- Jane McKinney
Celebrating Dads and Diversity
June is both Pride month and the month we celebrate fathers—a time when we acknowledge the importance of our diverse humanity and recognize the crucial role fathers play in their families. In therapy sessions, I often quote Dr. Bruce Perry who said, “The family is the smallest biological unit of humankind.” This quote rings as true now as ever, referring not only to “family” in the traditional sense, but the essential mechanism of human connection, without which humans would cease to exist.
Humans are hardwired for social connection. And, it turns out—regardless of gender, sexual orientation, skin color, race, religion, age, or ability—we all have a basic need to be safe. As a species, we have evolved neurobiological functions to ensure safety and security (a topic illuminated by Dr. Stephen Porges, originator of the polyvagal theory). And while the understanding of safety and security began with family—a loving parent caring for and nurturing a helpless, dependent infant—the same interconnectedness carries on through and between individuals in a social environment.
Every person deserves to feel connected and safe. It is the foundation of society—and we, as Rousseau explains in his essays, have an obligation to contribute to and ensure a safe community for all people. Yet, how often do we learn of or make decisions that exclude diverse experiences and points of view? These decisions limit growth and well being and undermine that fact that biodiversity, neuro-diversity, and phenotype diversity are equally important mechanisms for the survival of humanity. Important—and worthy of acceptance and appreciation.
This month, we celebrate the dads who have chosen to be fathers in every capacity, taking risks to create and co-create communities in which their families can thrive. We also celebrate gender, sexual diversity, and self-expression in all forms. It is time to work together to protect all of society and all societies and move, collectively, toward peace.
Take good care, Jane