Error of Man: Dear Gay Community: Your Kids Are Hurting

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Dear Gay Community: Your Kids Are Hurting

I loved my mom’s partner, but another mom could never have replaced the father I lost

By Heather Barwick |

shutterstock_142826356-998x665Gay community, I am your daughter. My mom raised me with her same-sex partner back in the ’80s and ’90s. She and my dad were married for a little while. She knew she was gay before they got married, but things were different back then. That’s how I got here. It was complicated as you can imagine. She left him when I was two or three because she wanted a chance to be happy with someone she really loved: a woman. My dad wasn’t a great guy, and after she left him he didn’t bother coming around anymore.

Do you remember that book, “Heather Has Two Mommies”? That was my life. My mom, her partner, and I lived in a cozy little house in the ‘burbs of a very liberal and open-minded area. Her partner treated me as if I was her own daughter. Along with my mom’s partner, I also inherited her tight-knit community of gay and lesbian friends. Or maybe they inherited me? Either way, I still feel like gay people are my people. I’ve learned so much from you. You taught me how to be brave, especially when it is hard. You taught me empathy. You taught me how to listen. And how to dance. You taught me not be afraid of things that are different. And you taught me how to stand up for myself, even if that means I stand alone. 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.

Children Need a Mother and Father

It’s not because you’re gay. I love you, so much. It’s because of the nature of the same-sex relationship itself.

It’s only now, as I watch my children loving and being loved by their father each day, that I can see the beauty and wisdom in traditional marriage and parenting.

Growing up, and even into my 20s, I supported and advocated for gay marriage. It’s only with some time and distance from my childhood that I’m able to reflect on my experiences and recognize the long-term consequences that same-sex parenting had on me. And it’s only now, as I watch my children loving and being loved by their father each day, that I can see the beauty and wisdom in traditional marriage and parenting.

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.

I grew up surrounded by women who said they didn’t need or want a man. Yet, as a little girl, I so desperately wanted a daddy. It is a strange and confusing thing to walk around with this deep-down unquenchable ache for a father, for a man, in a community that says that men are unnecessary. There were times I felt so angry with my dad for not being there for me, and then times I felt angry with myself for even wanting a father to begin with. There are parts of me that still grieve over that loss today.

I’m not saying that you can’t be good parents. You can. I had one of the best. I’m also not saying that being raised by straight parents means everything will turn out okay. We know there are so many different ways that the family unit can break down and cause kids to suffer: divorce, abandonment, infidelity, abuse, death, etc. But by and large, the best and most successful family structure is one in which kids are being raised by both their mother and father.

Why Can’t Gay People’s Kids Be Honest?

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 naturally crave. That we will be okay. But we’re not. We’re hurting.

If anyone can talk about hard things, it’s us.

Kids of divorced parents are allowed to say, “Hey, mom and dad, I love you, but the divorce 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.

This isn’t about hate at all. I know you understand the pain of a label that doesn’t fit and the pain of a label that is used to malign or silence you. And I know that you really havebeen hated and that you really have been hurt. I was there, at the marches, when they held up signs that said, “God hates fags” and “AIDS cures homosexuality.” I cried and turned hot with anger right there in the street with you. But that’s not me. That’s not us.

I know this is a hard conversation. But we need to talk about it. If anyone can talk about hard things, it’s us. You taught me that.

Heather Barwick was raised by her mother and her mother’s same-sex partner. She is a former gay-marriage advocate turned children’s rights activist. She is a wife and mother of four rambunctious kids.


16 Comments on “Error of Man: Dear Gay Community: Your Kids Are Hurting”

  1. When I make the following comment, it is not an endorsement of either gay “marriage” or homosexual behavior. I just want to point out the obvious here.

