Recently, in one of my local Facebook groups, I asked for some ideas for charitable giving posts I will be doing here on the blog. I am teaming up with some amazing brands, and have a couple of projects in line that will make a difference in the lives of people in my community. I am very excited about these opportunities, and feel blessed that I am able to do my part to brighten someone's day. In this case, it will actually be a LOT of someones.
Anyway, I was asking seasoned locals for suggestions on how and where I should make these donations. My community is very community service and family oriented, so I knew that I would get some fabulous ideas. (And of course, I did.) Some people were curious about blogging, so they asked that I leave a link to my blog. I gladly provided the link and thought absolutely nothing of it.
My son Kyle came home from school today, and his feelings were very hurt. Apparently, one of his friend's parents came to check out my blog, and quickly figured out that my teen is gay. Apparently, this is a problem for them, and they don't approve of their child being friends with my child. Simply because he is gay.
Kyle is out and proud, and I am not ashamed of him. I don't hide the fact that he is gay, nor do I tip-toe around it or avoid mentioning it. Why would I? As his parent, I am his biggest cheerleader. I support him for who he is, 100%. Even if it means being just fine with the fact that he is not heterosexual. Gasp! The horror! (Please note the dripping sarcasm here.)
So this woman has a problem with my son, solely because he is gay and quite comfortable in his own skin. This absolutely breaks my heart. I have some things to say to her, and to other parents like her, who teach their kids to hate, whether it's intentional or not.
Dear Mother Who Apparently Disapproves of My Gay Teen,
Today, I received the news that you don't approve of your daughter being around my son. Is this because my child gets into trouble, is a bad influence, or is just a little asshole? Nope. You want to keep your child away simply because of my son's sexual orientation.
Sure, Kyle is gay. But that's not ALL he is. Here are some facts about this "horrible, immoral child" that is apparently unfit to be around YOUR perfect, untainted child:
- Kyle is an honor roll student. He works very hard in school. Studying doesn't come as easily for him as it does for some other kids. Still, he remains focused, works his tail off, and has consistently been on the honor roll. We are very proud of him. A lot of teens get frustrated, and just give up. They stop caring. Kyle is the exact opposite. He struggles, but just works harder. That shows character.
- Kyle is a kind, caring, and compassionate person who puts others before himself. He is always willing to help his friends, or even those he doesn't get along with too well. He is always willing to be there to help with anything that needs to be done. Plus, he walks a female friend home on a regular basis, just to make sure nothing happens to her. You see, in my home, we teach our kids that kindness, to EVERYONE, matters. It doesn't matter what someone's race, religion, sexual orientation, appearance, etc happens to be. We teach our kids that no matter the differences, we are ALL human, and all human beings deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. Even if the people aren't very nice, themselves.
- When we lived in VA, Kyle was bullied relentlessly from Kindergarten on. He was called names like "Fag", "Homo", and some even worse things. He has been assaulted physically. He has even had a group of boys, in MIDDLE SCHOOL, follow him into the restroom, demanding to see "proof" that he is a boy. The schools did nothing, and neither did law enforcement. You see, one of Kyle's bullies was the son of a police officer. So basically, my son had to just deal with being put down every single day of his life. As a mother, this tore my soul apart. No one likes to see their child hurting, especially when it's because of something they have no control over. Ultimately, we left VA to move to my hometown here in OH. A very big reason we chose to move was in hopes that Kyle would have a fresh start in a kinder, more tolerant environment. That's right. We moved to get away from hate.
- Kyle is a great example. Sure, he's gay. But he also is drug-free, doesn't drink or smoke, and doesn't run the streets, getting into trouble. He also has very strong morals, and isn't sexually active. He understands that at his age, the body might seem ready, but his mind and heart are not. You see, that's what happens when you have open, honest communication with your kids. They tend to make good choices, and they tend to actually come to their parents for advice. This makes me SO proud, considering the fact that when I was 15, I was the exact opposite. I am perfectly happy with the young man my child is becoming. If his sexual orientation is the "worst of my worries", I'll take it. Again, I am being a bit sarcastic. I do not see his "gayness" as an issue at all.
- And here's a no-brainer. Kyle makes the ideal male friend to a girl to have. You would *think* the parents would be thrilled. There's finally a boy who will be there to defend their daughters, who will never, ever try to get into her pants. HELLO?! Common sense, folks! When my daughter is a teen, I will be thrilled if she has a gay BFF.
So, hateful parent....Now that you know a bit about who my child is, aside from the fact that he is gay, do you feel differently about the hateful message you gave to your child?
