It's All Relative

by Sarah in Chicago

The well-used cliché of the outrageous homophobe that doth protest too much over their supposed adherence to the vanilla-tropes of straightdom ("I'm so straight, missionaries do me!"), until the inevitable occurs, and said 'dothing' is revealed to be so much Shakespearian hyperbole when it is found that their version of vanilla has cookie-dough in it, is a well established part of queer and progressive lore.

[and yes, I very much AM a fan of the well-crafted run-on sentence, thank you, why do you ask?]

However, what is far less revealed is that those raving anti-gay bigots that do evidently play with matching sets of luggage despite the above cliché, do nonetheless perhaps also have some queer effects (or is that affects?) down the ... well, line, so to speak. What I am speaking of, of course, is the phenomenon of the queer child of the homophobe.

I can speak from personal experience here, as I'm the spawn of two parents who are charter members of the "queer-throwing" association. My parents threw me out of the house when it was revealed that their daughter preferred vagina-diving as a sport (for the second time, natch, since their response to the first time it was revealed, namely a long river voyage in Egypt, didn't work out as successfully a strategy as they had hoped) and then didn't talk to me for nearly 8 years (thankfully I then lived in a country that plans for such eventualities, and the government stepped in to make it possible for me to go to university).

The classic line comes from my father, who thought gays and lesbians chose to be such because "it was easier, as they are afraid of the amount of work a relationship between two people so incredibly different as a man and a woman takes". Yay, Dad! Polarising sexism, ignorance, and homophobia in one theory! All we need now is some nice hard-boiled racism and we've got it hit for six.

[Oh, and btw, for the bigot nutjobs out there? All these tactics don't actually work. I'm still a big fan of the muff-spelunking.]

Needless to say, this has made me particularly sensitive to those queer kids who similarly are raised by parents who wouldn't know tolerance if it turned up in a pro-tolerance t-shirt, carrying a tolerance banner, and having a 6-foot flashing pink neon-sign of 'Tolerance Teh Rulez!" hovering overhead.

Unconditional parental love is an interesting hypothetical confluence of syllables to these people.

So, it was with a bit of a "I'm so not surprised, they're baking me a huge bloody 'Congratulations, You're Totally Not Surprised' cake" response to the revelation that the daughter of Amy Contrada, one of the leaders of the rabidly anti-gay MassResistance (interesting and ironic name for an organisation that is inherently about supporting a prejudiced status-quo ... but hey, maybe it's the intellectual elitist espresso-drinking snob in me being picky), is actually a raving lesbo.

I am a lesbian, which my mom still does not get. She just says that I am confused. I realized in around eighth grade, but I was in denial for quite some time because I was scared due to my mother constantly saying that homosexuality is wrong. How can it ever be wrong to love though? That’s what I’d like to know.
Go Claudia, it's your birthday!

This young woman is both awesomely inspiring in her courage and ability to stand up and say who and what she really is, and completely a reflection of our times. Now, admittedly, I'm only 33, but I do wish I had had the ability at her age to stand up to the person that at that age is the most important person in your life and "No, Mom/Mum, THIS is who I am" and announce it to the world. Both a needed thing to encourage others to do so too, and something that must scare you shitless, because you're inherently undermining something your parent is putting so much effort, drive, and plain-old hate into.

Because if you think Amy is going to respect her daughter for this, I've got a lovely bridge you might be interested in.

This was also after earlier this week, the Cambodian Prime Minister disowned one of his daughters after she got married to another woman. I personally love the last sentence in that piece:

Despite his action toward his daughter, Hun Sen in his speech to the graduating class at the National Institute of Education appealed to parents and society not to discriminate against gay people.
Because, you know, nothing says love and non-discrimination like throwing your daughter out of the family. Good show, old chap, good show! After a bit of further research, I discovered that during the announcement of said disowning, there was particular emphasis through the repeated use of the word "adopted" before the word "daughter" by the prime minister. Yup, not only am I throwing you out of the family, but you never really were in it to begin with! But remember, don't discriminate against gay people! Heh-heh.

Anyway, I did a little digging, and came up with this list:

Vice President Dick Cheney’s daughter Mary is a lesbian, who just had a baby with her lesbian partner, Heather.

Former Senator and arch-conservative Jesse Helms, who blamed gays and lesbians for "the proliferation of AIDS" and denouncing the use of the word gay because "there's nothing gay about them," has a lesbian granddaughter.

Phyllis Schlafly, founder of the conservative Eagle Forum, was instrumental in drafting the Republican Party platform language opposing gay marriage and civil unions, has a gay son, John.

Barry "Mr. Conservative" Goldwater (who in later years came out in favor of gay rights) had a gay grandson and a lesbian grandniece.

Nixon's Chief of Staff and Watergate convict H.R. Haldeman had a gay child.

President of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality Charles Socarides, has a gay son Richard, who was liaison to the gay community under President Clinton.

Then of course there is Alan Keyes, GOP presidential candidate, family-values harper, and the guy that tried to keep Barack Obama from the Illinois Senate seat, tossed his college-student daughter, Maya, who came out during his campaign against Barack out of the family home and cut off her tuition money.

The late California state Sen. Pete Knight who spearheaded the ultimately successful Proposition 22 that bans gay marriage in California, has a gay son, David, who married his partner during San Francisco queer marriage rush in '04.

Sadie Fields, state chair of the Christian Coalition of Georgia, who helped push the constitutional ban on gay marriage, has a gay daughter, Tess.

Bill Byrne, who was head of the Cobb County Commission in 1993 when it passed a resolution proclaiming “the homosexual lifestyle” unwelcome in the suburban Atlanta community, has a lesbian daughter Shannon.

Regina Griggs, an executive director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX)—ie the group set up to mimic and oppose PFLAG—has a gay son.

Anti-gay rights and pro-life activist Randall Terry, has a gay son, Jamiel.

Robert Mosbacher, the man heading President Bush's national reelection campaign in 2004, and later chief fund-raiser, has a lesbian daughter, Dee.

Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s half-sister Candace is a lesbian.

I swear, it's beginning to get to the point where we may be able to come up with a formula:

'P(q)' ~ 1 / 'T'

Where the probability 'P' of your child being a raving homo 'q', is inversely proportional to your tolerance 'T' of LGBTQI peeps in general.

So, you raving fundies and jeebus-freaks out there, if you want to get rid of the queers, it's fairly obvious what you need to do; ya's need to start with the luvin'!! Love ya some dykes! Lubs a fag!! Squeeze the stuffing out of a trans-peep! Because, you know, if ya just hate us, there's just going to be more of us! We're like bacteria, the more you use antibiotics, the stronger we get!

So, my concluding question ... can anyone else think of any other children or grandchildren of prominent homophobes? Because, I think we may have a trend happening here ...

And we're all doing it, so you wouldn't want to be left out of the cool kids, would you?

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