By Kiechle H.
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Additional resources for Derivations
I heard about one mother who just kicked her son out. I could never do that. I love him dearly. Parents also fear for themselves: While gay children may have exited their “closet” by coming out to their parents, the parents suddenly find themselves newly “closeted”—the parents of a gay child. Who can they tell? What will others think of them as parents? ” Will they be rejected and shunned? Parents may be ashamed to admit these worries to their children, but they were among the most salient concerns articulated to our interviewers.
How can I go against long-held biases? As Amy, the forty-six-year-old The Heterosexual Family Myth mother, admitted, “None of our friends had gay sons. ” Amy felt singled out and isolated as a result of learning that her son is gay. For some parents, this is the first time in their lives that they have had to face prejudice or injustice. They certainly have never before felt shame, guilt, and anger regarding the public perception of their own child. This overwhelming sense of uniqueness and isolation, we suggest, stems from the powerful antihomosexual social attitudes of our society.
We’ve found a way to deal with this. What we once thought of as a terrible burden has become a gift. Listen to us. ” What they tell us is that parenting today is an art, as much as it is a skill. Child-rearing in modern American society requires parents to acknowledge the separateness of children, to value difference in them and the world around them, and to foster the growth of their unique talents and spirit. They may not always know what to do as parents, they say, but they must always approach the task by listening to their hearts.