This semester I'm doing a paper on Advertising and Cultural Consumption and one of our assignments is to create what the lecturer called an 'anti-advertisement'. This is an advertisement for a non-for-profit organisation on a topic of our choice. I decided to do a poster for Rainbow Youth because I have been reflecting on how I communicate acceptance to our children and to those around me.
My sister and her girlfriend had been living as "roommates" for years before they finally decided to open the closet door and tell us they were gay. When Sharyn told me, it was not a surprise because obviously I had thought it was a strong possibility!! But the thing was that it didn't change how I felt about Sharyn one bit, in fact I admire her for her strength and courage, both to keep the secret for years and then to set it free.
But what I really want to say to my kids is this... I love you no matter what. I love you when you hate me, I love you when you mock me, I love you when you do things that break my heart. I love you in the good times and in bad and there is nothing that will stop me from loving you. I'm so proud of you in all that you do, I am your greatest supporter, I'll never ever stop loving you.
I want to tell them that it doesn't matter who you love, gender is not important. What is important is that you find someone who loves you for who you are, someone who respects you and admires you, someone who will be your constant cheerleader and encourager. I want them to find someone who inspires them to be the best person they can be while still loving them when they have ugly days, when they are miserable and when things have all turned to shit. I want to communicate to this to my kids that who you love does not change how I love you. My acceptance of you is not based on anything that you do. I'm going to love you anyway.