If someone hasn’t told you that they identify as a mom or dad, especially if they’re part of an LGBTQIA+ family, it’s a good idea to not assume.
Identity is deeply important to many people, and how we identify with our children is no exception. The norm in our culture is to assume that every parent that we read as a woman is a mom, and every parent that we read as a man is a dad. The reality, however, is far more complex.
In my family, my wife and I both identify as mothers. Other families do it differently! I know of two gay men who both go by “daddy” with their toddlers, and differentiate based on context. One lesbian couple feels very strongly that one of them is the “mom” and the other is the “dad,” while another both go by “mama,” but also use their first names. Some parents are deeply uncomfortable with gendered parenting titles, and prefer to go by “baba” or “mapa.”
And while it might feel awkward at first, you make it so much easier for LGBTQIA+ parents when you show us respect and honor our actual identities!
It only takes a second to ask “What do your kids call you?” or “Do you like to be called a mom, or something else?” but it makes a difference.
— 7 Ways to Be a Better Ally to LGBTQIA+ Parents | Katherine DM Clover for Everyday Feminism