Parenting with PRIDE

Gay-Lesbian-FamilyWelcome to the second question and answer of our Parenting with PRIDE column.  This will be a monthly feature here and we encourage YOU to email in your questions about parenting.  We’d love to hear from you!


I went to high school with a girl who had two dads.  Years have passed and I recently reconnected with her on facebook.  She is now an out lesbian.  I feel as though her being raised with gay parents made her that way, am I wrong?


Well yes, you are wrong about this one. If that were true, how would you explain all the LGBTQ+ kids raised by heterosexual couples?  Sexual orientation and gender identity are not about parenting.  No one makes anyone straight or gay.  Research over several decades has demonstrated that sexual orientation ranges along a continuum from sole attraction to the opposite sex on one end to sole attraction to a person of the same sex on the other end, with various degrees of attraction in between.

There is an embedded concern with your question because it implies that there is something wrong with being a lesbian (because it was “caused” by being raised by gay men). Many people have trouble seeing their own bias when it comes to sexual orientation, race, religion, gender, and ability/disability. This implicit (unconscious) bias causes people to view their own experience as “normal” or “right.”

In reality, I think the most important message here is that this young woman is an “out” lesbian, which means she is comfortable with her identity and has the self-esteem and support from her two Dads to be her authentic self.  We should be congratulating her dads on their parenting instead of questioning their right to raise a child together.

It is important to remember that sexual orientation is just part of our lives. If you want to embrace this past friendship and truly reconnect with this person then educate yourself about the LGBTQ+ community and become a straight ally and advocate. I am sure this woman would love to share her story with you and could teach you a lot about her experience of being raised by two dads and being a lesbian. My suggestion is that if you want to grow this friendship then continue to ask questions, be genuine, and be open to learning more about diversity by stepping out of your comfort zone occasionally.

Continuum of Human Sexuality—The Kinsey Scale (2009)


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