Since Justin and I are planning to have children at some point, we talk about them a lot. We discuss their names, whose nose or eyes they’ll have, how we hope they’re healthy and have curly hair.
But along with talking about the good/hopeful stuff, we talk about the “bad” stuff sometimes, too – aka, the hard stuff. We hope they don’t turn out to be delinquents. We hope they don’t turn out to be difficult or hard to deal with (moreso than a typical teenager should be, let’s say).
I ask Justin questions about our future children all the time, and sometimes the questions are serious because I’ve thought about these facets of child-rearing and want to get his thoughts.
One such question was, “Would you rather our daughter be atheist or a lesbian?” Justin’s preferred child is a daughter, so thinking in terms of his little girl was difficult.
Both Justin and I are religious in our own ways, and hope our children will be, too. In spite of this, he answered that he would rather she be atheist. This stunned me that he hoped so much that our child wouldn’t be gay, that he would rather she be anti-religious.
My brother and my husband think very similarly on many topics, so I asked Luke this question as well. Same answer.
Is your child being gay really so much of a scary thing?
Gay is simply another part of who one is. Being gay doesn’t make you any more intelligent, or any dumber, or any nicer, or any more of an asshole. All the word “gay” defines is who one loves – not personality flaws/enhancements.
(Truthfully, it’s much scarier to me that my child wouldn’t have some sort of faith system. I would have a harder time dealing with something like that, but I still maintain that that decision is up to them.)
But here’s why I wanted to write this post: so many parents are, in my opinion, far too concerned with what they “want” for their children and not nearly concerned enough with wanting their children to feel loved. They would rather their child be “perfect,” in their opinion of what perfect is, than to feel comfortable in their own skin.
Justin struggles with the idea of, “I don’t want my children to be gay, but I’ll love them even if they are.” Luke just focuses on the first part. I’m sure he’d still love his children, of course, but the idea of someone of his own blood being gay really upsets him. That is his personal preference and he is welcome to feel however he feels.
Here’s my thing.
I don’t want my children to be gay. And I don’t want my children to be straight. I don’t want them to marry someone who is black or Mexican, but I don’t want them to marry someone who is white like us, either. I want them to be who they are. All of my personal afflictions don’t matter for them – they only matter for me!
I’m not gay, so I married a man. I was attracted to Justin and he happened to be white. He could have been another race just as easily, but he wasn’t. Neither of those things matters whatsoever to my future child. They are going to fall in love with whomever they choose, and that will be that. Just because I chose those components in who to love has absolutely no bearing on what my children will feel. I think it’s incredibly asinine to assume that your children will pick the very same path you did just because you created them. You didn’t create a clone – you created another thinking, breathing, living human! Who can think on their own! That should be nurtured, not condemned because it isn’t identical to your own.
To simply make a blanket statement and say that I’m not going to have any opinion at all on who they want to spend the rest of their life with would be unrealistic. But I’m going to raise my children to know and to appreciate that I don’t care who they become, as long it is safe and good for them. I want them to be who they were born to be, no matter what that ends up being. As long as it makes them happy and it doesn’t hurt anybody else, then it won’t bother me either.