Mami, Mom/ Papi, Dad


Unchartered Waters

“I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.”
Audre Lorde2014familyday403

Mozart and the Supreme Court Hearings on same-sex marriage compete for air space in my bedroom as I sort through piles of laundry.  My two-year old daughter, Elliesofia, waltzes about in layers of puffed satin skirts and shirts she arranged into her own princess dress.  Chief Justice Alito discusses the newness of gay marriage, first adopted in the Netherlands in 2000. My sister and mother call to Skype from Florida to listen in on the hearings and to watch Elliesofia perform.

Chief Justice Kennedy says, “We have five years of information to weigh against 2,000 years of history or more.”  I continue to fold and help Elliesofia add one more crinoline skirt to the two she is wearing. Chief Justice Scalia adds, “…there’s considerable disagreement among — among sociologists as to what the consequences of raising a child in a — in a single-sex family, whether that is harmful to the child or not.” Lisa, my wife of almost ten years, texts for a picture update on “her doodle’s” daily adventures as she prepares to visit her next patient’s home.

Chief Justice Kennedy argues against the sociological evidence for  gay marriage, “The problem– the problem with the case is that you’re really asking, particularly because of the sociological evidence you cite, for us to go into uncharted waters, and you can play with that metaphor, there’s a wonderful destination, it is a cliff.” I put away the clothes. Elliesofia trades the princess dress for a party dress to go hiking in. My mom and sister promise to check in later that day after they see what Ellen will say. Lisa calls to chat with Elliesofia and make plans to plant flowers when she gets home. I shut off the computer, wonder what the ruling in June will bring, and continue with my day.

These are the mundane unchartered waters that are often referred to as the mysterious lives of gay and lesbian parents. Like much else in life things tend to exist before newspapers, magazines, tv shows, and even before courts talk about them. Before Henry Gerber founded the first gay rights organization, Society for Human Rights,  in Chicago in 1924 his life as a gay man existed. His friends, family, co-workers lived, had difficulties, shared meals, and experienced life. Before Elaine Noble and Harvey Milk were elected to public office they went to high school, college, celebrated birthdays and holidays in their respective communities on opposite coasts. Even as AIDS ravished thousands of gay and lesbian lives, much like any community in distress, they leaned on each other, shared meals, laughed and prayed together.

WE ARE HERE, regardless of the ideas, theories, and explanations that are made about our lives. We wash dishes, vote, take our kids to sports practice, argue and laugh with friends, wish we could sleep in longer, and at the end of the day have dinner with the ones we love even if they are not legally the ones we are allowed to love. Life keeps going. Instead of waiting for someone to tell the story of how gay and lesbian families move in and out of these unchartered waters I am calling out to all of us that can share our family pictures and stories to do so. (I understand not everyone can.) So that our children won’t have to read it from someone else. So that they will know regardless of ‘proven data’ WE ARE FAMILIES BOUND BY LOVE, WE ARE AND HAVE ROLE MODELS, WE EXIST and life is ok.

In the Mami, Mom/ Papi, Dad series I hope to interview families, in person or phone intervies, about their daily life. The series has several tentative titles: Hilarious Stories in Gay & Lesbian Parenting; Stories of Faith &  Spirituality in Gay & Lesbian Parenting; Stories of Inspiration & Resilience from Gay &Lesbian Parents; Birth Stories from Gay & Lesbian Parents; Family Traditions in Gay & Lesbian Families; Coming of Age Stories from Teens of Gay & Lesbian Parents; & Abuelita, Grannie/ Abuelito, Pop Pop: Stories of Joy from Grandparents of Gay & Lesbian Parents.

It is my intention to evolve this blog into a book series that will be a resource of GLBTQ family life stories about living daily life beyond coping with coming out. I am on a mission to create for Elliesofia, and hopefully other children of gay and lesbian parents, a legacy of stories about other families with gay and lesbian parents that experience life openly with joy and love.

If you would like to be interviewed for any of the above categories please email me at I welcome you to share your thoughts, pictures, stories, and life here, on our Facebook page, and @writeidea8 #MamiMomPapiDad. Thank you.

This is a writer’s process blog. Here I share snippets of interviews and stories as I create and venture the writing life. I welcome you to peek into the world of some curiously dedicated people and loving families. Leave behind your thoughts, constructive feedback, encouragement, and words of wisdom.

Live life with joy and love.

Catalina Sofia Dansberger Duque

Dressed up and ready to party at a friend's wedding.

Dressed up and ready to party at a friend’s wedding.


5 thoughts on “Mami, Mom/ Papi, Dad

  1. Anonymous

    I am very proud of you, not only because you are wonderful human being: Great mother, wife, teacher, sister, daughter and friend, but also a great writer. You write from your heart, you let us see through your soul, which makes us vulnerable and stronger as well. You go girl! You got it!
    Te amo, tu mami Ana


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