43 minutes ago
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Can Straight Parents Raise Gay Kids?
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.
Labels: gay civil rights