If there is one community that can promote peace in a small and powerful way, it is the family, especially when sitting around the dinner table. A family can offer the love, support, and understanding that makes asking questions and talking about offbeat topics at the dinner table a safe place to discuss them. When I was growing up, dinner time was a time for my family to be together, sharing a meal and the events of the day. We would talk about school, work, friends, other family members, and current events. The dinner table gave us somewhere to feel comfortable speaking our minds, asking questions, and having productive conversations that impacted my childhood in a huge way.
Today, family dinner is not as generically viewed as the setting for the nuclear family, but a place where lots of different and unique families are coming together at the end of the day. And with these different and new family dynamics, the table is opening up to lots of new dialogue. A friend of mine who teaches kindergarten discusses these different families in her classes as part of efforts to create acceptance and understanding at an early age. These discussions on different types of families make sense, for the more that people are aware of different families at a young age the more there will be individuals who are open to different viewpoints.
That’s what makes the dinner table an ideal place for various kinds of families to engage in table talks. Every family has its own unique aspect that provides different conversations to the table, and not all conversations are going to solve the world’s great dilemmas. However, the support and love that the family provides can nurture the positive and active dialogue that will bring all families one step closer to acceptance and open-mindedness.
Tonight in celebration of LGBTQ Families Day, as a side dish for dinner, plan to have a conversation around the family table to talk about different types of families or any topic that opens the doors for understanding and acceptance.
— Erica Griffin