By Tara Theresa Hill (Gay Family Life)
As the debate continues to rage over The Marriage Equality bill in New York, I can’t help but feel a bit ticked off at the situation. I’m sure that many people feel that way and normally, I try not to emote during my blog sessions, but I just have to get this off of my chest. In my conversations and discussions with people on growing up with a gay parent, someone always points out to me that it is clear that I am advocating for gay people. They say that I am not proposing a debate on the issue so much as telling them why I am in support of equal rights for gay couples. Well, yeah, that is kind of the point of my whole presentation. In one session, I even had someone ask me if I was going to try to hide my gay mother and her wife from my children. I had to stop myself from losing my temper and instead calmly responded with, “If I was really going to ‘hide’ them from my children, would I be here talking to you about this right now?”
Of course, I am in support of marriage equality. My whole goal is to try to open people’s minds by talking to them about my life experiences being raised by a gay parent. I guess it is fair to say that I am I biased. I certainly should be. Not only was I raised by my two great moms, but I also have several close friends who are gay as well. To put it simply, I have grown up around a lot of gay people. Some of my best friends are gay.
Even though I don’t like it, I can understand how someone who has never met a gay person might not know how to react to them. I can also see why a person who was raised in a homophobic environment, a household with very specific gender roles, or even some strict religious families might not understand or even like gay people for that matter. I can comprehend this because I am human and have had my own reservations about things and cultures that I am unfamiliar with. I also know that I am blessed because I was raised to keep an open mind to everyone’s lifestyles and traditions, and that other people have not necessarily had this type of upbringing. However, I believe that everyone has the power to change and that most people are genuinely good and don’t want to see others suffer. I could be wrong. I could be naïve, but those are my beliefs. I have to hold on to the hope that everyone can change if given the chance, and that we can help make things better through educating people about the diverse society that surrounds them.
My mother taught me that one of the most important things is to have compassion. I have compassion for people who are against gay marriage because they are blind to how their actions and words are hurting others. Well, it is our job to open their eyes and help them see. Given my background, I feel that it is my responsibility to help in this fight. That is why I speak. This is not just about New York or even the United States. This is about reshaping our thinking as a society. I not only speak in defense of my mother and Elena, but also for all of the gay people that I know and love. Every time I get up to speak to a group of people or write this blog, I see their many faces swimming before me, and I know what I must do. I must keep sending out the message. Yes, I am for marriage equality. Yes, I am an advocate for gay rights. Yes, I am ‘biased’ as they say, but I have a right to be. Now I ask you to ask yourself, wouldn’t you be if you were me?
The Straight Spouse Network invites the perspectives of various individuals who wish to share their unique experiences. We wish to thank Tara for allowing us to reprint her blog post. She is the daughter of a mixed orientation marriage and was raised by her lesbian mom and stepmom. Her views represent one perspective of one adult child. As a resident of New York State she is very interested in all our families having visibility and speaks with college groups about her experiences growing up.