I don’t know about you, but my belly is full from yet another display of our ‘tolerant generation’ in action. In case, you can’t tell, I’m being totally facetious; the reaction to the Valentine’s Day announcement that Tom Daley and husband Dustin Lance Black are expecting their first child was anything but ‘tolerant’.
As was all too predictable, swathes of the red-faced reactionary media flocked to their keyboards to espouse their concerns over everything from the child’s well-being to the erasure of the woman in the reproductive process.
At best, the latter is an example of Third Wave feminism’s tendency to over-stretch, at worst, it’s a pretence equipped to attack the LGBT+ community rather than defend women’s reproductive rights.
But let’s face it; this story has been hijacked as yet another opportunity for this country’s right-wing gutter creatures to take a swipe at gay people, under the guise of concern.
What are they claiming? That it is ‘unfair’ for a child to have two parents of the same-sex, that it isn’t ‘normal’ and it isn’t ‘desirable’. But, of course that is total nonsense. Pretty much every study undertaken which compares the life outcomes of children with two opposite-sex parents and children with two same-sex parents shows no differentiation in terms of success. In fact, the only notable study with any inequality in outcome showed that kids with gay parents were ‘happier’ and ‘healthier’ than those with straight ones. Maybe it’s because they’re far less likely to have two judgemental homophobic relics narrowing their world view at every opportunity – but that’s just my take.
So, what on earth could be driving this groundswell of ‘concern’ for the helpless child of Tom Daley to be born in to a life-time of financial stability with two extremely talented parents? Ah, yes, it’s good old-fashioned blind homophobia.
There is simply no basis to the protestation that a person’s ability to parent stems from their genitalia. Are we really expected to believe that the presence of too many penises or too many vulvas in a household renders a person’s child-rearing abilities redundant? Of course not. And, if you’re going to argue that having same-sex parents is stigmatising and alienating for a child among their peers then that’s solely the fault of homophobic straight people who keep raising intolerant arseholes.
There was one tweet of sincere concern, and totally not idiotic homophobia, from Paul Embery, a member of ‘Blue Labour’, who believes that the mother and father combination is the only legitimate one because it was the sole precedent for thousands of years, and it’s unfair that a child didn’t have access to both male and female role models.
Well, for thousands of years humans thought the Earth was flat, the Sun revolved around the Earth, the female orgasm was a sign of insanity and that a good cure for most illnesses was applying a clump of faeces to it. In other words, people used to be dumb and “we’ve always done it this way” is the single worst reason for persisting with anything. And how exactly are you expecting Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black to raise their child? In a male only dungeon? Kids can and will have access to role models of all genders, be they from a home with two straight parents, two gay parents, one parent or no parents at all.
I’m sorry but this faux moral panic simply doesn’t fly with me. The truth of the matter is, gay parents are an asset to society and nothing else. Statistically, gay parents are far more likely to adopt disadvantaged children and to foster kids in real need, and that is something to be celebrated.