I remember the day I discovered my child was gay.
I suppose every parent of a gay child remembers that day. I hope they remember that day in the same way that I do. I hope they remember it as they remember their child’s first word, or first step, or any other magical milestone. We expect many of those milestones, but there are others that we don’t expect. None of us know what our children are going to take an interest in, or excel at. We don’t know who their friends will be or what they’ll like to eat, or their tastes in books or music as they grow up. There’s so much to look forward to when we have our children, but it all amounts to the same thing. We want to know who we made.
I discovered my daughter was gay in January 1994.
Some of you might be wondering whether that date can possibly be correct. Some of you know me, some of you have met me, and if you haven’t, then most of you at least have some idea who I am, and, therefore, how old I must be. You’re trying to work it out, aren’t you? You’re trying to work out how old I must have been when I had my child if I found out she was gay way back in January of 1994.
If you’re counting, that was nineteen years ago, and, I’ll tell you right now, I was thirty.
The next question, I suppose, is how old a child has to be to identify as gay. Honestly, I don’t know the answer to that. Recently, a lovely gay man of my acquaintance told me that he didn’t know he was gay until he was, essentially, an adult. Other gay people I have known claim that they always knew they were gay.
I don’t know when my daughter first identified as gay, but she came out to me when she was twelve or thirteen. I don’t remember exactly. When she came out to me, I was able to tell her that I already knew she was gay. I was able to tell her the story that I’m going to tell you.
So, I wasn’t a teenage mum. I didn’t have a daughter in her teens when I was thirty.
Until two decades ago, I don’t know whether I’d thought about the gay gene. It was being discussed among scientists and gay activists, but I’m not sure how much the rest of us were really taking an interest.
I never felt that homosexuality required justification. Some of us were gay, and that was fine by me. People are people, good, bad and indifferent, and being gay was never on my radar as a criterion for judging a person’s character, any more than being black or jewish or male was.
In 1994 I discovered the gay gene cuddled up with me in front of the tv.
In January 1994, my little family had recently been through a bit of a trauma and I was cutting the kids a bit of slack, so happened to be having a cuddle with my child, after her bedtime. Again, I don’t know why the tv happened to be tuned to a soap opera, because I’m not a fan, but it’s probably because I was concentrating more on spending time with my child than I was on what happened to be going on in the background.
Suddenly, out of the blue, my daughter sat bolt upright and became very interested in what was going on on-screen. I looked up to see a couple embracing.
“OH look, Mummy,” said my daughter, “they LOVE each other!”
“Yes, darling, they do.” I replied.
My daughter sat like that, eyes wide, until the end of the scene, and then she cuddled up to me again, and that was that. I put her to bed.
My tv was tuned to Channel 4, and the soap opera was Brookside. That night in 1994, the first pre-watershed lesbian kiss was shown on British television, between Anna Friel and Nicola Stephenson. It caused quite a furore across the nation.
It proved to me the existence of the gay gene. My daughter, who had responded so strongly to that kiss had never responded to any similar embraces between heterosexual couples, and, as far as I could tell, she didn’t afterwards, so this wasn’t a sudden realisation that grown-ups had intimate relationships. This wasn’t a general thing. This was quite specific, and quite natural.
In early January of 1994 when the lesbian kiss aired, and my daughter saw it, she was three years old. She had celebrated her third birthday at the end of the previous October.
What really matters to me is that my children love not who they love. As it happens my older daughter loves a very feminine woman, and my younger daughter loves an extremely masculine man.
I think I’m pretty intelligent and pretty creative, but I cannot comprehend nor imagine what a higher being might be like if it existed. I can’t even decide, once and for all, whether one does, in fact exist.
There are, however, those on the planet who not only believe they can imagine that higher being, they believe they understand it and its intentions and its teachings. They believe they are so clued up that they understand something as particular and specific as its political stance on gay marriage. I cannot believe they know those things, but I know that they believe they know those things, and I know they believe in the power they can wield in that knowledge, however bogus the rest of us believe it to be.
