In honour of International Day of Families (15 May), LGBT+ parents shared their stories with us. Here we chat to Steve and Lucy, who have been together since 2012. They officially married in early 2018 and have a brilliant, humble 16-year-old daughter. Steve says that as two lesbians, they consider themselves a modern family who embraces and respects diversity.
How did you start the discussion around having children?
We are discussing having more children. As we grow older, we want to grow our family. We recognise our privileges, choice, rights and ownership of our reproductive system. We love kids, and given the love we share, we have the ability to offer more care and love to more children.
What has been the most challenging part of your journey? And the most rewarding?
The most challenging part of our journey was Steve’s hospitalisation in 2012 when we were not sure if she would survive. By God’s grace, she made it. Spending so much time in the hospital with the person you love, not knowing our tomorrow, was the most difficult part. The most rewarding was respecting life after this ordeal and embracing one another. What was amazing about our journey is the fact that both our families embraced, respected and loved us in return – a privilege many LGBT+ people do not enjoy. Many still can’t embrace their love for each other, are 'invisibilised' and are rejected by their families. What is important in our journey is we love each other effortlessly and support each other's growth.
Are there any parenting blogs or social media accounts you follow?
We follow Parents, Families and Friends of South African Queers (PFSAQ), LGBT Parents Worldwide and Same Love Toti on Facebook.
Do you belong to any online support groups or communities?
We belong to Safe Space groups hosted by Access Chapter 2 in Pretoria, of which Steve is the executive director. It is a human rights organisation that focuses on LGBT+ people, women and girls in their diversity.
What is the best parenting advice you’ve received?
First, love all children as your own – this makes you a parent everywhere you are. Second, confront conversations with children with an open mind. They too are learning to live, and it creates and strengthens trust and opens a communication channel between you and the child.
What advice can you give other parents or potential parents?
To parents: Love, embrace and care for your children. And they will take care of you. Listen to them, embrace them and teach them diversity. The results are when they are older, as they will teach others prosperity and harmony through your teaching.
To potential parents: Learn with your nieces, nephews and neighbour's children because parenting doesn’t begin with your biological children nor end with them. All these little rascals are our responsibility. The only thing required is love, so be ready to share that with all.
Keep an eye out for more inspirational conversations with proud parents, and click here to read about Vodacom’s mission to promote inclusion for all!