Cathy Lee Knight: Your hatred will not protect your children
I took my daughter to church nearly every Sunday since the day she was born. I had her baptized. I picked the best god parents for her who taught her about Jesus and read her the teachings of the Bible. I did everything I could do to make sure she grew up with morals and values.
Growing up, she was a sweet girl who loved her long hair but hated wearing tights. She was popular in school and had great friends. She got exceptional grades in most subjects, even though she struggled in math and P.E. She got her first job at the age of 15 and was a hard worker. She sang in church and in her school choir until she was 18. She went to college and graduated. She got a job in social work right after school. I have always been proud of her.
There was nothing I could have done differently to change the fact that she is a lesbian. There was nothing I could have done as a parent to make her identity any different. When my daughter told me who she was, I had only one choice: to support her and love her.
If I had known who she’d become, I might have approached “the talk” a little differently. I might have bought some additional books for her to read. I might have chosen my words more carefully. I certainly wouldn’t have sent hateful letters to our local library in their attempt at inclusivity and diversity just to pretend that I could shield or change my child.
As parents, we do not get any say in who our children become. There is nothing we can say or do that would change a child’s LGBTQ+ identity. We, as parents, only get a choice in the way we show up for our children.
If you are a parent or grandparent who is sending hate mail to our local library right now because they have decided to put on inclusive programming with a Drag Queen Story Hour, please stop. Your children and grandchildren are watching you. Your hatred will not protect them.
Only love can do that.
Cathy Lee Knight
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