There was an episode of the West Wing called “The Stackhouse Filibuster” which features an older senator who, for some reason, is opposed to a family wellness bill; he ends up on the floor of the senate pulling a Strom Thurmond-esque filibuster. It takes the staff a little while to figure out what’s going on and why this nobody of a senator is out making a muck about a nothing of an issue. Well, it turns out that his grandson has autism and the bill was lacking funding for autism. Nobody would listen to him, so he did what he had to do. Martin Sheen’s character, President Bartlett said, “Don’t ever, ever underestimate the will of a grandfather. We’re madmen, we don’t give a damn, we got here before you and they’ll be here after. We’ll make enemies, we’ll break laws, we’ll break bones, but you will not mess with the grandchildren.” The letter, as featured below reminds me of this, a lot.
I’m dissappointed in you as a daughter. You’re correct that we have a “shame in the family,” but mistaken about what it is.
Kicking Chad out of the house simply because he told you he was gay is the real “abomination” here. A parent disowning her child is what goes “against nature”.
The only intelligent thing I heard you say in all of this was that “you didn’t raise your son to be gay.” Of course you didn’t. He was born this way and didn’t choose it any more than he being left-handed. You however, have made a choice of being hateful, narrow-minded, and backward. So, while we are in the business of disowning our children, I think I’ll take this moment to say goodbye to you. I now have a fabulous (as the gay[sic] put it) grandson to raise, and I don’t have time for [sic] heartless b-word of a daughter.
I [sic] you find your heart, give us a call.
This started getting traction when FCKH8 posted it and then the folks over at Huffington Post found it. The series of pipes and tubes has been ablaze with cat fur ever since. Comments on facebook keep rolling in, in support of the grandfather and grandson. This is what happens when you piss off a grandparent, he doesn’t have much time left, and what time he has left, he’s not spending on bullshit. Plain and simple. The life of an American gay teen is rough to begin with, this author remembers it well. Projects like Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better”, FCKH8, and school sponsored GSAs, among many other noble causes, have done amazing things to make it more okay to be a gay teen.
Unfortunately, this brings me to the real reason for this article. Linda Harvey of the group Mission America has stated, unequivocally, that protecting gay teens is “pure evil”. On her radio show on Wednesday, September 11, 2013, Harvey told the audience that (thanks to Right Wing Watch for the audio):
Last week the executive director of one of the nation’s most radical homosexual groups, GLSEN, spoke at the civil rights commemorative march in Washington. Eliza Byard of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network is, I’m sure, sincere in her beliefs. But GLSEN’s idea of promoting homosexuality and gender confusion to kids is deeply harmful and these behaviors are certainly not anything close to civil rights.
And if calling GLSEN a radical group that is promoting homosexuality to kids wasn’t crazy enough, she continued:
Why are we in such a place, friends, where children learn that homosexual behavior is noble, that amputating healthy body parts is admirable but the mention of Jesus Christ during a graduation ceremony is controversial? I’ll tell you how: It’s because not enough of us are calling this lunacy what it is. We need to have a clear idea about what is evil and speak up about it in order to preserve the good. These actions are pure evil and should be declared child abuse. This all starts with the lie that homosexuality can ever be a good thing or that changing one’s gender can ever be in the child’s long-term best interest when it’s easy to demonstrate that it’s not. source
Now, let’s dissect her argument here. She starts with setting up a straw man in GLSEN, and not to jump on the straw man fallacy too hard here, but that’s what it is. GLSEN seeks to educate the public about gay rights and equality issues. They help students organize Gay-Straight alliances in high schools and colleges. They’ve done a lot to help turn the tide toward equality. But don’t confuse her with the facts, she’s already made up her mind.
Now, on to her false equivalency: mentioning Jesus Christ in a graduation ceremony is, in fact, controversial. But it has nothing to do with equality for LGBT people. (I never know when to use LGBT or LGBTQ or LGBTIQ. I will surrender my gay card at the next agenda meeting.) The mentioning of Jesus in a graduation ceremony has everything to do with the First Amendment to the Constitution, where it says, “congress shall establish no church.” A student is free to mention, in her own prepared remarks, her faith and Jesus and God and all their friends. But it’s not okay when the school forces it or sanctions it. It’s also not generally accepted for students to bring up matters of sexuality at graduation, you know, because little brothers and great grandmas are in the audience.
My favorite part of the whole thing, I mean seriously favorite, I just want to hug her so bad, is when she invokes child abuse. Because, you know, helping children get through a tough time is child abuse. They should be made to suffer in confusion like so many before them have, this author included. They should be made to withstand ridicule from their peers, be attacked both physically and verbally, threatened, taunted, estranged, and hated. Because, that’s not child abuse in her skewed world. That’s just healthy child rearing.
I see where her problem lies, it’s her. She’s imagining that the entire world must think like her and act like her. I mean, whenever I see a gay kid, I just start telling him how wrong he is for being gay, even though I am gay too. I don’t want him to make the same mistakes I did, you know. I mean, besides having a wonderful partner and a really cute puppy in a beautiful house with no children and disposable income, it’s just awful being gay. I feel like the friends and family that helped me become a functioning adult who is happy with himself, really abused me.