I grew up in a city where rainbow flags were as commonplace as American ones, where the school I attended in first grade was named after a gay rights activist and where having two moms or two dads left me wondering why I only have one of each.
That said though, it never fails to shock me when I am reminded of the hate that still permeates the notion of homosexuality.
Leandra forwarded me an article today wherein a mother disowned her son for being gay. No matter how many times you’ve heard similar stories, it is always heart breaking to read about ignorance and where this one caused a similar sinking feeling, it also offered a ray of light from the boy’s grandfather, who wrote the below letter to his daughter, the disowner of his grandson:
I’m disappointed in you as a daughter. You’re correct that we have a “shame in the family”, but mistaken about what it is. Kicking Chad out of your home simply because he told you he was gay is the real “abomination” here. A parent disowning her child is what goes “against nature.” The only intelligent thing I heard you saying in all this was that “you didn’t raise your son to be gay.” Of course you didn’t. He was born this way and didn’t choose it any more than he being left-handed. You however, have made a choice of being hurtful, narrow-minded and backward. So, while we are in the business of disowning our children, I think I’ll take this moment to say goodbye to you. I now have a fabulous (as the gays put it) grandson to raise, and I don’t have time for heart-less B-word of a daughter. If you find your heart, give us a call. – Dad.
His words were harsh, but it appears that hers were harsher; where the son’s mother apparently came from a place of judgement, the daughter’s father came from a place of disappointment where his divorce depends on editable variables as evidenced by his closing line — a hope for a change of heart.
The “b-word” jab could have been left out, but the rest of his letter positioned him as a strong-voiced ally not just for his grandson, but for all who struggle with the process of coming out — a reminder that where there is hate, one can also find love. That’s powerful.
But now we default to you. What do you think of his letter? Of the whole situation? It’s certainly admirable that he stood by his grandson and for gay rights at large, but in disowning his own daughter on the premise of flagrant disagreement, is he actually teaching her a lesson? Or is he proving that the apple doesn’t fall far from its tree?