Sally Kohn is no stranger to controversy. In a 2014 piece, she once said that referring to an undocumented person as an “illegal immigrant” was tantamount to calling a black person the N-word.
So it came as no surprise on Friday when Kohn declared in an op-ed for the Washington Post that she was gay and she wanted her child to be gay, too.
It was also no surprise that there would be detractors.
Before getting into the pushback, here is some of what the essayist said.
For starters, she noted that many of her friends — even her most liberal — cringed at the idea that she would wish being gay on her child.
“Don’t you want her to be happy?” was a frequent question that Sally Kohn says her friends asked upon hearing of her preference.
“Once upon a time, of course, ‘gay’ meant ‘happy.’ But eventually, the synonyms grew apart,” Kohn said.
“Gay became an unfortunate, even pitiable status. When the gay liberation activist Franklin Kameny launched a simple effort in 1968 to proclaim that ‘gay is good,’ it was because, at the time, it very much wasn’t… And while gay-positive culture has flourished since, our aspirations haven’t kept pace. It’s more widely acceptable to be gay in America today, but that’s not the same as being desirable. In my house, though, it is.”
Kohn went on to say that her daughter grows up with “every picture book featuring gay families, even the not-very-good ones, and we have most of the nontraditional-gender-role books as well — about the princess who likes to fight dragons and the boy who likes to wear dresses.”
To sum up, Kohn wants her child to grow up thinking that being gay is as normal and preferable as being straight. And the level of “indoctrination” she describes in her op-ed did not sit well with some readers.
“SICK,” wrote one commenter.
“If it were true that gay is just as good as straight, then you wouldn’t have to say it,” wrote another. “Everyone would know it already. What gays are yearning for is for straights to say that being gay is just as good. That’s not happening, because everyone knows it’s not true. Parents should want their children to be what they are, not what their parents want them to be.”
“C’mon, Sally. Either you’re born that way or it’s a choice — which is it?”
Do you think Sally Kohn is wrong to say that she wants her young daughter to be a lesbian? Sound off in the comments section.
[Image via Washington Post, linked above]