In July, Republicans in the House Appropriations Committee passed an amendment that would allow adoption agencies, even those receiving taxpayer dollars, to discriminate against LGBTQ families. (The Aderholt amendment also allows for otherwise qualified parents to be denied placement due to having been divorced, having an interfaith relationship, being a single parent, or just because, citing religious beliefs.)
The amendment represents an unabashed attempt to further malign and discriminate against LGBTQ people for having the audacity to be alive and want to parent. Furthermore, at a time when LGBTQ children are over-represented in the foster care system (oftentimes due to having been rejected by their family because of their sexual and/or gender identity), having qualified LGBTQ parents who would not only accept but desire to raise a queer kid should be a no-brainer. Instead, a system that is completely overwhelmed will turn away perfectly capable and loving parents simply because they do not conform to a narrow, antediluvian standard.
LGBTQ people are just as likely to fail or succeed as straight people when it comes to parenting, and any implication that being queer limits one capacity for parenting is plain absurd.
There’s never been a more important time to recognize and celebrate LGBTQ parents, so here are 15 of the most kickass LGBTQ parents in genre.
Jo's dads (Lumberjanes)
Lumberjanes is an Eisner Award-winning graphic novel that follows the adventures of a group of very best friends at a hyper-feminist summer camp on the edge of a magical forest. One of the older girls, Jo, frequently takes the lead when the group needs it and is dependable, caring, and whip-smart. She also happens to be a trans girl with two dads. Though her fathers make only a small appearance, they are proud of their daughter and are (quite literally) helicopter parents, even though they hold themselves back from being overbearing. It isn’t only their interactions that make Jo’s unnamed fathers so great. It’s also the fact that Jo’s strength and self-confidence is an obvious reflection of loving attention and support she received from her parents.
Willow Rosenberg and Tara Maclay (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
When Buffy sacrifices herself to save her younger sister/magically implanted metaphysical key to another dimension, her best friend Willow and Willow's girlfriend Tara take over raising the key-turned-teenager Dawn Summers. Much of their parenting efforts take place off-screen, in the time between Buffy’s death and her magical resurrection, but what we do see is two queer women who are barely adults themselves raising a young woman who has lost her mother, her sister, and her sense of belonging. Even when Willow and Tara break up, the two continue to care for Dawn together with the resurrected Buffy.
That’s not to say they do a perfect job. Willow, while under the influence of dark magic, puts Dawn in danger when she conjures a demon-thing as a byproduct of her addiction. It sends Willow down the path of recovery and reconciliation with Tara (before Tara is tragically killed by a stray bullet). Through the ups and downs, though, an alternative family takes form, one where Dawn is surrounded by powerful, loving women, including her two queer surrogate moms.
Lisa Palmer (Santa Clarita Diet)
Santa Clarita Diet is the story of a suburban mother, Sheila, who is a real estate agent. Oh, and a zombie. She’s not your typical undead/revenant/walking dead monster, though, and the show defies convention as well. One of the (many, many) hilarious women on the show is Lisa Palmer (Mary Elizabeth Ellis), Sheila’s neighbor. When her husband (who it turns out was not a very nice person, nor a very law-abiding cop) dies, she begins dating one of his colleagues, Anne Garcia, the sheriff’s deputy. She’s also an amazing mother to her son Eric, the only person who seems to understand what’s going on with Sheila’s zombie appetite. Eric and Sheila’s daughter Abby are BFFs but also maybe... share an attraction? When Lisa senses Abby feels off about Eric, she gives her a (very much unwanted and yet very much adorable) makeover to help her be more confident, because that’s the kind of person Lisa is.
Clarke Griffin (The 100)
At the end of Season 4, The 100 jumps forward six years. Clarke Griffin, who has been doing everything she can to survive the hellscape that is planet Earth post-nuclear apocalypse, now has a daughter named Madi. Clarke teaches Madi English and protects her after the second Praimfaya (the wave of destruction that follows nuclear apocalypse). After so much destruction and pain during Clarke’s life (may we never forget the tragedy that was the death of Lexa), Madi gives her not only a reason to live but something to hope for.
Midnighter and Apollo (The Authority)
Mighnighter and Apollo are husbands, superheroes, teammates, and fathers of Jenny Quantum/Quarx. When the U.S. government arrests every member of The Authority except Midnighter, he escapes with a baby named Jenny. Shortly thereafter, Midnighter returns to save Apollo from his imprisonment and they get married, quickly adopting Jenny. Like all superhero stories, there are more than a few twists, turns, deaths, and resurrections that take place during their time together. After her fathers retire/die/resurrect/die, Jenny becomes the leader of The Authority. She saves our universe by absorbing a pocket universe, in the process essentially disappearing. (Her whereabouts are unknown.) Her heroism and selflessness are direct reflections of the acts and love of her fathers.
Alastair Sterling and Brendan Pinsky (O Human Star)
O Human Star is a delightful webcomic that has been collected into two volumes. The main character, Alastair, develops AI, hoping to populate the world with artificial life, but dies without seeing his invention come to life. Sixteen years after he dies, Alastair wakes to find himself in a new android body. The world is completely different and his former partner, with whom he shared a secret romance during life, is now the CEO of Alastair’s company. He’s also raising a robot daughter who resembles Alastair and has been programmed with his memories. The three navigate the advanced new world together, developing familial and romantic bonds between human and artificial beings alike.
Tamsin, Bo, and Lauren (Lost Girl)
In the world of Lost Girl, a delicate balance exists between Dark and Light Fae, the magical beings who operate behind the scenes of our society. Under the leadership of Bo, a group of Dark and Light Fae and humans band together to destroy that balance and make the world better for everyone. After she’s sexually assaulted (by Bo’s creepy ass dad Hades) Tamsin becomes pregnant. She knows giving birth will kill her (it’s a weird Valkyrie magic rule thing), but she chooses to do so anyway. The child is hers, but it is also Bo’s sister. At the very end of the series, we get a glimpse of life after Tamsin’s death and it is clear that Bo and her fiancé Lauren have given Tamsin's daughter Dagny a beautiful existence.
Foxglove and Hazel (Sandman)
Foxglove and Hazel are normal women who are in love and live together in a building where their neighbors are not so normal. When a creature attacks their home, Foxglove and Hazel help their neighbor Thessaly (who is a badass thousand-year-old witch) hunt it down in the Dreaming. While they navigate the trippy world that is Sandman’s domain, Hazel confesses to Foxglove that she had a one-night stand and is pregnant. Foxglove understandably flips out, but ends her tirade with, “Do you know how much a baby’s going to cost us?” Hazel cries and together they enter a new phase of their relationship: parenthood.
Their child, Alvie, dies suddenly while things are rocky between them and Hazel offers to take his place in one year if Death allows her child to live. Foxglove, who had been having doubts about Hazel, offers herself to go in Hazel’s place. Ultimately, Foxglove’s bodyguard (she’s hella famous now) gives his life in place of the child. Their sweet, human family gets a second chance and they move to the suburbs to live in domestic bliss.