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Helen's take: S14, Ep1: Mia Cooley is Black, Queer and Proud;

Updated: Nov 27, 2023

Well, let me tell you, sitting here and talking about the power of queer families feels like a good day's work. I'm Helen, and some folks call me a bit of a tough nut, but I've got a heart of gold buried in here somewhere. I work alongside Jaimie on The Queer Family Podcast, and we just had ourselves a chat with Mia Cooley, the founder of xHood. She's doing some remarkable work in the queer family community, and I reckon it's high time we shared her story.


Introduction: Building a Queer Family


In a world where everyone's got an opinion about what a family should be, queer families are out there breaking the mold, showing that love doesn't care about any labels. Our guest today, Mia Cooley, she's a real trailblazer in this queer family business. Through her journey and her work with Exhood, she's creating a space where black and brown parents and intended parents can find the support and resources they need.


Mia's Queer Parenthood Journey


Mia's journey into queer parenthood, well, it's a story that'll warm your heart. It all began with the birth of her daughter, Nova, from a previous relationship. Now, her relationship with Nova's father wasn't any queer one, but Mia, she always knew that traditional family stuff wasn't cutting it for her in the long run. You see, Mia's always identified as pansexual, and she wanted her family to reflect her identity and values.


And then, Donna walked into her life, and let me tell you, sparks flew like a Fourth of July fireworks show. They knew they wanted to build a family together, but deciding who'd carry the next baby, well, that was a decision that required some heart-to-heart talks. Mia, who'd already been through pregnancy and childbirth with Nova, wasn't too keen on doing it all over again. After much thought, they decided Donna would be the one to carry their second child.


The Challenges and Joys of Donor Conception


Finding a sperm donor, though, that was a challenge in itself. As a black queer couple, they were set on finding a black donor so their child could have a connection to their heritage. But as fate would have it, black donors were as rare as a hen's teeth, making their search quite the ordeal. They finally settled on a Nigerian donor who bore a striking resemblance to Mia and had all the qualities they were looking for.


Insemination happened quicker than they'd expected, and the joy of discovering they were pregnant was something else. But, let me tell you, balancing pregnancy, parenting, and Mia's work with xHood, well, that was a juggling act like no other. Mia had gotten herself into an accelerator program for Exhood that had her traveling more than she ever imagined. Still, Donna and Mia found a way to support each other and make sure their family thrived.


The Power of Community and Representation


Now, through Mia's work with xHood, she's seen the true power of community and representation. xHood provides a safe space for black and brown parents and intended parents to come together, share their stories, and access resources. She host's events, both in person and virtually, where parents can connect, learn from experts, and build a network of support.


One of her proudest moments is the Black Parent Pride conference, a flagship event that brings together black queer parents from all over the country. It's a platform where parents can share their stories, learn from each other, and celebrate their unique journeys. By creating these spaces, she's breaking down barriers and making sure black and brown queer families have all the support and resources they need.


The Future of Queer Families


As she looks ahead, she envisions a world where queer families are celebrated and embraced. She hopes to see more representation in children's books and media, so kids from black and brown queer families can see themselves in the stories they read and the characters they see on screen. It's also crucial that there is comprehensive support for black and brown queer families, whether it's access to medical professionals, therapists, or other experts who understand the unique challenges they face.


Through Mia's work with xHood, she's helping pave the way for a more inclusive and supportive society. She's creating a space where queer families can find the resources, community, and representation they need to thrive. By sharing her own journey and empowering others to share theirs, she's tearing down barriers and creating a brighter future for queer families everywhere.


In Conclusion


In conclusion, the power of queer families, well, it's a force to be reckoned with. They challenge societal norms, redefine what it means to be a family, and make this world a more inclusive and loving place. Through Mia's journey and the work at xHood, she's a living testament to the strength and resilience of queer families. She's providing support, resources, and representation, and empowering black and brown queer parents and intended parents to build the families they've always dreamt of. So, as we continue to celebrate and uplift queer families, remember that love knows no boundaries, and every family is worth celebrating and embracing.

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