Written by Jenny B. (they/them)

During my lifetime, I’ve learned a lot about diversity and the LGBTQ+ community, but I wanted to know what others thought and how their points of views varied from mine. Being part of the community, it’s important to know that the people I know and love will support me throughout my journey. So I devised 13 questions to ask in an interview with my friends and family members to figure out their points of view and find out what they think an ally could be. I narrowed down who to interview and chose to interview my mother and grandfather. (Please note, the comments and opinions in this interview belong solely to the interviewer and interviewees, and are not necessarily representative of the Lime Green Giraffe’s or Girl Scouts’ views.)

First, I interviewed my mother to see how she feels as a suburban mother of two, about the LGBTQ+ community. Here’s how the interview went:

How did you feel when I first came out to you?

“I was a little bit confused. I think the first thing you did was write me a note. I think it said you weren’t sure you were female. Then you came out as nonbinary. I wasn’t sure what that was, so you had to explain and you did.”

I felt this was an important question to ask because I wanted to know what impact my coming out had on her.

How do you feel now?

“I think it’s kinda cool. I mean, not everybody gets a non-binary child. I think sometimes I don’t know how exactly to best support you, but I try. I guess most parents are like that.”

It was interesting to know that she thinks it’s cool. I agree when she said that most parents probably don’t have the best idea how to support their children all of the time.

How do you feel about people using they/them pronouns?

“I think it’s fine. But in conversations it gets a little confusing. I guess one just has to be careful and use names.”

As someone who uses they/them pronouns, I was very relieved to know that she thinks it’s fine. And I agree, in conversations about more than one person and if one of the people uses they/them pronouns, it can get confusing.

Do you know any other LGBTQ+ people?

“Well, I know of people who are gay and lesbian, but no one else who is trans. I know there’s people out there (who are trans). Yeah, my Uncle Peter is gay. My cousin Jackie is lesbian.”

I was curious about if we had any other LGBTQ+ family members, other than me, of course.

How do you feel towards them?

“I don’t know either of  them really well. I don't have any problems with their sexuality. It kind of has just been accepted, that’s how it is.”

I’m glad that they are accepted and included in gatherings as she said in a later conversation.

How do you feel about trans people in Girl Scouts?

“I don’t think that’s a problem. I think many trans people don’t realize it or declare it by kindergarten. That’s when you joined GS. GS is pretty accepting.”

As a trans person in Girl Scouts, I felt that this was an important question to ask as I had been questioning whether I belong in GS myself.

Are you educating yourself?

“Yes, of course, I am. I think it’s very important to be educated about these things. Especially in this day in age.”

I’ve supplied my family with articles and informational videos that I’ve found useful (some will be linked at the end of the interviews too), but I know she’s been doing some research on her own along with my father doing some research.

Do you recognize your bias?

“I try to. I don’t know that anyone is always aware of it, but I try to.”

Even though it may be uncomfortable and hard to do, it’s important to recognise and confront your biases.

These were all the questions that I asked my mother. I asked more questions to my grandfather, because he’s more conservative, but I do wonder how my mother would have answered those questions.

Next I interviewed my grandfather to get a conservative male raised in the 40s point of view.

How did you feel when I first came out to you?

"Well, I was a little surprised and confused. I wasn't totally surprised. I thought something was going on with you."

This answer did not surprise me much as he told me as much when I came out to him.

How do you feel now?

"Um, I'm still a little confused. But I'm glad you finally decided to share that. I know you were anxious. Hopefully you feel relieved after doing that."

I believe he is still confused because he doesn’t quite understand what all of this means and why I’ve “decided” to be transgender and nonbinary.

How do you feel about people using they/them pronouns?

"It's very foreign to me. I'm not used to it. I know people have reasons. Because I don't. It's fairly recent."

It is in fact not a fairly recent thing and people have been using they/them as a singular pronoun for hundreds of years.

Do you know any other LGBTQ+ people?

"Yeah. I worked with a couple of men; John and Mike at Turner Broadcasting. It's something we never discussed. I assumed he was gay. He turned out to be gay. It doesn't matter. He was [is] a good person. And of course Shane [a trans woman who tragically died of overdose. Rest in Peace]. Emmaline [my grandmother’s cousin who is married to Meg]. Our niece Carrie [who is married to a woman named Evon]. Both married. Legal or whatever you call it." 

It was interesting to find out about these people, who were never mentioned before. Noted: the wrong pronouns were used in reference to Shane.

How do you feel towards them?

“They’re good people overall. I don’t agree with their choice though.”

This “choice” is their sexuality and/or gender, which I disagree with the phrasing because it isn’t a choice.

How do you feel about trans people in Girl Scouts?

"Hmm… I'm still a pretty traditional person. I don't like it. Those that are trans may make a choice. The organizations are accepting. I find it difficult… trans people…"

I honestly don’t know how to feel. That’s kind of a hurtful thing to say and it makes me feel invisible.

Are you educating yourself?

"I'm trying. I appreciate your help. Want to know more about LGBTQWS or whatever. It's just different.”

I’ve given him several articles and I know he’s trying.

Do you recognize your bias?

"Yeah. I do. Sometimes they come through. There are several. I need to work on it. Like racism and homophobia.”

The first step is trying and making an effort, which I think he is.

What does it mean to be an Ally?

"A supporter. Someone who believes in it." 

It’s not very specific, but I’ll take it.

Do you think you are an Ally?

"Not completely at this time. Not homophobic however, I don't know. Society is more open. I need to deal with it completely. Because I was raised differently. Different from now.”

Change is scary, but we’ll get through it together.

How can Allies support the LGBT community?

"Well, they can be friends and be positive. They can also help fix negative things." 

Be an Ally.

What is an LGBTQIA safe space?

"A space where they can feel comfortable like they fit in. Not a physical place always.”

This is a good definition.


Any questions about the LGBTQ community?

"Not right now. I've had a few.”

I would be happy to answer any questions he or anyone else has.

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