Does it jump out at anyone else that a lot of people around here came from hardline Christian upbringings? A lot of liberals tend to come from those sorts of backgrounds, I've observed. Which is hilarious; the harder you try to drill Christianity into your kids, the more likely they'll grow up to be the exact kind of leftist hippies you hate so much.
Anyway, to answer the topic title: no, thank god. As I mentioned offhand once, I'm a huge disappointment to my parents. If you've ever read Harry Potter, they're basically a non-cartoonish version of the Dursleys; they are utterly obsessed with normalcy. Very little about me is normal, and they always let me know how much that bothered them. When I was little, I was never allowed to dress how I wanted, I had to dress the way everyone else dressed. When my bedroom got smoke damage and had to be repainted, they made a pretense of letting me choose the color. I wanted black, because I suffer from dayblindness and it'd help keep my room super-dark. They wouldn't let me, because it was too "unusual."
They hated all my friends because I typically made friends with the weird kids. They implicitly and, on occasion, explicitly enforced gender stereotypes. For example, they wouldn't let me buy a purple Gameboy with my own money ("my own" as in "I earned it," too, not as in "they gave it to me"); I had to get the blue one.
I had some prostate problems when I was a teenager and for awhile, I could only pee comfortably if I sat down, and my father was absolutely beside himself about that. I mean, he lost sleep over it. And he let me know this was unacceptable behavior for a man. "Be a man," that was his line.
I enjoy cooking, and more specifically baking. Well that was just awful to them. Women cook in the house - though only men are paid chefs - and professionally or not, only women bake. WTF was my problem that I was baking? What would the neighbors think?! And when I wanted to dye my hair? They practically went into cardiac arrest.
I never dated in gradeschool, and they were always up in arms about that. A normal boy should date. Actually, the thing they were worried about most there was that I might be gay. Oh poor, poor them! Their son might be gay! How could those poor folk ever deal with such abnormalcy? Poor, poor them.
I actually, literally nursed injured animals back to health when I was a kid. Cute? Sweet? Nope. Weak. Unmanly.
The worst was probably when I checked out a book by Gloria Steinem. Apparently they were keeping tabs on what books I checked out. Anyway, they sat me down to "talk to me" in the same tone and gravity as when they told me my aunt died when I was seven, and put the book on the table and said they were sick with worry about my future.
No, that wasn't the worst, not by a long shot. The very worst of it all? When other people would tell me "they only want what's best for you." Or the supposedly-more sympathetic, but every bit as awful "they mean well, even if they might be a little misguided." Not as bad, but still incredibly irritatating is "I'm sure they love you deep down."
I mean, when I imagine having a child of my own, I can't possibly fathom ever telling - even if it's implicitly - my own baby, my own flesh and blood, that they're not good enough for me, that they need to change to suit my tastes. I'd feel like a monster, I'd never forgive myself. If they're doing something morally objectionable, sure, but...I mean, I just plain can't fathom what goes through a human's mind that could make them - with no shame or regret - treat their own child that way. Physical abuse is easier to understand.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining, I'm just answering the question, and saying that I really can't understand their behavior. Not complaining at all -- I always had all the food, shelter and clean running water I wanted. By all accounts, I had it good. Real good. Compared to other people in my own country, let alone people throughout the world. Just saying; I'm a pretty thorough disappointment to my folks. All they ever wanted was for me to be normal. And I'm not.
Man, this topic is depressing. Like, two out of twenty of us said "my parents always gave me unconditional love and everything's awesome between us." Everyone else had at least one thing that sort of makes them question their parents pride in and love for them. How fucked up is that? Seriously, what's wrong with us? Humans, I mean? That we treat our children like this?
I'm not being rhetorical, I literally don't understand it. I literally cannot fathom having a child of my own, and looking down into their eyes and feeling anything other than bursting love. I can't possibly imagine any human telling their healthy, happy, law-abiding child that they want them to change in any respect whatsoever.
And even if my child was stealing cars or something, I'd still love them with all my heart and soul. And screw society, screw everyone else on the fucking planet -- I'd only try to turn them away from actual crime because of the potential consequences for them, for my child, my baby, part of me, part of my flesh, part of my blood.
I get that "family" doesn't mean much to many people in my culture, that most people who are blood related are essentially complete strangers despite, but still. Even considering that, how much of a soulless monster do you have to be to be unhappy with your child because of something like their sexuality, or the way they dress, or their religious beliefs, or what career path they choose? It's beyond me. I just can't understand it.
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