how I would handle.

I do have, I can only draw on my own experience, right? Or what I've heard from interviews as much as I can. But like, for instance, my son gets mistaken for a girl all the time. And recently was in a bathroom in the, in the kid's bathroom at school and the boy's bathroom and some older boys. Like, called him over and forced him to leave because it was the boy's background.

Oh, wow. Yeah. Yeah. So that happened. As did he say, like, excuse me, I'm a boy. Yes. And his little best friend, little six year old friend also stood up for him and was like, yeah, listen to his voice. It's dark, it's not light. Like, I don't even know what that means. But like, and then they ended up running away and they were scared.

And I'm only getting the retold thing from my six year old's brain. Right? So who knows how much of it is what. And, um, and I'll tell you though, we were all just sitting down to dinner. We were just eating dinner. It was a normal thing. And my brother, well, my brother, my son brought it up kind of nonchalantly, like, Oh mama, you know what happened today?

Mommy and mama, la la la, and then we were in the back. And then I could see, like, at first it was like lighthearted. And then I see my wife and I like tensing up at the table. You know, the mama bear instincts started coming out, like, Oh my god, oh my god, I will kill these children, I will kill this child, you know.

I see both of us tensing, even my daughter, my 10 year old, was starting to tense up. And was starting to be like, what do you mean, what do you mean? She was starting to ask like these questions, pointy questions. Um, and then my wife and I had a conversation that night, like, what do we do? Like, what are we going to do if this is really real?

Because there's the one thing, the other thing is too, we don't know how much of this is real, how much of this is made up. He's six. He makes stuff up all the time. Um, they, I just, my wife and I, I remember like, how, how are we going to handle this? Are we writing an email? Are we doing this right now? Are we writing an email to the principal right this second?

Or are we waiting to find out? We chose to wait and find out in that moment. Um, let's see what happened. Um, we ended up not having to write to the principal. Um, and that's all I have to give you right now. Like, I don't know, honestly, I don't know. I do know that it's important for all of us to teach our children to be upstanders, not bystanders.

And I tell my kids that all the time. You know, if you see somebody getting bullied or if you see somebody getting made fun of, I expect you in this family. To be an upstander and stand up for that person, not be a bystander and just watch it happen, or definitely don't take part in it. Um, but that is something that I say repeatedly in our house to our children, to the point where my kids are like, I know, I know, be an upstander.

Oh, you know, but that's all I can tell you. Like teach our kids to stand up for the marginalized among us. Teach our kids about bullying. Teach our kids what teasing is. And why we shouldn't do it. Hmm.

[00:37:33] Jaimie: Um, teach our kids to embrace weirdness and differences.

[00:37:40] Hunter: Yeah, I like that. I can imagine a lot of situations where it would be hard though, like, you know, what if standing up meant you put yourself in danger?

You know? That sounds like Right.

[00:37:54] Jaimie: Yeah. And, and there's always adults around, right? So maybe it doesn't mean like standing up to the bully. Maybe it means finding time to talk to the teacher about it in private. Maybe it means coming home and talking to me. Mm hmm.

[00:38:11] Jaimie: Um, but for me and for our family, it is really important that our kids.

Um, take note of that and, and do think about what can I do to help this kid who is clearly different than the others or being treated differently than the others. They don't always do it. Like sometimes I'm like, are you kidding me with this to my children? Like, what are you doing? You're supposed to be an upstander, but I don't know.

I think it is important that we teach our kids what wrongdoing is when it as pertains to wrongdoing to people. You know? Yeah. Yeah, yeah. And we talk about it.

[00:38:58] Hunter (2): Yeah. What, how? Yeah, I mean, I guess we would talk about that from any age I start gathering with kids, you know? Like, yeah. Yeah. And in an age appropriate way.

