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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Gay Dads in Penney's Catalog and Other Milestones

Dallas dads Ted Koch and Cooper Smith feature in an ad in the latest catalog from J. C. Penney, along with the two kids they adopted at birth, Claire and Mason.  Sweet.

My word, how times have changed. The family lives in the Oak Cliff gayborhood and was featured in a 2009 article in the Dallas Voice.

Among other reflections it makes me remember, more than forty years ago now, some painful Sunday mornings as a young teenager, already aware of my sexuality, listening to preachers rant on and on and on about the homosexshuls and how totally evil they were, drug addicts all of them, and rapists and molesters and thieves and murderers too, all of them depraved and deserving of death and eternal condemnation, yada yada. I reckon most of you guys know the drill.

And I remember sitting there, in the silence of my heart saying NO! That's just not true, it can't be true. It certainly wasn't true of me. But I had no evidence at the time about anyone else, didn't know and never saw any other gay people - but that's where I began to realize the difference between the truths I was taught and the truth that was within me.

Thank God, today's teens don't grow up totally isolated and disconnected as I did; and there's now plenty of evidence against all that ignorant, hate-filled, fundamentalist bullshit. So gay kids today have a much better chance of happiness than we did, and I'm glad.

The law is following, slowly, the change in attitudes as well: today another federal circuit court held DOMA to be unconstitutional, violating the Equal Protection Clause. It was a very cautious ruling - overly so, I think - but it adds to the weight of evidence and argument that our side will present to the Supreme Court, which is where this issue, so vital to our fundamental civil rights, will be decided. Soon, I hope.  (PDF of today's ruling here.)

And one other milestone:  Retiring Congressman (D-Mass.) Barney Frank came out 25 years ago today, which had to be a damn scary thing to do, but aren't we glad he did:


Grandmère Mimi said...

We've come a long way, but we still have a long way to go, but thank God it is better, and gay teens are not nearly as isolated. Yet, it's still hard, as is shown by the suicides.

I remember how difficult my teen years were without the complication of being lesbian. I can't even imagine....

Russ Manley said...

Yes, the teen years are pretty awful for a lot of people, and we certainly need to remove all the unneccessary awfulness. I wouldn't mind being 25 again, but not 15.

Grandmère Mimi said...

I wouldn't, for the world, choose to relive my teen years.

gramma bettie mae turley said...

love, love, love the article on the "two dads" in the jc penney ad. thanks sooo much for posting!!!

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