It’s amazing how having your kid come out can change a conservative’s viewpoint and I never understand why they can’t get there without their kid making them think. Gay children come from straight parents. Why is that so hard for some people to grasp? Now Senator Rob Portman’s kid has made him change his views. Well good for him.
The same thing happened in our family after Mom and Dad finally figured out my brother and I were gay. They were registered Republicans and after several years of adjustment and finally accepting we weren’t doing it to be obnoxious or to hurt them figured out that maybe church, the bible and society might be wrong. When they lost a friend to AIDS in the early 80’s, a friend from church choir no less, it got real. At the time Ron Reagan was saying it was a punishment from God and refused to allocate any money to research treatment or to meet anyone in the White House who had it. If he hadn’t been so all fired stupid there might have been a cure sooner and no epidemic.
When the penny finally dropped and Mom got tired of hearing nastiness from the Republicans she started voting Democratic but stayed a registered Republican. Mom decided she could no longer vote for people who wanted to hurt her children. It took her years to get there but she did and I suspect that’s where Sen Portman came to stand.
The fact is that if you have a heart and think it through and you know who your children are, a parent changes their mind and comes out too.
If they are honest they realize their child didn’t wake up one morning and decide to make life difficult for the parent. The child is honestly being who they were born to be. At that point their child not being able to get married, get a good job, visit their partner in the hospital or simply walk down the street without being harassed becomes important.
How many times does it have to be said – Gay children come from straight parents. Parents raise you to be straight because they assume that is what you are going to be. That fact that we buck the programming that our parents and society surround us with says a great deal about how strong the impulse to be true to ourselves is. Heterosexism is every where. We can’t avoid it. It’s in movies and tv and books and advertising and house of worship and school and we still come out. Doesn’t that say how deeply entrenched our sexuality is?
I salute Sen Portman for his brave choice. He may lose the next election but he has a proud son.