We shouldn't be bullied from saying the obvious about this hysteria concerning 'Don't Say Gay' bills.
It's a bunch of crap. And so is the phrase 'parents rights' which is fueling all of this garbage. It's all less about the children and more about adult fears of realizing that sexual orientation and gender identity are about more than sexual intercourse.
Let's be real. No school is instructing little children about sexual behavior. It's not happening. What is happening is that a bunch of adults are using children to cloak their own personal fears and animus about LGBTQ people and families.
And exercising their imaginary privilege.
Think about it. Whenever you hear things about 'parents rights,' you know those spewing the phrase aren't talking about same sex families or LGBTQ parents, even though between 2 million and 3.7 million children under age 18 have an LGBTQ parent, and approximately 200,000 of them are being raised by a same-sex couple. Many of these children are being raised by a single LGBTQ parent or by a different-sex couple where one parent is bisexual.
And more than a third of same-sex couples raising children are racial or ethnic minorities. That last part is very apt because these crusaders of parental rights aren't necessarily in the corner of parents of color no matter what sexual orientation they may be. But that's a subject which I can go on at length. at another time.
To the point, the idea of 'parents rights' is in the same vernacular of 'real America' or 'middle America' in that it's the co-option of a phrase which sounds perfectly sane but masks deep and ugly prejudices It's sending semantics not about who's included, but who is deliberately being excluded from mainstream society.
In other words 'parents rights' means mostly white and all heterosexual parents. The supporters of the concept will attempt to deny it, but trust your own eyes and ears on this matter. No parents of color (except for maybe one or two who are visible for appearance sake but have no real power) and certainly NO LGBTQ parents. It's about maintaining an inaccurate status quo in which certain type of parents are hustled to spotlights and intense visibility in order to present an image of mother bears and father grizzlies protecting their innocent and fragile young.
But these mother bears and father grizzlies and their children are almost always white and heterosexual, fostering image which has nothing to do with reality. And when they get spotlighted or amplified, they aren't protecting their children. They are protecting the mythology of their privilege. They don't represent all parents. They represent a pecking order which puts them on the top and anoints them as a sort of gold standard. And most of all, that imaginary pecking order gives them the right to undermine and shut down any other type of parenting which doesn't fit their qualifications.
In their world, no matter how LGBTQ parents love, do for, and care for their children, they don't count. They are imperfections which can be at the very least can be ignored, kicked aside, or erased. Their voices don't matter and their children don't matter as well. They are ever so slightly but firmly pushed to the outskirts of the mainstream That is until another right-wing astroturfed grassroots group can draft a new law or create a new court case to stomp them out.
It's not fair nor is it right, but people seem to be more involved in protecting that image than presenting the reality in which all families matter and the concerns of all parents should be seen as equal.
That's real harm being done to children.
Statistics on same-sex families come from Family Equality Council. You can read more here.