Last night, as I was doing my nightly scroll through Facebook, I came upon a disturbing post. The politics are heavy in our little town, with many jumping on the hate train. This post was a local politician, targeting our public library, for having a display for PRIDE month (June), which included books for kids and young adults.
This was taken so far, that the County Mayor vetoed the annual budget because he wanted to make a statement about these books being in our library!
It has gone so far that people in the LGBTQ+ community are receiving a blanket label as “groomers” and “pedophiles”.
My own kiddos are not out to everyone yet, so I don’t engage from a personal level in public spaces and forums. The hate just breaks my heart for all of the people I love, who are in the LGBTQ+ community, and the families who love them.
I have lived with an “actual pedophile”, sadly. My step-father openly groomed us, before we knew what that even meant. All we knew was that his sexual comments toward us kids seemed wrong. He ended up sexually molesting two of the girls in our home, and was convicted and sent to jail.
As long as I can remember, we have had gay family members, and never thought much about it. Once my own kiddo came out as transgender, my understanding dove deeper. My eyes were opened to kids in my world, who were choosing me as their safe person to come out to. They were not “pedophiles or groomers”. They were children. Most LGBTQ+ kids and teens I have journeyed with, also identify as “asexual” , which means they are not interested in sexual activity with others. They are teased and bullied by others.
In our own little world, my kiddo was called “gay” and “fag” starting in 3rd grade! By middle school, it turned into physical pushing down stairs and name-calling. This was before even coming out! There was just something “different” about my kiddo. I wish I had thought about LGBTQ+ resources back then, and had some direction. I just played it by ear, and only knew that I love my kids, and want them ALL to follow their passions, interests, and talents into productive futures.
Another target for this hate in our town, is drag queens. They are also blanket categorized as “groomers and pedophiles”. Hateful posts like to reference a “family friendly drag brunch” that was done at a local bar (at an arts building), last fall. The funny thing is, yours truly….AOA, yes me…..was the ONLY one there with a kid (13 year old)!! It was so much fun! The drag queens performing, included a local, who grew up here. We have grown a friendship with them over the last year, and just love watching them.
Preparing for battle here….against censorship and hate! LOVE WINS❤️