I’m a bastard. My father left me and my mother raised me. They never married. I was an accident.
Man, I’m glad that’s out of the way. Because, as the issue of redefining marriage focuses on the welfare of children in America (because it’s always about the children), you really have to see the irony: I (and millions like myself) was conceived and raised by irresponsible heterosexuals while many responsible homosexuals are denied the right to raise kids of their own.
And although my heterosexual parents were certainly irresponsible on many occasions, my mother gave it her all. Besides my mom, there was my grandmother and my two aunts (that totals double the amount of women in a lesbian relationship!) and, yes, I was very spoiled. It got dysfunctional, but these women were my other mothers. I loved them all as such.
Then, at the age of 7, my mom found me a suitable father figure. I grew up curiously fond of that fatherly influence upon my life, yearning to impress him, be like him. About six years later, after having been unfaithful to her, he left. Soon after, she married again and found another father for me. They’ve been together since.
So, let’s recap. I was raised by four moms, three dads (two that abandoned me), and all of them are heterosexual.
Gee, with those odds, I’d almost like to try having a gay parent!
Okay okay, I’ll go easy on the rhetoric. But seriously, when you hear, headline after headline, study after study, about all the positive or negative effects of gay marriage on children, you have to ask, are we sure it’s the act of being gay or straight that has an impact on children? Are we sure it’s not just … being human?
I mean, take my case, kinship care. Guess what government studies say? It’s bad for you. Thanks, grandma and aunts, your incessantly over-affectionate upbringing proved to be detrimental in my life.
Guess what studies say about the effects of divorce and abandonment on children? Yep, you guessed it. Thanks dad(s), now I might’ve grown up confused about what it means to be a father and unless I follow a complex list of coping mechanisms, I’ll grow up scarred from it.
Frankly, we could go all day pointing at studies that explore what we think makes us who we are. But if you’re against gay marriage, you need to find an excuse other than “it’s bad for the children.” Because if my high school drop-out, twice divorced, financially and emotionally unprepared mother had a right to have me and raise me (and let me tell ya, it’s been a bumpy ride), then gays must unequivocally have that same right.
But hey, if you’re still against gay marriage, look at Rob Portman. The Republican Senator started out opposing same sex marriage, but something happened. He has a gay son. After ruminating for some time, he learned that these human complexities aren’t necessarily detrimental to society. In fact, they compliment society. For Portman himself, denying gay marriage meant denying his own son, which Portman simply couldn’t do.
For me, denying gay marriage would be to deny my own uniquely dysfunctional existence, regardless of how specifically well it worked out for me. Just like Portman, I simply can’t do that.