QUEER KIDS

An Open Letter to NOM’s Brian Brown About His Recent Family Photo

brian brown and family 2013

Hi Brian Brown, President of NOM.

We got your email the other day, wishing us a merry Christmas. It was nice of you to include a picture of your family.

Eight kids! Geez, that’s a lot. It can’t have been easy. It seems like just last year that you sent us a similar family photo. They grow up so fast, don’t they? Looks like your oldest girl is just about getting into her teens.

And that’s why we’re writing to you today. We’ll be blunt: we’re worried about your family, Brian. The kids appear to be getting on in years, and soon — if it hasn’t happened already — they’re going to become interested in the opposite sex. Or maybe the same sex.

After all, research suggests that the more older brothers a man has, the more likely he is to be gay. And anyway, you’re really pushing the odds here. With eight children, you’re pretty much guaranteed that at least one, and probably more, will at some point not be entirely heterosexual.

So, we’re worried. Not because being LGBT is bad (in fact, it’s AMAAAAAAAZING), but because we have a feeling that you might not know how to talk to your kids about this stuff.

When you led the Family Institute of Connecticut, you promoted ex-gay abuse, and wrote about homosexuality, “prevent your child from embracing this destructive way of life.” And you once told the Hartford Courant, “it is possible for you not to engage in homosexual acts.” Imagine what it would be like to know that you’re gay, and to hear your dad say those things. What would you do? What will your kids do?

Like we said, we’re concerned. We have no way of knowing what you tell your kids about what it means to be gay. But we do know that parental rejection of LGBT kids is correlated with an increased incidence of self-harm, of substance abuse, of homelessness and of general poor health.

We know you love your kids, and want what’s best for them. Brian, you and your wife have the power to do what’s best for them. We’ve seen (over and over and over and over and over) what happens when parents fail to support their LGBT kids, and while a lot of those kids recover and grow from the experience, it’s painful and unnecessary.

You can create an environment where they feel comfortable telling you that they’re lesbian or gay or bi or trans. You can do it. It won’t be easy, given some of the terrible things you’ve said, but you have to. For your kids. It may not be what you want to say, but it’s what they need to hear.

We don’t know anything about your family, other than the photos that you volunteer every year, but we know that the day will come that one of them will wonder who they love and what they are.

When that day comes, you should be their first line of support. You need to be there to tell them you love them no matter what, and that being LGBT is just fine. (It’s okay to add that you’re still working on coming to terms with that. That’s okay! It’s a journey you can take together!)

Fortunately, if you’ve decided to turn against your own children, there’s a big wide wonderful community out there that can step in. The LGBT community has been looking after abandoned youngsters for generations; and rest assured, if you turn your kids away, somebody out there might do their best to give them the support they need. But wouldn’t it be better if they got that support from you? Because frankly, we’re not sure why you’ve gotten us so involved in your private family affairs.

Best wishes,

The Queers