Sunday, July 6, 2014

Jon Goes Off!: Gay Parenting, Mother Figures, and "Mother Shaped Holes"

I went off on somebody today. It was over at the Gay Christian Network website. Part of me feels like I was too rough on the woman, but another part of me gets sick of defending gay parenting... to other gay people.

Check this out:
So you know how they say children need to grow up with father figures and mother figures for that father shaped hole or that mother shaped hole? I have been thinking, what about gay couples with children? Does that interfere with those shaped holes? Is it okay for the child to have same sex parents?
My initial gut response was pretty strong. So I sat back for a while and did something else. I then returned to this new discussion thread and finally wrote a response. I actually did intend to respond less severely, but sometimes the words get away from you. This is how I responded:
I’m sorry, but you really need to drop the whole “father shaped hole” and “mother shaped hole” terminology. I’m sure that it’s my own warped mind, but those phrases scream child sex abuse.

Beyond that, I’m not sure how to respond outside of stating that our kids do just fine. Some are great. Some are bottom-feeders. Some struggle. Some over-achieve. And most find themselves in the middle of the bell-curve along with everyone else.

We’ve been having a discussion about foster care and foster/adopt in another thread. I know a few lesbians who became moms through IVF, but most gay parents I know became parents through foster care and foster-to-adoption. In other words, these families are starting out with barriers that most other families never need to overcome.

I often get asked if Mark & I are depriving our sons because they don’t have a mom...

Nobody ever questions what their “mother figures” and their birth “father figures” failed to provide for our sons and why they no longer live there. But despite over a decade of love, guidance, supervision, stability, discipline, and financial stability, we still get questioned about whether or not we are okay dads because we lack a “mother shaped hole."
Okay. I admit I had a trigger moment. And to be fair, there was actually a bit more to my response that I've clipped from this blog post.

Was I too rough? Not rough enough? Should I pull my initial response? Or should I leave it alone? What do you think?


Elizabeth said...

Actually, Jon, the first thing I did was to Google the "holes," thinking this minor was a troll tossing out some web jargon at us. What did Google produce but your blog!

I did find an excerpt from this: A Dad-Shaped Hole in My Heart: How God Wants to Heal the Wounds Left by Your Earthly Father by H. Norman Wright. Copyright © 2005.

There were a couple of similar topics, but nowhere in the 10 (that's TEN) pages of topics I reviewed did I find any indication, as one prominent GCN evangelical poster posted, that mother holes and father holes are standard evangelical speak, thereby excusing its use.

I see you've edited your GCN post to remove that harsh paragraph. It was probably wise, judging from the vitriolic response from the minor! About which I don't feel exactly right.

Any way one looks at it, it's apparent from the topics on 10 pages of Google search results that use of any term in combination with "hole" isn't very flattering, or appropriate!

As to your and Mark's parenting, Jon, "Right on!"

Jon said...

Thanks Elizabeth! I'm still not sure what triggered my harsh response today. It just seems ridiculous that we're still debating same-sex parenting on GCN of all places. Or that people cannot do a simple google search and see all sorts of examples of positive gay parenting results.

Donny Jacobs said...


These Fundies can try your patience. And yes, there are Gay people who've fallen prey to their brainwashing. Online discussions are one thing, but I'm afraid that one day, these extremists are going to try to have children taken away from Gay parents. All they need is a Tea Party-minded legislature and/or judiciary to give them cover.