Rationality is pointless and powerless in the face of righteousness, however wrongheaded it might be. We cannot win. It saddens me to say it, and I will never give up my corner of the fight, but it remains true. All the time people believe the nonsense that is peddled in the name of God, there is no winning. I wonder if there is anything resembling winning. I wonder if winning is the point. I don’t want to ‘win’. There should be no need to win. It’s mindless. There is no competition.
I have two children. They were born into the same environment, raised in the same family with the same values, education, reasoning, love, strength, and whatever else matters to any of you. Believe in what you like. One of my daughters is gay and the other is straight and they are two different people, but they are of equal value in my heart.
All of this is born out of the campaign for equal marriage rights that is raging through the social networks right now, and out of a YouTube video that I saw the other day and want to share with you below.
Before I share the video, I’d like to say that my gay daughter entered into a civil partnership almost two years ago. I was opposed to it. I was opposed to it because I didn’t think that it was a good idea for two people so young to be marrying. I didn’t think that it was a good idea for a university student and a brand new graduate to be marrying. I didn’t think it was a good idea for her partner, whom I felt needed more maternal support to be relinquishing it, and I didn’t think that it was a good idea for our child to forego the financial support that we were giving her, which could not continue after her marriage. I wanted them to wait, and I still wish that they had chosen to wait. In all other respects our daughter has our full support. I hope that she will be able to be married, and I hope that her marriage will date from her civil partnership and that her partnership will not have to be dissolved in order that she be allowed to marry.
Here is Ash Beckham being SOO Gay! and SOO Brilliant! Thanks, Ash.
for me, respecting another individuals choice has been easy, simply because I expect my choice as an individual to be respected.ReplyDelete
being hassled as a kid over simple but unwitting differences made me realise how lame such behaviour can be, and engendered support for "underdogs" and casual rejection of the general guidelines of what is considered "acceptable".
and as it happens I have yet to hear one sound reason to support any form of discrimination. I for one are all for taking time with things like marriage or even other things that are thrust upon people earlier than I'd like (and some things that could due being taught sooner rather than later).
one thing that has annoyed me recently in the last decade or so is gay as an epithet in the vein of lame. to me it's just another example of discrimination by diffusion. it's okay if everyone doing it, it's no big deal as long as I'm not the one it hurts, etc.
sometimes I'm dismayed by the casual flippancy with with people dispense pain and claim justification by frequency.
I think that extending marriage to same-sex relationships is a step in the right direction despite the many vehement claims by those opposed.
I'm not sure which is worse: trying to change the world to fit your view of the world, or failing to realise where your view of the world comes from ...
"It was being discussed among scientists and gay activists, but I’m not sure how much the rest of us were really taking an interest.ReplyDelete
There's the problem. Activists need to be kept out of scientific discussions. In fact, I would say activists need to be kept out of pretty much everything. They have no democratic legitimization for their actions. Was there ever a vote in the US gay community to put the activists, who seem to speak for all gays, into that position?
No there wasn't.
These "activists" assume their mantle of power without any actual backup or legitimization from the people they, supposedly, speak for. Ah those sneaky little fascists! Yeah, that's what it is. It's a pretty much a coup. They just assumed power, took it when it was up for grabs, without any democratic legitimization. And now they pretend to speak for everyone in their group, without asking said group. The sad thing is, not even the retards of WBC are THAT openly fascist.
In the end this is all a complete joke. It's not about rights. It's about "I'm right, you're wrong", about pretend-superiority and moral high grounds.
At the same time US politicians criminalize all law abiding gun owners, write laws that openly defy the Constitution (and won't have any effect on violence, because guns have nothing to do with US inner cities being more dangerous than Afghanistan, but rather it's the same politicians and "activists" who, for decades, have eroded American society with their "progressive" nonsense) and nobody cares.
Love those priorities.
As for marriage. They can already do that. So it's not called "marriage" but rather "civil union". Oh the horror.
