Growing Up with Two Lesbian Moms
Too often, Children of Gays are treated as cogs in the juggernaut of LGBT public relations.
One of my recently discovered heroes is Moira Greyland. Her mother was famous lesbian author Marion Zimmer Bradley (best known for Mists of Avalon). Moira Greyland Peat experienced what many children of same-sex couples have endured in extreme form. She suffered this long before there was any outlet for such unattractive truths to reach the public square.
Moira grew up with two lesbian mothers and a gay father in 1970s and 1980s Berkeley. During that time she saw firsthand the reality of the Sexual Revolution. “Revolution” was a brutally real and sordid social event. It involved the complete eradication of boundaries. It also meant the dismissal of any decorum and the demonization of chastity. The result was not a blossoming sense of freedom and actualization. Rather, Moira suffered years of scarring abuse, both emotional and sexual.
Suppressing the Truth About the Problems in LGBT Families
Moira has recently worked on memoirs detailing the brutality of what she went through. Many of us with gay parents have chronicled the negative aspects of same-sex parenting. For the most part we have not had the public record that authenticates Moira’s case. People like Katy Faust and I were easily dismissed by members of the LGBT community. Gay parenting advocates accused us of lying, misrepresenting our family experience, and exaggerating or suppressing details. Often they nitpick about timelines (“Your mother moved in with her lesbian partner in 1988, not 1987!”). At other times they drag our siblings into extended debates about everyone’s memories.
Moira’s situation is distinct and too extreme to be denied. There was a highly publicized prosecution of her father for molestation. He went to jail after her testimony. Her mother lost many devoted fans because of the public knowledge of her abuse of Moira. Sexual abuse is a sacred line that unites people on left and right.
Blaming and Shaming the Victim
So it stuns me that even in a case as clear-cut as Moira’s, people undermine her. This Twitter thread warns of what will occur once her memoir is published: A barrage of deflections and rhetorical tricks to dismiss Moira’s witness. The apparent effect is to protect the LGBT community. That community’s leaders argue baselessly that their homes are just like homes where a child is raised by his mother and father. In order to argue this, they must dismiss Moira as an “extreme case.” They must distort her motives for sharing her story. Turn her righteous testimony into self-indulgent bitterness, vindictive spite, or delusion. Because she was abused, some say she is crazy. Hence her testimony is the unreliable chatter from a madwoman. This hyper-dramatic and incendiary tactic serves to cloud the real issue. LGBT parenting suffers from consistent and irreparable flaws.
One biological parent is missing from her life, but not because of a tragedy. He was merely doing a lesbian a favor by gifting sperm. Or he also had other things in life that mattered more than the child’s daily needs. These are not little glitches or minor details. These are integral, inherent malfunctions in LGBT parenting.
If Moira’s case is an extreme case, then what are these pundits to do with all the non-extreme cases — like mine, Katy Faust’s, and Brittany Klein’s? If Moira’s motives are suspect, are all the CoGS (children of gays) guilty of unwholesome intentions? Consider claims such as this one on Twitter: Heather Has Two Mommies “IS a nuclear family” because it has “2 adults and a child.”
Blowing Up the Nucleus of the Family
Such a claim is simply wrong. Heather Has Two Mommies is about a girl being raised by at least one woman who isn’t her biological mother. And another woman who may or may not be her biological mother. It’s also about this girl’s being raised with a broken connection to her father. This is assuming there aren’t surrogate mothers or multiple egg donors involved. So it is not a nuclear family with 2 adults and their child. Rather it’s a scattered web of 3 or more adults and a child being cut off from some and forced into obedience toward others. All the events narrated happen before the child has any ability to process mentally her emotional connections or develop an authentic identity.
People want to deny these negative factors of the LGBT parenting home. They prefer to cast it falsely as the equivalent of a nuclear family. On the one hand, this means they do see an inherent value in the nuclear family (as opposed to polygamy, single mothers, divorce, etc.) In fact, all their denials imply a deep-seated awareness that something is wrong with LGBT families. Is it any surprise, then, that researchers like Mark Regnerus and Donal Paul Sullins find statistical evidence that children in those homes suffer? Is it any surprise that many testimonials by CoGs narrate what is painful, hurtful and wrong about these homes?
Frayed Connections and Casual Sperm or Egg Donors
Moira Greyland Peat is heroic and utterly justified in chronicling what she went through in an LGBT home. She should and I hope will make clear that this is not an aberrant, haywire example. Hers is a lucid illustration of what goes wrong in LGBT homes because of the frayed connections which alone make the arrangement possible. Non-related adults brought into the home are often not welcomed emotionally by the child. They react with the emotional response of someone who feels rejected by a child but does not feel the child’s own pain in a purely empathetic way. The adult places her sex life over the child’s ties to a father and need for a father figure. So she is likely to be someone who places her sex life before the obligations that other people view as primary. Hence this is a perfect recipe for abuse.
The child’s plight is complicated by her sense of abandonment. One biological parent is missing from her life, but not because of a tragedy. He was merely doing a lesbian a favor by gifting sperm. Or he also had other things in life that mattered more than the child’s daily needs. These are not little glitches or minor details. These are integral, inherent malfunctions in LGBT parenting. The abuse chronicled by Moira Greyland Peat may resemble abuse that occurs in bad homes that are not led by gay adults. Still, her abuse happened in a gay home. Homosexuality colored much of her experience. It colored the experience of other CoGs.
The Cycle of Abuse
To bring the nastiness to a crescendo, someone has tweeted a Photoshopped image of Moira Greyland Peat. In it she plays her harp in a lascivious leather outfit. The image implies she is herself perverted and motivated by exhibitionism or some other debauchery. It completes the cycle of abuse that CoGs have to be put through. Their childhood homes were fashioned out of social experimentation, liberal delusions and covetousness. Their guardians wanted their pleasure while still mimicking the unfair advantages held by people who have sex with the opposite sex. From the beginning, their households are part fishbowl for popular spectacle, part crypt of hidden horrors. They have to keep up appearances. But the problems must at all costs be kept from the public’s eye. Or else you might harm the all-important LGBT community.
I hope Moira Greyland Peat does not back down. She speaks for thousands of us.