You know, we've been damned lucky in our experiences having children of a different ethnicity. We've gotten very few negative reactions. To the contrary, it's been positive. We've heard stories of friends who get rude comments — worse yet, from people in official positions — and have been vigilant perhaps to the point of paranoia. But the only airport/security/boarder experience we've had was when an African-American TSA guy looked at us and our kids and said "that's a beautiful thing you are doing."
That's why I feel so damned lucky reading Dan Savage's story, as repeated by Andrew Sullivan:
I feel for Bruce Bawer …but try coming back into the US from Europe with your partner and your adopted child.
DJ is, as you know, a quick kid. He spends a lot of time around adults, he's not oblivious, he can read adults. And we go to Canada and/or Europe at least twice a year. I can't tell you the number of times we've had passport and/or customs officials literally and audibly scoff when we tell them DJ is our son — you know, that "uusssggghhhh" sound people make when they're told something they don't believe or are offended by, a cross between groaning and clearing your throat.
We've had passport control officers roll their eyes, glare at us, look down at DJ and slowly shake their heads. And DJ understands everything — these people, these people in US government uniforms, think we did something wrong by adopting him. That there's something illegitimate about his family.
The worst part, of course, is that we can't say anything. We can't defend ourselves or him or his family as we're insulted and demeaned because God only knows what will happen if we get into an argument.
So you know what we've told him since he began to understand the scoffing and eye rolling and disgusted looks? That these people work for George W. Bush, and that George W. Bush doesn't approve of gay families, and he hires assholes that feel the same way. They're George W. Bush's employees — that's why they treat us like that.
What are we going to use for an excuse after Bush is out of office?
He's a more self-controlled man than I — as, quite probably, he has to be. I'd be in those scumbags' faces. I don't agree with gratuitous Bush-bashing, but I'm not entirely sure this is gratuitous. Bush's administration has, after all, employed and benefited from just this sort of bigotry.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
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