Much ado about nothing, that's what the entire "gay marriage" discussion is.
Funnily enough, I have several gay friends and none of them supports this. They just want to live their lives in peace, just like everybody else.
Oh, btw... with islam spreading more and more, what do you think will happen to the great "gay marriage" experiment in the US?
It'll be like over here, in, let's say, the Netherlands, where gays are under increasing attack from mohammedans. There's even a term for a "game" mohammedan youths like to play in the Netherlands and Germany. It's called "Schwulenklatschen." Literally "gay slapping". Yes, it means what it implies. They attack gays and beat the crap out of them, usually vastly outnumbering them.
Oh, you mean the law has to do something about that?
No. It's part of mohammedan culture, accept and respect it, you racist bastard. They have a right to express their own culture, you Nazi.
What, I'm out of line with this? Hey, whenever I bring up cold hard facts about how intolerant and fascist islam is I'm called a racist and a Nazi.
By the same people who scream for gay marriage.
Now how funny is that! Now if I would put stock into psychology (which, due to personal experiences, I don't), I would say those people have a certain death wish. They hate themselves.
At least, so far, nobody had brought up the ridiculously pseudo-scientific "argument" that there are so and so many species where homosexuality is observed and only one has homophobia. That argument is nonsense. For once, whenever I hear it the number of species with homosexuality varies, it's never the same. The other issue I have is: humans are humans, lions are lions. Lions aren't humans. Humans are the highest developed animal right now. Anyone pulling this "argument" is apparently an idiot who has no idea about science. A lion and a human are NOT equal.Delete
Plus, whenever we see "gay" animals, like those "gay" penguins, it's usually for one reason: they lack females and still have their instincts. So they compensate for the lack of females and drive of their instincts.
Sounds a lot like sailors in the age of sail.
Personally I think homosexuality is connected to our high level of development, compared to any other species on the planet. A gay gene? Doubt it. A gay gene serves zero purpose in nature, and nothing in nature does that. Evolution would have eradicated it long ago. If anything, if it exists, it would be a mutation, because sex, in nature, has one purpose: producing offspring. Just like the family exists for only one purpose: protecting the offspring.
So gay marriage, by a strictly scientific, evolutionist view, is completely pointless. It serves absolutely no purpose.
Any potential legal shenanigans? Those can be avoided by planning. A gay couple, who're friends of mine, have done exactly that. The only thing they're lacking is a "marriage certificate", but they keep saying they don't need that because they've prepared everything for emergencies anyway. Then again, those two are significantly more intelligent than the average activist, "progressive", pink stormtrooper.
And sitting down in the dirt and screaming "it's my right!" is not going to help it either.
One thing I'm absolutely tired of, though, is how gay activists in the US present themselves as the new blacks. This is such a rape of history, such a slap in the face of great people like Martin Luther King, it makes me want to beat up the idiots who spew it.
No gays, you're NOT the new blacks. You're NOT being treated like the blacks in the 50s. Your situation isn't even remotely as bad as it was for blacks back then. You don't have to deal with hundreds of lynchings, murder and segregation. You can ride in whatever seat you want on any bus in the US.
Stop. The. Effing. Drama.
If you're not capable of having a rational discussion, then maybe you're not mature enough to get "married".
Also, if gays are allowed to married, don't allow them to divorce. It took us heteros ages to get that through. You want the same options? Go through the motions and wait till it's your turn.
Though, as a friend of mine once put it, what's the big deal anyway?
Why are gays so keen to take part in a ritual that makes millions of people miserable every year, ends in divorce and with you losing half of your stuff?
That's what marriage in the 21st century is: lawyer food. Forget all the romantic nonsense. It's a costly enterprise that, more often than not, will cost you a lot with zero gain.
Poor law abiding gun owners and their precious guns. You know what, the constitution isn't a precious holy document. It's a document written in a different era, based on a different era's motivations, morals and prejudices. Guess what, it gets changed with amendments. The very idea of the constitution is one if changing to suit the people it governs. As we matures as a culture we find that we made mistakes.ReplyDelete
Yep, our forefathers were slave owners.
