I'm gay, but that doesn't mean my daughter should be
I'm a gay parent with a gay circle of friends, and I'm also a parent who will love my daughter no matter what, but there are still times when a small part of me hopes she is straight.
"Do you think you will get married some day?"
"Yes. And I will have a baby. No. I'll have two babies. They will be sisters."
"Will you marry a boy or a girl? Do you know yet?"
"I am going to marry a girl so she can have the babies instead of me."
"What will the babies call you? Mommy and Mama like you call us?"
"Probably. But I don't know if I will be Mommy or Mama. The babies will decide."
My daughter and I have this conversation a lot. Partially because I keep waiting for her answer to change. Partially because she keeps bringing it up because she pretends to marry her two friends at school on a regular basis.
She's only 5 and just learned that childbirth is painful, so her future dreams of marrying a girl may be motivated by pain avoidance. But could she be gay?
As a parent, I want to both protect my daughter and raise her to be resilient. Part of me wants her to follow her passions, to fall in love, and to see how she can challenge this world. And part of me wants her to not have to do all the work. It's hard enough to have two moms. It's hard enough to just get by some days with the amount of heartbreak all around us. Sometimes, as a parent, I just want life to be good to her. And I worry that if she's gay, it often won't be.
Yes the world is much kinder to the LGBTQ community now than it ever has been. Yes, by the time my daughter is of age to get married, if she so chooses, same-sex marriage will surely be legal and widely accepted here in the U.S. I believe (and hope) our future holds more rights and protections for the LGBTQ community.
I believe that if my daughter is gay, her life experience will look a lot different than mine did, but still. Being gay, being different, no matter how "accepted" it is, can be difficult.
What if my daughter is gay? We will love her. Gay or straight, we will love her always. Through heartbreak and struggle, we will love her always. I just sometimes hope life will go easy on her.
Updated by Bethany Ramos on 4/19/2016