Um, when, when do you think it's an appropriate time to start to talk to kids about their own sexuality and their own,

[00:39:20] Jaimie: you know? Well, so this is a good question because, like, this goes back to our families, like, we don't have the novelty of waiting. Yeah. Right? We have to explain what a lesbian is. Like, they know les they've known to turn lesbian forever because we're a different family.

We don't have the novelty of waiting to talk about sexuality because it's in their face all the time. Right? And, so, they grow up knowing about sexuality. They grow up knowing about gay people and non gay people. They just, it's like a part of them. their makeup. It's their family makeup. I mean, if we were to wait to talk about homosexuality until they were Okay, so that doesn't make 10, it might have been really confusing for them.

[00:40:15] Hunter: Okay, so that doesn't make any sense, that question then. Okay, I'll just, I'll revise it to, if you couldn't wave a magic wand and have all the hetero families talk to their kids about sexuality at an, like, the ideal time. When would you have? Everyone talk about it.

[00:40:34] Jaimie: I like, right away, right? You know, like, Have, have the board book with the two moms and the two dads.

That means they love each other. That means, you know, how mommy and daddy love each other and they kiss sometimes. That's how, that's how this family is. They love each other and they kiss sometimes and they hug. Um, yeah, they can know about that right away. Why not?

[00:41:01] Hunter: Why not? There was one, there was this board book we had that was actually like in this banned book list and it was so sad because it, it was nothing.

It was, it was not saying anything. It was just like all babies everywhere, Marla Frazee, something like that. Oh, yeah. 

[00:41:22] Jaimie: Yeah. Well, that's the thing. We have adults and it's our issues. We have our hang ups about sexuality and all the things, and we put into sexuality and who you're attracted to. But to my kids, um, it's not sexual, the fact that there are people who are the same sex who love each other, it's just love.

Just like they can learn about mommy and daddies who love each other, they can learn about mommies and mommies who love each other, daddies and daddies who love each other. It's not, they don't, they don't sexualize it. We do. We do. Yeah. They don't think about what we do in the bed together. No. And just bringing up the fact that they decided to get married together does not make a child, however age they are, I mean, maybe when they're teenagers, but like, think about what happens in the bed.

That's us. Why do we make it dirty? It doesn't have to be dirty. It's not dirty. It's beautiful. It's love.

[00:42:21] Hunter: Yeah. I don't. Right. I don't. I don't look at like. You know, we don't look at our heteronamers and start thinking about what they're doing in bed, so why are you doing it? Probably shouldn't. Right? Like, that's creepy.


[00:42:35] Jaimie: That's so creepy. Yeah, yeah. I don't want to think that my friends are thinking about me and my wife in bed. Like, I don't, ew.

[00:42:45] Hunter: No, no, we don't want to think about that. But then, dear listener, there is a time to start thinking about that, and I refer you back to the episode with Amy Lang, all the episodes with Amy Lang, talk to, about talking to kids about sexuality, et cetera, and the, how to talk to teens, tweens about those things.

Okay, let's talk pronouns. How do we talk to our kids about the pronouns?

[00:43:12] Jaimie: Like, in what way? Like, I'm just gonna say it again, like, when somebody tells you who they are, believe them.

[00:43:18] Hunter: I'm totally with that, and I'm good with that. I just, I have a, I was like a grammar person, the whole plural as a singular. is a problem for me.

I try and like not let it be a problem for me, but it like it, I trip over my tongue. I get confused. I thought I was picking up two people to go to school for the more, so to go to the bus stop, but I was only picking up one person and I got confused about that. Anyway, you know, just the whole, that whole thing, it's, I wish we could just come up with something different there.

[00:43:47] Jaimie: I wish too, I mean, you know, I, I, I can't speak for those who use they, them pronouns, but, you know, I wish there was a, a better term too, personally. I do, I get the grammar thing, my mother can't stand the grammar thing, that's what she gets hung up on. Um, and also, like, There's no choice, right? There's no way around it, so it is what it is, and so embrace it, or like, be left in the dust.

