How Can You Call Yourself a Parent?

I don’t know what it is, but some parents are freaking unbelievable. In a bad, bad way. Actually, perhaps it’s just that some homophobes and transphobes are parents. And they’re just unreasonable. And, as far as I’m concerned, they don’t deserve to be parents. Now, I know that’s a harsh thing to say: I know I probably have no right to judge whether anyone should be a parent (other than, perhaps, myself).

But who kicks their kid out of the house over a haircut? My friend’s mother told him not to come back because he “looked like a gay.” That. Is. Bullshit. Yes, yes, she has the right to decide who resides in her house, blah blah blah. People have a right to their beliefs (even if their beliefs are just vile, homophobic, transphobic idiocy), blah blah blah. I don’t care. What kind of parent would do that? For that matter, what kind of parent would say that — even if they might later decide to allow the kid back into the house?

Parents are supposed to love their children. Parents are supposed to support their children. That — that sort of “only if you look/act/dress/identify in a way I choose” attitude — is not parenting; it is not acceptance; it is not love. I just don’t understand what would compel a  person to say that kind of thing to anyone, let alone to their own child.

I understand that, sometimes, parents’ words hurt their children, even though they weren’t intended to do so. I understand that, sometimes, parents need time to adjust to their children as they change. I understand that, sometimes, parents’ emotional support doesn’t — perhaps can’t — extend as far as their children want or need. I understand that, sometimes, parents simply don’t understand their children. What I do not understand — what I cannot understand — is how a parent could cut ties, or even threaten to cut ties, with a child over issues of gender, or sexual orientation, or self-expression, or a hair cut.

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