Debate gets the haters out

I’ve had enough of your anti-gay venom” — Sharon Underwood

The Valley News

Vermont debate brings out the haters

I saw firsthand how cruel and misguided individuals can be as the mom of a gay child.

Many letters about the homosexual threat in Vermont have been sent to the Valley News. I’m a gay son’s mother, and I’ve taken good people from you enough.

I’m tired of your stupid “homosexual agenda” rhetoric and your claims that accepting homosexuality is the same as promoting sex with kids. You’re both cruel and ignorant. Since my kids were small, you have been stealing me from the joys of motherhood.

My firstborn child began to suffer from your moral, upright families from the moment he was in the first grade at the hands of the moral little thugs. From the first grade directly through high school, he was physically and verbally abused because he was considered to be homosexual.

He never claimed to be homosexual or associated with anything homosexual, but he had the misfortune of not walking or gesturing like the other kids. He was constantly called “fag,” beginning at the age of 6.

While your kids were doing what kids that age was supposed to do in high school, mine worked on a suicide note, drafting and redrafting it to make sure his family knew how much he loved them. My 17-year-old sobbing tore my heart out as he choked that he couldn’t bear to live any longer, that he didn’t want to be gay and that he couldn’t face a life without dignity.

You have the audacity to speak about defending families and kids from the threat of homosexuality, while tearing families apart and driving kids to desperation. I don’t know why my son is gay, but I know God hasn’t placed him on this Earth, and millions like him, to give you somebody to abuse. God gave you brains to think, and the time has come for you to start doing that.

At the heart of all your misguided views is the conviction that there is some sort of subculture out there that individuals have selected to enter. The fact is that if my family can do that, it can happen to yours and you won’t be able to choose. I don’t understand if it’s genetic or if something happens during a critical period of fetal development. I can only inform you that it is inborn with absolute certainty.

If you want to change your own morality, something more meaningful than your heterosexuality would be the best you could come up with. You have done nothing to gain it; you have been provided it. I would be keen to hear your tale if you disagree, because my own heterosexuality was a blessing that I got without any effort on my part. It is so woven into my very soul that it can never be changed by anything.

I’m confused for those of you who limit sexual orientation to a easy decision, a personality problem, a poor habit, or something that a 10-step program can change. Are you stating that you have selected your own sexual orientation, that you can alter it at will?

If that’s not the situation, why would you say that somebody else could?

A common theme in your letters is that outsiders have infiltrated Vermont. For generations, both sides of my family have been living in Vermont. I am a Vermonter’s heart and soul, so I’m going to thank you for stopping stating you’re speaking for “true Vermonters.” You invoke the memory of the brave people who fought for this great country on the battlefield, saying they didn’t give their life so that the “homosexual agenda” could break down the values that they had given up in defense.

My 83-year-old dad was injured and awarded the Purple Heart in some of World War II’s most horrific fights. In the life his grandson had to live, he shakes his head in sorrow. He says in those battles he fought alongside homosexuals, they did their part and they didn’t bother anyone. One of his best friends in the service was gay, and until the end he never knew it, and it didn’t matter at all when he found out. That wasn’t the man’s measure. You religious folk just can’t bear the idea that as my son emerges from the hell that was his childhood, he might like to find a companion for a lifetime and have a measure of happiness. It offends your sensitivity that he should ask for the right to visit that hospital partner, make medical choices for him or profit from inheritance tax legislation.

How dare he do that? You’re saying that. These outrageous demands would threaten your family’s very life, undermine wedding sanctity.

You use religion to relinquish your duty to be human thinking. Vast numbers of religious individuals consider their attitudes repugnant. For the privileged majority, God is not, and God understands that my son has not committed any sin.

The deep-thinking writer of a letter to the April 12 Valley News who lectures on gay sin and informs us about “those of us who have been blessed with the advantages of a religious upbringing” asks: “What occurred to the concept of striving to be better than we are?”

(Sharon Underwood lives in Junction White River, Vermont.)