Monday, March 28, 2011

We do not compute

My phone rings, while grocery shopping this afternoon.  It's Boy-o's new school principal.  He sounds, well, grave.  Immediately, I'm a bit on edge.  Did we lose our spot?  No, but there does seem to be a problem.  

"You are Boy-o's mom?" he asks me. 
"One of them."
 "Um, so you are a part of an, um, same-sex couple?" 
"Yup."  (I'm getting slightly more worried now.)
"It seems that I can't, um, figure out a way to fit you into my system...."

Say what?!?

We do not, it seems, compute.  Translate.  Fit into their computer system, which demarcates one parent as "mother" and one parent as "father".  

Apparently, we are the first same-sex parents this liberal school for the performing arts school has seen. 

Say what?!?

He is all kinds of apologetic.  They will work on changing the system.  But until they do, one of us is going to be listed as Boy-o's "father," on all school communications.

I am pretty good-natured about it, I think, though I do ask them to clarify that they will, in fact, change this system.  But I nevertheless get off the phone feeling a little bit heartsick and a little bit weary.

Boy-o wants to know why his new principal called.  I don't know what to tell him.  The explanation is just too.... big.   So I lie.   "I wrote your middle name too messy on the application, buddy.  They just wanted to make sure they had it right."

How can it possibly be that no other queer parents have sent their children to Vic? 

How can it possibly be that yet again, Boy-o will be the only one?

It's just letters, I tell myself.  Just a few mislabelled letters until they fix it. (Presuming they fix it).

But of course, it's not just letters.  It's not just mislabelling.

It's just one more reminder, in a string of constant reminders, that we do not fit.


  1. file this under are you EFFING Kidding ME? queerest school in the city and, um, they had to ASK YOU TO DEAL while they TRY To fix the system?

    i'm indignant on your behalf. pooh on that.

  2. Ummm seriously how long does it take to change a form? Couldn't the IT department just make a small change today or tomorrow?
    Well either way, your super cape is flying and this school is gonna change and you are one step closer to making the world a better place for all of us.

  3. I am surprised. You are being very ... patient... if this were to hit the news (which it should if it's not corrected, like tomorrow) it would look pretty bad for them. Not to mention, how would their students react?!!!!!