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Self-Centeredness – An Example

Timothy Kincaid

August 3rd, 2009

One of the common claims of anti-gays is that “the gay lifestyle is selfish”. Mostly, their argument is based on the idea that we selfishly demand to be treated with equality and dignity instead of generously giving in to their demands that we not exist.

But on the Family Research Counsel site, I found what I think may be one of the most blatant examples of selfishness and self-centered demands:

It’s not that unusual for me to have fellow worshipers come up to me after church, over coffee. Normally, however, we swap family stories, talk about children, grandchildren, hobbies, and common interests in our town. Yesterday, however, two friends sought me out with some urgency.

My first friend of the coffee hour was in anguish over his daughter’s decision to live the gay lifestyle. He and his wife had raised two daughters in their loving Christian home. Their younger daughter married and has blessed them with grandchildren. Their elder daughter pursued an academic career. He described this daughter as a brilliant scholar, a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy at a major university. But he and his wife are heartbroken over their daughter’s decision not only to live in a lesbian relationship with another woman, but also her plan to change her sex. Their daughter is beginning hormone treatments soon. Distraught over their daughter’s choices, he appealed to me for help.

I referred him to PFOX—Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays. There, my sorrowful friend would learn that parents can give unconditional love to their children—even as they hold out hope they will exit the gay lifestyle.

My friend was especially concerned that his lesbian daughter would take the extra step—sex change surgery—seeking to alter forever her sexual identity. Will “gender reassignment surgery” be covered under President Obama’s health care takeover, he asked, explaining that his daughter does not currently have the money to cover such expenses. I told him I cannot see how such surgery would not be included in the Obama plan. And if the President or Congress does not include it, activist judges surely will. He pleaded for consideration of parents. “Our wills give our entire estate to the two daughters we gave birth to” he said poignantly. “Now, we will have only one daughter. Where are our rights?”

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Alan
August 3rd, 2009 | LINK

That charge isn’t anything new.

It’s directed against plenty of others: Unmarried couples, singles, single parents, childless couples, and pretty much anyone outside the mainstream.

Jason D
August 3rd, 2009 | LINK

“Now, we will have only one daughter. Where are our rights?”

This is a scary level of selfishness that I’ve come across. I almost dated a guy who’s russian immigrant parents had the same sort of mentality, crying whenever he talked about dating men or whatever. He said, to them, children are supposed to live their lives for their parents — that they sacrificed so much for him that he’s supposed to be repay them by making their dreams come true. That’s possibly the most selfish and passive aggressive thing I’ve ever heard of, what an amazing amount of emotional blackmail.

tavdy79
August 3rd, 2009 | LINK

First thought: so what if that young MAN doesn’t yet have the money for gender reassignment? He’s studying for a PhD – and last time I checked people with PhDs tend to have fairly comfortable incomes.

Second thought: surely they are the ones being selfish in demanding that their son, an independent and evidently intelligent individual, to live the life they determine for him rather than living his own. It seems to me that they are being ungrateful for being given the child they have.

Bruno Kravitz
August 3rd, 2009 | LINK

Dear Distraught Parents:

“What are YOUR rights,” you ask? Well, let’s see… You have the right to face reality and live life on its own terms. You have the right to expand your ideas to include the full complexity of life that has been created, and in the process, you have the opportunity to give your eldest child the kind of support, understanding and acceptance she needs and deserves from her parents, rather than continuing to childishly insist on your own narrow view of what your child must be. You certainly have the right to continue burying your head in the sand, demanding that your own narrow view the world be imposed on the rest of humankind, and alienating the child you claim to love. Your child has given you a gift — the chance to seize hold of a growth opportunity. It’s time to face up to what kind of family values you intend to put into practice, and demonstrate some of that unconditional love that I hear is kind of the cornorstone of the christian faith.

Aaron
August 3rd, 2009 | LINK

I remember one morning when I was at Love in Action, one of the counselors emerged from a room where he and some distraught parents were attempting to convince their son or daughter that they desperately needed to leave the “gay lifestyle” and attend Love in Action. The thing that stuck in my mind was the look on his face as he closed the door behind him. He looked over at us (clients) and shook his head, “some people are just so selfish.”

Burr
August 3rd, 2009 | LINK

The only reason you pathetic excuses for parents will only have one daughter is because of your OWN decision to disown her. Guess what, by doing that you WILL have exercised your rights. You have the right to decide how to respond in that situation, but you don’t have the right to make someone else’s decision for them.

Next parents will be pleading for the right to pick exactly who their children will marry, whether they ever drink alcohol or drive a car, no matter what their age. Yes, let’s just all become perpetual slaves to our ancestors. Real mature.

L. Junius Brutus
August 3rd, 2009 | LINK

“Selfishness is not living the way you want to live. Selfishness is demanding that other people live the way you want to live.”
- Oscar Wilde

Penguinsaur
August 3rd, 2009 | LINK

Wow, what a BS story. I believed it up till the end, were the ‘distraught’ parent had enough composure to segue into why Obama’s healthcare plan is evil and how activist judges *ones they dont like* are destroying america. Those GOP talking points really show how they love and respect gay people and arent trying to rile up bigots against the democrats.

I wish Obama would pay for my sex change, but thats more unlikely them him doing anything on marriage. Its sad that the GOP worshiping bigots are already coming up with lies about transsexuals, I guess they realize they’ve already lost the fight against gays and need a new target.
PS: wouldn’t their daughter be a straight man after the surgeries? One who can marry in a god and state approved union? Seems like their getting the straight kid they want, though I still doubt this family exists.

David
August 3rd, 2009 | LINK

It galls me how consistently the anti-gay religious right will never miss an opportunity to brainwash their adherents with the mendacious orthodox rhetoric regarding homosexuality.

