Keith is a very no nonsense kinda guy when it comes to thinking. He's very logical and analytic in his approach to a debate. He's a left brainer. I am the opposite. I am very spirited and emotionally based when making decisions on what I believe. My heart wins out over my brain, every time. So our debates can get pretty intense.
how it started: we were watching the family stone
We were at the part of the movie where they're all sitting down for dinner, and it's Meredith's first time meeting the family. The family is all talking about how Thad, their gay and deaf brother & Patrick, his boyfriend, want to have a baby. Meredith's sister, Julie (Claire Danes), asks them if they care what race the child is. They look at each other with love, and confess that the baby's race or skin color would not matter, they would be so thrilled just to have the baby that none of that other stuff would matter. Then Meredith, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, asks if they are concerned about "the nature versus nurture thing", and if they're worried about whether or not being in a 'gay household' would make it more likely for a child to turn out gay. The family kind of has a laugh about how they think their mother tried to make them all gay, and Meredith becomes confused and asks "You didn't really hope for gay children did you? I mean, I don't think anyone ever really wishes for that.." and tries to explain herself by saying that a child being gay would make life harder on the child, and that a mother wouldn't want that for her children. This is where the discussion began..
When I was eight years old my parents sat me down and explained to me that my cousin (who was around 18 at the time) was going to have a baby. My immediate naively confused response was "but she's not married?" (ah, the life of a sheltered kid..). And my parents had to explain to me that, contrary to what I had been told my whole life, people can actually have babies without being married, you're just 'not suppose to'. So after that new information had sunk in, they told me that her baby was going to be black. This part didn't really confuse me at all, I knew how babies worked: half the daddy and half the mommy, so I some what understood that this must mean the daddy is black. But I was confused by the way my parents told me this with such seriousness like it held some sort of importance that I wasn't getting. "But we like black people..?" It's hard to understand at the age of eight if your parents are racist or not, but not for me, because I had other family members who were racist to compare us to. And I was sure that we were not. And my dad reassured me that yes, we do like black people, but this was a tough situation. According to my parents black people and white people who have babies aren't thinking of the consequences because the life of a biracial child is so much more difficult than a life of a white child or the life of a black child, because they don't fully belong to either group. Even then, I knew they were wrong about this. In my mind, this meant that they would belong to both groups, and could choose one or both to be apart of.
Now, twenty two years later, I have my own biracial child. And let me tell you, whether my being white and her father being black was going to affect her life in a negative way never ever EVER crossed my mind. Because I know now that no matter what your skin color is, you will face racism. No matter what your gender is, you will come into contact with sexism and people who will try to discourage you. And no matter what your sexual orientation is, you will face judgement, stereotypes, hard times, & hatred.
I don't fear the things my children will face for being who they are. I want to celebrate who my children are, ALL of who they are, and teach them that EVERYONE faces challenges in their lives. The true test is who can face the challenges, stand tall, remain loyal to their true selves, and come out on the other side stronger than what they were before. I don't want to shelter them, or shield them.. I want to walk beside them and support them.
Jade will not struggle more because she's biracial, she will succeed in areas that others fall short, because she is strong willed. Kameron will not struggle more because he is shy and soft spoken, he will show others great love when noone else will, because he has a huge heart. Keith didn't struggle more because he was black, he accomplished incredible things throughout his life, because he is the smartest man I've ever met. I did not struggle more being a chubby white girl from a small town, I have created a beautiful family that I am proud everyday to call my own. The fact is, we all have things about us that others may see as weaknesses, downfalls, or potentially troublesome qualities - but the trick is to see every aspect, every gritty detail of ourselves in the positive light of potential greatness.
I don't wish an easy, simple life for my children. My wish is that I will successfully teach them to be strong enough to deal with anything life may throw at them.
what do you think? do agree with keith, would your child being gay mean that he would have to face more hardships? maybe you are gay and want to comment about how your life was harder or the same as straight people. let me know! leave a comment ..