Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Anna's Spanish Project

Joe's sister Mary called to tell us that her 13-year old daughter Anna had to do a family tree project for her Spanish class. On the 'limb' she listed her aunts and uncles, with 'branches' shooting off of the 'limbs' with her cousins on them.

Mary said that on one 'limb' Anna had listed "Uncle Joe and Uncle Mark", together on the same 'limb', just like "Uncle Louis and Aunt Karen" and the other married couples in the family.

In addition to the 'tree', Anna had to write a sentence or two in Spanish about each of the people on the tree. "Uncle Louis is bald and likes dogs." "Aunt Karen likes music and shopping." "Uncle Joe is funny and makes me laugh." "Uncle Mark likes to sing."

It made me feel good to hear that I'd been included on Anna's family tree. After all, I've been around her ever since she was 3 years old. It also made me feel grateful that Anna's parents were so wonderfully open-minded and accepting, and never ashamed of Joe or me at all. What a gift!

Then on Sun when I saw Anna she told me that she'd done her family tree for her Spanish class and that she had included me in it. My response, without even thinking was to say "Oh good, because I sure do feel like a part of the family."

Then I got to thinking about the farther reaching affects of Anna's family tree project. In theory her teacher will review the project in order to grade it, and will see that her student has a positive opinion of her gay uncles. Maybe that will in a small way help that teacher to be more accepting of gay people in her own family, the gay parents of some other student, or other gay people she encounters. Just maybe, this Spanish project will help someone realize that being gay is not just about people having sex, but is about people who love each other and who are a part of a family.

No comments: