To My “Family” ….(“family” is gay speak for in the gay family). I recently received a request to share my information with another gay family. This is not my first request and I am always happy to discuss my experiences with other gay families.
So, what is it like to grow up in a gay family? Again, this is just a tidbit. I would say that growing up in a gay fam nowadays, probably pretty fabulous. You have 2 parents that soooooo want these little bundles of terror/joy and who will provide a very unique perspective of the world for these kids. My experience has been that gay parents teach a unique level of acceptance towards the world and a unique understanding of how wonderful and rough life can be. It is truly something to be proud of and I am proud to be a part of this community.
But, what you ask, was it like for me? Home was loving and secure. I knew my parents were together and I knew where my home was 100% of the time. The outside world was especially tough though. There were no laws protecting gay employees from discrimination. So, my parents were in effect closeted to most of the world. They could have been fired and in all likelihood would have been had they been discovered. In their efforts to protect me they did not talk about being “gay.” This is something I understand but do wish was different. Shall I give you an example of why I understand this?
Well let me say this as plainly as possible. My 4th grade teacher was a cunt. Oh yeah, you read that correctly…I said c-u-n-t. She was a homophobic cunt. She was abusive, she ridiculed me in front of the class and she tried to fail me so she could torture me again. Think I am over reacting? Well, she wrote a letter to my dad and told him what she thought about gay people and a “fag child.” I saw this letter infuriate and crush my dad. Wanna know what the school did about it? Nuthin. Fuckin nuthin. It was one of the first times I realized that my home life was much different than my peers. Can you imagine my dad’s heart breaking when he read this letter? I saw it and it was awful. There was not much he could do either. We had no rights and this bitch was tenured. My biological dad had rights to me but my other dad did not. So, they could not join in as a united front.
It is different now and I am so thankful this. Really…I AM SO THANKFUL FOR THIS. I love that I see kids coming out early. I love that gay teachers can be out now (I had many gay teachers all whom I loved….didn’t know why I related to them and why they were protective of me, but figured it out many years later) and there is no fear of being fired for being gay.
My advice to gay families is to be open. Your children will be proud of you for living your life authentically. I love seeing my dad’s be out and open. I love seeing them with no fear of being who they are. And, I love them for giving me this life. Kids are going to be teased about something parents. It could be the car you drive is not cool enough for their friends, it could be your totally unfashionable jeans or it could be that you clap too loud at their school play….or more evil little things, it could be their clothes, it could be their hair is not perfect, they might have a pimple or it could be that they don’t hold themselves like kewl people do. But, ya know what? When they come home and know they are loved, it won’t hurt so bad.