Family is defined as many things and many emotions. Though it’s most probably a positive image for many people, it’s hard to generalize something that personal. While some find their family to be a ‘foundation’, some find it to be a cage. While some view their family as their strength and weakness, some view it as a mismatch, and themselves, as a misfit in the house they’re forced to call home. It’s honestly very different.
It’s not only the perception or the emotion of the members of a household that’s varying, families differ even in the values and beliefs they’re built on. Moreover, the members who constitute this family largely differ as well. Societally speaking, there’s baseless rigidity when it comes to the components of a family. But, liberally speaking, it should only be a matter of one connection; a strong thread of love, respect, and unconditionality.
Yes, two people too can be a family. It’s not a compulsion for a child to complete a family. Sure, the “family line” may not flourish as planned, but 🧑🤝🧑 still counts as a family.
It’s essential to establish at this point in time that a family is a group of people who love each other and who wish to grow old together. And still, stay in touch.
However, 🧑🤝🧑 showcases no visible signs of a romantic relationship between the two. Thus, describing a family that doesn’t necessarily require romance or a physical relationship. Even best friends staying together can be considered family.
Aren’t straight couples just out there to rain on all our parades?
💑 is supposed to be a gender-neutral emoji, because there is another emoji dedicated to the heterosexual couple; 👩❤️👨 A Man and a Woman in Love.
Anyway, going with the popular belief that a red heart indicates romantic love, 💑 focuses on the necessary bond between two persons that may lead to creating the perfect, the societally accepted, “family”.
Though that bond is embedded in love, there’s a lot more than just love to a romantic relationship that wants to expand their family. Equality, respect, commitment, responsibility, care, support, kindness, mutual understanding, patience, all of those are necessary ingredients. This is why true love is not always rosy.
This emoji furthers the relationship between the two; 💑, via the 💏 Kiss emoji. And that’s how babies are made, kids. It all starts with a kiss. Not god.
Other variations of this and the ‘kiss’ emoji are – 👨❤️👨 Two Men in Love, 👩❤️👩 Two Women in Love, 👩❤️👨 A Man and a Woman in Love, 👩❤️💋👨 A Man and a Woman Kissing, 👩❤️💋👩 Two Women Kissing, and 👨❤️💋👨 Two Men Kissing.
Nuclear Families – Society Approved
This nuclear family is one-hundred percent approved by society because the society that created marriage definitely knows where babies come from. But hey. That daughter? She could be adopted, the man could be a transgender man, and the woman could be bisexual, but let’s just stick to comfort zones.
Also, there’s another variation of this emoji – the 👨👩👦 Family With a Son.
The kids in this happy little frame could be twins, siblings, or even cousins. But going by the fact that they have similar hairstyles only with varying hair lengths, it’s safe to say that they share the same set of parents.
Yay! Two daughters! Aren’t daughters just the best?! Sons are too, but there’s something so magical about daughters. It’s alright if you have just one or no daughters, you could always adopt!
Moreover, if human babies are not what you’re looking for at the moment, adopt animal babies! One, there’s only a single difference between the two and it’s the way they look. And two, they’re great practice for the upcoming human babies.
The other variant of this emoji is the 👨👩👦👦 Family With a Heterosexual Couple and Two Sons.
Ah! The two and a half men!
While it’s all cute and happening on screen, two men raising a child is not that happening in real life. In fact, it is almost forbidden from happening in many places across the world.
But the truth is, something as personal as parenthood and marriage should not be a public affair. Of course, it’s private! And in that private space, all genders that wish to marry for love and become parents ought to be given that space and acceptance.
This emoji has another variant, with a daughter! The 👨👨👧 Two Men and a Daughter.
*Omg. How can they make children?! How can be there be two dads? Who’s the mom?*
Like how every marriage need not have a child validating the wedlock, every household needn’t have a mommy and a daddy. Sometimes there are two moms and sometimes, two dads. In this case, there is no mom. It’s obvious. Refrain from asking who the wife is too.
Here’s a small story to highlight that although we’re the same, we’re all very different.
A conversation between a geeky teenager (GT) and a witty kid (WT):
GT : So... what's your friend's name?
WT: Which friend?
GT: Oh, come on. We all had "those" friends growing up.
WT: What you talking about? I just have three friends and they're all at school.
GT: Really? No invisible friends?
WT: What! Hahahah. Gosh, no. I don't have any invisible friends.
GT: That's strange. All the people I knew growing up, and most of the people I know now had invisible friends at your age.
WT: Well, good to know. But, seems like I'm different.
GT: Different? More like weird. How can you not have an invisible friend?
WT: 'Coz, I don't feel the need for one.
GT: *mockingly* what? Need? None of us felt that need, we just had one. 'Coz it's cool.
WT: Um. I don't know. I'm honestly not interested in invisible friends. I'm happy with the friends I have.
GT: Whatever, man. Weird kid.
It’s a social assumption that every romantic relationship needs a woman or every pair of parents needs a mom. Some parents, like 👨👨👧👦 don’t compose of a mom or a wife. It’s just a family. Thinking that there’s something wrong with a family that’s different from the rest is essentially missing the very point GT missed, that we’re all different.
Now here’s a scenario with two moms. Do yourself a favor and refrain from asking “Haha. But who’s the dad”.
