Sunday, September 12, 2010

Can Straight Parents Raise Gay Kids?

Think about it for a minute.

How many times have we read an article questioning the ability or so called lack of ability of gays or lesbians being able to raise children? If you ask me, it's been too many times. It's a no brainer for me, what kids need are an environment filled with love. Ok, so I know it's much more complicated than that but if the basics are covered, food, shelter, cool looking clothes, some form of electronics, and then love well, any single or two parent combo can provide a means for the optimal outcome.

What if the kid is gay? All those Family Value homophobic groups tout the importance of a stable family consisting of a man and woman who are married and obstinately declaring that way is the only foundation of a homogeneous family unit. What happens when a kid pops out gay? 

Now let's take those exceptions out of this formula right now of those parents who are fine with that fact. I'm not dismissing those families, in fact they earn the highest praise because they open their hearts to the fact that one of their offspring are LGBT and they're still providing their kid a safe nurturing environment. It's those other families that I wonder about. 

Google LGBT homeless youth and you'll find a slew of information across several years. One of the more current findings at this site  shows that out of the youth population, around 5-10% are LGBT.  It's a percentile we're used to seeing. What this report go on to show is based of the number of homeless youth in the US, anywhere between 20-40% fall into being LGBT's. So out of 2 million homeless kids, up to 800,000 could be LGBT! Looking at it either on the low end or the high end of the scale, it ends up being a very disproportional number.

The LGBT youth either runs away or gets kicked out of their homes because they no longer are living in a safe and loving environment by their straight parents. And that's only the beginning of their dilemma. Unavailable safe housing, higher drug/alcohol usage and higher suicide rates are the next obstacles for these LGBT homeless youth.

There are many articles and statistics available about this epidemic and hardly a thing can be found about straight parents dealing with the gay issue. I know there's PFLAG and I even ran across this very helpful site. I can't imagine what the LGBT homeless number would be without these positive support groups and organizations.

And then there's the horrific stories of the homophobic straight parents usually under the direction of a so called family value organization or religious group who sends the kid to the UnGay Boot Camp thinking that will correct the situation or now even karate lessons could save your son. If a LGBT kid survives those weeks at camp I'm sure they're heading out the door and into the streets as quick as they can say "praise the gay!.

So people, I'm worried which is why I ask the question, do straight parents have the means to raise gay kids because at least for today, the majority of LGBT's, who are our future, still come from straight parents.


From said...
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canihelpyousir said...

Great post. I think the argument that gays can't effectively parent is so ridiculous. It all comes down to the person, in my opinion. There are good and bad straights and gays everywhere. Like you said, kids need some basics, with the most important things being love and support. Believe me, that doesn't come exclusively from straight parents.

Livabug said...

This is a great post! What do you mean "UNgay camp?"

thissideofchanged said...

This is a topic that breaks my heart as a mother, and ad a child of very supportive parents. The statistics of homeless queer teens, suicide rates, drug abuse figures, and physical violence counts are appalling.

On my militant days, I say that gay kids have no business even trying to grow up in straight households because there is NO way that a straight parent can get it. I realize that's just my militancy speaking, though, because you and G are both right. It takes love and an ability to cover the physical needs. But it's hard for the kids in those households, too, because in this aspect of their lives, THEY end up being the educator/leader/parent.

Didn't we all?

My heart breaks for them.

crystal said...

Awesome post! Thanks :)

Blazer said...

I know what your asking is can straight parents raise happy, well adjusted gay kids. I think it is possible, but unfortunately too rare. You are right, it takes some basic material items plus the always elusive unconditional love. Let's hope that more straight parents can muster up than final all important piece.

vixen kitten said...

I think straight parents can raise perfectly healthy normal gay children.

Unconditional love have nothing to do with having ever experienced something yourself. It's about understanding that someone doesn't have to be just like you, think just like you or act just like you, to be a worthy and deserving of nothing less than all your heart.

Just my humble opinion.


small town dyke said...

great post!

C said...

what a great post... all i know is the sexuality of a parent shouldnt have anything to do with loving and supporting your children and who they turn out to be. well at least it shouldnt but the reality is that it too often does and that breaks my heart. there is nothing more important than the love for your children and to me if a parent disowns their child simply for being gay then i have to wonder how deep their love is after all. there is nothing my kids could ever do that would stop me from being there for them, even if i didnt approve of what they were doing. you must find a way to work it out with your child rather than lose them or disown them. two of my four kids are gay. the oldest and the youngest. i thank god that they are with me because another family may have done the disowning thing and even the thought of that breaks my heart. some of my sons have had friends in high school who's parents kicked them out for being gay.
my heart goes out to those kids who have no one to support them, who have no one to tell them they are beautiful just as they are... and its ok they are gay. no one asks to be born, we just are.. and i cannot fathom raising a son or daughter all those years only to bail out on them when they need you the most.
thanks for bringing awareness to this issue, i didnt realize it was this bad and i wish it wasnt true.

hugs jude..

C said...

oh and yes its moi again but i wanted to say something about the ungay camp.. WTF is wrong with people... i cant imagine what kind of shaming goes on there in those camps and that should be illegal. its like sending your child to a camp to convince them they are the opposite sex of how they were born. IMPOSSIBLE.


Dragon said...

I think the more open and understanding straight parents can. My mom had a hard time at first but with gay friends of hers (and now mine) it was smoother then it would have been. It is sad, my best friend's adopted son was put into foster homes of straight families that kept trying to send him to places to "fix him". He of course started having problems. He still has problems now with my friend (who is also gay) and has to go to doctors to get help at times. It is a strugle but he is determined to help him. He told me there are so many teens in the same boat. Runaways, drug addicts, or they commit suicide because no one to turn to. So very sad!

On a brighter note, I have an award for you on my blog.

makingspacethejourneyout said...

Excellent post. Spot on.