Saturday, January 21, 2012

The True Meaning of Family: The Stories of Two Zac(h)s

My mother had six children from four different men.  Of the six, I only knew two.  Of those two, one was given away when I was five years old because she couldn't afford to take care of all three of us.  I met the man who provided the seed which produced me one time, when I was 16, for five minutes.  My mother, throughout my adolescent and teen years, paraded several different men into our lives.  Eventually, she married one.  And, he was a career inmate.  This was a Christian family.  This was an extraordinarily dysfunctional family. From my mid-teen into early adulthood, I would latch onto one family or another and kinda insinuate myself into their functional family structure.  I was a child screaming at the top of his lungs for normalcy, for a real family structure, for functionality.

In the U.S., every state in the U.S. permits gay adoption in one form or another.  Yet, there's still a stigma attached to the process.  The rhetoric is road-weary, so I won't even bother repeating it.  Last year, Zach Wahls went in front of the Iowa lawmakers in defense gay adoption.  Zach was raised by two lesbians:  his mothers.  Powerfully delivered, the youtube video of it has gone viral, TWICE.  His message resonates.  Throw away the garbage and hate-filled hyperbole you hear from the anti-gay advocates in regards to gay adoptions.  "They" don't matter.  "They" are speaking purely from their own fears and ignorance.  Watch the video over and again.  Check around and listen to other young people who have been or are being raised by LGBT parents.  They'll give you the real deal about what it's like to have a real, loving family.  Ask Zac about how he feels about his two dads:

I read about Zac earlier this week.  His "letter" is heartwarming and heartwrenching all at once.  This letter, again found on Wipeout Homophobia on Facebook, is much too powerful for me to try and paraphrase.  I'd rather you read it for yourself.

A Letter from a 15 Year-Old Boy to His Gay, Adoptive Dads

Patrick Wallace posted this over at HuffPost, and it needs to be shared far and wide. A little backstory: this is a kid who was taken from his frankly unfit, drug-abusing mother at age eight, thrown around the foster system, and then adopted several years later by a gay couple. As with many kids adopted that age, Zac had a lot of problems. Very often, it’s gay couples who are willing to take the kids that nobody else wants. Here is the letter that Zac, now 15, read to his family this past Christmas:

To my Family,

This is the first Christmas letter that I have ever written. I feel like since I am getting older, I should start writing a letter to the family or just talk about how I thought the family’s year has gone until Christmas.

Ever since I ended up in this family people have told me that I was lucky. I have always known that I am lucky, especially when I have two dads that love me so much as Dad and Dadio. My family is very special to me. Even when we fight and even when we argue, I know they will always love me. Yes I am a lucky boy to have ended up here after spending so many years in foster care and not knowing if I would ever have a family.

I didn’t grow with a dad. My birthmom had many boyfriends and she did a lot of drugs and partying. My sisters and me were taken from her on my eighth birthday. It was not fun to have police in my room on that day. It made me sad and this sadness I carried for many years and it got me in a lot of trouble. Then I landed in a great foster home after having lived in 12 different homes in three years. It was when I lived there that both my foster mom and social worker told me there was a family that wanted me. There was a catch: it was two dads!

Honestly, it didn’t matter to me. I told them, “well, I never had a dad, now I get to have two!”

The start was tough and rough, and I put them through hell and back. I did awful and nasty things to them both. I stole their credit card and spent thousands of dollars online. When we went on my first vacation out of the country, I stole stuff from a souvenir stand – they found out and made me go back to the shop to return the souvenirs and made me pay the lady who owned the shop for the stolen property which then I had to give to a local kid. I didn’t get it and thought they were being mean.

When I stole their American Express and maxed it buying stuff online I was only 12 years old. They were very upset, but Dad made sure I got the message of how serious this was. He took me to our local police station and reported me to the police captain for having stolen again. I was taken to an interrogation room and talked to by three police officers. All the time there I only wanted my Dad to come in and bring me home. I wanted to turn time back to before my stealing so I would not be there and I would not have hurt my parents so much. I learned my lesson and NEVER stole again!

