i dont hold a grudge against my parents for the things they said about gay people when i was younger because they’ve both changed a lot and supported me immediately after i came out, but…… i really cant stress enough how deeply harmful it is for a gay child to grow up with parents who just assume their child is straight
it’s so so easy to see heterosexuality as the default and unwittingly disparage your children to their faces. it’s never YOUR kid that’s gay, it’s always your neighbor’s kid or your boss’ kid– when you’re ignorant and straight it’s easy to think that way. and i swear to god, my upbringing and my struggle to come to terms with being a lesbian could have been so much easier, soooo fucking different, if my parents had just every once in a while been aware enough to realize they might be talking to a gay child when they told me that: pretty gay women are a waste of beauty, gay relationships are something children shouldn’t be “exposed” to, gay people are “freaks,” and finally………… they’re glad their child isn’t gay because they wouldn’t want a loved one to have that burden.
and the thing is, overall, day-to-day, week-to-week my family was not overtly homophobic. those comments were spaced years apart, and usually gayness didn’t even come up in our household. but i fucking remember everything they said, every remark they made, because it made me panic and it made me deeply, deeply sad. i can forgive and move on from those moments, those pivotal moments when i was impressionable and vulnerable, but i can’t unhear anything that was said. and they can’t take any of it back. i have a great relationship with my parents now but that pain is still there, because that little 8 year old, 12 year old, 15 year old kid heard those things and absorbed them.
parents should always remember their kid is listening, and– SHOCK!– their kid isn’t necessarily straight!!!