A few recent words from non-LGBT parents about LGBT families:
- Actor Sarah Jessica Parker says her four-year-old son has been asking her what it means to be gay, since the family has many gay friends. Parker explains:
When talking around your child you have to think very carefully and you have to be prudent about you’re choice of words. You talk about people looking for happiness and fulfilment in their lives and how all families are different and look different.
You’re forced to really consider your answers. You’re forced to think a lot about what you’re saying and how you’re saying it – even the tone.
(Ignore the sensational headline, “Sarah Jessica Parker gives four-year-old son gay lessons”; I’m sure Parker didn’t write it.)
- Writer Regan McMahon of the San Francisco Chronicle talks of the cultural expectations of motherhood, past and present, and reflects:
Luckily, my middle school daughter won’t have the same cultural baggage to throw off when she grows up. TV has fed her images of sassy single moms, divorced moms, remarried moms, working moms, lesbian moms, gay dads, cool dads, involved dads. She’s seen onscreen and in life that there is no one perfect version of motherhood or parenting. It’s an idiosyncratic affair. The part that’s universal is love.
- On a broader scale, a new study by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press concludes that four in ten Americans know someone who is gay or lesbian. (The study did not ask about those who are bisexual or transgender.)
An analysis of survey results suggests that familiarity is closely linked to tolerance. People who have a close gay friend or family member are more likely to support gay marriage and they are also significantly less likely to favor allowing schools to fire gay teachers than are those with little or no personal contact with gays, the poll found.
As Pam wrote on the Blend, this makes a direct link between coming out—if you safely can—and advancing LGBT rights. “Coming out” also applies to straight allies who should make their position known. Pam also astutely notes that we shouldn’t assume even allies are familiar with the details of LGBT rights. I can vouch for this, having spoken with several people who think my Massachusetts marriage conveys federal rights and means something when I leave the state.
Finally, a reminder that I welcome allies who wish to contribute posts to Blogging for LGBT Families Day. You help provide a bridge for the less-tolerant non-LGBT community who can’t see past the mythic “homosexual agenda” when an LGBT person speaks.