Response to Cherilyn Eager 9/25/2014
Last week, Cherilyn Eager made a lot of statements in an effort to damn the cause of marriage equality, claiming to be an expert because of "LGBT entertainer friends" that she worked with. In the process she said a lot of hurtful and spiteful things.
Cherilyn Eager neither knows nor understands her “LGBT entertainer friends.” She likely has none left after she proved that she is no friend to the LGBT community. Her attacks are strongly reminiscent of Anita Bryant’s rhetoric in the 1970s, are just as ignorant, steeped in misinformation, just as inflammatory, and just as dangerous. Anita Bryant’s rhetoric swept the nation, resulting in the repeal of LGBT protections, and led to violence and police brutality against many people who simply desired to be themselves.
Cherilyn claims that the children of LGBT people have been forcibly separated by their biological parents. This is probably the biggest piece of misinformation she espouses. These are not the days of slavery, and she would be hard pressed to prove anything of the kind. Most of these children are adopted or have as one of their parents one of the biological parents that already has custody of the child. Legal adoption rights simply mean being able to more adequately care for children that don’t have the care they need in the first place.
When Ms. Eager brings up the arguments that the LGBT community is filled with pedophiles and is actively recruiting young people, she is engaging in fear-mongering with no factual basis. Her claims are hard to prove and what she fails to realize is that many LGBT people lose their natural families because they are forced out. 42% of the population winds up without a family, and quite often homeless. She is talking about a family, my family, that embraced people that others had thrown out or abandoned. LGBT people don’t abandon their children more than straight people do; quite often our children abandon us, and we have to show consistent love to try to win them back. Societal rules, society’s non-accepting norms and rules based on misinformation is what drives families apart. When Ms. Eager attacks the LGBT community, she attacks my family, and I will defend my family.
Ms. Eager brings up Regnerus, whose theories have been discredited, and Dr. McHugh, who claims that transgender people are more suicidal after surgery. I know a number of people who have had surgery and none of them have taken their own life. Transgender people, like others, take their own lives when they feel that their life is hopeless, which is more common if your family rejects you, employers reject you, and landlords reject you. I have built a support network for the transgender community, because it is support and opportunity that give people hope. People who are shunned often kill themselves because we all need to belong. Transgender people die, like anyone else, when they are shunned. But because we have built our own internal support networks and our own family, there is always hope, and we will survive.
Ms. Eager says that her LGBT entertainer friends with children are struggling. I have LGBT entertainer friends and I have LGBT friends with children and straight friends with children, and I don’t see any of them struggling any more than the others, except under the onus of a society that doesn’t think they should have families.