It seems quite hard enough to explain to people that I have a “non-traditional” family structure. Yes, my parents are gay, and people often considered it a big deal. Additional stigmatization is based on my parents’ sexual identity, negatively impacting my emotional and mental health. I know some people are open to discuss it, but others don’t. So in a depressing situation where I am just trying to live my life without harming anyone, some make it impossible.
I am not a perfect individual, but I sure know the importance of respect. Both my parents are men, and they lived together for twenty years. They understand that along with their decision to come out are the compilation of distrust, disgust, judgments, and criticism that they have always prepared themselves for. As their child, I get no exemption to those negative approaches as most people I know and mingle with often make me feel something wrong with my family.
Honestly, I can’t blame them. Biologically speaking, my parents are not what people accept as normal. They do not understand how things around our housework and what type of relationships we all have. Unfortunately, even if I try my best to explain the good sides of having two dads, I can still see the disgusted expression on most of these people’s faces. But I get passed over it. I have already endured many physical, mental, and emotional torture just because of having gay parents. Some of them include:
My childhood experience when it comes to bullying was the worst. I struggled physically, mentally, and emotionally because people and kids won’t leave me alone. I don’t understand the intense hate they have towards me just because I have gay parents. It is as if it was my fault for not fitting into their societal standards. I know that my family is not the ideal one, but we love and respect each other the same as those other family relationships.
I struggled with emotional damage because kids and their parents assume that because I have gay parents, I will automatically turn out gay as well. It becomes worse when kids at my school would disrespect my parents and call them bad names. It was a huge blow of insult for me that I often find myself physically fighting with other children when I was a kid.
I didn’t know what discrimination is all about. But back when I was studying in high school, my parents kept talking about it as if it was part of their lives. One incident that I couldn’t forget is when my school required parents to participate in an event, but they didn’t allow both of my gay parents to attend at the same time. My parents told me it was not a big deal. But then, when I think about it, it was clearly an unacceptable school policy coming from homophobia, stigma, and discrimination.
LGBTQ discrimination is unacceptable and should not be tolerated in any institution. Yes, I appreciate how the world changed and became more open towards the LGBTQ community. But still, there are lots of people who are not so welcoming to the changes. As for me, the same old feeling haunts me as I get discriminated against by the idea that gay parents raised me.
Now that I am a grown-up man, though the bullying already stopped at this point, the emotional torture remains. Many people who don’t know me often almost immediately note the kind of family I have. These people show respect and appreciation in me not until they’ll get close with my family. They begin to feel disgusted and full of regrets. They get confused about whether to stay friends with me, and that’s just so heartbreaking and unfair.
It is such emotional and mental torture that makes me want to hate everything. The individuals who kept on looking down on us and thinking that we are a disgusting type of family are the ones that do not understand how lucky we are with each other.
I cannot change the fact that gay parents raised me. And even if I will be given a chance to change it, I would not. Yes, I may have a dysfunctional family, and we may not fit into society’s standard, but we are still capable of filling our homes with love and respect. Yes, I may have two dads and without a mother. But that does not define who I am. The imperfection of my family is not going to be the judgment of my future. So for those who are still bound to their homophobic perception, it is about time to accept and appreciate the LGBTQ community truly. Not only in papers and the streets but your mind and hearts as well.