Thursday, April 5, 2012

To My Child

I had a few people question why I wrote my piece titled "Love and Marriage" given that I am not gay or particularly an "LGBT activist" - this I find bizarre, as if to say I have to be part of the group in order to stand up for what I consider a matter of civil liberties rather than an issue of sexuality. I've never been a prisoner or known a prisoner either but continue to support humane treatment of them and investigating miscarriages of justice.

But I thought about the question further and it did evoke a personal connection that I had forgotten about. My son has always loved to dance, he could dance well before he could speak, it was his first real form of expression. So naturally I wanted to encourage it and the only form of dance classes for his age at the time was tap and ballet. He went, loved it and excelled, I noted he was the only boy but didn't think too much about it until a mother started talking to me one day as we watched our children practise.

"My son would probably like this too, but my husband won't let him come"
I naively responded, "Oh why's that then?"
"You know, it might make him gay" I had to let those words bounce around a bit to see if they ever made sense IT - MIGHT - MAKE - HIM - GAY. Nope still no logical basis for the statement.
Sadly I didn't tackle this full on because I was in a bit of shock and took a while before I put the statement together with the assertion that this dancing lark would alter my child's sexuality in some way. Which was already a wrong thought process, ie it assumes my child is not gay in order for it's sexuality to be altered. See how subtle those seeds are planted. Anyway I digress. I firmly believe in the nature rather than nurture argument when it comes to LGBT issues, I don't believe activities make people gay, hence my reaction to this oxygen thief's assertion that dance classes would make my son gay.

Then I thought about how any of my children could be gay they just haven't reached an age of awareness yet. So in that role of protector parent, I want them to grow up in a world where being who they are or may be isn't a problem, that people wouldn't be there with their hateful undercurrents or passive aggressive attitudes. It is there all too prevalently you see, within two weeks some of the children had teased my son into not wanting to go to dance classes any more - the fuel had come from their parents. He still dances, but won't go to a class because of it. My kids have come home from school telling me how men can't love other men and ladies can't love other ladies, I correct this, but where is it coming from?

So this is a personal reason why I want to fight for better LGBT acceptance and rights, along with believing that all humans regardless of sexuality, gender, race, age, socio-economic background, religion etc deserve an equality of acceptance in society. Sadly we're along way from this utopia at the moment, whilst things have indeed got better in the mainstream and majority. We still have an underbelly of spite as was clearly surfaced last month when people decided to hijack the #tomyunbornchild hashtag meme that was trending on Twitter, a sweet meme where people sent tweets to their future children.

Sadly the same mentality that likes to hijack Facebook tribute pages came out in force in a hateful way as illustrated in this video where the tweets are realised by actors to show how disgusting these tweets were.

and captured here in a Storify timeline

Hopefully we can reverse this underbelly by confronting the hate and speaking back


  1. In my twenties, I had a conversation with an older woman, who was mum to a child around my age. Her daughter was a lesbian.

    Mum said that she found this incredibly disappointing, from the point of view that life is hard enough, and yet her daughter made it harder upon herself by being a lesbian, as if she had some choice in her sexuality. Those words struck me then, and still do so now, and to me demonstrated what I call 'benign ignorance'.

    We fight overt prejudice, usually loudly, yet I can't help wonder if it is the softer, quieter, 'benign' voices that sometimes, we really need to hear to begin to understand the roots of the prejudice, and to start cutting them away.

  2. I think it is the mutterings, the benign ignorance etc that is the most damaging. We often feel over reacting to call it out or challenge it for what it is. When in fact it is that very area that causes the damage.