Gay parents might be a fairly new topic — or, at least, it might seem new to anyone over 30 or so.
But every story changes depending on who’s telling it and who’s hearing it. Sometimes what seems like a new element to some people is just another part of reality for others.
Consider Sophie Brookswolf, 10-year-old daughter of Doug Brooks and Rusty Wolf in Atlanta. Doug posted this video recently, after someone noticed Doug’s cameos in her musical.ly clips and asked about her father’s name.
Sophie has a musical.ly account. One of her followers saw me in a video and asked her what my name is. It’s not clear exactly what he wanted to know, but I loved Sophie’s response.
Posted by Douglas L. Brooks on Saturday, May 20, 2017
This is the second time I’ve shared one of Doug’s posts about Sophie’s simple wisdom. One from a couple of years ago got more page views, by far, than any other item I’ve ever shared.
I love it for a number of reasons — chiefly, its brevity. (Soul of wit, and all.) But also Sophie’s powerful ability to state things clearly and simply — a genius of children we all should try to hold.
The first Facebook post from Doug
Here’s the first post he shared.
Me: “Sophie, I heard that girl, Isabella, at the pool asking why you had two Dads, but I didn’t hear your answer. What did you say?”
Sophie: “I said, ‘Because they’re gay.'”
Gay parents in the United States
Doug says Sophie has classmates with same-sex parents. But it’s hard to say how many gay parents there are in America. It’s also hard to say with any certainty how many lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender Americans exist.
A study by the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute estimates that 37 percent of LGBT Americans have had a child. The study says that means as many as 6 million American children and adults have an LGBT parent, according to findings from a national study released by Williams Institute Distinguished Scholar, Gary J. Gates.
“These analyses highlight the diversity and prevalence of LGBT parents and their children in the U.S.,” Gates wrote. “The data show that LGBT families are clearly part of modern American life.”
“LGBT Parenting in the United States” also says:
- Same-sex parents and their children are more likely to be racial and ethnic minorities.
- LGBT parents live in states from coast to coast.
- States with the highest proportions of same-sex couples raising kids include Mississippi (26 percent), Wyoming (25 percent), Alaska (23 percent), Idaho (22 percent), and Montana (22 percent). (Note: Those are all “red” states, when we might have expected California and New York to be at the top.)
Information and perspective
Such findings are important, and I hope we see more responsible reporting on gay parents in the future.
I also hope we see more kids — and Americans of all ages — react with Sophie’s almost comical matter-of-fact approach.
Says it all, doesn’t it?
For storytellers, she’s a sweet reminder that audiences change all the time, and we need to keep up with them.
Share your stories of same-sex parents firstname.lastname@example.org.
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