Coming down to the last few days before the election, we have seen the hatred and ignorance from the right with respect to marriage equality and equal rights in general...and California's Proposition 8, Florida's Proposition 2 and Arizona's Proposition 102 in particular. And we have heard from the supporters or equal rights, even though there may seem to have been few of them amongst our political leaders.
One group hasn't been heard from so much: the children.
I'm not talking about GLBT kids, though some of them may be. The right wing...and even some people supposedly on the left...like to talk about the purpose of marriage being the protection of the family...and by their definition that generally means having children.
Are we hearing the voices of those children? Do we even acknowledge that they are there. Maybe we should listen to their voices, or at least see their words.
There is this organization not many people are probably aware of called Colage: Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere. The graphics displayed here were part of an art exhibit produced by the members, entitled That's So Gay. I'd normally make the graphics a little smaller, but I think it is important that we be able to read the words.
If I were smart, I'd just post the graphic s they have created and shut the hell up. This is, after all, about them. But my aesthetic sense knows that the whole thing looks better if their are some words providing the connective tissue.
One of the common assumptions by people who don't know any better is that gays and lesbians are only in the relationship game for the sex. That is really horrendous thinking, as far as I am concerned. Some will even acknowledge our love for another person might extend beyond the bedroom, but there has still been the assumption that homosexual relationships are only about the couple involved, whereas the supposedly superior heterosexual relationships also included producing children.
The fact that 45.8% of heterosexual marriages fail seems not to matter. We are told we must keep marriage in the hands of the heterosexuals for the sake of the children. Then why aren't we listening to the words of Lily (up above) or Joe (to the right) or Monica (below). If our concern is truly for the children, why don't these young people count?
To the religious right, the fact that these young folks support their parents is prima facie evidence that growing up with a gay or lesbian parent is wrong. What sort of a warped world view assumes that children should hate their parents because those parents are queer?
I reject even contemplation of the thought. I cannot comprehend how anyone could accept it. I do not wish to live in such a world. Kill me now. Or let me migrate to some other planet or plane of existence...because it is too cold down here for anyone with a warm heart.
Fortunately I have the words of Quinn and Kate, Alex and Will to carry me through.
I asked myself the question:
How many children have gay or lesbian parents?
I'm so tired, I let Carrie Craft from Answer.com supply the answer to that...and more:
There were an estimated 300,000 to 500,000 gay and lesbian biological parents in 1976. In 1990, an estimated 6 to 14 million children have a gay or lesbian parent. Between 8 and 10 million children are being raised in a gay and lesbian households.
From the U.S. Census 2000, the National Survey of Family Growth (2002), and the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (2004) we can discover:
An estimated two million GLB people are interested in adopting.
An estimated 65,500 adopted children are living with a lesbian or gay parent. More than 16,000 adopted children are living with lesbian and gay parents in California, the highest number among the states. Gay and lesbian parents are raising four percent of all adopted children in the United States. Adopted children with same-sex parents are younger and more likely to be foreign born.
And I had the words of my own daughter when I came out myself. I doubt I have the ability to explain how important they were to me at the time. There are some things that just cannot be quantified.
I'll end with some of my own words...and in the comments you can add yours.
Catching a Dream