Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Gays and Foster Care

I've been reading a lot today, but perhaps my choice of material is not the best for me.  I've been reading about gay kids in foster care and about gay foster parents.  The people who are against gay foster parents piss me off so much.  There is no eloquent way to put how I feel about them.  Obviously those apposed to homosexuals being foster parents have no idea the plight foster children face.  They have absolutely no idea what it's like to be shuffled around from home to home never feeling safe--never belonging.  Or maybe they just don't really care about anything unless it fits with THEIR agenda and their ideas of a Utopian world.    

As a child growing up in foster care I would have given ANYTHING for a home, a family, someone to love me.  I prayed for it every single night.  I still have a letter I wrote to Santa when I was 8 years old asking for a family.  I didn't really believe in Santa as a child, but I wrote to him anyway in case he might be real.  It's kind of like the atheist who prays to God before their flight takes off.  In my eight year old penmanship I told Santa I had been a very good girl and that all I wanted for Christmas was a family and a forever home.  I did not ask Santa for a heterosexual set of parents.  I did not ask Santa to make sure this family had a mom and a dad.  I would have been so thrilled to have one parent love me, but two would have been the best gift in the world.  Gender and sexuality did not matter to me.  I just wanted a home.  I just wanted to be loved.  I just wanted to be safe.  I am sure that there are some foster children that would not want to be with gay parents but I think the vast majority of foster children don't care. 

I know my blog makes me seem as if I am a very troubled woman, but in reality I'm pretty put together.  I support myself, I put myself through college and am going to go to graduate school.  I have friends.  I have a life.  Yes, I am struggling right now.  I'm struggling to find my place in this world.  I'm struggling to place my childhood somewhere.  I have PTSD, take an anti depressant, need pills to sleep, and I am in therapy, but I am a pretty decent human being.  I also happen to be in a lesbian relationship.  I have been with my girlfriend for five years.  We would make great parents when I am emotionally ready to care for a child.  We have a lot of love to give and someday that love will go to a foster child.  To say that because I am with a woman means that I am more likely to molest a child makes me sick.  Do the people who say this actually believe this?

Perhaps they only mean gay men are more likely to rape little boys.  We all know that's far worse in today's world than a straight man molesting a girl child.  For some reason the sexuality of little boys is far more precious than little girls.  I don't agree with this or understand it.  Why is it worse for a man to rape a little boy than a little girl?  No one will actually admit to this, but we all know that is what society believes.  What about all the heterosexual men who molest and rape little girls?  Why is no one up in arms over straight men adopting children?  Did you know that 75 percent of children in foster care are molested while in foster care?  75%!!!!!!!  Read about it here   Homosexuals are not pedophiles.  Pedophiles are pedophiles.  It's wrong for adults to subject children to sex, gay or straight, man or woman.  It is wrong to deny foster children the opportunity of a loving home because of sexuality.  They are hurting the children by denying gay people the right to love a child.  They are hurting our society!  There is tons of research and data out today that shows that children of gay parents are no more likely to be gay and they are developmentally normal compared to children of heterosexual parents.  Most gay parents are becoming parents by choice and because of this they are prepared to be parents.  Most gay parents are not parents by accident.  Most gay parents are parents because they want to be.  Being a foster parent or adopting from foster care is not easy.  Foster parents and adoptive parents, especially those of older children are heroes.

I read that only 10 percent of foster parents surveyed said they would be willing to take in a gay child.  That breaks my heart.  Do they know how hard it is to be a gay child or teen in foster care?  Not only are gay kids bullied at school, but when you are living in a group home, it is not safe to be gay at home either.  When I was 13, and still mute for a while, I was living in a group home.  I didn't really think about my sexuality much until I was 18.  I just assumed I was straight.  I liked boys.  I had boyfriends.  My best friend kissed me when I was 18.  It wasn't until that moment that I realized I could like girls too!

When I was 13 I was a bit of a tomboy.  I liked sports.  I liked track jackets and basketball shoes.  I hated makeup and dresses.  The girls in my group home told me I was a lesbian and would constantly taunt me.  They would ask me if things they did turned me on.  I had no idea what they even meant by that.  They would tell me that they would smother me at night if they ever caught me looking at them.  They would warn new girls that they should lock the bathroom door or I might try to come look at them while they were in the shower because I was gay.  I had no idea what gay was, but there must have been something "gay" about me because the girls were relentless in their bullying.  While I was a tomboy--I had and still have long hair, I looked like a girl and acted like a girl.  I WAS a little girl!  I cannot imagine how horrible it would be if I was a boy or if I had been a more masculine girl.  Even the group homes have rules about being gay.  They don't explicitly say you can't be gay, but I had to sign a contract when I was 12 years old at one of my group homes that said I would not date someone of my own gender while in the group home.  Seriously!  I was 12 years old!  Gay children are not safe in group homes.  Gay children deserve foster homes too. 

Thinking about this makes me want to take in a gay teen.  I totally would if I felt I was emotionally capable of being a good parent right now.  I'm not.  Right now I have to focus on me.  Right now I have to figure out who I am and where I am going before I try to share my life with a child.  I just wish the world was a safer place for everyone.  No one deserves to be hated for who they are.  No one deserves to be forced to deny their feelings and happiness.  No one should feel ashamed about who they love.  Love is special.  Love is precious.  Sexuality is normal.  Sexuality is natural.  Sexuality is fluid.  You should celebrate your sexuality.  You should celebrate love.  You should celebrate who you are