|Well, yes and no. What happens when one of the parents dies? What happens when there's a divorce and one of the parents moves on in a way that doesn't include the kid(s)? Things happen, you know? And the idea of "consent" in terms of being born is, IMO, tricky, at best. If I'd have been consulted, I'd have voted no on being born to my parents. Does that mean I shouldn't exist?
Oh ITA. I certainly wouldn't have voted to be born in the family I was. But to return to what I said, adult consent, doesn't translate well to that idea. When one parent dies, the other does the best they can. Life is never perfect, I'm not saying it is. The surviving parent does what they can and to some extent is still in a better position to understand the racism their child will experience than a white couple will be.
They in all likelihood will have experienced in it to some fashion or another with
their spouse if only to witness how it affected their spouse/lover/partner. If they're out to dinner and one is the subject of racism, the other is going to feel it to some degree. It's still not the same but it certainly gives a starting point in a conversation. e.g. I remember once when I was out with your father and this happened and this is how it made me feel. We talked later and he said it made him feel like x, y, or z on the inside.
My overall point was that whether or not someone would bring it up in regards to being with someone of 'color' is not applicable in the case of children. They bring up an entirely different set of thoughts and issues.
|I can understand that it would come across like that. That's not my intention. I'll need to come up with better language to talk about why we're doing this. I appreciate your candor.
Thanks for not reacting off the cuff. I was most hestitant about posting that but it was the one point I found myself reacting to the most.
|That's true, but I also can't understand in the way you're talking about what it means to be the child of lesbians, the child of a Christian and an atheist/pagan, a straight person, a bi person, or the son of someone. I don't think any of that precludes me from being a good parent to children who might be any number of those things.
I don't mean to say it in any way precludes you from being a good parent. It doesn't. What I am saying is there is a lot to think about and many issues that probably won't be foreseen until they happen because well, honestly, you wouldn't view any situation the same way a person of the child's race, or the other half of their race, would. You might walk into an area where known Indian/white problems were frequent, with an Native child, and never once think about ahead of time that problems might arise and hatred might be directed toward him.
As a Native, that would be one of the first thoughts in my head. Yes, there are obvious areas to avoid - you mentioned the GA/FL line. But it's the subtle ones that you won't foresee. That won't, doesn't, make you a bad parent. None of us can foresee everything. It's just that we perceive every situation differently because of our own experiences especially with regards to racism.
Straight, bi, atheist, pagan, christian, lesbian... The list of comparable differences could go on forever. They each bring their own set off issues. Where they do not factor in, imo, is in that area where not a single one of them is necessarily obvious when you walk into a room. Sure, sometimes they are, but more often than not that's not the case. A mixed child, or a child of color, doesn't have that luxury. They will be judged by their skin color, in some places, the second someone sees them. The preceeding list will not be. Ever.
|Bottom line is that family isn't about all the members being similar. I am so very different than every other member of my family. My family does NOT understand me, but they do love me and tolerate my beliefs and lifestyle when they don't even believe in them. My being different from my family has taught my immediate and extended family(and it's a large one) to be more tolerant people. I think differences within families are good for bringing all of us to a more tolerant future.
It would have been nice to have parents who were gay to give me a heads up about things, but I've done alright by myself. Of course I will still try to introduce my child to their cultural heritage, but I think that ultimatley, every child finds their own way.
Thanks for replying and same here. We are all so different - that's the beauty of humanity. Understanding differences, as much as we can, and learning to appreciate them will (hopefully) bring about a more tolerant future.
One thing I would point out in what you said though is that they love you and tolerate
your beliefs and lifestyle. That as we all know brings it's own set of issues and takes some serious internalizing to make our peace with. My mother's side of the family is much the same in the tolerating aspect. But tolerance for a skin color is another matter. Most of us know the suicide rates for gay kids and young adults. They're staggering. So many do not find their way. They are often not able to deal with what's thrown at them. Self-hatred grows to saddening degrees that is most definitely compounded by their home life (the lack of acceptance) and their lives with friends. The fear and all the dozens of issues that brings up.
Children of mixed race have the strong potential to internalize a very similar self hatred especially if they feel (and kids do feel it) that they're being tolerated. The suicide rates are definitely lower but feeling wrong for your skin color rarely goes away. There are full children of other races who experience that and are never able to quite shake off the yoke that hangs tight around their necks from it. In some cases, but not all, it's equally if not even harder for children of mixed races as they never quite feel they belong anywhere.