This is a safe space for us to better understand the LGBTQ family experience by reading, writing and sharing letters.
Dear Straight People

Dear Straight People

This is a poem by an anonymous Rainbow Letter writer inspired by Denice Frohman's poem entitled "Dear Straight People."

Dear straight people,

Why are you staring at us?

I try and stare curiously back at you, but you will not meet my eyes.

You stare at us like we have three heads

Like you could catch it

Like we are freaks.

Who do you think you are?

We part your unfriendly waters, walking close to brace ourselves against your hate.

We keep moving.

And my two mothers, walking confidently next to me, don't seem to notice your stares

They talk about their days, wrapped in their own wonderful world of love.

But I see your stares.

Your stares wrap me up and throw me out again like I am not good enough.

I want to defend my mothers,

shield them from your hurtful stares

Go away

Leave us the fuck alone.

I know you are staring at my family and wondering how I will turn out.

How unfortunate and unlucky I am because I will probably be gay

Because I do not have a "father figure"

Because gay parents damage their children.

Dear straight people,

You are the ones who, in elementary school would ask me questions,

"Why don't you have a dad?"

"Do you know who your dad is?"

No, because I have two moms.

But at that age, you stopped there.

You accepted my answers.

But there came a time when my answers were not enough for you and you wanted to know every detail about my life.

You wanted me to lay out my life for you on a silver platter so you can examine every inch of me and find me lacking.

Dear straight people,

In middle school you started with more questions:

Why don't you have a dad?

Did he die?

Do you know who your dad is?

Do you wish you had a dad?

Do you think you missed out by not having a dad?

Do you think your brother missed out by not having a father figure?

No, because I have two moms.

Dear straight people,

In high school the questions got idiotic.

Which one of your moms is the man?

Then they got harder.

So, are you gay?

Is your brother gay?

No, because I have two moms, is an answer that is not enough anymore.

By asking me those questions, you connected my sexuality to my parents' sexuality.

You connected my brother's lack of a father figure to his ability to be a man.

You assumed that I had to be gay because of my parents.

You assumed it was okay to ask me about my sexuality because I must talk about it all the time.


Every time someone started a conversation about families in high school, I held my breath.

I pushed the air deep down into my lunges, praying they would not say something stupid, praying they would not force the air out of my lunges as I would have to stand up against their bigotry.

Other times, my family was left out entirely. How many forms have you filled out that have two spots to put down your two mothers' names?

How many two mom families do you see portrayed on tv? In books?

How many times have you been asked the question: What is your mother's name and what is your father's name and then had to explain to the confused woman at the front desk that you have two mothers and here are their names.

Talking to people, I would dance around the truth, using gender-neutral language for as long as possible when describing my family.

But whenever I came out to people about my family, I held my breath again and watched their faces.

I watched their eyes, squinting, maybe even pulling their head back in shock.

I would wait. Give them a minute to collect themselves, watching the cogs turn in their brains as their world exploded, judging by their face how much longer this conversation would have to go, how much explaining about my life and my family I would have to do.

Then they would say, "Oh."

Eyes still squinting, wait for it...wait for it...now they have questions, questions that they assume I will be able to answer, that I will want to answer, just to satisfy their own curiosity.

"Oh?" Is that all you can say? Does my family threaten you that much?

That one word always cut me to the core. That one word judged my entire life, judged it and found it less than.

Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy talking about my family. But can you ask me questions that are more than just about sexuality?

I do not mind explaining, but can you ask in a way that does not immediately put me on the defensive?

Dear straight people,

At the end of high school, your questions ran out.

But that was when I needed you the most.

When my state attacked my family and told us we were not a family,

that is when I needed you.

But that is when you stopped being interested.

When I want to answer your questions and talk about my family, you weren't there.

Instead, we played the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" game until I burst.

And then you stopped talking to me.

You called our classmates gay as if it were a bad thing, you taught me it was a bad thing.

As a teenager I would turn on the news and listen to the newscasters debating the authenticity of my family. I went online where people felt free to call each other faggots behind the safety of their computer screens.

I heard:

Gay parents turn their children gay

Gay parents sexually assault their children

Gay parents make their children more likely to be depressed, to have suicidal thoughts

Gay parents ruin children

And I decided that it was my job to prove those people wrong.

So, I told myself, I was not allowed to be gay, I was not allowed to be depressed.

Dear straight people,

You have pushed me so far deep in the closet that I can't see the light under the crack of the door to find my way out again.

And at this point I don't even know if I am in a closet. That is where you have put me my entire life.

But now it is my turn.

It is my turn to control my own life.

My own destiny.

Get the fuck out of my way because here I come!

She Doesn't Stand Alone

She Doesn't Stand Alone