LGBT Parenting

Popsicles.

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Last week the heat was surprisingly tenacious here in BC. My kids and I gathered on a beach towel in our backyard after they had jumped in their kiddie pool for the 76th time. I brought out popsicles for them and smiled as they dripped gleefully all over themselves, reminded that even though 2020 has been so strange and hard – they’ve had a pretty great summer. (Granted, life is easier at 2 and 4 years old.)

I drew this, trying to capture that moment. It took some tries and erasing of many layers and perseverance to get this out of my head properly. It’s not exactly what I envisioned, but it will do. 🙂 ❤

Queer colouring pages!

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I did something fun with OutChristian – an awesome organization that works to connect LGBTQ people of faith!

They asked me if I would want to design & draw some queer-themed colouring pages, to remind us all that we will once again be able to gather with friends in our communities. Of course, I never say no to drawing for a queer Christian cause!

They’ve done a great job of making the pages downloadable on their website, but I will post them below as well. ALSO. Even if you’re straight (or of a different or no faith), I think you could still have fun colouring these! 😀

Hang in there, friends. Sending love to all!

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It’s complicated.

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I almost didn’t post this.

But I’m 40 now, so screw it, I’m not editing myself anymore!

I wrote this after a recent visit with my parents. (I hid this from them  on social media. Because I do love them and don’t want to hurt them. But being honest about hard things is important.)

This is for every queer person who still has unaffirming people in their life who love them. It’s so hard. I hear you, I love you, you aren’t alone.

It’s so complicated.

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A parent-scare + restore-faith-in-humanity story.

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As a parent, you never know when your kids will get hurt, but you are always waiting for it on some level. (And when you have a 2.5 yr old son like mine, you wait for it every day.)

We explored a new place last night, a walking trail (mostly concrete) around a man-made lake. It had been raining off and on, and past their bedtime, so we took one last photo of the kids before heading for the car. Our son then decided to run up a wet rock and slipped, falling head first on the concrete with a loud & sickening CRACK. (Yes, lots of blood immediately everywhere.)

Friends, there’s so many good people out there.

Thank you to the couple who were passing by, who stopped and immediately asked if they should call 911. They called, talked with us and the dispatchers, waited with us and directed the ambulance & paramedics to where we were.

Thank you to the young girl on her skateboard who passed by, and stayed just to quietly hold a big umbrella over us as it rained. Her smiles of comfort for our 4 yr old daughter helped so much, too. (Thanks to, I think, her dad, who gave us the umbrella to keep when the paramedics got there.)

Thank you to the man who stopped to ask what our son’s fav show was, so he could pull it up on his phone to help him stop crying. (Who knew I would be actually grateful for damn Blippi.)

Thank you to the man who stopped and said he lived nearby, if we needed to take our son there or if he needed to run home to grab first-aid supplies.

Thank you to the paramedics for their ongoing work in the world right now, in this situation, and for giving him a teddy bear after he wouldn’t stop crying in the ambulance.

Thank you to this rainbow for showing up immediately after the ambulance left, carting my son off to the hospital, and making me feel all the feels. 😭❤️🌈

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Everyone’s fine now and home (with stitches) and we are grateful.

Don’t give up on humanity. We met a lot of helpers tonight. 🙏❤️🙌🏼

Blippi’d

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My son Hudson is OBSESSED with Blippi. Can all the Mamas & Papas raise your hand if you have a toddler who is requesting to watch Blippi AD NAUSEAM?! (Send wine and headphones.)

My only appropriate response to this is to draw him in his glory wearing Blippi’s garb. Even when he asks for his children’s vitamin (which are Frozen-shaped because he has a very opinionated older sister), he pulls out ANY shape and yells, “BLIPPI ONE!”

Gosh, I love 2-year-olds.

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Side note…. I wonder if Blippi has any kids books out there and needs an illustrator…..

Quarantine art club

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Sheesh, friends.

This new normal, this quarantine life – it’s not easy, right? I don’t do well with unknowns, with large fears, with missing people. I am thankful for so many things, and also struggling with so many things. I know we all are. For me, music helps. Dancing helps. Working out helps. Hugging my kids helps. Getting outside on my bike helps.

Making art helps.

Here’s a couple sketches I have done outside of my book/animation projects that I’m not allowed to post about. I will keep adding as I do them!

Hang in there, we are all in this together!

Sending many social distance tight hugs. I can’t wait to have a big dance party when this is all over.

Stay safe and healthy!

May 5 – I don’t know why, but it gave me immense joy to paint my favourite chair tonight. I need to actually sit and rest (or write!) in it more, though. #notetoself

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May 3 – I think one of my fav things is hearing/watching someone playing violin. Man, I love that sound. (Best sound on film scores, too.) When I worked in Gastown (a trendy part of Vancouver) someone would take up residence on a bench and play their violin. It ALWAYS made me smile. Sending hope, love and music therapy to everyone tonight.

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Apr 24 – The sun was setting as I was biking the other day, so today I painted it. I’m hopeful, I’m sad, I’m trying my best not to give up. Remember, each day is a new one!

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Apr 21 – My daughter turns 4 today! I have been dying to draw her in this most awesome Mr. Rogers dress she constantly wears 😀

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Apr 20 – My daughter chose my outfit for me 🙂

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April 18 – saw this guy on my bike and his outfit made me smile, so I had to draw it 🙂

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… it’s being a parent.

