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Another Child of Same-Sex Parents Speaks Out

Heather Barwick Heather Barwick

In what is becoming a new phenomenon, another child of same-sex parents has published an open letter to the gay community telling them that she decided to “come out” of the closet and tell the truth about children who are raised in same-sex households - they’re hurting.

The letter, appearing on The Federalist, was written by Heather Barwick, a married mother of four, who was raised by two lesbians in the 80’s and 90’s. Her birth parents split when she was a toddler because her mother wanted a female partner. After the divorce, her father didn’t bother with her anymore, and she went on to be raised by her mother and her lesbian partner.

Once a supporter of gay marriage, Barwick has reckoned with herself and her personal experience to determine that she just can’t support it anymore. And it’s not because she’s against homosexuals.

“It’s because of the nature of the same-sex relationship itself,” she writes.

Now that she’s married and can witness the blessing of children who are loving and being loved by a father every day, she has been able to realize the beauty and wisdom of traditional marriage and parenting.

“Same-sex marriage and parenting withholds either a mother or father from a child while telling him or her that it doesn’t matter. That it’s all the same. But it’s not. A lot of us, a lot of your kids, are hurting. My father’s absence created a huge hole in me, and I ached every day for a dad. I loved my mom’s partner, but another mom could never have replaced the father I lost.”

She grew up surrounded by women who said they didn’t need or want a man, yet as a little girl, she desperately wanted a father.

“It is a strange and confusing thing to walk around with this deep-down unquenchable ache for a father, for a man, in a community that says that men are unnecessary.”

Not that same-sex couples can’t be good parents. They can, and she believes she had some of the best, but “by and large, the best and most successful family structure is one in which kids are being raised by both their mother and father.”

However, unlike children of divorce or adoption who are encouraged to speak up about their experiences, children raised by same-sex parents aren't afforded that luxury.

“Many of us are too scared to speak up and tell you about our hurt and pain, because for whatever reason it feels like you’re not listening. That you don’t want to hear. If we say we are hurting because we were raised by same-sex parents, we are either ignored or labeled a hater. This isn’t about hate at all.”

She goes on to wisely point out that no one knows the pain of an ill-fitting label that is used to silence or malign better than homosexuals.

“And I know that you really have been hated and that you really have been hurt. I was there, at the marches, when they held up signs that said, ‘God hates fags’ and ‘AIDS cures homosexuality.’ I cried and turned hot with anger right there in the street with you. But that’s not me. That’s not us.”

She adds: “I know this is a hard conversation. But we need to talk about it. If anyone can talk about hard things, it’s us. You taught me that.”

The march toward acceptance of gay marriage and parenting has been moving at break-neck speed in the past few years but so has the emergence of children who have grown to adulthood in same-sex households and are now old enough to speak out. Many are expressing the same reservations as Barwick about these "alternative family" arrangements.

Rivka Edelman, who was raised by same-sex parents, recently announced that says she and others like her are publishing their stories because of the dire need to get the truth out, a truth that is being silenced by activists who have been bullying them into hiding for too long. In fact, just the announcement of their intentions caused a backlash by activists who publicly maligned her, published her home address, tried to get her fired and issued threats against her family.

But the abuse only made her more determined to afford children like herself and Barwick the chance to set the record straight – same sex parenting is just not working.

Click here to read the letter sent to gay fashionistas Dolce and Gabbana from six children of same-sex parents.

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