Gay community, I am your daughter. My mom raised me with her same-sex partner back in the '80s and '90s. [...] I still feel like gay people are my people. I've learned so much from you.
I'm writing to you because I'm letting myself out of the closet: I don't support gay marriage. But it might not be for the reasons that you think.
It's not because you're gay. I love you, so much. It's because of the nature of the same-sex relationship itself.
Same-sex marriage and parenting withholds either a mother or father from a child while telling him or her that it doesn't matter. That it's all the same. But it's not. A lot of us, a lot of your kids, are hurting. My father's absence created a huge hole in me, and I ached every day for a dad. I loved my mom's partner, but another mom could never have replaced the father I lost.
Gay marriage doesn't just redefine marriage, but also parenting. It promotes and normalizes a family structure that necessarily denies us something precious and foundational. It denies us something we need and long for, while at the same time tells us that we don't need what we actually crave. That we will be okay. But we're not. We're hurting.
Kids of divorced parents are allowed to say, "Hey, mom and dad, I love you, but the divorce really crushed me and has been so hard. It shattered my trust and made me feel like it was my fault. It is so hard living in two different houses." Kids of adoption are allowed to say, "Hey, adoptive parents, I love you. But this is really hard for me. I suffer because my relationship with my first parents was broken. I'm confused and I miss them even though I've never met them."
But children of same-sex parents haven't been given the same voice. It's not just me. There are so many of us. Many of us are too scared to speak up and tell you about our hurt and pain, because for whatever reason it feels like you're not listening. That you don't want to hear. If we say we are hurting because we were raised by same-sex parents, we are either ignored or labeled a hater.