Friday, April 12, 2024

These Are My Family Values

There is an ad on TV about growing up to be like your parents, well I’ll tell you these are the the family values that they taught me… love and understanding.
Before his transgender daughter was suspended after using the girls’ bathroom at her Missouri high school. Before the bullying and the suicide attempts. Before she dropped out.

Before all that, Dusty Farr was — in his own words — “a full-on bigot.” By which he meant that he was eager to steer clear of anyone LGBTQ+.

Now, though, after everything, he says he wouldn’t much care if his 16-year-old daughter — and he proudly calls her that — told him she was an alien. Because she is alive.

“When it was my child, it just flipped a switch,” says Farr, who is suing the Platte County School District on Kansas City’s outskirts. “And it was like a wake-up.”
Would you rather pass along these values then what the family values of Republicans?
Looking back, Farr figures his daughter, the youngest of five, started feeling out of place in her own body when she was just 6 or 7. But he didn’t see it.

Farr said he didn’t have “a lot of exposure to what I would consider the outside world” in the conservative Nebraska community where he was raised. “Just old farmers” is how he described it.

Moving to the Kansas City area, which has 20% more people than live in all of Nebraska, was a culture shock. “I had never seen the LGBTQ community up close, and I would still have my closed-minded thoughts.” He said things then that he now regrets. “A lot of derogatory words. I don’t want to go back to that place.”
Many Republicans come from a mono-culture… White, Christian culture, and straight. Where there is only the conservative view and where everyone knows everyone else.
“No parent has a favorite,” Farr says, “but if I had a favorite, it would be my youngest.”

But when she was 12, she started to steer away from him, spending more time with the rest of the family. It lasted for a few months before she came out to her family. He knows now how hard this was. “Growing up,” he says, “my kids knew how I felt.”

His wife, whom he described as less sheltered, was on board immediately. Him, not so much.
Family values, that is what conservatives preach… but only their values.
Then it hit him. “She’s a girl.”

“I got peace from God. Like, ‘This is how your daughter was born. I don’t make mistakes as God. So she was made this way. There’s a reason for it.’”
My brother accepted me with open arms, my niece and nephews accepted me with open arms… those are family values.

My brother told me later that he accepted me because of his priest. They are Episcopalians and my brother was on the parish council and he got to know the priest… who was a lesbian. He got to know her as a person, not something abstract.

To me family values are… love, respect, and acceptance of others.
“Where we’re at now is what matters,” he says. “Me being a loving father. Me being accepting, me knowing that this isn’t a choice. This is how she was born.”
Whose family values? That is the choice in November… whose? 

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