KANAPOLIS, NC – Two LGBT parents say language is important when talking to families like theirs.
What you need to know
LGBTQ couples share the importance of language for parents like themselves
Liam Jones, a transgender man, has given birth to their two children, but he does not consider himself a mother
Jones is also grateful that hospital staff changed a sign for a more comprehensive sign at his request
Liam Jones, who is a transgender man, and Duane Danielson, who is gay, are married.
They are busy these days with a 3 year old and a baby.
“We have to adjust our lives and the schedule around them,” Danielson said.
Born a female, Jones began transitioning to a male when he was younger.
I went out at 17 [or] 18 me then at 19 [or] 20, the hormones started,” Jones said.
He stopped taking hormones so he could have their children, Cypress and Sequoia.
“I’ve always dreamed of having two,” Danielson said.
Johns has always dreamed of being a father, but the only thing he will tell you is that he doesn’t consider himself a mother.
“I’m Daddy or Dada and Duane Maddie,” Jones said.
Both Cypress and Sequoia were born in the same Charlotte Hospital.
“It was great to see those familiar faces and to have that support out there, and they already know our story,” Jones said.
Their two babies were born prematurely and spent several weeks in the same neonatal intensive care unit.
“You don’t get used to it, but you learn how to manage it better,” Jones said.
Last year, when a Sequoia was born, they noticed a sign in the nursing room that read “Nursing Mother’s Milk Pumping Room for Newborns Only.” They were happy to see Atrium Health changed the sign to “Nursing Parents Pump Room for Newborn Milk Only” when they brought it up.
“Just changing one word can make a difference and make people more comfortable at the end of the day,” Jones said.
It also made him feel more comfortable asking about his parents’ surname and pronouns because one little thing he’ll tell you is the importance of language.
“At the end of the day, it’s more polite to ask than to assume something and get it wrong,” Jones said.
Johns said he has no problem answering these questions when people ask respectfully. For him, it shows that they are taking the initiative to educate themselves and make someone else feel welcome.