Born This Way. It features images of young LGBT people, followed by a small coming out story. What I love about this blog, is that it breaks down the idea that this is a lifestyle choice, rather than something innate to people.
As a mother, it reminded me to be hyper vigilant when dealing with my children. I don't believe that there is a stereotypical way of being gay, but I do believe that we consciously direct children to certain activities, because we feel that they are gender appropriate. I believe that most parents assume heterosexuality with their children, that in some cases leads to years of shame and pain.
When we hold our newborns in our arms, we need to remember that we don't know them, and that as they figure out who they are, our job is to act as a safety net and not as wardens of prescribed gender or sexuality. It is incredibly difficult living in a heterosexist culture not to pass on the homophobia that we have been indoctrinated with, but if we truly love our children, this should make the impetus to do so even greater.
When I talk to my children about LGBT people, I do so not only to challenge the idea that GLBT people are somehow deficient, but to set up an open dialogue, in the hope that they will be aware that no matter what sexuality they are, I will love them and support them. I am sure that I have made mistakes along the way, but I am trying. As a radical parent, I have seen a lot of resistance to the idea that unconditional love and acceptance of our children is a good thing, but after reading story after story, filled with the pain of LGBT kids who have been abandoned and abused, it seems to me that the real issue is that far too many are more concerned with upholding their privilege, than loving their kids as they deserve to be loved.
Someone once told me that I deserve to have a gay son, because I let my boys explore their interests, rather than surrounding them with toy guns, trucks and good ole' fashioned dirt. I am sure that they thought that this was an insult and would be a shame to my family, but to me, it further highlighted the length we will go to make heterosexuality compulsory. When the time comes, the boys will have to come out as straight or gay, because I am not making any assumptions about who they are, and how they will love. My only concern, is that they find happiness and peace in this world. Perhaps if more people approached parenting like this, less LGBT kids would have horror stories to share.
Please check out this blog. I think it is really worth the read and many of the stories are positive. All BTLG people were kids once, and if we truly believe that children are a protected class, then we need to let go of the bigotry far too many harbour towards TLBG people. Teaching them to hate themselves, because we want to hold onto an undeserved privilege is child abuse. I cannot say it anymore clearly than that.