Gay Parents

August 14, 2008

I found a great site recently – Hulu.com – which brings you legit, full episodes of television and movies with minimal commercials. It is a bit dangerous as it definitely encourages some hard-core procrastination. But it also provides access to some really quality content.

An example is an episode of 30 Days on same sex parents. For those of you remember the brilliant documentary Supersize Me, this is creator Morgan Spurlock‘s television show takes that concept and fits it into an hour. It takes pretty open-minded, yet passionate and dedicated people and has them live the lifestyle that is the complete opposite of what they believe in or are used to, such as a gun control advocate living in a house where guns are a big part of their daily life, and a great episode where Spurlock and his girlfriend attempt to live solely on minimum wage jobs.

In this episode, a woman who passionately believes that kids need a mother and a father as parents and that gays should not be parents lives with a gay couple and their 4 adopted sons for 30 days. And for me, and this woman, the most powerful part of her experience is when she goes and speaks with kids who have aged out of the foster care system. The kids talk about how awful it was to live in group homes because there are not enough foster homes for kids, arguing that prohibiting gay people from fostering and adopting children is harming kids. And it appeared that having this mom live with this family showed her that these parents were just like most other parents – loving, dedicated, and raising wonderful children, although she still clung to the idea that, in theory, she still opposes gays parenting.

It is extremely frustrating to me that people still have these perceptions on professional and personal levels. Professionally, it has become quite clear to me quite quickly, that we desperately need foster parents and the fact that many places (luckily not in my state) deny people from caring for needy children based on who they love is absolutely ridiculous. Not only are gays just as capable to parent as straight people, but we are also in a crisis and desperately need as many qualified people as we can get (it is interesting to me to note how this also seems similar to gays in the military).

On a personal level, as a gay person, I find it extremely offensive that people automatically discount me as someone who can parent based on who I am attracted to. And I know, that even though I live in a fairly welcoming area, that I am still at risk at being accused of false allegations and people protesting against my parenting children. I feel that I am even at risk of this type of complaints just as a social worker working with children. It angers me that no matter how academically qualified, passionate, and dedicated I am to my job, ridiculous charges can still be slung at me. I just hope that this changes quickly.

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