Love Colorfully

Love Colorfully

African American Young Women side hugging with pride flag at outdoor pride march
Written by Sophia Hardesty-Meteyer, C.A.S.E. Emerging Leader
Published on: May 31, 2024
Category LGBTQIA+

The Emerging Leaders Candid Corner

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I went to my very first pride march when I was two years old, quite literally witnessing the most colorful event of my life on top of my mom’s shoulders. While I can’t remember this as clearly as I’d like to, the pictures from this day paint the rainbow-filled picture beautifully. I was blessed to be adopted into a family with two moms, and an older sister who was adopted from Honduras. Complex identities are kind of our thing by nature, and I’m so thankful for that. I don’t consider my adoption or familial structure a coincidence by any means. To my core, I believe that my life has been very intentional, and the understanding of my identity and family has laid the foundation for so many values that I carry with me through the present – some of the most important being unconditional love and self-acceptance.

As an infant in the late 90s, I made the journey from my birth country of Guatemala to my hometown of Baltimore with my mom, Leslie. She had made the trip to Guatemala by herself, while my other mom, Lisa, stayed home with my sister. While they all truly wanted to bring me home together, the perception of a lesbian couple adopting a child from a country that has historically been dominated by anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and rhetoric was too much of a risk. Even from those early days of my life, I witnessed the sacrifice that can arise from queer love when confronted with dangerously outdated societal norms and pressures.

Sophia as a young girl with her Moms

Through that all, unconditional love penetrated Leslie’s journey like a beam of sun breaking through the clouds. She found her way through a country whose language she did not speak, by herself, questioning if she would be “found out” and lose the chance of bringing me home. I learned that story from a very young age and it’s always reminded me that no matter who you are, where you are, or what challenges you may be facing, acts of unconditional love are intensely courageous. Not only that, but they have a way of opening pathways for deepend connection.

If you know Lisa, you know that she consistently shows up as her authentic self, regardless of the circumstances. In a room full of people who are overly concerned with the opinions of others, she finds a way to laugh and brighten up the room. I believe this stems from a grounded state of self-acceptance – if you can create a container of safety within yourself and be your own biggest fan, it makes it a whole lot easier to defy negativity or hatred. As an adoptee, understanding my identity has presented many challenges over the years. As an adolescent, I would often question whether or not I was lovable, and in those moments, Lisa was there to remind me that I am exactly who I’m meant to be, and everyone else can deal with it. Ever since I can remember, she has told me that my sister and I were two stars in the sky, and she plucked each of us from the galaxy for exactly who we are. There was never a doubt in her mind that we were meant to be her daughters. Understanding that led me to accept the idea that everything in my life has been intentional, and in turn, has fostered a core sense of self-acceptance within me. It’s ok to take up space, and it’s more than ok to unapologetically live your truth.

My moms will be celebrating their 45th anniversary this upcoming February. Their love story has transcended so many societal barriers, and it’s beautiful to witness their continued devotion and joy. This pride month, I write in gratitude, not only for them but for so many LGBTQ+ influences that have shaped my life for the better. The love that permeates through this community is unlike any other, and one should feel so lucky to be on the receiving end of it.


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