“I’d rather have a live daughter than a dead son.” Those were the words of Jeanette Renee, mother of Jazz Jennings, on a recent interview.
I’ve hear these words before from other parents of transgender kids when asked about learning to accept their son is their daughter or their daughter is their son. Considering the rates of suicide among transgender youth, this is not surprising.
This comes from the deep love a parent has for their child. Our children don’t always turn out the way we envisioned when they were born. Whether your child is LGBTQ or not, that often happens. Kids are not created to fulfill our dreams for them. They create their own dreams and their own life.
I got to thinking. Why don’t we hear that same sentiment about a child who is lesbian, gay or bisexual. I’d rather have a live child than a dead one.
I wonder what the parents are thinking who are so entrenched in their religious beliefs that they can’t see the harm they are doing to their precious child. Even if that child comes out, they refuse to see the beauty of the child before them.
What is it that causes that kind of blindness? I don’t understand it. I wonder what kind of god would condemn any child to hell because of who they love. When I read the Hebrew Bible and the stories in it, I wonder the same things. What kind of god wipes out an entire city or floods the world? That is not the kind of God I want in my life. Yet, I still consider myself Jewish. Maybe I’m just a take what you like and leave the rest kind of person.
After seeing the movie Boy Erased, I got a better understanding of some parents who send their gay children to gay conversion therapy. I can see where there is love for the child. And still, there is blindness. Why would a child who has been taught that being gay is a sin still be gay if it were merely a choice?
Being gay is who that child is, the same as having blond hair or blue eyes or being right handed or left handed. One can dye their hair and wear contact lenses of a different color but it doesn’t change the truth that hey are blond and blue eyed.
Maybe if parents understand the danger they put their child in by not accepting them as they are, they would take a different stance. Maybe they would love and honor their child while they took the time they needed to understand.
I know there are parents who are so indoctrinated that they will never change but I know too many who put love first and did change. They are the members of my secret Facebook group and the other Facebook groups I’m a member of for parents of LGBTQ kids. I see it every day. I hear their stories and with them, love always wins. Always!