Updated: Jan 9
As we bring this series to an end, we want to encourage our community to continue discussions on the #IRL Forum. It is our goal through The 1891 to continue to challenge our members to think, get a little uncomfortable, and help our community to become more inclusive, accepting and encouraging of others, regardless of sex, race, creed, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.
- Carime Lee and Veronique Van Gheem, Publications Committee Co-Chairs
Anybody who knows me well at all knows that I take great pride in being a parent. And as any parent knows, raising children can be among the most rewarding and most challenging experiences one can face.
Fate dealt my children the experience of both being Latinx and having an openly gay father. For my kids, that has not been without its challenges, including sometimes being challenged about their father’s sexual orientation in conservative circles – a challenge which no child should have to endure. Nonetheless, their upbringing has also given them the opportunity to view the world through a different lens than many other kids their age.
I remember an early cultural clash for them was following the passage of Proposition 8 in California in 2008, in which voters there passed a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Rallies were held across the country, including in Denver at the City and County Building. This was my children’s first opportunity to experience a protest for equal rights. It was important to me that my children saw and experienced both how restrictive laws affected people, and how they could be a part of creating change in the world.
I have never shied away from exposing my children to the never-ending search for fairness in society. My children were frequent attendees of LGBTQ+ pride events, immigrant rights rallies, and gender equality events, including the 2017 Women’s March. I also supported my children’s choice to attend high school at the Denver Center for International Studies (DCIS), a DPS school dedicated to the development of informed opinions with a global perspective and community-building skills. What struck me about DCIS when we first visited was the rich diversity of the student population. I wanted my children to be around people that had different backgrounds than theirs.
For me, raising children to be open minded and focused on equity meant exposing my children to people and cultures that were not like the people and cultures in their own family. It also meant that my role as a parent necessarily had to include my children seeing me do the same and fighting for the diversity and inclusion within my own life and career. It would not be enough for me to work toward those goals on my own – I had to bring my children to the front lines with me. My children were frequent attendees at bar association dinners, such as CWBA, the Colorado LGBT Bar, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. In my mind, it was not only important to teach my kids to be fair and equitable in the world. I also needed to enrich them by giving them the experiences tools they would need to make these qualities become a part of who they are as young adults.
My son, currently serving in the United States Army, has expressed interest in a career in law enforcement, telling me that he wants to be a police officer who can be engaged with and build trust with minority populations. My daughter is interested in pursuing a business degree. It is my greatest hope that my son can accomplish his admirable goal of being a part of change in a field where progress is desperately needed, and that my daughter will never know what it’s like to hit a glass ceiling for Latina women.
Bryon M. Large serves as a Magistrate at the Adams County Courthouse in Colorado’s 17th Judicial District. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver and his undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of New Mexico. Prior to being appointed to the bench, he served as a trial attorney at the Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, and in private practice as an immigration attorney.
Bryon’s current bar involvement includes board service at the Colorado LGBT Bar Association and service on the Colorado Bar Association’s Ethics Committee. He previously served on the boards of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, the CBA Executive Committee, the CBA Immigration Section, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, both nationally and locally. He is also actively involved in a number of other bar associations dedicated to diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. Bryon is committed to diversity and inclusivity initiatives for the bar and the bench, with the hopes of furthering the public’s confidence in the legal system.