Today is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.
I have two daughters--one is 14 and the other 11. They have their quirks. The older one can be incredibly lazy. Given her druthers, she'd spend all day in her bedroom, reading fanfic and texting with her friends. The younger one is a melodrama queen who can turn being forced to bathe and brush her teeth into a three-hour tragic opera. She's also a picky eater who hates trying new foods. But they're both bright and funny and creative. They adore reading and traveling, and they're amazingly accepting of others. I love them.
What if one of them comes to me one of these days and says, "Hey, Mom. I'm gay [or bi or trans]." It wouldn't change what an amazing person she is. It wouldn't make her less lazy (or less melodramatic) or less smart or funny. It wouldn't change the fact that the older one can spell better than I can (and I'm a university professor), or that the younger one can draw wonderfully detailed dragons (and I can barely do stick figures). Of course I wouldn't love her one bit less.
How can any parent reject a child because the child is LGBTQ? I will never understand this. And yet some studies claim that half of all LGBTQ kids are rejected by their families. Many of these kids end up homeless. These kids are also more likely to attempt suicide, to abuse drugs, or to engage in risky sex.
I hope things are getting better. I hope we reach a point soon when no kid hesitates to reveal their sexual or gender orientation to their parents. Where, when parents find out their kids are LGBTQ, they can say the same kind of thing I'd say to mine: "I'm glad you shared that with me. I love you very much. You're wonderful. I want you to have a happy life, full of love. Now go clean your room."
For a chance to win an e-copy of my latest novel, Motel. Pool. plus a $10 donation to the LGBTQ organization of your choice, comment here. Make sure to include your email so I can contact you if you win. If 20 or more people comment, I'll give away two books and donations. I'll choose a winner at noon Pacific time on May 25.