As a gay parent, I'm really not comfortable with this. Even if that eight-year-old kid wanted to do it, even if confronting Michele Bachmann was the kid's idea, even if the kid was excited about being in a YouTube video... this just isn't cool.Check out this video (which I'm hesitant to post, but everyone else already has so what the hey, eh?) for the full story. Nutshell version: an 8-year-old boy was nudged up to GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and whispered that his mom is gay and doesn't need fixed. Bachmann, who was literally on top of the kid in order to hear him better, immediately shooed the boy, his mom, and his cameraman allow with the curt "bye bye!":
The enemies of LGBT equality use small children as props in their misleading commercials and at their hate rallies all the time. It's a credit to our side that this sort of thing—a gay parent pushing a child into the face of a hater like Bachmann—is so rare that this video shocks the conscience.
We shouldn't use our kids like this. Even if one of our kids wants to be used like this—even if our kid is a precocious little eight-year-old asskicker who want nothing more than to get all up in Michele Bachmann's crazy face (and that's not how this kid comes across)—we need to exercise sound parental judgment and tell our kids, "No, honey, not now. Maybe later."
Honestly, I agree with Savage here. Even if he wanted to confront Bachmann (or Santorum or Perry or whomever), I really can't imagine allowing our son at his age confronting a politician about the legitimacy of us as married parents or gay men. Maybe when he's an older teen like Zach Wahls, it will be a different issue.
Granted, both of our sons have appeared in the paper with me and Mark to discuss our families. He's even been made a statement or two in the press about what it's like to have two gay adoptive dads. So maybe I'm being hypocritical here. I still think there's something different about educating the general public about the day-to-day perspective of a gay family and allowing one's pre-teen to get up, close, and personal with a politician or religious figure who publicly advocates for the destruction of one's family. It's kind of like taking one's kid to the Pride March, while simultaneously avoiding the crazy protester carrying the bullhorn and picket sign.
Later in his post, Savage closes with a YouTube comment from someone who was there:
I took the video. We were standing in line, and his mom was ready to leave because we didn't know what WE were going to say. When we turned to leave, Elijah grabbed her coat and pulled her back, telling her to stay cause he wanted to tell Michele something. If anything, it was the other way around. He just got stage fright-- and his mom wasn't going to let him back down, because he was going to regret it. Please vote up this comment so people can see this explanation/back story.What do you think, is there a difference between allowing one's kid to advocate for gay families and allowing one's kid to directly confront those who seek to harm gay families? I'd love to hear your comments!