Read this open letter to the Gay Community from a loving daughter.
She wonders why there isn’t more attention on the rest of this story,
namely the children raised by two mothers or two fathers.
Same-sex marriage and parenting withholds either a mother or father
from a child while telling him or her that it doesn’t matter. That it’s
all the same. But it’s not. A lot of us, a lot of your kids, are
hurting. My father’s absence created a huge hole in me, and I ached
every day for a dad. I loved my mom’s partner, but another mom could
never have replaced the father I lost.
I grew up surrounded by women who said they didn’t need or want a man.
Yet, as a little girl, I so desperately wanted a daddy. It is a strange
and confusing thing to walk around with this deep-down unquenchable
ache for a father, for a man, in a community that says that men are
I’m not saying that you can’t be good parents. You can. I had one of
the best. I’m also not saying that being raised by straight parents
means everything will turn out okay.
We know there are so many different ways that the family unit can break
down and cause kids to suffer: divorce, abandonment, infidelity, abuse,
death, etc. But by and large, the best and most successful family
structure is one in which kids are being raised by both their mother
And she wonders why gay people’s kids can’t be honest in talking about the
realities, for them, of gay marriage.
promotes and normalizes a family structure that necessarily denies us
something precious and foundational. It denies us something we need and
long for, while at the same time tells us that we don’t need what we
naturally crave. That we will be okay. But we’re not. We’re hurting.
She notes that children of divorced parents, adopted children of biological
parents they never knew, are “allowed” to speak out about their pain,
suffering, longing, feelings.
But children of same-sex parents haven’t been given the same voice.
It’s not just me. There are so many of us.
One of the first to publish such an account was Robert Lopez, and his
account of being ‘raised by two moms’ clearly reveals his love for his
mother, but also the long term impact that home life had on him. It opened
the door for many other children of same-sex parents who were afraid to
speak up because they loved them and didn’t want to hurt them.
In the past couple of days, that link has become inaccessible, and the
online journal that published it has been dealing with technical issues.
Which may or may not be related to the silencing Heather Barwick referred
to in her honest, open letter.
If we say we are hurting because we were raised by same-sex parents, we
are either ignored or labeled a hater.
This isn’t about hate at all. I know you understand the pain of a label
that doesn’t fit and the pain of a label that is used to malign or
silence you. And I know that you really have been hated and that you
really have been hurt. I was there, at the marches, when they held up
signs that said, “God hates fags” and “AIDS cures homosexuality.” I
cried and turned hot with anger right there in the street with you. But
that’s not me. That’s not us.
That’s not most of us. It’s the extreme left and right doing the most
outright condemnation. Most of us who are trying to engage at all, are
trying to do so reasonably and charitably. Many of us make efforts to speak
clearly and listen closely, with the courage of conviction and respect for
the dignity of those who challenge and even try to silence our beliefs,
beliefs which at core witness to human dignity.
So Heather Barwick closes her letter to the Gay Community in which she was
raised, with which she identified most of her life, who she understands
with great compassion, and appeals to now as a children’s rights activist,
I know this is a hard conversation. But we need to talk about it. If
anyone can talk about hard things, it’s us.
You taught me that.
Reproduced, with kind permission, from