Proud Daughter of Two Moms
April 25, 2017
To the person who committed the hate crime in North Carolina,
On November 9th 2016, you left a note on a gay family’s car in a parking lot in North Carolina. It read: “Can’t wait until your ‘marriage’ is overturned by a real president. Gay Families=Burn in Hell. #Trump2016 #REPENT #GODBLESS.” It went viral on social media within hours that it was left. I am not sure why you were compelled to write such a hateful statement. I do not know your religious beliefs or relationship to this family. I do not know who you are, nor do I know your story. But, I do know my story and I want to share it with you.
My name is Becca Gorman and I have two moms. Along with my older brother, we live in the suburbs of Boston in a cozy, little house nestled in a welcoming neighborhood. Our house lies in the birthplace of the American revolution, minutes away from where our brave ancestors’ blood stained the ground in order to grant us the freedoms we enjoy today. In fact, Sudbury has the honor of having the zip code 01776—an honor our neighbors of Concord and Lexington envy. One of my moms works at a local university, serving the student body and ensuring that their needs are met. She received her Masters from Harvard University, and graduated at the top of her class. She came from a small town in the suburbs of Chicago and lost her dad at the age of 7. She was never given any hand-outs in her life and worked for years to pay for her education. My other mom works as a psychiatric nurse specialist, as well as a local hospital where she leads support groups in her free time. She is the definition of what it means to be Bostonian. She was born in the North Shore of Boston to a family of fourteen. She also lost her father at a young age, and was forced to take on a parental role to help take care of her younger siblings. Similar to my other mother, she came from nothing and worked her hardest to get to where she is today.
Thanks to my parents hard work, I am fortunate to have lived a comfortable life. My brother and I are both attending prestigious colleges, and thanks to a combination of financial aid and scholarships, should graduate with relatively few college loans. My brother volunteers as an EMT, helping both students and members of the community. I run on our college track and field team, and participate in advocacy work in my free time. I hope to join the Peace Corps after college.
If you came to my home, I doubt that it would look much different from the average American family. My parents would probably either be doing taxes or watching a sitcom in our living room. My brother and I would be doing our homework or taking the dogs on a walk. We may be sitting down for a family dinner, or perhaps playing a board game in our family room. Maybe we invited the neighbors over for dessert, or were making s’mores in the backyard. I know many families with gay parents and I can assure you that their homes look very similar to my own. What you would not find in the home of a gay family is god-hating, Satan worshipers plotting to destroy your freedoms and liberties.
I think that the election has magnified the divisions in our country. I have often found myself guilty of categorizing those that are different from me as the “other,” rather than attempting to hear them out. One of the incredible features of our democracy is our freedom to think, to talk, and to disagree freely. In my opinion, the only way to heal our divisions is to try to understand one another. I have found that the harder I work to understand someone and really listen to their story—regardless if their personal beliefs differ from mine—the easier it is to understand their perspective, and perhaps create a bridge where before laid a division. Your message forces me to wonder if you have any gay family members in your life, or if you know any gay couples aside from those depicted on media platforms. I hope that my story allows you to feel like you know my family. I don’t expect that it will change your opinion on gay marriage, or what is “right” or what is “wrong,” but I hope that it personalizes the issue for you. I hope that the next time you see a gay family get out of their car, that instead of feeling a visceral reaction of disgust and hatred, perhaps you might wonder about the struggles and circumstances of their life—what they care about, who loves them and who they love. If this letter somehow gets to you, and you feel so obliged, I invite to you to write me: firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s start a dialogue. Let’s see the humanity in one another. It’s a place to start.