There’s a used book store not too far from where we live, a really amazing, huge one- and most of the children’s books are $1 each. We went the other day to check for school books, look for the series of parenting books my parents used (we found the books for 1, 4, 5, and 6 year old), and looked at children’s books.
One of the books we found was “Zack’s Story“. It’s about a little boy being raised by same-sex parents. The book is about a boy whose mixed-sex parents divorced, and who now lives with his mom and her female partner- a woman he sees as a mother but also calls by her name. It wasn’t that relevant to our situation, but I am looking for a variety of books about different kinds of families, so I didn’t immediately write it off.
There was one bit that made me put it back, though. On one page, Zack talks about how people have concerns that having gay parents will make you gay- and he refutes these concerns by insisting that one day he’ll get married to a woman.
Recently I ended up in contact with a trans woman who has grown children, she’s closeted to her children and likely always will be. I mentioned that I worry that if our kids are LGBT, people will blame us for forcing it on them. She tried to reassure me by insisting that there was basically no chance our children will be LGBT, citing (highly criticized) studies showing that lesbian mothers only have straight sons.
Why is “don’t worry, LGBT parents raise straight cis kids!” the reassurance? Why is non-traditional parenting only valid if we produce traditional children?
I don’t want any specific gender or sexuality for my children. I want them to love themselves and have an easier life than I did, but that doesn’t require them to be cis and straight.
I’ll love my children if they’re cis or trans, binary or non-binary, straight or gay or bi or pan or ace or demi or “fuck labels”. While we’re raising our children gendered, I make no assumptions that their assigned sex is the gender they’ll actually turn out to be and they’ll be allowed to play with gender to their hearts desire.
You can’t change someone’s gender or orientation. Being raised to be straight and cis didn’t make me so. Even if I were ridiculous enough to try to force my kids to be LGBT, if they were born to be cis and straight- they’ll be cis and straight. LGBT folk know this better than anyone. But there’ve been studies showing that there is a genetic component to at least sexuality. I’ve seen anecdotal evidence of transgenderism running in families as well. So, yes, it’s possible that our children are more likely to be LGBT than most of the population. Even if they aren’t more likely, there’s still the possibility that they will be.
That doesn’t mean we’re bad parents.