rainbow flag, administration, inclusive, two moms, inclusivity, administration, signage, welcome, Jesus, intentionality, support
Mohan: The kids, before they were in JK, there was a daycare that they were enrolled in which is actually across the hall from their JK class. So we made a point of going in before we decided to formally enroll them and we spoke with the administrator of the program, and she was – um, as we walked in we had, like, this intention that we wanted to have this conversation with her, and we walked in and on the wall there’s like a rainbow flag, and so it was like, so we raised the issue and she just said like, well your kids aren’t going to be the first kids in our class, uh, that come from a gay or lesbian household, so um, we – and that she prides herself on it being very open and inclusive. And we were like, great. And it was actually. In their daycare class there was at least one other girl, one kid from a family with two mums, um, and we knew of other families in the school that were queer parents, so…
Kevin: It’s funny, I remember the day that – so they’d been to the school for daycare before they started JK, so we knew the building, but when we came the day after Labour Day, on their first day of JK, we looked at the flagpole and it was the Canada flag, and the rainbow flag. I must say, I thought for a moment, it’s September, and I thought, this is amazing. This school is so affirming that they fly the pride flag, like, all year round. And then the next day a memo came from the principal’s office saying, you may be wondering why the flag is still up. The flagpole is broken, and we haven’t been able to get the flag down since June, so when we fix the flagpole, we’ll take the flag down. And eventually that’s what happened, but it went back up again last…
Tara: In June.
Kevin: In June, at the beginning of last June, so yah. I would say our experience around the welcome and the openness has been very positive. Not only the teachers, as Mohan has said, but also from the principal and the vice-principal. I – I would say that they go out of their way. Like, on the kids’ classroom door, there is a, a sign, I forget the exact wording, but it says equality, everyone is welcome, with a rainbow flag on it. They go out of their way to be overt about that welcome.
Mohan: And I think that, yah, we recognize that this is – that we live in a bubble. Like, in Toronto to be able to have this. I’m sure there are many other schools in the Toronto District School Board, perhaps, that have surroundings which are equally welcoming. Maybe some aren’t, but we’re just very fortunate that the one we are in is incredibly, um, welcoming. We - before we had the kids we were in Provincetown, and we, and uh, Kevin and I saw this bumper sticker that I loved, so we picked it up, um, and given what Kevin does for a living I thought it was perfect for us, because it says, “Jesus has two dads, and he turned out alright.” [Laughter] So we got it, but when we drove up, driving to drop the kids off at school, um, some parents would come up and say I love your bumper sticker, and he would come out with his collar on, um, so, yah.
Kevin: Part of the sensitivity that I – that I really appreciated is that our kids call Mohan “Papa,” and me “Daddy,” and we – we didn’t talk a whole lot about that with the school administration, of course, because we had so many other things to talk about, but I remember the year that they were in JK, there was a day early on when the principal, not long after having met with us, walked by and said to -when we were both there- said to Anya, I think, “oh, can you show your papa and your daddy…”, and it was clear from the reference that he remembered who was who. That’s a small thing, but for him to remember that, um, I thought actually spoke a whole lot about him and the intentionality with which he wanted to welcome us.