Reflections of a Rainbow Parent for International Family Equality Day

Candy Guinea and her Family

By Candy Guinea, Digital Marketing Coordinator

As many other rainbow families are aware, growing our queer family was an emotionally difficult but hard-won journey. My wife and I began our journey of conception well before we married by looking for the perfect donor. A complicated factor for us was trying to find a Latinx donor that was willing to be known to our future children. After a couple potential donors didn’t work out, we decided to let go of the need for a Latinx donor and instead asked a friend of ours, who happens to be Filipino, to be our donor. While that entire process took two years, the wait was worth it since we had finally found someone we cherished and trusted to be the known donor to our children. After a year of trying to conceive, and only after meeting with a trusted midwife for an IUI, my wife finally got pregnant with our son. We are so grateful for the queer family we fought hard to manifest. Our son is now a year and a half and he is the light of our life. There isn’t a day that I am not thankful for the family we have created for ourselves.

As parents, your priorities change and the life decisions you make are ultimately determined by what is best for your immediate family. A difficult decision we have recently made is moving from Oakland to Sacramento to have more stability for our family. Being from the Bay Area—my wife is from San Jose and I’m from Redwood City—we always imagined we would establish roots and raise our family there. However, with more corporations and tech companies starting up in the Bay Area, the demographics have quickly changed, and along with that, so has the cost of living. We left behind a vibrant queer and trans community of color, and our support network made up of chosen and biological family. So while we realize this was a difficult step to take, we also acknowledge that living in the Bay Area, unfortunately, is no longer sustainable for many families with children.

The transition to Sacramento has been eased by the fact that my mom lives here, and I went to high school here. There is a sense of familiarity moving back. I have also been excited to see how much the queer community has grown in Sacramento since I left. Something that we did not have in Oakland was an expansive community of rainbow families, which is extensive in Sacramento. We are excited to build with other queer families that understand the challenges and joys of raising children. A part of that has been connecting with the local Rainbow Families group here in Sacramento and attending events like the International Family Equality Day picnic.

IFED 2019

In case you haven’t heard of International Family Equality Day (IFED), it’s a global event that takes place every first Sunday in May (tomorrow!) to raise awareness of the need for equality and justice for all families, but specifically LGBTQ+ families. This event makes me think of the relative privilege I’ve had living in the liberal bastion of the Bay Area, and not needing to consider my safety or the safety of my family on a daily basis. This privilege has also been put into question moving to Sacramento and recognizing that while it is a major metropolitan city, there is a larger conservative faction that I was insulated from in Oakland. I truly believe in the power of visibility. I believe it is powerful to gather publicly to just be, and to be seen, as LGBTQ+ people, but I’m curious to see whether large public queer events, like the IFED picnic or Pride Parade, deal with conservative protests here in Sacramento.

International Family Equality Day also reminds me of the lived realities of families in other parts of the world, or even in other parts of this country, that do not have the same rights around parentage or adoption that my family has enjoyed living in California. What would it mean for us with relative privilege to be in solidarity with these other families nationally and globally? At the very least, I believe it’s our responsibility to be informed about some of the different issues rainbow families deal with both outside of United States, as well as within it.

Find out more about the resiliency and visibility of LGBTQ+ families all over the world by reading about International Family Equality Day or find a local event near you to celebrate your uniquely beautiful rainbow family.