I’m more than contented to let Robert Oscar Lopez and Dawn Stefanowicz and their various colleagues reveal to the world the intricate and painful realities of growing up in a gay household. As a straight spouse, I’m concerned with something a bit more basic:
Gay households deprive children the opportunity of learning to orient toward the same and opposite sex in wholesome ways.
I think it bears repeating: homosexuality isn’t about sex; it’s about one’s orientation toward the same and the opposite sex in all dimensions of human relationship. Kids need to see the camaraderie, the collegiality that can exist in opposite-sex friendships. They need to get a sense of a wholesome and emotionally healthy identity of masculine-feminine. They need to observe heterosexual relationships. They need to get a sense of the complementarity of masculine and feminine natures.
This just isn’t offered in gay households. The gay community is insular. There aren’t many who, given the choice, mingle with heterosexuals. That means their children are overwhelmingly socialized amongst homosexuals, not heterosexuals. And homosexuals’ dynamic is rooted in what the late Leanne Payne referred to as the rejection of the True Masculine/True Feminine. Consequently, kids raised in a gay household are not going to be emotionally and psychologically grounded in their own gender identity.
I think this is overwhelmingly revealed in California, where the earliest pediatric transgender cases hitting the news media are the kids of lesbian couples — boys becoming girls.
But even apart from such drastic examples (which, in my opinion, are worse than unethical – they are criminal and should result in the children being removed from that household and placed in protective custody), imagine the self-doubt that occurs in kids who have gay parents! Kids go through a phase, in early puberty, of intense friendship. This experience is healthy and normal; a century or so ago, it was not uncommon for girls to have crushes on women teachers or other role models, to walk around with an arm around one another. . . now that ordinary, wholesome experience has been sexualized to the detriment of our children. “If Mom/Dad is gay, does this mean I’m gay, too?”
Kids bond with their parents. That means it has to be so much harder for the daughter of a gay man to learn to bond with heterosexual men; she simply doesn’t know what real masculinity looks and feels like, she’s thoroughly oriented — imprinted — through her relationship with her father.
Now, these concerns are not irreversible. Gay parents could be proactive, taking the initiative to socialize their kids with their own heterosexual friends. But will they? None of the ones I know think it’s anything to bother about.