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  • Approved for CNN

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    Posted June 2, 2014 by
    PamelaWells
    Location
    Unity, Maine
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Your modern family

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    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     PamelaWells says a modern family to her is, 'A family who isn’t bound by the traditional definition of family.' She shared a photo of her sister Robin on her wedding day to her partner Cory. 'I am proud to be part of a family who loves one another despite what people’s views have been over the years,' she said. She describes her family as non-traditional. 'We grew up in a home without a father and a mom who had emotional challenges. We lived in poverty. It was a tough upbringing. We have survived and now have a family that is true to who we are,' she said. 'Today, we are strong, kind, accepting and loving.'
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    I grew up with the most extraordinary younger sister. Robin is smart, beautiful, and fun to be with. She always has been and always will be my best friend. But her life has been challenging because she is lesbian.

    When we were young, I could never understand why people harassed her and made her life miserable. High school, for her, was a place of torment. A rat in her locker, threatened in the halls, life was unpleasant. It made me so angry and yet, what could we do? That was life in the seventies for gay people. At one point, she even had to leave daytime classes because other parents were complaining about her being gay. Determined to finish high school, she returned to evening classes and obtained her diploma.

    As an adult, Robin continued to have a tough time. She was always hiding who she was in order to keep a job or an apartment. I didn't get it. To me, she was just my sister. What was wrong with all of those other people?

    Many years ago, my sister Robin Fowler Pratt found her lifetime love, Corry Pratt. But up until this last year, they were never able to get officially married. They kept their life style hidden for a time; their concern being the loss of employment but eventually they decided to openly be who they really are. In addition, they encouraged others, one at a time, to accept themselves as the incredible people that they are. They have inspired many.

    Finally, this last summer, Maine allowed same-sex marriage to be legal and as result, they were legally wed on their beautiful alpaca farm in Unity, Maine.

    That day in August changed all of our lives forever. I have never seen Robin so happy or at peace. The journey to that moment took so much time and courage for each of them. But they are both strong women. And, I have gained a beautiful family member who I love like another sister.

    The memory of that day will be one of the most precious in my heart. When a family member you love so much attains what they truly deserve, you are forever changed as a person.

    My family is a special one. We have survived ignorance and cruelty and have come out the other side with strength and love... And isn’t that what families are all about?

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