This is our new reality: study after study after study about how the kids of LGBTQ parents will either be awesome, crazy or awesome. If you follow this sort of thing the constant yo-yo-ing will either infuriate you or make you laugh. Sort of like the entire concept of yo-yos. Seriously who came up with this toy?
Because in the end, what can one actually do with a stack of papers with pie charts and graphs that are supposed to somehow explain why it's cool you exist or why you maybe shouldn't. I've got enough weird elementary school guilt from reading the Bible late at night in fourth grade.
But when there comes a study that proves the very essence of me right, like this recent one published in the Journal of Homosexuality, I feel compelled to pontificate -- or at the very least share. In the report, "Adolescents With Lesbian Mothers Describe Their Own Lives," we learn that they're pretty sweet.
Among the 78 17-year-olds participating in the longitudinal study, most were academically successful and in supportive school environments, had active social networks and close family bonds and considered their mothers good role models. Asked to rate their well being on a scale of 1 to 0, the average was an 8.14. These are teenagers, you guys! A scary segment of the population that vacillates between hatred of all things and yelling.
This part of the report I particularly loved:
Nearly all of the adolescents felt that their mothers had been good role models. Elaborating on their responses to this question, nine adolescents used words such as “smart,” “loving,” “caring,” “fun,” beautiful,” “powerful” and “enjoys life” to describe their mothers.
For example, one girl wrote that her mothers “are very successful, powerful, and beautiful women who are happy with their lives and I would love to end up like them,” another described her mothers as “strong, capable, smart, and loving women,” and a boy wrote that his mothers were “honest, tough, smart.”
Yep, sounds about right to me.
The best way to describe my mother -- a woman who stood up to society, her family and some of her friends when she decided to be a mother despite their protests -- is "brave." There's really no other word for it. She, of course, is also a little nutty, terrible with money, and irritable in the face of shopping malls. But underneath all that regular mommy stuff is a layer of bravery, strength and passion -- all for ME! -- that I -- or any other child with knowledge of their mother's struggle just to have the title -- can't forget.
Perhaps knowing she was a walking advertisement for sticking it to the man made me want to be a better kid? Or maybe I've just got genes? I'll never know, and honestly neither will she.
So I rang up my role model mom, who relocated to the USVI last year because why not, to get her take on the newest news and she was unimpressed. Actually she was more excited about this new smoothie bar she was working at.
"I'm a real islander now!" she giggled. "I've got three jobs." That's when I learned that on top of being a cobbler's apprentice (you read that right) and blending delicious fruit juices, my mom's also taken to teaching senior citizens how to use computers. "A couple of them wanna learn how to do Facebook."
I tried to get her back on track, back to her thoughts on the good news about LGBTQ kids and she gave me this under duress:
"I don't like it when they say anyone is off better than anyone else. It depends on your circumstances, who's involved, who's raising you and how they're raising you. That's it."
Yep, that sounds about right. As did what happened next, her other favorite mommy sound bite.
"So are you and Rob thinking about reproducing yet?" she slipped in, hopeful.
"Okay, okay, just checking."
Despite annoying me to no end with all the grandbaby phishing, it also makes me proud that this brave mom thinks I'm ready to be one, too.