With events over the recent days with the comments from Jeff Kennett (The Chairman of Beyond Blue) regarding gay and lesbian parents, stating that the best environment for children is in a loving family unit with a mother and a father.
The comments have caused concerns within the GLBTIQ community. I also think it is a concern for people out there who have yet to come out, because of the issues they have to deal with coming out and how it affects them. As a gay parent myself and having worked with people coming out who are also parents, this is the last thing that needs to be put out there in the public by a person who regards him high up in the chain of command of an organisation that is supposed to be the national body for battling depression.
If Jeff could spend one session with me with a parent who is dealing with coming out and how they are going to cope, I am sure he would retract his comments as fast as he could say “I am sorry”. Coming out as a person is hard, but coming out as a parent is even harder, as you have to deal with issues of betrayal, guilt and depression as you have that extra element of telling your children. A number of parents who have come to me have expressed great concerns of how their childern would react to the news of their parent being gay. In most cases the children do react because of the kind of homophobia that is expressed in the media.
Being a parent also come first, regardless of the person sexual orientation. A persons sexuality has nothing to do with raising children. There are children in all sorts of family units, ranging from been born into a gay family, co-parenting, Parents coming out later in life, bisexual families, poly families, parents who are transgender, and of course heterosexual. Family is about love and caring for loved ones, it should not have a criteria and put in a box with standards, because if it did, then all families would have failed the test.
We teach our children to not judge and to be accepting of peoples differences without judgement. But as adults we cannot adapt the same teaching ourselves. We do really need to take a dose of our own medicine.
This is now the chance for the wider community to support organisations within the GLBTIQ community, that are the unsung heros, such as ALSO foundation, Gay and Lesbian Switchboard, Bi-Alliance, Zoe Belle Gender Centre, VICAIDS just to name a few. So if you want to donate to a worthy organisation, look at one in our own backyard, they can sure do with a few dollars within the community.
Also check out the Homovember website….
I will keep you updated with this project……