For Discussion: Gay Writer Pens Essay About 6-Year-Old Daughter “I Want My...

For Discussion: Gay Writer Pens Essay About 6-Year-Old Daughter “I Want My Kid To Be Gay Too”

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Sarah Hansen Willa Hansen-Kohn Sally Kohn

Gay Activist Pens Essay Wishing Her Kid Would Also Be Gay

Is something wrong with our society that the idea of a gay parent wanting their kid to be gay too automatically comes off jarring? Gay activist and political pundit Sally Kohn has stirred up a lot of controversy with her latest Washington Post Op-Ed “I’m Gay And I Want My Kid To Be Gay, Too” but she raises some pretty good points. We’re including a few excerpts below and we welcome you to join the discussion after checking them out or reading the full piece at WaPo…

Here goes:

I’m gay. And I want my kid to be gay, too.

Many of my straight friends, even the most liberal, see this logic as warped. It’s one thing for them to admit that they would prefer their kids to be straight, something they’ll only begrudgingly confess. But wanting my daughter to be a lesbian? I might as well say I want her to grow up to be lactose intolerant.

“Don’t you want her to be happy?” one friend asked. Perhaps he just meant that it’s easier to be straight in a homophobic culture. But this attitude complies with, even reinforces, that culture in the first place. A less-charitable interpretation is that he thinks being straight is superior. When I was a teenager, my father cautioned me against marrying a black person. “I’m just trying to protect you,” he said. But it was impossible to know whether he meant to insulate me from the world’s bias or implicitly rationalize his own.

We’ve gotta give Sally some points off rip for being honest about her father’s warning. She goes on to make some points about how her hopes are more about her child being free to make whatever choice she’d like to make regardless of what the world perceives would be easier for her:

If my daughter is gay, I don’t worry about her having a hard life. But I do worry about people expecting her to have a hard life — helping to perpetuate discrimination that might otherwise fade more quickly. I want my daughter to know that being gay is equally desirable to being straight. The problem is not the idea that homosexuality could be a choice but the idea that heterosexuality should be compulsory. In my house it’s plainly, evidently not. We’ve bought every picture book featuring gay families, even the not-very-good ones, and we have most of the nontraditional-gender-role books as well — about the princess who likes to fight dragons and the boy who likes to wear dresses.

When my daughter plays house with her stuffed koala bears as the mom and dad, we gently remind her that they could be a dad and dad. Sometimes she changes her narrative. Sometimes she doesn’t. It’s her choice.

It becomes even harder to take issue with Kohn by the end of her essay because she does state several times that ultimately her desire is for her daughter to be happy with whatever choice she makes.

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It also appears that so far she’s failed to raise a lesbian, as Kohn relays a story about her young daughters interest in boys already:

Time will tell, but so far, it doesn’t look like my 6-year-old daughter is gay. In fact, she’s boy crazy. It seems early to me, but I’m trying to be supportive. Recently, she had a crush on an older boy on her school bus. She was acting as any precocious, socially awkward child would, which is to say not very subtle. I confided in a friend who has an older daughter. “She wants to give this kid a card and presents,” I e-mailed. “The other kid is so embarrassed. It’s painful to watch. What do I do?”

My friend wrote back with a slew of helpful advice, ending with a punch to my gut: “Bet it wouldn’t bother you so much if her crush was on a girl.”

She was right. I’m a slightly overbearing pro-gay gay mom. But I’m going to support my daughter, whatever choices she makes.

That said. Do you have any problems with Kohn’s essay? Do you think that children raised by gay parents will feel pressure to be gay? Kohn talks a lot in her essay about raising her daughter Willa in the liberal bubble of Park Slope, Brooklyn. Do you think there will come a day when all of America carries the same kind of gay positive or at the very least a more tolerant attitude toward homosexuality? It seems like terms like “alternative lifestyle” have become more and more unfavorable as people become more progressive. Is this a good thing?

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Would you raise your kid to believe that it’s okay to be gay? What do you think is the most important takeaway from Kohn’s essay?

Facebook/SallyKohn

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