Family / Family-building

Tolerance = Boredom

buy a heart lyrics Thank god(dess) for the Westboro Baptist Church. Big smooches to Michelle Bachmann, and NOM, and to Focus on the Family. Oh, and Franklin Graham, and Exodus International, and Tony Perkins (Keep up the good work, Tony, honey!)

Why, you may well ask, am I offering up gratitude and mad props to these odious entities? Well, it’s because these are all that’s left standing between me and a totally mainstream, middle-class, ordinary existence.

I remember when my once-boyfriend-then-lover-then-partner-then husband (It’s a long and winding road we walk), decided to adopt. Scouring the Internet for information, advice, guidance about how to do this thing, I found it littered with anecdotes about the rejection, the ignorance, the dirty looks and the snarky remarks encountered by gay parents. And as we grew closer to becoming actual parents, I girded myself with snappy, biting, withering comebacks to the nasty comments and stupid questions we would encounter. I was on defense with a capital DE.

And when we finally became parents, we were received with, um, not much of anything. I mean, we got the customary congratulations and kudos, and neighborly advice, and offers of clothes and scads of baby paraphernalia.

(Okay, off topic: at first, when our circle of friends generously heaped us with their bottle warmers and blankets and baby monitors and sippy cups and diaper genies and toys and an endless stream of baby crap, I thought they were being incredibly kind and giving and shed tears of gratitude over their bigheartedness. It wasn’t until years later that the blinders were torn away and I figured out they were just trying to clear out their cluttered basements of all that outgrown baby detritus, because now I had the same heaps of junk.)

So when our same-sex, interracial, non-traditional family paraded down the street, we were received with…smiles. Or nods. Or, worse, nothing! Ever. Even in Sears. Sears, dammit! Here’s me, locked and loaded for insult and injury, and I never even got the chance to unleash. And with the passing of time, the situation has eroded further. Even the kids in my children’s school are disappointingly nonplussed about our family composition.

And I feel, well…deflated. Because I sort of miss being the rebel. The outlaw. The other. Honestly, we went out of our way to adopt children (no easy feat, I can tell you that!) and become one of “those” families, making a radical socio-political statement, fighting the power, raging against the machine, and all we get is ACCEPTANCE? Tolerance? Respect? What in hell has happened to the world? Where is the outrage? Where is the disgust? Where is the indignation?

And so thank you Peter LaBarbera. I love you, Pat Robertson. Bravo, Bryan Fischer! Stay strong, Rush Limbaugh. Because I know that in your eyes, my family will always be vile and subversive, and I’ll take that over being bourgeois any day.

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  1. I love your piece. Funny, smart start to the morning.

    • Thanks Esther. 6:42 is WAY too early to be conscious, much less surfing the internet. Go back to bed.

  2. LOL! Great post! And I had a friend actually say something to me once with approximately the same meaning. We were discussing being boring and middle-aged and she said “At least you’re a lesbian.” This was meant as a compliment, of course.

    But on a more serious note, I’m also reminded of one of my favorite teachers saying “be thankful to everyone” with no exceptions. It is wasn’t for hateful people, sometimes we wouldn’t come together and make more love in the world. So, thanks Michelle et al.

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