To celebrate Pride, we’re very excited to bring you this interview with a fellow AIYANA customer, Sofia Forman.
We had the opportunity to interview Sofia, a queer new mom, psychotherapist, and partner to Jill. Let’s hear a little bit about Sofia, her family’s journey as a member of the 2SLGBTQ community in Toronto, and her advice on how to be a trusted ally.
Sofia, could you share a bit about you and your family with the AIYANA Community.
We are a two-mom family with a 14 month old son living in the Junction. My name is Sofia Forman. I’m a psychotherapist with a clinical focus on major life transitions, including transition to new parenthood at my clinic, Sofia Forman Holistic. My partner’s name is Jill Bodak. She’s an Osteopath and clinic owner of Original Health and Wellness. We center our lives around creating rhythm and routine that encourage calm nervous systems in our home. One way we do this is by having slow mornings where we eat together.
My partner and I have both created clinical practices that focus on creating safe spaces for queer clients to access mental health services and body-based care.
Are there any 2SLGBTQ parent community groups/networks/organizations in Toronto you have leaned on for support or guidance?
Any advice for other 2SLGBTQ parents to-be or current?
One of the struggles for queer families is to balance the desire to blend in to parenting culture with the need to be true to ourselves.
When we moved to the Junction, we were warmly welcomed by another two-mom family across the street and we felt so much relief. Having other families like ours nearby gives us the inside scoop on what businesses, schools and kid spaces are queer-friendly. We are a part of queer community in Toronto and prioritize fostering these relationships.
We want our son to grow up in an environment that doesn’t make him feel like the only kid who doesn’t have cis-straight parents. We also know we can’t shield him from the reality that compared to the status quo, our family is different, which is why having an equally strong community of straight allies is so important.
The three most important tips to straight families, wanting to be queer allies are:
- Don’t treat queer people like a novelty. Pride month is about celebrating queer culture and honouring queer struggles- not about collecting gay friends. The queer parents and queer families in your orbit want nothing more than to be seen as parents, and for their kids to be seen as kids.
- Make far fewer assumptions. In general, the world is evolving beyond the need for us to assume anything about people. Their gender, their sexuality or their fertility process. Assumptions can show up in subtle ways, like saying, “Oh he looks just like you,” to a parent with a child. That parent may or may not be biologically related to that baby, and if you don’t know that information, best not to make assumptions about their likeness and why it’s there.
- Speak Up! At a time when the world seems to be taking major steps backward with regards to women’s rights and equality rights in general politically, it is no longer enough to simply say, “love is love.” To be a true ally means to demonstrate your support for a cause by adding your voice to it. Comment on things, share them, like them, bring them up at dinner- talk! If you want a world where your kids are free to be themselves no matter what, demonstrate it by being yourself too :)
What are your favourite ways to keep you motivated on your health journey?
Sleep, movement, acupuncture with @energytreeanne, and eating well. Good nutrition was a big part of our pregnancy plan. I read books to prepare and had friends who coordinated meal deliveries after my son was born. But AIYANA food was a lifesaver in my early hours, days and weeks postpartum. When I felt so depleted, the care I needed most was really good food. AIYANA Goodness Granola is hands down my favorite. The mix of salty and sweet make it the best all-day snack.
Do you have recommendations for 2SLGBTQ books, shows, movies, that help increase representation & awareness of same sex parenting for parents and children who want to be queer allies.
- Mommy, Mama, and Me, written by Lesléa Newman
- And Tango Makes Three, written by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
- Stella Brings the Family, written by Miriam B. Schiffer
- The Family Book, written by Todd Parr
We’re both humbled and honoured to be a part of Sofia and Jill’s new parenthood journey, providing ready to eat, nourishing meals that support families not only physically but mentally. We encourage you to share this blog post as a resource with new 2SLGBTQ families and allies in your community. #pridemonth #pride2023