There has been a lot of emphasis among gay advocates lately to show that gay families are healthy and normal and that children raised in gay/lesbian households are as happy and well-adjusted as any other kids.
Of course, it is not unlike ethnic minorities who have to show no weakness, or else that weakness will be attributed to their ethnicity. So, kids do have the burden of having to show that they are “normal” (whatever that means) even though they are raised by gay parents.
For the child of same-sex parents, I do not believe that they personally find anything odd about their life. If they come from a home with two loving parents, that is all they need.
However, this child has to go out into the world and face prejudice and questions about their life. These are questions that mainstream children never face.
As children hit those ages where peer equality and acceptance is so important, they have to deal with kids who use whatever they can, to establish their standing in the group.
“That’s so gay!” is a statement bandied around the school playground frequently. It may not be used as a pejorative, but the statement in itself is a judgement. When said, that person is not extolling the virtues of something.
I have had discussions with my own kids about the use of this statement. I am assured that nothing is meant by it, that it is just a phrase. Nevertheless, the statement puts a judgement out there that if something is “gay” that means it isn’t desired.
Homophobes would like to prove that gay parents could not possibly be good parents because, in their view, their “lifestyle” is a perversion. They are also convinced that gay parents would influence their children to be gay as well, since they believe it is somehow passed on through osmosis.
If being gay could be encouraged, then by the same logical reasoning so could being straight. Most gay people were raised by straight parents and yet they didn’t give in to the pressure to be straight (well, maybe for a little while, and then they came to their senses).
Again, people have to be exposed to gay families to understand that they are just like everyone else. They work, go to school, join soccer and go to PTA meetings like everyone else.
I see more and more same-sex families at school functions. It is becoming less of an anomaly than it once was. Our five-year-old was recently praised by her teacher at the Mother’s Day tea party at her school, that she had worked extra hard on her Mother’s Day gifts because she had to make two for her two Moms!
She felt proud and just a little special.