I don't know, you know what I mean? Like, and it really does, to me, come down to, like, when somebody says who they are, believe them. That's it.

[00:44:23] Hunter: Yeah, it's interesting, because when I wrote Raising Good Humans, And I was writing the manuscript for it. I wanted to actually just use they as a inclusive pronoun.

And I was advised at that moment in time to use he or she. Right. And then when I wrote Raising Good Humans Every Day, uh, they was fine. You know. Yeah. You use as an inclusive pronoun. It's

[00:44:48] Jaimie: really interesting. Language evolves constantly, as you know, and when it comes to the LGBTQIA plus communities, we know firsthand how much language evolves.

Like there's so, there's so many acronyms now, I don't even, I can't keep tabs, like, you know. Um, but, and so if you can't keep up, you just have to go with it. And. When somebody tells you they are believable, that's it. Don't question it. It's not yours to question. It's not yours to have a thought about even, just, it is what it is, just like when I tell you my name is Jamie.

Okay, Jamie. You know, it doesn't have to be complicated.

[00:45:28] Hunter: And then just finally thinking about like older generations, like you said, you know, I'm like, but, um, it can be hard if we're trying to raise inclusive fam, kids, right? And things like that. Are there any things we should be talking to our Elders about, you know, hey, do, do this, don't do this with our kids or say this.

Is, are there any, any advice there? I, I feel like the most

[00:45:58] Jaimie: important thing you can do is when you're around the elder who might say some off colored things about all kinds of marginalized folks, right? Mm hmm. Yeah. And I think it's important to just. I don't want to say call them out, but talk about it in the moment in front of your kids.

Like, if my mom misgenders someone, I'm gonna say, Mm, mom, they use they, them. They're non binary. And, oh, that, oh, and then I'll talk about it in front of my kids. I mean, my mother is never that crazy about it, but I'm just trying to. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, the same thing when it comes, you know, I'm a white cisgendered woman, right?

So, I have been, I have a personal mission in myself as an anti racist, like as trying to be an anti racist. When I hear folks in my community, white folks in my community saying off colored things that they shouldn't say that pertain to non white individuals, I. Make it a point to say something to them right then and there in the moment so that I can't just let things slide under the rug because, oh yeah, we can let it slide because we're just a couple of white people together.

[00:47:23] Jaimie: No, if I really am an ally to my non white friends, then it's my duty. Call it out when I see it and when I hear it, it's my duty. And the same thing I think comes, goes with the LGBTQIA plus community. If you hear somebody say a anti gay slur, anti trans slur, I think you have a duty to call it out, regardless of if there are children present or not.

Children can hear it. Yeah. Yeah. I agree. That's right. Um, cause we're nobody without our allies. We need our allies. Yeah. And if behind closed doors, you think it's okay for these not okay comments to be said regarding pronouns or whatever it happens to be, then nothing's ever going to change. Because I don't hear it behind the closed doors because I'm not in that room, you know?

Yeah. And if you wouldn't say it to my face, maybe you shouldn't be saying it in your little group of friends behind closed doors. I'm not saying, I don't know, I'm just throwing ideas out there and I'm trying to relate it back to my life and Yeah, thank, you know, I try to be an upstander for other communities that are more marginalized than I am, you know?

[00:48:47] Hunter: Well, I really appreciate you coming on and sharing and being so open. I, I love the, the, you know, for list, the listener, the Queer Family podcast. Give it a listen. Uh, so, um, there's so much there. Six years, great years worth of stuff. Um, is there anything that we. myths that you want to leave the listener with to raise, thinking about raising inclusive, upstanding families.

[00:49:17] Jaimie: I really just think surrounding your kid with all different types of families is important. However, they come to you, like if it's books, awesome. Seek out those books. Seek out the TV shows that have. A queer character. Seek out the movies that have a queer character. They're so far and few between that we need our straight allies to fight for those things.

