Saturday, December 3, 2011

Embracing All Your Children--Gay and Straight

One of my children is gay. I knew it before my child did. I agonized for my child, wanting to help somehow. One day, at almost 18 years of age, my child announced it to our family. Our whole family was fine with it. After all, science is proving it's not a choice but a genetic code, but even if it was a choice, where's the harm in it? True love always makes the world a better place, so what is not to like? Our family's only concerns were the small minds, prejudice, and bigotry of others.

Right away I began sharing the news with friends, just as I would share news of a new job or a new college degree. I love my children so much that I like to share their news all the time, and probably more than my children want it shared. :)  I was puzzled by most people's immediate question, "How are you handling it?" I always laughed out loud and said, "Fine. My child's not dying of cancer or going to prison, so why should I be anything but fine?"

Then people would bring up the "hell" consequence. Honestly, that made me laugh harder than before. Why would a loving God send you to hell for something you can't help? And believe me, most gay people would help it if they could because who wants to go through life being looked at askance? No, God is a loving, understanding entity, who asks of us only to be loving and understanding too, so no way would God send someone to hell for truly loving another person. And as far as being gay and abstinent--how cruel is that? Where does this fear of sex come from? I don't get it, and I certainly would never suggest something so ludicrous as abstinence to another individual in love with someone.

When I was teaching at a community college, I had several gay students, many of whose parents were not supportive nor accepting when their children found the courage to out themselves to their families. This broke my heart. I do not understand parents withholding love and emotional support. Family should be the one place you are accepted for whatever you are--no questions asked--because love is  unconditional in a family. Family is a safe harbor in a sometimes cruel world.

My hope, my prayer, is that parents the world over will set aside preconceptions and fears about homosexuality and will open their arms and hearts to their gay children. These are the children you nursed, you cuddled, you taught to walk, you taught to drive a car, you laughed with, and you dreamed with. When you discover that the dreams you had do not match the dreams your child has, don't squash the child's dream and try to mold it to match yours; rather, embrace your child as he or she is, and thrill to the all the new insights and perspectives. Your world will be happier and bigger for it.

Take care,

Kate

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15 comments:

  1. Kathy, What a beautiful piece! You are so right when you say, "What's not to love?" I have a niece who is gay, and our family's only regret has been that she has been hurt by her loves, and taken advantage of because of her extensive resources. I wish for her to have a real long-term relationship---a marriage would be ideal---to fulfill her dreams. The next issue would have to be, "Why not gay marriage?" You have a beautiful family: a genuine circle of love, and I'm sure that it was due to your love and nurturing of your children, with total acceptance. My gay friends and my niece could no more make a choice to be gay than I could make the choice to be left-handed.---Susie P.

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  2. I think it's silly when people bring the "Hell" part up. If God truly created people the way they should be, then this is clearly not a problem. I'd like to believe that he judges on the things you do for or to others as a person, and not for such matters as the gender of the person you love. My friends make fun of me because I am a "flame dame" (a girl who happens to attract a lot of gay people), but I would never want it any other way. I love all of them, and they know it.
    I used to joke and tell people that God made them special just to help us control a population that's getting too large :)

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