It’s not an individual issue that LGBTQIA+ parenting is so frowned up. It’s a social issue. Just because we’re seeing more gays, lesbians, transgenders, bisexuals, and other people from the community a lot these days, it doesn’t mean they’re all sprouting out of nowhere. Or “everyone’s just becoming it”.
Imagine this. You love your hair and you love keeping it long and strong. But the place you live in counts long hair as a social evil. So, ever since you began falling in love with your hair and it's haircare, you've been hiding it each time you head out. Just to be safe, because the world out there is a silly but a scary one. One fine day, you realise that there are many people with long hair. Not in the country, not in the world, but even in the place you live! One of these "long-haired people" stands up for everyone with long hair. She fights for equality. To be equally seen, respected, recognized and accepted. She doesn't win that fight, but years of fighting does bring all of you "long-haired people" freedom. Now. You're free. You can freely expose your long and lustrous hair. Would you not? Or would you continue living in oppression, constant sadness and fear of being seen because you may not be accepted? Of course, at this point, you don't give a flying duck as to what anyone has to say about you, because your eyes are open enough to see nothing but beauty and equality.
That story is a little too wild in reality. Almost everybody has long hair and everyone’s free to do whatever the heck they want with their hair. But somehow, the society owns what’s below everyone’s belt. If hair can be free, why not the rest of the body?
It’s quite a far cry for society to become completely accepting of all its people, but as we’ve said before, the virtual world is becoming an equal world. And so, here are two women with their daughter
There’s another emoji variant – 👩👩👦 Women With a Son.
Oh my god. How’s it even possible to conceive not one but two daughters without a father!
There’s a lack of good parenting across the world. It may not be a steady statistic or even an apparent one, but it is the reality of many kids in many parts of the world. Many have terrible parents. And in a world where the parenting scene is not very great, the number of children in need of healthy and nurturing homes is an upward curve. Thus, adoption!
There. You don’t always have to make your own babies. You could always adopt.
When it comes to family, you don’t always need two to tango. The two may have tangoed before, but they can go on without each other as well, under different circumstances.
Here is one such instance among many instances that can be represented with 👨👦.
Instance #1: 👨👦 is either a single dad with his biological son. That is, the mom either left or is dead. Nonetheless, the son stays with the dad.
Instance #2: 👨👦 is a man with an adopted son. Now, the man could be either a straight man, a gay man or a transgender man. In all cases, the child is adopted.
Instance #3: 👨👦 is a foster dad with his foster kid.
Instance #4: 👨👦 are just two brothers.
The other variation of this emoji is with a 👨👧 Daughter. All the above instances equally apply to this emoji and the rest of the emojis that follow this list as well.
👨👧👦 is the same as the 👨👨👧👦 Two Men With a Son and Daughter emoji and the 👨👩👧👦 Heterosexual Couple With a Son and a Daughter emoji. The one thing missing is the “one that got away” for whatever reason.
Two parents raising a child is tough in itself. Raising that same child but single-handedly is tougher. And being the only parent to two kids is unimaginable.
Life is difficult as it is. We don’t get to choose the things that happen to us directly or indirectly. We don’t get to decide if and when our partner leaves us and when we’re left to ourselves. When life is already this uncertain, the least we could do is make it easier, and not harder to live. Acceptance is always key.
There’s a lot of stigma attached to single parenting in many parts of the world. This stigma is mostly stronger towards a single mom. Because, obviously. She’s all by herself. How could the woman fend for her kids!
Tell you what. If you stop minding her business and let her be, she can definitely fend for her kids.
It’s incredible how public a woman’s private life can get. Somehow, society has assumed this power over a woman/girl’s life. We, the society, somehow have a say in it. But here’s the truth, every woman for herself.
There’s also a 👩👦 single mom variant with a son.
Many of us have been introduced to the reality of single parenting only via media. We’ve all watched television/Netflix series that involve single moms. Most of us watching it aren’t single parents, heck we’re not even parents yet!
Anything received second-handedly is always an altered and filtered truth. It’s not the one you own or the one someone very close to you owns. We may have been raised by single moms or dads, but we’ll never know what it feels like until it’s our turn. If at all.
Single parenting is not a weak spot. It doesn’t indicate a “vacancy” since not all single parents are on an active lookout for a mate. Some are happy just the way things turned out.
Again. This was supposed to be a gender-neutral emoji. On many platforms, it’s showcased as a heterosexual couple with a child. UGH.
Anything gender-neutral is our favorite. We swear by it. Gender neutrality has to be the norm. In a world as varied and vibrant as planet earth, humans have this strange law of constant struggle to “fit in”.
The kind of skin tone you have, the kind of person you are, the person you fall in love with, the person you wish to have a family with, all of these aren’t boxes to be filled by human pawns. They’re choices. And the word choice itself means an individual preference.
Humans have evolved for millennia and have reached the present 21st century. It’s high time now that we understand ‘family’ subjectively and not as a rigid institution. It’s a place of unconditional safety, warmth, love, and respect. It’s should not be a place for judgment or labels even from society.
Many families with the same surname, unfortunately, share a flimsy connection, while random people with different surnames and lives share the warmest familial bonds. What’s in a name after all. Different people, different couples, and different family circles are all valid families. A family should not be a place that demands similarity as a criterion to flourish, it should place that celebrates and accepts difference.