Um, the fact that you, that anyone would have trouble talking to their kids or wonder, how can I talk to my kids about. LGBTQIA plus families is because there's not enough representation out there in the world. If we were just represented in the world and all the things we consume, this would be enough, this wouldn't be a conversation.

It would just be normalized. So the more we see families like ours, people like us, the more normal it becomes and the more this is not a conversation that needs to be had.

[00:50:28] Hunter: I think the, I think the books are a great way to go as far as like the resources. My, my lesbian daughter is now working in a bookstore and I have to say like her bookshelves, there is, at least in the young adult world, there, there is a ra Yeah, of, of gay novels.

Fantasy world. There's a lot there, so yeah. That's great.

[00:50:54] Hunter: You know, and the, the, the little ones need it. They really do when they're trying to find out themselves and, um.

I'm going to have to have you send her, so she's working in our Wilmington, Delaware local bookstore, Huxley and Hero, shout out to you.

And I think that she's going to be helping to work on some of the children's book ordering, actually, I think. Oh. So maybe I'll, I'll have to tap you for your list. Okay, Jamie, totally. 

[00:51:23] Jaimie: Oh, I love that. And also Help her out. I love that. Also, the checkout, I say this to everyone. I don't even make money off of like the advertising I give to them, but there's this company called Our Shelves.

It's my favorite, um, uh, baby shower gift. It's my favorite. Anytime anybody is having a baby or has a baby, a kid's birthday party, it's this book box subscription. It's age appropriate, but they, um, It's all inclusive books. And so you can subscribe for, you know, like the kid's whole life, or you can just give one, you know, one box and then they can sign up for it if they want, but you get like a monthly box of inclusive books that are age appropriate.

Um, and it's one of my favorite companies and ideas. Powershelves. com.

[00:52:08] Hunter (2): You have two podcasts here that you could sponsor. And get your word out. With your family podcast and the Mindful Parenting podcast.

[00:52:18] Jaimie: Yeah. Yeah. They, um, they're awesome. I do love them. I know them as well. They're friends. Um, but as, as marginalized groups go, as the niche podcast of the two right here, because it's, it's queer centric, um, it's hard to gain traction.

So the more people we can send.

[00:52:49] Hunter: So, yeah, Jamie, you can find her at the Queer Family Podcast, anywhere else you want them to unlock the list or find it. You have an adorable Instagram feed, though, by the way. I love the little video of, like, you're talking to your daughter about what she thinks about having two moms, and she's just like Whatever.

I don't care. And then she's like, you guys slay. And then that was this. It's so 10 year old.

[00:53:14] Jaimie: Yeah. Yeah. That's, that's, she does talk more eloquently about it when we're not on camera though. I was like, seriously, Rose, this is where we're going. Okay. All right. Okay. But yeah, no, I think that you, anywhere, everything, I'm, I'm the Queer Family Podcast Prostle platform.

So you can find me. all over. It's a long handle. I should have thought that through, but it is what it is. Um, yeah. And, uh, we have fun on the social media. Uh, yeah. I'll

[00:53:46] Hunter: check this out. Thank you so much for coming on. I really appreciate it. Thank you for having me. Doing this, doing the work you do and, and, um, and making this outlet for, for families.

[00:53:58] Jaimie: It's so great. I appreciate you immensely and I just wanted to add one thing. So just because of, uh, this show is called the Queer Family Podcast. It really just is a family podcast and it's all about family and how we show up in the world as families. So it doesn't necessarily mean you have to be queer to listen.

Um, and you can still learn a lot. And there's some cool insight and info. And then in the, in the vein of being allies, show up.

[00:54:30] Hunter: Awesome. Well, thank you so much. I appreciate it. Thank you. This has been great.

I hope you appreciated this episode and enjoyed it. I think it was so interesting, you know, to share these different viewpoints, you know, where we come from our own viewpoints and, you know, it really helps to just look into and see what another person's viewpoint of the same kind of thing is. Um, anyway, I hope this episode was helpful.

