Thursday, February 08, 2007

My family demographic

A while back I got questions/comments from two different readers.

One asked why my boys were predominantly white. Another why I didn't take girls.

The short answer is that these are the kids that I get asked to take. I get asked to take them because (1) they come out and (2) their current families have trouble with their sexuality.

I know there are girls who come out, but from what I can tell, the families who typically take teenage girls around here cope fairly well with that. They are prehaps not as welcoming as we are, but their main reaction seems to be, "At least they won't get pregnant."

At least two (I have been told "several") girls in my agency have come out as lesbians and then later "ended up" in relationships with men. The social workers have therefore expressed hesitancy about the idea of placing any teenage girls with us -- seeing as we have a straight-identified teenage boy in the house. The trust Andrew, but there are certain situations they just don't want to set up. Certainly they would insist that Brian move his room back down stairs and any girl would have to be upstairs with us.

That two of my three boys are white is probably misleading. Twice we were asked to take Mexican American gay boys who ended up not getting into the program after all. One was sent back to his mother and the other I never got the story on, but I think he ran away.

I think though that part of what is going on is reflective of whatever factors affect the GLBT community in general. Questions whose answers I can only guess at:

Why do girls generally come out just a little later than boys?

Why, even though I live in a community that is nearly half Mexican American, do I almost never seen anyone who is not white at GLBT/PFLAG community events?

I don't know the answers to these questions.


  1. Just to chime in my two cents. The conversation on racial representation in LGBT organizations is huge. Even here we have issues about racism and even ageism. Many minorities say they don't feel represented in mainstream LGBT groups. Part of that from what I see is lack of outreach on the groups part and lack of minorities owning their right to be part of it.

  2. I think that many many women experience their sexuality as more fluid than men, for reasons I won't guess at - nature? nurture? I'm not qualified to say.

    As for racial representation, I think the problem is twofold: racism or similar issues certainly exist within queer communities, but many racial minorities also struggle with their own particular cultural issues when coming out, making it in many cases more difficult to come out.


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