The Evolution of My Family Photo
by U. A. Nigro
As I get ready to ring in two thousand, seventeen, I can’t help but to reflect on two thousand, sixteen. Where we were when it started and where we are now. All the highs and the lows. The good, the bad, and the funny. The personal growth that I have experienced this past year is enormous. All because of the wonderfully beautiful people that have come into my life. As well as some people I have known forever stepping up and becoming such a great support system.
“REMINISCING WITH MY CHILDREN THROUGH THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND WE LOOKED AT OLD PICTURES AND COULDN’T HELP BUT NOTICE THE EVOLUTION OF OUR OWN FAMILY PHOTO.”
Reminiscing with my children through the holiday weekend we looked at old pictures and couldn’t help but notice the evolution of our own family photo. The old pictures, look like a magazine ad for Better Homes and Gardens compared to our most recent family pictures that look like an LGBT ad promoting a pride day event. However it made me think past our own photos to the bigger picture and ask myself a question. Why is it that I don’t see more diverse families pictured in our culture’s advertising campaigns? Further more, why is the traditional family structure considered “normal” and my family structure, not? A word that I cringe when using in this context but the question remains.
Why is the traditional picture of a family the only one we get to see on a daily basis? The only one we see on TV, in movies and in magazines? If I was raised as a child in a household with two moms or two dads, and my only example of a family is what we see in the media, I think it would have made me sad. I think I would have asked why. I am sure there are children out there who do. Being a transgender family adds a whole new element to this conundrum. We are such a minority in this country. Most spouses of transgender people don’t stay in the marriage, and some transgender people feel that our world is too dangerous for them to even come out. Unfortunately, that is true. A lot of transgender families live life looking over their shoulder and choosing carefully the places they visit. Its not a pleasant way to live and no one should have to.
Just as most transgender families choose to live their life in stealth mode, my wife decided fairly early on that she wanted to be out and open in the world. Some spouses cannot seem to shake the shame that befalls us from staying in our marriage. For me personally, my wife is the love of my life and there is no one else in the world I want to be married to, so leaving was not even a thought in my mind. Not to mention that I have never ran and hid from anything in my life. We still see life as unpredictable and possibly dangerous, but we try to live to the fullest because we have such little time to do so. So I do what I can do in my little part of the world is to let people know that I am proud of my marriage. That it’s ok to be in a relationship with a transgender person because they are just like everybody else.