RALEIGH, N.C. — During the first week of December, Gov. Roy Cooper signed a proclamation declaring Dec. 6 as Gender Expansive Parents’ Day. Rep. Vernetta Alston’s office requested the proclamation to celebrate and acknowledge families in North Carolina with gender expansive parents.
“Mother’s and Father’s Day celebrations often exclude gender-expansive parents, neglecting the valuable roles they play in the lives of their children,” Rep. Alston said. “Becoming a more inclusive state will require … making the lived experiences of LGBTQ+ people more visible. This proclamation does that.”
Between 2 and 3.7 million children under the age of 18 in the U.S. have at least one LGBTQ parent, and about 200,000 of those children are raised by a same-sex couples, Alston’s office shared. LGBTQ parents are six times more likely to foster and four times more likely to adopt. Yet, LGBTQ parents are marginalized by discriminatory adoption and child custody processes.
Many groups have proposed inclusive celebrations of non-traditional families. In 2012 the United Nations recognized Global Parents Day. That same year, International Family Equality Day was born to celebrate LGBTQ families around the world. Gender Expansive Parents’ Day follows the national and global trends of centering the celebration of parents who may not fit the traditional stereotype.
“All parents, regardless of their gender identity or expression, deserve to be celebrated for their sake and for the sake of their children,” Alston said. “Gender Expansive Parents’ Day recognizes any supportive relationship that a child has with their parent and honors gender expansive parents.”
In other news, on Dec. 1 North Carolina’s HB142 reached its end that allowed a ban on non-discrimination ordinances across the state. With this milestone, cities are now looking at enacting or re-enacting ordinances. The Charlotte Observer’s Editorial Board penned a piece that foreshadowed whether or not another HB2 would be on the horizon.
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