Um, I hope it helped you, helps you consider and Think about how you want to help your kids to be inclusive and accepting and welcoming. If you like this episode, do me a favor, share it in your Instagram stories and tag me in it at MindfulMamaMentor. That would be cool. Then I'll know. You can let me know what you thought.

And yeah. And then I'm just wishing you a great week. I'm glad you're here listening. Uh, I hope you're enjoying the re listen Thursdays, throwback Thursdays, where we have such a huge catalog. I, you know, I've been running this podcast, I started the Mindful Parenting podcast, I had, I The name, The Yoga Stories Project podcast in the beginning, but in 2013, and you know what I used to do?

I used to, um, bring this like handheld voice recorder, like in the first couple, first episodes, the handheld voice recorder that I brought into the basement, beautiful. It was a beautiful basement, but very quiet, uh, yoga studio. And I think the first person I interviewed was like one of my students. It was great.

Um, but anyway. Anyway, I hope you're enjoying Throwback Thursdays because there's so much in the bag catalog that you might not be hearing because, you know, I talked to Dan Siegel years ago and any, all kinds of wonderful things. So I hope you can enjoy that. And, um, yeah, I'm wishing you a great week.

Thank you for being here. I'll be back again real soon to connect with you. And just remember there's all kinds of ways to like, take this further at mindfulmamamentor. com. I've got Tons of free resources, I have a blog, I have all kinds of stuff there, so I invite you to check that out. And I do all kinds of things, like I go to people's towns and I talk to their schools and their, their, their PTO groups and stuff like that.

So anyway, if that's something you'd like I'd love to do that. I think I'm best in person. I mean, I love connecting with you here, but I really love connecting with people in person. Just the energy is amazing. So if you want to do that, just check that out at mindfulmamamentor. com. And, um, yeah, I hope you have a great week.

I hope this helps make your life a little more inclusive and accepting and moving away from the, you know, on the spectrum from judgmental towards curiosity. I love that moving towards curiosity is really helpful. And thanks. I'll come back and talk to you again real soon. Namaste.

[00:57:46] MPM: I'd say definitely do it. It's really helpful. It will change your relationship with your kids for the better. It will help you communicate better. And just, I'd say communicate better as a person, as a wife, as a spouse. It's been really a positive influence in our lives. So, definitely do it. I'd say definitely do


It's so worth it. The money really is inconsequential when you get so much benefit from it. Being a better parent to your children and feeling like you're connecting more with them and not feeling like you're yelling all the time or you're like, why isn't this working? I would say definitely do it. It's so, so worth it.

It'll change you.

No matter what age someone's child is, it's a great opportunity for personal growth and it's a great investment in someone's family. I'm very thankful I have this.

You can continue in your old habits that aren't working or you can learn something new. and gain some perspective to shift everything in your parenting.

Are you frustrated by parenting? Do you listen to the experts and try all the tips and strategies, but you're just not seeing the results that you want? Or are you

lost as to where to start? Does it all seem so overwhelming with too much to learn? Are you yearning for community people who get it, who also don't want to threaten and punish to create


Hi, I'm Hunter Clark Fields, and if you answered yes to any of these questions, I want you to seriously consider the Mindful Parenting membership. You'll be joining hundreds There are hundreds of members who have discovered the path of mindful parenting and now have confidence and clarity in their parenting.

[00:59:30] Hunter (2): This isn't just another parenting class. This is an opportunity to really discover your unique lasting

[00:59:37] Hunter: relationship, not only with your children, but with yourself. It will translate into lasting, connected relationships, not only with your children, but your partner too. Let me

change your

life. Go to MindfulParentingCourse.



add your name to the waitlist so you will be the first to be notified when I open the membership for enrollment. I look forward to seeing you on the inside. MindfulParentingCourse.


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