But Dad and Dadio brought not just me into this family. They also added my brother Derrick. What I can say about Derrick is that he is really cool, he is funny, he is an awesome gay guy, he is a one of a kind guy, he is my bro. Next they added Nick. Nick can get on my nerves sometimes, but in the end he is pretty cool. He is a fast leaner when it comes to math and multiplying numbers. And with that said, I will go to the roots of the family.

Dad and Dadio. They are my parents and they are always here when I need them.

When it is dark they are the light,
When I feel frightened and chill’s,
They are the warmth I feel.
When I am hungry they cook my meals.

I did not put a lot of time into the poem, but in the poem you see my parents. The people that show me the light. The people that warm my heart when it gets dark. The people that cook my meals. If I could only ask for anything for Christmas I would only ask for my family.

By Zac
Today, I've got a wonderful family.  However, not one person in my family shares my bloodline.  They're loving and supportive.  They're accepting, and they take me just as I am, flaws and all.  We, Zac, Zach, and I, understand the true meaning of family.  And, I'm 100% certain that there are other in this world who also "get it".  As for "those guys", the ones who keep trying to disqualify us, let them keep watching their reruns of Ozzie and Harriet.  They don't understand the real world, anyway.

MEDICAL BREAKTHROUGH: AIDS is Caused by Poppers!!!

Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association and one of the leaders or the anti-gay movement said something astonishing.  According to him, AIDS is NOT caused by HIV.  Rather, it's caused by "rampant promiscuity" and the use of poppers.  According to this sage, "the average homosexual has hundreds, sometimes over 1,000 sexual partners in his/her lifetime."  I'm reminded of an old saying:  "It's better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."  You know, this is so preposterous, I wasn't even going to respond to it; however, it's so dangerous yet humorous, I now feel I must.

Humor first:  If anyone knows this idiot's address, please mail him a calendar.  The "poppers" theory is so 1984.  As I recall, that goes back to the day where they didn't have a clue as to what was killing off our community and called it "the gay cancer".  And, the only commonality they could possibly find was the little brown bottles we used to buy at the clubs.  Nineteen eighty four.  And, if the average homosexual has between 500 and 1,000 sexual partners in their lifetime, I feel severely cheated!

Why is this dangerous?  Do I really have to answer that?  This is the rhetoric that's contributing heavily to the volatile environment we see today.  The environment that's leading the children of idiots like this and their followers to think that it's alright to degrade, torment, and bully LGBT teens.  It's dangerous because certainly amongst the followers of maniacs like Mr. Fischer, and trust that there are many, there are some LGBT teens listening daily as mommy and daddy preach these words of hatred and intolerance in their presence not knowing that they are raising an LGBT teen.  As an extension, OTHER LGBT teens are hearing this type of purely ignorant but powerfully-delivered rhetoric.  And, that is one of the driving forces that leaves our LGBT teens with low self-esteem.  And, worse, it plays heavily into the escalation of the teen suicides we're seeing right now.

There are a lot of people doing a lot of very good people doing a myriad of great things towards working for a solution to the problem of hatred and intolerance towards our LGBT teens, towards stemming this tide of bullying and bullycide.  Bryan Fischer proves beyond doubt that there's still plenty of work that needs to be done.  I've said it many times before:  in order to begin to see a change in our social climate, we need a complete re-education of our society as a whole.  And, the place to start the re-education process is with the ADULTS!  The teens responsible for the bullying are merely a reflection of what they're learning from the adults.  From the politicians who use their power and influence to denounce the validity of our love for another human to the preacher who leads his "congregation" to the funerals of gays with signs of hatred to the parents who disregard, derogate or, worse, simply disown their LBGT children, the re-education will have to start with the adults.  Somebody email Bryan Fischer and tell him that class is in session.