“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” For Children


That silence taught me to feel shame and self-loathing even when I didn’t know why, and it took a long time to overcome. Many LGBT youth never do completely overcome that internalized homophobia, and some even die of it. How many lives would be spared if kids like me grew up seeing gay couples treated as unremarkable rather than unspeakable?

Even if a child is heterosexual, by raising them in this code of silence we risk passing on antigay prejudice. Nobody wants to believe that their child could become the bully who drives their classmate to suicide, but those cruel kids have parents. Hatred is often taught by accident.

Parents, what are you really afraid of? Is it so hard to say that Aunt Jane and Mary are married because they love each other, or to explain that cousin Jose has two dads? If you are confident in your belief that your gay friends are perfectly normal, your children will hear that and act accordingly. The question is, do you really believe it? Or is your love for your gay friends conditional?

“Hide and seek” is a children’s game, and for the sake of all children it is long past time our society left it behind. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is done.



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