One of my girlfriends who is currently 3-month pregnant forwarded a very interesting Chinese documentary film, Mama rainbow (with English subtitles) made by director Fan Popo and posted a serious question, “What would you do if your child is a gay?” I used to think all sorts of possibilities to my babies when I was pregnant: What if his heart beat is too fast/slow? Is his body anatomy normal? What if he is detected down syndrome? Fortunately these worries and anxieties were eased along the way after all kinds of ultrasound imaging and lab tests. As all other expecting parents, we also started to dream about how they look, whose genes they inherit more and when is the not-so-bad time to have a girlfriend after finding out that they were boys. This kind of day-dreaming just never ends even after they were born. When we thought about their girlfriends, or more precisely what kind of daughter-in-law I would like to have, my husband did casually pop the question: “What if he is a gay and one day brings a man home?” My first instinct response was “No way!” Well, why will he be a gay if both his Mama and Dada are not? Well … OK, I have to admit there is no logical standing in the above statement.
I watched this 28 minutes long video clip, Mama rainbow, that is represented by PFLAG China and are basically some interviews with homosexual people and their mothers. I’m not very impressed about the film: the tone of the film is very monotonic and overly rosy. There was another documentary Queer China, ‘Comrade’ China (with English subtitles) that is more comprehensive on the topic. Chinese society is very conservative on this issue and most people from my parents’ generation would actually deny the existence of homosexual people in China. Due to the extreme social pressure, very few gays/lesbians would step forward to claim what they really are, coming out the closet (出柜). One most important factor is the root and foundation of Chinese traditional value: inheritance and carrying on the family line (传承，传宗接代).
I thought I have always been a very liberal person. Having been living in the States for so many years, I always have positive attitude towards gays/lesbians and in fact I have worked with a few gay men. I found them as professional as others and most of the time are much more considerate, clean and handsome than straight men. These are their lives and their personal choices; as long as they are not hurting any others, I’m perfectly fine. And I do support legalize the same-sex marriage. But then why my first response is negative when it comes to my own children? I realized I need more information before I take any side. I start to search online to read some review papers on the researches of the topic. There are tremendous biological and psychological researches conducted since 1930s, in the efforts to prove whether homosexuality is born or made. After reading those papers, I personally tend to believe this is nature, although I also can not rule out the fact there is a small fraction of homosexual population is due to the external/environmental factors.
Are these information really helpful for making my decision on what to do if my kids are gays? The answer is no, not really. At the end, all it matters to me is my role as a parent to my children. I brought them to this complex enough world without really consulting them. No matter what they are, the nature of parents’ love is to take them as is and love them unconditionally. The outside world is full of danger, temptations, beauty and also hopes. As their parents, I hope being in our arms can be the safest and always-there harbor for them. That is what it matters at last: parents’ instinct and nature. Well, maybe I can also comfort myself a bit more: for having two children, the probabilities of both being gay is low and my family genes will be passed along the chain. 🙂