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Sometimes being an artist for a living and a hobby can get tough. I often struggle to get out what’s in my head, and I am usually (always) super critical of myself and my work. I don’t often feel like what was in my head was successfully transmitted to the screen or paper… but I’m learning to be easier and more encouraging towards myself! Perfectionism is a tough & bumpy road.

When I have a big deadline looming ahead (as I do now), I feel frozen and overwhelmed. I start to doubt myself and feel creatively stuck. When this happens, I tell myself (usually Tams will tell me!) to take a break and go write. It helps to clear my head and be creative in a way that flows much easier for me.

Here’s something I wrote about parenting two years ago, and this morning while on a much-needed break, I edited it. (I’m also trying not to judge or assess it!) Hope some other parents out there can see themselves in the words. ❤

it’s a small warm hand on your neck

it’s sticky items in your pocket

it’s moments of no patience, then immediate unbridled love

it’s wiping big tears away, then chasing joy around the corner

it’s overwhelming doubts if you can do this

it’s big eyes staring silently at you to love them

it’s no answers, yet all the questions you never thought of

it’s sitting down to eat, and never getting to eat

it’s deep breaths & pep talks & breakdowns

it’s playing dress-up & funny dances & being silly because that’s all there is

it’s a little hand reaching up for help, knowing you’ll grab it

it’s a tiny toddler plopping themselves in your lap

it’s no personal space, fingerprints on your glasses & stains on your clothes

it’s a rollercoaster of emotions, then a gentle gliding of a canoe

it’s never feeling ready, yet somehow you already are

it’s rediscovering soft sheep’s wool, the joy of a puppy playing & the crunch of leaves

it’s letting your soul be fueled by the small voice calling “Mommy?”

it’s holding tight onto the big hugs until they let go

it’s learning to let go and see how much they teach you

it’s that feeling that you are a little being’s everything

it’s unbelievably hard

it’s so beautiful you ache

it’s all so worth it

…………….. it’s being a parent

Stacey Chomiak © 2020

Be the Helpers.

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Back in September, my wife Tams was out with our kids on a couple different occasions, and total strangers made very angry & unkind comments. One was from a lady angry she would bring a stroller into a store, and the second was after Hudson made an excited scream in a coffee shop. (Also, he’s not two yet, and very excited about life.)

I was frustrated these happened, within a week of each other, as this has been a totally exhausting and lonely stage of parenting – especially for Tams, when I am away working. So I wrote this post below as a response, on social media. It got picked up by the local news, which I will link at the bottom. (If you read the comments, many people missed the point of why I wrote this… but I guess it’s not for them, then.)

There are no perfect kids, there are no perfect parents and there are no perfect people. But there is always room to exercise empathy and be a bit more kind with each other. Let’s try.

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Friends, can we chat for a sec?

Mr. Rogers said, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

I’m wondering today, can we do one better? Instead of just looking for the helpers, can we BE THE HELPERS?

Most of you read about @tamschomiak recent run-in with the random people in the local coffee shop, asking why she would bring our (loud) kids in there. It was really upsetting.

Today she was in a thrift shop with the kids and another random lady said “Why the hell would you come in here with that g*d awful stroller and two kids?” & gave Tams the most angry look. Sigh.

Friends, we can do better. We are all a little (lot) tired and sad and maybe just plain angry with the state of the world right now.

BUT WE CAN DO BETTER.

My warrior of a wife just wanted to take our kids on an outing, which in itself is NO SMALL FEAT just to get out the door, let me tell you. Like SO MANY parents out there, she’s constantly exhausted, she’s emotionally depleted, she’s feeling weary in the thick fog of parenting two young, bright, healthy, loud, enthusiastic, boisterous toddlers. She often has to manage things on her own, so I can focus on the projects I’m juggling, and she flipping rocks that job better than any Mama I know. But frankly, this has been a really tough season of life for us both.

Comments like these, they are so discouraging. Sometimes it only takes a mildly annoyed comment to plummet someone into depression, or just plain ruin the rest of their day. Don’t be the straw that breaks someone’s back. I refuse to be.

Waiting for your coffee, passing people on the street, around your co-workers… just do better. Smile more. Encourage people. Say thank you & mean it. Ask people how they are. Be gentler with each other, you don’t know what hurt may be hiding beneath the surface. Decide to care, just a little, about people your energy interacts with from day to day. Every interaction, big or small, makes a difference. EVERY ONE.

The only way this world will get better is if WE DECIDE TO BE BETTER.

And if you think of it, send a thumbs up to my wife to remind her she’s a freaking rockstar. ❤️

#acalltokindness #bethehelpers #gaychristianmamas

 — with Tammy Chomiak.

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Being a guest on “Blessed Are the Feminists” podcast

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A few weeks ago, the kind folks at the “Blessed Are the Feminists” podcast invited me to be a guest, and talk about my experiences with Christian feminism, having LGBTQ faith and being a gay Christian mama.

It was such a great conversation, and I think, so important to have right now! The episode aired Sept 1, and can be heard on their website here. Or look them up on iTunes & Spotify to subscribe! Follow them on instagram & twitter @holyfeminists!

Here’s a few tweets they put out about my episode:

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Inktober 2018

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It took me into November – BUT I DID THEM ALL YOU GUYS! With two kids and lotsa work, this was a flippin’ feat.

All sketches done on a Moleskine sketchbook, using a mix of pentel brush pen, pigma liners, colerase pencils, pencil crayons and markers. Click to enlarge any of them to see larger.

Thanks for following along! 🙂