I got to write my first letter to a newspaper, that I remember…Knowing my activist upbringing i’m sure it’s not the first time. But at least in recent memory. Thanks to the New Mexican for spurring me to action. Here it goes….
As a Santa Fe resident who is also the daughter of lesbians, I took issue with some of what the recent article pulled from the Chicago Tribune, in the Family section, titled “ Kids of gay parents are pretty normal”, had to say. Even the title itself is somewhat offensive. Would you run an article titled, “ Kids of blacks/jews/mormons etc. are (pretty) normal” ? I doubt that would fly. It seems that even in an article that seeks to accept gay parenting, there is an inherently homophobic bias. I am straight myself, but dismayed to see the emphasis on “ normality”, which is I think code for heterosexual. This sends the message that gay parents should seek to raise conformist, “ normal” and therefore straight kids, which is in itself homophobic. How about all parents seek to raise happy healthy children without regard to sexual orientation ? That’s what my parents did and it worked out great.
The one part of the article that was the most important was in the last sentence. “ The burden is not so much coming from our parents , but from the very people who claim to have our interests at heart.” The hardest part about growing up with gay parents is dealing with other peoples prejudice. Similar, perhaps, to how the hardest part of being of color is other people’s Racism. I would also have liked one of the people being profiled to have been from parents who were “ out” when they were born or at least who hadn’t grown up closeted and shameful, as my experience did not much mirror that of the featured subjects. I’d love to know what is inherently “ lacking in stability”- Sprigg or “Chaotic” – Dobson about Gay parented households. My upbringing was neither unstable or chaotic.
The problem with maintaining that only families made up of a mom and a dad are valid is that not only does it discount my family but also all of those families headed by a grandparent or any another configuration, which in many communities are in the majority. They are setting themselves up as a moral elite, which does not bode well for the unity and health of our society. Maybe the New Mexican should source articles from a similarly progressive area to our own, or even better write them yourselves? I’d be happy to talk about my experience.
TA-DA!!!! The article on the whole reminded me of the messages even I put out, in the mid nineties- all that we are just like everyone else nonesense. These days I feel like ” aren’t we past that yet?!” …but I guess not. Also relates to that recent Ariel Levy article in the March 2nd issue of the New Yorker, the one about the Van Dykes. I liked that Lamar Van Dyke pointed out how infatuated with assimilation the current Gay mainstream is. The article ” Kids of Gay Parents Are PRETTY normal” is the bastard step child of that. I am unimpressed that the city that has “Boystown”, can’t do better. At least the New Yorker is on board with the “Lesbian Nation” right ?