By Riley Quinn
I am a parent of a kind.
I am bisexual+.
I am pansexual.
I am nonbinary.
I live with D.I.D.
I have two alters who are children under 10 and one who is a petulant teenager, and I am definitely a parent to them.
Sadly, I have had three miscarriages, Mardi, Connor, and James. I will always be their parent.
I parent my nephews and niece at times, and they don’t or haven’t always liked me for the boundaries I support and uphold.
I have cared for, loved, and parented the children of friends and lovers.
My heart has broken at their pain and overflowed with joy at their triumphs.
I’ve explained sex, attraction, sexuality, death, grief, gender identity, society, relationships, eating well, drinking behavior, and recreational drug use, and had many discussions on what love actually is.
I’ve ensured safety travelling home and being out, and asserted the proper behavior and respect to expect from another human.
I have parented younger queers, mentored, listened, counselled, sometimes quarreled, in the majority comforted and wiped tears away of sadness, frustration, grief, love, and joy.
Is a parent only one who has the care and responsibility for a human for the entirety of their life? Who is their biological kin? Who is their legal kin? No, my belief is that a parent can take many forms.
A parent is a person who cares for, loves, guides, mentors, supports boundaries, exalts in triumphs of all sizes, consoles, encourages and is in the life for a time, of a younger human.
Millions of us are non-traditional parents. We are all parents of a kind.
I am and always will be, the verb—Parent—To be or act as a parent to another.
Riley Quinn is pansexual/bisexual+, non-binary, neurodiverse, and living with D.I.D. Loving being the Vice President of Sydney Bi+ Network, Founder and Director of BOLDER, writer, mental health awareness speaker, LGBTIQA+ advocate, activist, and speaker. Working to give Multi Gender Attracted people of older generations their platform, visibility, voice, and community.