Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Your Children (No Matter What)

I just read a comment left on a previous blog entry, and it struck me that that was the perfect message to expound upon with this being Valentine's Day.
I'm straight, I have 2 kids. I spoke to them about all aspects of sexuality at several stages in their lives. I assured them that if they were gay or straight, nothing would change my love for them, why would it?? Both of my kids are straight. My daughter had the opportunity to support a close friend of hers, who had a strict religious upbringing. He felt brave enough to come forward because of that support. He doesn't have to hide who he is, and his parents actually get to know what a great kid they have!! You owe it to your children, to let them know early on that you will respect there choices. I would do anything to protect my children, and ensuring them they are loved and accepted is the ultimate gift you can give.
Strong message.  Unfortunately, as was the case with EricJames Borges, that doesn't always happen.  Too often, parents allow their own prejudices, intolerance, and myopic views come between themselves and their teens who are struggling to be accepted just for who they are.  Just the other day, a teenager posted:
All parents should be aware that when they mock or curse gay people, they may be mocking or cursing their own child. 
That is a message I've been stating for years.  I'm afraid that, especially in the so-called Bible Belt region, this plays out far too often.  The problem with that, of course, is that there will always be emotionally wounded teens left in its wake.  They've heard, probably for as long as they can remember, mommy and daddy rant about how sick or perverted or immoral or even "disgusting" gays and lesbians are.  And, of course, mommy and daddy never once took the time to recognize the fact that their own son or daughter could be one of the very people they're ostracizing.  Meanwhile, with each word cutting through them like a dagger, the LGBT teen is slowly but surely being killed by the ones who gave them life.  The ones who are supposed to love them no matter what.  Of course, when I say "being killed", I don't necessarily mean literally.  There are certainly more cases than not where the child survives the verbal abuse handed to them by their parents.  However, emotionally, they are often good as dead.  If not completely flat-lined, they suffer multiple stab wounds by the verbal dagger swung their way by their parents and are left for dead.  In some cases, it takes years for them to recover from that.  Their self-esteem thrown to the ground and run over by a 50-car freight train.

The message in the comment left on the blog entry is about love.  Coincidentally, today, Valentine's Day, is also supposed to be about the same topic.  Take time out today to show the people closest to you that you truly love them just as they are and with no strings attached.  You won't even need a Hallmark card to do that!