Are you proud of yourself for hurting MY child's feelings? And mine?
Are you proud of the fact that whether intentional or not, you are teaching intolerance and discrimination to your children?
Also, I am curious.....How does someone's sexual orientation affect your life in the slightest? Gay people live much like we straight people do. They go to work, pay bills, are active in their communities, and they raise loving families. Many of them, my son included, also have a strong faith in the same God that you're likely hiding behind to justify your hateful words and actions.
So what's the problem? How are gay people a threat to you? What someone does in the privacy of their home or bedroom is no one else's concern. And frankly, it's really no one's business.
Perhaps you should take a closer look at some of the widely believed gay stereotypes, and you'll see how false they actually are. Gay people are not all promiscuous or "dirty". They are not all pedophiles. Oh, and here's a good one: Gayness is not contagious. My son is not going to sprinkle some "Rainbow Fairy Dust" onto your daughter and magically turn her into a lesbian. (But if she WERE a lesbian, would you disapprove of her so passionately, too?)
My son simply wants what everyone wants. What everyone deserves. Yes, even the awful gays. (Insert eye roll) He wants to live his life happily. He wants to contribute to society, and make the world a better place. He also wants to be able to exist without fear or hateful words and actions being thrown his way. He wants to be able to exist in peace. He wants to be allowed to be who he is, with no shame. Is that really too much to ask? Isn't that something that all human beings deserve?
I don't know what your reasoning is for such ugly, hateful behavior.
Maybe your parents or grandparents taught you to discriminate against those who fit into certain categories. People who were brought up in different eras lived in a time where sadly, it was acceptable to hate. That doesn't make it okay. It doesn't make it right. As parents, it's our responsibility to raise a kinder, gentler generation of kids. The world would be a much better place if people learned to love each other, and be tolerant of those who might not have the same exact lifestyle that they do.
Maybe it's your religion that drives these feelings. It's sad to me that some of the most hateful people also claim to be the most devout and pious. Before I say anything else, please let me say that I DO believe in God. I just believe that we, as flawed human beings, have it all wrong. Keep in mind, the Bible was written by several, flawed human beings over hundreds of years. There is a lot of personal bias and interpretation that has gone into those texts.
If you're going to allow this book that was created by man to dictate the entirety of your beliefs, please keep these things in mind:
While being gay is "wrong", so is wearing mixed fabrics. If you're wearing a pair of cotton pants and a rayon blouse, guess what? According to your own, flawed logic, you are pissing God off.
Oh, your brother is making you mad, or you don't agree with his lifestyle? Okay. Go kill him. Just like Cain and Abel. Go for it.
Ever talk back to your parents growing up? Uh oh.....Go take a look at what the Bible allows as punishment, should you take it all so very literally.
Ever been divorced? Well, apparently, you are a heathen in the eyes of God, and can never have a "real marriage" other than the one you dissolved. It doesn't matter if there was abuse or infidelity. Divorce is divorce, so you're going to burn in the flames of Hell for all eternity if you've had one, right?
Are you starting to feel just a wee bit ridiculous for spewing your hate now? If you live by the Bible alone, chances are, YOU are not in the favor of God, either.
I hope that in the future, you will think before you speak. I have said it before, don't be your child's first bully. You never know if your child just might be gay or bi, themselves. You cannot assume that just because you have a certain lifestyle or belief system that your kids are "safe from the gay". It doesn't work that way.
So while you raise an eyebrow and discriminate against my child, please keep in mind that you may be sending a very dangerous message to your own children. Suicide among LGBT youth is at an all-time high. One of the main reasons that so many innocent, young lives are being lost? They couldn't find acceptance in their own homes. From the people who are supposed to love and accept them the most.
My kid was gay. I didn't choose that, and neither did he. As his mother, I am teaching him that he has NOTHING to be ashamed about. He is a kind and decent human being, and that's what's most important, in the whole scheme of things.
Please. Take a look in the mirror. Look at your children. Think about this with an open mind, but leave your bigotry on the doorstep.
Help break the cycle of hate. Don't continue to be what's wrong with the world today. Choose to teach love and kindness. Because that gay kid that isn't worth your time? Well, he wouldn't hesitate to put his own life on the line to save YOURS, because that's the kind of person he is.
Maybe it's not religion. Maybe it's not what you were taught growing up. Maybe you're just a miserable bitch that takes pleasure in putting people down, whether or not you even know them.
If that's the case, I pity you. And I will pray to a God that loves ALL of his children, even the GAY ones, that your heart of stone can be softened.