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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dear bigots considering parenthood...

I have some things for you to read.

First, please read about how Ashley Miller was disowned by her father for being in love with a black man.

Then, please read this post by Ed Brayton in response, which describes how a friend of his came out to his parents as gay, with rather unexpected results.

Then, consider this:

Don't have children.

If there is a “type” that you would disown your adult child for being in love with, do that child and the rest of the world a favor and don’t reproduce.

Because you never know. You never know.

This crazy thing happens when people grow up, called developing a mind of their own. Even if they don’t manage to fall in love with precisely the “wrong” kind of person according to your standards, chances are extremely good that they will turn out to be non-bigots, or at least to reject the kind of bigotry you hold dear. And then your own children will be embarrassed of you. Not because you drove them to Homecoming in a pink smart car, but because they’ve grown as a person so much more than you managed to. And outgrowing your parents physically is normal, but outgrowing them in love and acceptance is painful.

Don't set yourself up for heartbreak-- your own and your adult daughter or son's-- by deciding to create a family, operating under the illusion that you'll raise them "right" (i.e., inheriting your prejudices) so that they would never choose such a thing. That they will turn out just like you, and not better than you.

Don't count on it.

4 comments:

  1. This is such a brilliant way of putting it. Thank you.

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  2. Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They came through you but not from you and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
    -Kahlil Gibran

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  3. There are types I will let my child know I don't approve of. Rabid fundamentalists of any religion rate high on the list. But the type tends to be based on behavior, not on an inherent thing like skin shade, sexuality or national origin.

    But disown? Never. My kids are far more likely to disown their queer, pagan, porn-writing mum in search of "respectability."

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  4. This. Kids are their own people. You don't get to expect them to turn out one way or the other. You get a responsibility to care for them and accept who they end up as.

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