    We have seen the results of a generation of narcissistic, self-indulgent men who think only of themselves. They have all but destroyed marriage with their infidelities and inability to give of themselves sacrificially. This is what I call “The Playboy Mentality” and it began with the publication and acceptance of a sleazy rag which taught men that A.) life is all about them and their pleasure B.) women are just sex toys to be used for a man’s pleasure C.) the perfect woman looks like a Barbie doll and you cannot find sexual satisfaction with anything less D.) since sex is about “me” and pleasure, anything that interferes with that must be eliminated, therefore we abort any child conceived through a weekend of pleasure.

    It was not just the two women who let this lady down. It was her sorry excuse for a man who refused to be a father and husband. This generation needs to begin to teach young boys the beauty of things like duty, fidelity, love, and giving sacrificially of one’s self. This is the only cure for the state of death that marriage is in at this time.

    1. Writer Heather Barwick said it best. I also strongly agree with Edward A. Hara. My last comment is that I hope tru- ly that in this pro-feminist era, men will NOT become OBSOLETE, never to be discarded like dirty rags by mean feminists. I truly LOVE women, but I am an outsider as a man. I welcome your comments. Enough said!!

      1. I am a woman and I am AGAINST all feminist movement. It’s a woman made thing and if God wanted it to be so then He would have placed women to be the head, but He didn’t so let’s stop with the feminist movement!

  2. i dont know u, edward, but u hit the nail on the head. i dont blame just the mags, though. it is a societal thing. as a woman, i also blame the feminist movement. i feel it went overboard. i am for equal pay for equal work BUT i dont agree with the notion that males are not needed. i think the blame lies with BOTH movements.

  3. Well spoken argument from someone who was raised in a same-sex home. Her opinion should mean something. She didn’t mention God once in her feelings of lacking something, it was all natural. Only God can make straight that which is crooked. He blessed her with four kids. Our God allows second chances.

  4. This post was definitely informative and completely out of love! Same sex marriage is absolutely wrong, but it has to be addressed in truth and love. This lady has experienced the loss she’s had through the years without a traditional marriage. Her bravery is honored and we have to come along side. Edward, great post and some truth!

    1. Jennifer — I am distressed to say that I fell into that trap myself. The only difference was that I went back and married the woman I made pregnant and we were married for 34 years. It wasn’t easy, but it was the right thing to do after making such a bad decision with my life.

      Men have got to stop acting like spoiled little brats sexually who think that the whole female world is there for them to get their jollies. When this happens, the society will begin to heal.

  5. Hey I hear you. I agree that men ought to take some responsibility for the state our communities are in but don’t you think women ought to too? In the article this woman said her mother left her father, that she knew she was gay before marriage. Lit seems that he wasn’t a nice guy but that’s what she chose. I pray The Lord shows us how to love these people to life. And it begins with articles like this TRUTH in LOVE!

  6. Like everyone is saying, this letter could be to the hetrosexual community. Sex is not something to play with. It is a supernatural act. And should be respected as so by both parties. Like the designer said in a previous post “there is a supernatural sense of belonging.”

  7. Thinks Ex Ministries for posting this. It brings reality to the forefront and I appreciate it. I honor this person’s courage for sharing her personal experience of growing up in a family of same gender parents. I would like to learn more about her migration out of same sex advocacy.

  8. Jennifer, the feminist movement was inspired because of the misogynistic nature of men. Since the garden men have treated women like property rather than people. Play toys for some, slaves for others. Both sexes got it wrong from the beginning. It is Jesus Christ who restores order and tears down demonic strongholds like women’s lib. Everyday as I draw nearer to God the anger in my flesh for being undervalued as a woman subsides and I see the beauty of submission. Even if my husband doesnt always get it right. We are a work in progress, God’s work. So let’s all take responsibility where it lays and through prayer, faith and obedience get the enemy off our backs.

  9. Btw, there’s a powerful poem by a former lesbian and her husband from P4CM. I think it’s called the Garden or the Fall. Just YouTube Jackie Hill. You won’t be disappointed.

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