Everyone knows about my love for babies and children. If someone hasn’t heard me go *squee* at a cute baby, they don’t really know me.
So when I heard my friends in New York just had a new baby, my ovaries were positively tingling (to borrow a mysogynistic phrase). K & T are the most loving lesbian couple I know (and will probably exist). They have been through a lot of crap from the beginning that has very little to do with their sexuality, but just the general way life tends to throw you smelly dungbombs. So to have gone through all that, and still be together, and happy, and in love, and have a happy family with two beautiful children… there is nothing in the world that gives my cynical hardened heart more hope than that.
There is also nothing in the world which intensifies my desire to have that family life, more than this happy story either. But of course, the problem being that it is probably not possible to have that life here. I don’t intend to hide my family or live a lie, like the local gay parents do, in fear of their children being taken away, just because they are gay.
What kind of twisted people would break up a happy family just because the parents are gay, in order to uphold their own ideals of what a family should look like? If the child is well-cared for, and lives in a happy loving home, there really is no ground for prohibiting gay parenting, in reliance of woolly unproven pop-psychology ideas of a child needing two parents of a different gender, or fears of the child “turning gay”. There is plenty of research which shows that children in gay families grow up just as well-adjusted as those in straight families.
What the conservatives and anti-gay people do not realise is that it is homophobia which destroys families, not homosexuality. When they beat the drums of intolerance, a parent in a home hears the beat and moves to reject his gay child who just came out to him. Family values are upheld by acceptance and love, not rejection and hate. If people think anti-gay vitriol does not have a negative impact, think again. When you say that gay sex is like sticking a straw up your nose, a teenager who is struggling with his sexuality hears it and hates himself even more. Yes, suicide rates are indeed higher in gay teens, and the reason isn’t too hard to find: rejection from peers and society.
So when you preach you have a right to spout anti-gay stuff and that we are restricing your freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Stop, and think, beyond the political ideas. Think about what you are doing to people. Think about what your words mean to a clueless parent, to a conflicted teenager. Think about the families and relationships you tear apart with your vitriol. Think about the effect of palpable hate surrounding you.
Because this isn’t just politics or ideology. These are lives. These are people.
My second eldest cousin is getting married soon, right about the time I’ll be in India. It is my understanding that this wedding is somewhat controversial, not so much because it is a love marriage – that particular trail was blazed by her brother and even a generation earlier by one of our aunts, and of course my mother. It is because no one approves of the groom very much. But what cares love of the opinion of other people, even if it has been said that the groom is ugly, economically unreliable and unrealistic? [Not my own words or opinion, by the way – I don’t even know the dude.]
Everyone in the extended family [except maybe her mother], however, supports this as her own decision and wishes her good luck. I have to quote my father on this, when he made a hilarious and oh-so-true remark that it was “better to let the kids find their own partner, because then they couldn’t blame the parents for a failed marriage.”
My parents dropped the inter-caste marriage bomb more than 20 years ago on their family, and my eldest cousin dropped the inter-racial one [and he will be dropping the now-divorced-with-a-girlfriend bomb in a few weeks too]. I am hoping that by the time all my cousins are married and already caused their own scandals, me marrying a woman won’t seem so outrageous. Unless one of my cousins come out first [now THAT would be interesting].