Over and over, this anecdote reinforces the false notion that being a lesbian was a “decision” this daughter made (reiterating that point twice). Terming it as one of her “choices” in life. And telling of their hope that she will [choose] to “exit the gay lifestyle”.

They are certainly determined to drive home the idea that being a homosexual is a deliberate decision. No wonder there are so many families who can’t accept their children’s sexual orientation. They are being mislead into thinking their children are just rebellious perverts.

Matt
August 3rd, 2009 | LINK

I think their rights ended when their daughter moved out of the house.

Anonymous
August 4th, 2009 | LINK

The “Where are our rights?” line really struck a chord with me. I work for a major university that, several years ago, offered the same benefits to same-sex couples it gives married couples. One of my co-workers went ballistic, walking through the office screaming, “They get rights, but what’s happened to my right to not have to work in a place that approves of that lifestyle?” Of course no one was preventing her from quitting, but what was really galling was the idea that she was supposed to have the right to deprive others of the same benefits she enjoyed.

Ben in Oakland
August 4th, 2009 | LINK

Dammit, penguin, you beat me to it.

Regan DuCasse
August 4th, 2009 | LINK

Let’s see, they have a child who is intelligent enough to have become an academic with a degree. Their child is healthy, in love and has someone to share their life with.
Their other child has married and blessed them with grandchildren.
Rather than two daughters, who are blood related, they will have a son and a daughter and the IN LAW daughter and son also. Who are all healthy with their lives ahead of them.

Yep…
They haven’t really taken the inventory of how gifted they were.
It is the spoiled human being who has received all this, and dares to complain anyway.

Selfish…is right.

Ben in Oakland
August 4th, 2009 | LINK

The whole “story” stinks of propaganda.

Hi Mom! I’m a lesbian! no wait, I’m transgender and i really want to be straight. so I’ll become a man because that’s what a lesbian wants to be.”

4 year old son of Naggie Gallagher: mom, I’m confused.

And here comes the really BIG bonus, because there you have an argument against gay marriage. See how it destroys families? see how it breaks parents hearts?

And if you can drag in Obama, activist judges, and socialized medicine ALL IN ONE SHORT PARAGRAPH, you have snatched the gold nipple ring of hate so twisted that reality has no room to exist.

----
August 4th, 2009 | LINK

I truly support their daughter to become straight, by changing her sex. If that’s what she feels like nobody should get in her/his business.

Ben in Oakland
August 4th, 2009 | LINK

That’s the joke, you see. Said daughter probably doesn’t exist, and if she did, her motivation for changing her sex is not going to be so that she could be straight, and which would be unacceptable to her parents in any case. After all, they have RIGHTS!

The point is the absolute ignorance and fear, whether real or feigned, of the anti-gays,intended to mold the minds of the merely ignorant and/or fearful.

I can assure you that just about anyone who writes here absolutely defends her right to self-determination– whether she exists or not. That is indeed the point AGAINST the parents.

If they exist.

Bill S
August 4th, 2009 | LINK

Yep, that story DOES sound pretty fake. If you’re gonna make stuff up to get a point across, you could at least give the people names. The isn’t just lame propaganda, it’s lame storytelling.

GreenEyedLilo
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

I love how they describe SRS as “the extra step” and this (hypothetical?) transman’s life as a “gay lifestyle.” As if all of us lesbians, gays, and bisexuals can’t wait to put the extra cherry on top of our “lifestyles” by getting SRS.

Everything else I want to say has been said before me by others here, and better than I can do it. But this is definitely a clear reminder of where the real selfishness lies. I wonder–if a friend’s daughter decided to become an actress, and slept with a few male producers to get parts, and got completely retooled top to bottom with plastic surgery (leaving aside the crucial few inches between her legs, of course), would the FRC writer be so worked up about that? It wouldn’t be a biblically correct “lifestyle” she was living. But I don’t know of any ministries for that kind of thing, and certainly not ones for parents.

@ L Junius Brutus: That is my e-mail signature!

Ephilei
August 7th, 2009 | LINK

That response is extremely common among family of transgender people – feeling like their loved one has died or disappeared.

Why do people this story is false? It sounds just like many stories from transmen I’ve heard. Transmen often identify as attracted to women before identifying as men too. But he’s not doing it to be straight; he’s doing it because deep down, that’s how he feels.

Jason D
August 7th, 2009 | LINK

ephilei,
it comes across as fake not because of the transman part, but because it’s the perfect storm of right wing talking points:

-the other daughter is married with children, no mention of her career or anything else, just she’s doing the good christian thing and settling down and having kids.

But what’s older daughter doing?

Getting a Ph.D! (ELITIST UNAMERICAN!)
Living a lesbian “lifestyle”! (SHAME!)
Living with her partner! (GAY MARRIAGE!)
Obama might pay for it with ObamaCare! (“”SOCIALISM”")
Activist Judges will make sure of it! (AGHH!)
What about our heterosexual priviledges? (WE’RE BEING OPPRESSED!!!)

all that’s missing is:

Casually mentioning that the wife and husband are walking around with their birth certificates laminated to their chests for all the world to see (unlike a certain president!).

Mentioning that the wife seriously considered an abortion of the lesbian child, but didn’t — because life is sacred — and this is how she’s repayed for doing God’s work?

Mentioning that their daughter’s partner is an illegal immigrant and or Muslim.

Mentioning that their daughter or her partner are in the armed forces (or intending to be).

Mentioning that the couple are considering adopting a child.

Mentioning that they were helplessly forced to sit by while schools taught their (now transgender lesbian) daughter about condoms and birth control.

Bill S
August 8th, 2009 | LINK

That’s pretty good, Jason. Maybe YOU should be writing for them.

ravenbiker
August 12th, 2009 | LINK

Whoa. Bizarre.

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