The Chicken Whose Dream Almost Got It To End Up In A Noodle Soup
Gay dad Kyle Ashworth answers homophobic comments on social media with a story about his chicken. A hen whose dream to become a mother realized in a non-traditional way– but didn’t make her less of a mother. (This amazing story also teaches us how great the power of knowing what you want is.)
Guest Post by Kyle Ashworth
“I am disgusted by your Facebook photos. That trash shouldn’t be in my face! Those kids deserve a mother and a father not two homos pretending to love them.”
Having a public presence on social media isn’t the easiest path to navigate—especially when you have a non traditional family. With social media there seems to be something about a keyboard that dulls personal decency and heightens division among opinion. I’ll jump straight to the point (no pun intended): if loving another person (children included) is trashy, then a landfill I’ve become. Welcome to my trash.
The Story of Chicken Noodle Soup
Years ago we had a chicken named Chicken Noodle Soup. She devoured our chicken feed and never laid a single egg. She was bitter and mean. She would peck at the kids and hiss when they tried to pet her. Every time she’d peck at one of my kids, I’d reassure her that if she didn’t change her ways she’d become chicken noodle soup. Hence the name.
Chicken Noodle Soup was also broody. ‘Broody’ is a term for hens that want to raise chicks so badly that she’ll sit on unfertilized eggs (or even rocks) in an attempt to hatch them. Broody hens stop laying eggs during this period and basically eat food and give nothing in return. They become unproductive and needy.
Chicken Noodle Soup was in a constant state of broody—sometimes months at a time. One evening, while Chicken Noodle Soup quietly slept on a trio of wooden eggs, I gently slipped three chicks under her wing and pulled those wooden eggs from under her body. When she would wake up in the morning her dreams of motherhood would be realized.
The next morning she was in love. She had become what she’d only dreamed about becoming: a mom. To her simple chicken delight, years of wanting had turned into a reality. Three chicks, all of different breeds were snuggling close to her. Chicken Noodle Soup became delightful; she became active again, she quit pecking the kids and she happily raised the three adopted chicks into adulthood.
Inspired By A Chicken
A chicken had become a mother because someone gave her the opportunity. My point: Chicken Noodle Soup and the stories of many queer people aren’t exact parallels, but the experiences can be the same. Admittedly, some families are “non-traditional” but that does not mean we aren’t a family.
I think every child deserves a family as loving and committed as I see in so many traditional and non traditional families. Family comes from the commitment we make to each other to work through the hard times so we can enjoy the good ones. It is strengthened by the love that binds us; not the differences that divide us. A family isn’t just one that flourishes in duplication and commonality.
To love another person is not trashy. It’s actually a very beautiful experience. The ability to connect and interact with another is an emotional, spiritual and intellectual need. We all deserve to love and be loved—even in same gender relationships. If that love feels “disgusting” to you, I invite you to understand why it doesn’t feel disgusting to me (and to so many others). This might come as a surprise, but my children still have a mother and a father—my same gender relationship does not negate that. Luckily for my children they have a mom and a dad and two additional dads who love them beyond words. I find power and strength in the lives of children who have a multitude of people who love them. When it comes to love, we’re not pretending.
Kyle Ashworth owns a real estate development firm and is the host of the podcast Latter Gay Stories which focuses on helping LGBTQ Mormons find community and value in or out of their religion. He has four kids from a previous marriage to a woman. He and partner, Jay, live in the mountains of Utah.