Monday, April 12, 2010

An Open Letter to Mike Huckabee.

Dear Mister Huckabee,

What a pleasure it was to come home this afternoon and find your recent comments on children of same-sex parents on my Google News-Feed. Oh, it troubled me for a moment, but it's given me a reason to blog again, and to address an issue that so often comes up for children with same-sex parents and their families. The judgement of our families from people who have no experience on the inside of them...

I guess it should be no surprise to me that you would call us "science experiments", but you should know that we are more often called "social experiments". There is very little science involved in the process of adoption. Where science comes into play is within the heterosexual relationship, rather. Isn't the mixing of body fluid and therefore genes more accurately a science experiment than the rigorous and sometimes enduring application process, the checks-and-balances, that a same-sex couple (or a hetero couple) must go through in order to adopt a child? Besides, get on the bandwagon Huckabee, your friends like to call us "social experiments"...

It also appears that you haven't done your research. I'll pay no mind to your opinion that totally ignores the multitude of research that has emerged from the sampling and study of children with same-sex parents. Resoundingly it's been proven that children with same-sex families are no better or worse adjusted than children with heterosexual parents. The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry finds us no more likely to be gay, to be sexually abused, to have issues with gender identity, or to have demonstrated any different gender role behavior than children reared in traditional households (AACAP, 2006).

Look Huckabee, same-sex parents are not going to stop finding ways to fulfill their dreams of creating families. There are already many children of same-sex families in our world and there will be many more. At this time, approximately "96 percent of all U.S. counties have at least one same-sex couple with children under 18 in the household" according to the 2003 Census. "Yet only seven states and the District of Columbia have laws supportive of gay and lesbian couple adoption"(Urban Institute, 2003). So, I guess what I am trying to tell you is that you're not going to stop the already burgeoning same-sex headed family by denouncing them as "science experiments", so why don't you instead try to protect all children, instead of just children with heterosexual parents, adopted or otherwise?

Furthermore, children of same-sex families more often site judgements on their families from their external worlds as more troublesome than their experience than living within their families. That's right Huckabee, be proud that you are participating in a form of bullying, that you are contributing to rhetoric that is more damaging to children than the mere experiences of growing up in a home with same-sex parents. You are also contributing to the notion that no home is better than a home with two adults who are actively seeking to provide a home to a child who is in a system where there are more children awaiting adoption, than parents who are seeking to adopt.

This is the worst part, by denouncing our families, by making public your opinion of the parents of some children, you are not only shaming our home life, you are making us acutely aware that we are not accepted, that our families are not protected, and that not only are children bullied by children, but that children can also be bullied by adults, by institutionalized prejudice. It's a horrible feeling to be a teenager or a child in a world where people like yourself insist on continually marginalizing our families. For a child to make sense of this institutionalized hate is confusing, particularly when we find our homes, and our communities, safe and comfortable, and we find the external world cold and prejudiced.

Also, to denounce our families publicly is to also say that we are not recognized as families, that we do not face the same kind of problems that traditional families face. It sends the message to us that it is not safe to ask our communities, our governments, the institutions in place to protect every tax-paying citizen in the United States, to help us if we are facing problems. Problems such as mental illness or domestic violence or poverty. That if we ask for help with these familial situations that we will not only be scorned for asking, but that our families will be scrutinized as problematic, instead of the problem itself. This institutionalized double-closeting is yet another situation that arrises from your abhorrent public behavior.

What is the best part about what you had to say today? You are actively inspiring more children to stand up for their families and to be counted, and to be visible in the debate for equal rights. I am one of those children who came out of the 80s and 90s fiercely intent on joining the cause for equality. So, today, I guess I should be thanking you, for inspiring more of us to come out, to be counted, and to demonstrate that our families will exist with or without your approval, and that we will continue to fight for our parents and ourselves until we are protected by the laws of our cities, counties, states, and nations in which we reside.

So, thanks Huckabee.
I guess.

Sincerely,
Chelsia A. Rice

8 comments:

jjy said...

beautifully stated, powerfully written. thanks, chels, for saying so many things that need to be said. love you.

Dan D (with the elbows) said...

Nicely written, Chelsia.

Mrs. Gardner said...

I hope some people who need to read this DO. Thanks for your bravery.

ChelsiaAnn said...

Please. Feel free to share it.

selena said...

Thanks, Chelsia. Very good.

Musicbreath said...

This country is not going back, ever. The more bigots like Huckabee push, the more we will stand. Not only for gay people like my own brother, but for the oppressed and helpless. It's time for good people to stand and speak up against bigots and racists. I try to do my part, thanks for doing yours.

ChelsiaAnn said...

Thanks for reading, music. I try to stay positive that insanely ignorant remarks, such as Huckabee's, will only encourage our friends, families, and their allies to be more vocal about the necessity of achieving equal rights, and how important it is that all children (and therefore their parents) are protected by law. Children are not safe when their parents aren't protected. It's a rather scary predicament for a child to feel that they may be taken from their home, and although no leader has ever implied so much, it is still a fear that I believe is hanging on for many kids. If there is so much adversity and public who is against our families then who is to say that CPS wouldn't be allowed to come in and dismantle our families at any given time under some new leadership who believes our families to be "experiments", social or science, or whatever...

cindy Gregg said...

Oh Chelsi, you are so smart and outspoken. I love that you are active and stand up for your (and my past) rights. We needed more people like you in the 80's and
90's. Keep on fighting you little experiment. lol. Let me know what I can do to further help your cause. Well said I say.