To the Editor
By Lisa DelCol
As the parent of a transgender child, your headline The mom who made it “cool to love your gay kid stopped me cold. I was insulted and offended for both my child and me.
Read the story here: The mom who made it cool to love your gay kid
When was it not cool to love your gay kid? Do gay kids have to earn their parents’ love? From whom did I need to get permission and affirmation to show the world that my trans child is as worthy of my love as their twin?
Then I read the article. As you quote Sara Cunningham: “Voices matter; stories matter.” I agree, so I would like to share mine.
My child was 14 when they came out to our family four years ago. They were still in the process of defining themself, but as it stands, they are non-binary.
Yes, there was a learning curve, but there was not a single moment when a) I did not love my child or b) I gave a rat’s ass whether it was “cool” to love my child. I’m a parent, and I love my children. There are no conditions, and I will do whatever it takes to support either of my kids as they become independent young adults - and beyond.
Perhaps fortunately, I am an atheist, so I did not have to reconcile what I know to be right with misguided teachings of what it means to be a “good” person, based on ancient texts written by a handful of men.
And I take exception to the self-congratulatory celebration of finally reconciling a person’s gender identity with religious teachings, with a philosophy that states identifying with anything other than the male/female binary make a person less-than, or unworthy in the eyes of some supreme being.
You gloss over Sara’s rejection of her child’s identity as “regrets.” I know too many people - many grown adults - who are scarred by that type of rejection, even after they have come to some type of understanding within their families.
We parents are supposed to be the people that our children can have 100 percent confidence in. We’re supposed to have their backs, no matter what. That is a foundational trust that has been broken. So maybe some parents feel good about themselves for overcoming that “obstacle,” but that’s the problem - seeing it as an obstacle, rather than just another facet of this child we love.
So, while I commend Sara Cunningham for trying to bring some positivity to members of the LGBTQ community, please, don’t make it harder for parents who are struggling with this by adding the burden of “coolness.”
How often do we tell our kids that they should be themselves and that it doesn’t matter what other people think of them? Well, you just told them - and their parents - that it does.
Copyright The Gayly 12/2/2018 @ 6:33 a.m. CST.