Sunday, March 27, 2011

Gay fathers face problems gaining acceptance

I love articles like the following published today by South Coast Today which talk about gay father. The more we talk about lgbt families, the more visibility we have. And THAT is a type of visibility that we need:

When Scott Wagenhoffer-Zahn was 4 years old, and his parents got married in Oregon, a minister grabbed his arms, looked him right in the eyes, and said, "You will burn in hell."

Scott started to cry. That may have been one of the first times he experienced prejudice, but it was hardly the last. That minister, some bullies at Cape Cod Regional Technical High School in Harwich and others have objected to both his parents being men.

Even his uncles. One, Jimmy, said "that's just wrong" when Scott's father Steve Wagenhoffer of Orleans announced at one Thanksgiving dinner that he and his male partner were adopting two babies. "My younger sister wanted nothing to do with me," Steve Wagonhoffer says. "Her husband (Jimmy) believes you can 'catch gay,' so he keeps his kids away from me."

"When our other father and Steve got divorced," remembers Scott, now 16, "our father's brother, Uncle Bob, said, 'I'm sorry, but that's how those relationships end up. I'm sorry because I won't be seeing you in heaven.'"

Scott and brother Alex, also 16, have never even met their uncle Jimmy and tell the story of the estrangements with a sense of amazement.

The rejection from the family, though, was a foreshadowing of the kind of anti-gay rhetoric that Steve, Scott and Alex have been hearing for years. Says Alex, "People say sexuality is a taught thing. They say that a gay father will teach you to be gay. But sexuality is genetically wired into us. Hatred is the taught thing."

More here.

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