If My Child Was Gay... | Giftie Etcetera: If My Child Was Gay...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

If My Child Was Gay...

I've been thinking about a scenario where one of my boys grows up to discover he is gay. I've been thinking about it for a couple of reasons. One is that a relative made a racist remark about my son potentially marrying a minority, and my natural comeback was that Ander can marry who he wants to marry, regardless of race or gender. Admittedly, I was aiming for a bit of shock factor to make my relative think. The other reason is that Iowa, not exactly a liberal area, just had a court allow gay marriage.

I don't suspect most parents hope their child is gay. I imagine that if I had to deal with the struggles most committed gay couples have to deal with, I would not wish those struggles on my own child, even if I were gay myself. The closest (although not perfect) analogy I can think of is what it must have been like having daughters in the late 70s and 80s - daughters of my generation. Women were making strides towards equality, but boys had an easier road than girls to high paying employment and powerful jobs. It's not that parents didn't want daughters, but they must have worried for their daugthers. That's sort of how I feel about if one of my sons is gay. I would worry for him, but strive to give him the tools and the strength to deal with the challenges society creates.

That said, if one of my boys "comes out of the closet" (and I hope it would not be such a big deal as that, really, because my boys will know that they will have parental support and guidance), I want him to be able to have a family and a committed relationship. I want him to have the joys - and, maybe even more importantly, the RESPONSIBILITIES - of raising children, nuturing a lifelong adult relationship, and participating in the community.

If my child turns out to be gay, I want him to be able to assume NOT ONLY the fun parts of marriage - sex, companionship, shared resources - but the responsibilties as well, including financial commitments, living his promises, and being there for someone other than himself.

Why would society not want that? For me, gay marriage isn't about a privilege. It's not about the Constitution (although there is a strong legal argument for it being a Constitutional right). For me, gay marriage, like all marriage, is about responsibility. Committed relationships are good for families, good for societies, and good for individuals. I'm going to support the opportunity for adult individuals to make that commitment, because I never know if my own kids will need the gift of marriage available to them.



Krumpledwhiskers said...

Well said. I'm for once at a loss for words because there is nothing to contest, add or elaborate on, Ander and Loki are lucky to have you as their mom.

Anonymous said...

I'm struggling with the possibility that my 4 yr old son might be gay. He is the oldest of three boys in my family. I want to guide him and give him all the right coping tools for dealing with the cruelty of other people when I am not around and he wants to play dress up or play with Barbies. There is a lot on the internet with how to cope with a teenage child coming out to their parents, but I am looking for information on how to help a young child maneuver through school, camp, playdates, etc and not feel ashamed for being different and also to protect himself from unnecessary and cruel teasing. Any thoughts???