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August 11, 2006
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Volume 34
Issue 32
 
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Monday, Jul 28, 2014

 

 



 
Leave our families alone - 'Being raised by homosexuals was in no way damaging to my psyche or childhood experience.'
Leave our families alone - 'Being raised by homosexuals was in no way damaging to my psyche or childhood experience.'
by Devin Glaser - SGN Contributing Writer

I sat down amongst my family and friends to watch Mom's Apple Pie: The Heart of the Lesbian Mother's Custody Movement during its brief run at the Broadway Performance Hall on the Seattle Central Community College campus. After missing its first showing during the Seattle International Film Festival, I knew I had to allot time to see the movie's second showing. After all, one of my (many) mothers was heavily featured in the film.

The film features the stories and interviews of Lesbian mothers and their long, painful, and especially difficult custody battles. Watching the film hit a nerve, and I spent the last minutes of the movie and the entirety of the credits weeping in the back row of the theatre.

Jean Kasota, one of the women interviewed, is my mother. I was her second of three children, and have little to no connection to my older brother Shane, the child she lost in multiple custody battles throughout the late 70's and early 80's. Eight years my elder, I saw him sporadically throughout his chaotic adolescence. My memories of him are few and far between, and still to this day, I see him perhaps twice a year. When courts make decisions to "protect" children and families, these are the collateral damages.

When Jean came out, it sparked a long, violent custody debate with her son caught in the middle. Her first court battles, waged in the intolerant Midwest, were doomed to fail. She spent more money than she could afford to on a lawyer who couldn't even say the word Lesbian without contempt. Needless to say, the first judge granted her ex-husband full custody of the child.

Fortuitously, her ex-husband made the mistake of moving from the Midwest to Seattle, where Jean and her then-partner, my biological mother, gave chase. At this point, they received aid from the Lesbian Mother's National Defense Fund (LMNDF) and found a judge who laughed her ex-husband out of the court. Equal custody was granted.

But this was no walk-into-the-sunset happy ending. Throughout this litigious melee, Shane was left completely traumatized. In the end, Jean ended up letting go for fear of doing more harm to her son. She saw him some odd weekends and he lived with us for a brief moment in time during his time in and out of high school. When he was 19 he had a daughter of his own, and despite being present for the birth, I don't feel my mother or I have had much of a chance to be part of her life either.

Being raised by homosexuals was in no way damaging to my psyche or childhood experience. What ultimately proved to be traumatic was the legal system's blatant and unwelcome intervention into our family life, deciding for us what and who constitutes good parents. As our lawmakers continue to spread their gospel proselytizing one-man/one-woman families, I can't help but think of all the children who lay in their wake.

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