Not everyone could vote. Regardless of the wonderful language in the bill of rights etc. unless you were a white man you couldn't vote. F A C T.
There are innumerable issues within the constitution that are artifacts of a bygone age and simply aren't relevant anymore or in many cases were immoral and wrong.
So lets not hold up the constitution as some paragon document of eternal virtue because it isn't.
If we can't have equality. E Q U A L I T Y. What do we have? We have better than's and less than's. It's all fine and good to talk shit when you're "better than" someone else huh. Put the show on the other foot.
YES it is a big deal. Yes you and everyone should fight for it.
I love the jump to support another culture when it happens to fit your world view...but they are "lesser than" too huh.
A civil union is NOT a marriage. It's throwing a bone to shut people up. Why does it matter? because it's NOT a marriage. it's NOT Equality. It's a big fucking sign saying YOU AREN'T MY EQUAL. I'M BETTER. YOU ARE A FREAK. If you've never lived with it, you don't know and you're talking out your ass.
Wow. Really strong opinions on this subject. All I can say is that while our middle son coming out to us wasn't a problem for us, it was for his grandparents, who have strong opinions about it, requiring a certain amount of smoothing of feathers and listening. He continues to go his own way buffered to some extent by us from hostile family members. We just see him as he's always been, a complete romantic and attracted to men. At the moment he has a girlfriend, so who knows where he will end up? But whoever he loves, I am glad he does love and is loved, as Nik said.ReplyDelete
I have gay mates. And honestly what I think the prevailing culture is at the moment among young straight males (me and my friends) is that gays are something you're not sure about. You don't really understand why they are the way they are, so you 'tolerate' them, you're friendly, polite, engaging, but there's always that certain paranoia. Because thinking that a man is perhaps thinking you are attractive or not attractive, either stokes a boy's ego or makes him preen his feathers a little in embarrassment.ReplyDelete
That's what I've observed from my friends, but that's not how I think. If I'm honest, I find gays fascinating and I think it takes incredible courage to come out to the world in this society given what I just said about boys. But in my experience, just normal gay guys can be quite funny, camp guys especially. One of my close friends is like that, he hangs with the girls, he reads the fashion magazines, he has good style. He's undeniably gay but he's also funny and a nice guy so I really don't give two shits what his sexuality is cause he's just a friend. However I think I'm one of maybe only two straight guys in my group of friends who thinks that. I think the rest of the boys do adopt that slight air of suspicion. They'll make homophobic jokes when he's not there, and they might say something is: 'as gay as him' or something. What I find disconcerting is the look they give me sometimes. You can see in their eyes when they make a joke like that, they genuinely are puzzled and a little afraid of him because they don't understand. And people really do fear what they don't understand. It makes me sad because this fear is what has motivated every atrocity committed over the course of the past. Fear and a lack of understanding. While I don't think they would ever do anything like that, you can see that with the right pressure applied , for example Hitler and his views on the Jews, it's possible to stoke that fear and make it into something a lot worse.
However, after having watched that video of that Ash dude, I think I might start calling people out. Not on the small things, because me and my mates call each other gay all the time, just as a joke, as nothing serious, and not even in a derogatory way, but just as lads' banter, because we all know and are confident in the knowledge we're straight young men. However if they make a homophobic joke, or a comment I think is too far, I think from now on I'll say something. Hopefully I might make a difference in my little corner of the world. And hopefully in the future people might do more than just tolerate gayness.
Hope is a wonderful thing :)
That Ash dude is actually an Ash woman, but I guess the principle stands. No one should feel pressured about their sexuality. Straight boys are under no threat from their gay dude friends, and calling anyone or anything 'gay' as a joke isn't cool, and it never was. If you were in my house I'd call you out on it, and you and I respect one another. Think about it.Delete