Fostering Some Growth In Your Classmates

, , , , , , | Learning | April 27, 2021

This happened in the mid-1980s. My state had just declared that only straight people could now foster children and I was one of many protesting this new policy. I was also getting an education degree. One of my teachers had us form small groups and choose an issue in the news about children or education to present on at the end of the quarter. I ended up in a group of about five people I didn’t know. I suggested the foster care topic and everyone agreed.

Our first meeting was in a restaurant. One of my fellow group members, [Student], was a bit older than the rest of us and brought along his eight-year-old daughter. He didn’t see the problem with the policy change.

Student: “I mean, I wouldn’t want a gay person babysitting my daughter.”

Me: “Oh. So, you wouldn’t want me to babysit her?”

Student: “What? No. You could babysit her. I just don’t want a gay person to.”

Me: “I see. So, I couldn’t watch her.”

Student: “I’d be happy to have you watch her. I just don’t want her around gay people.”

This continued back and forth a few times and he was completely clueless. The other students were trying not to laugh.  

Over the next month or two, we kept meeting and [Student] was always polite but still homophobic and opposed to gay foster parents. It didn’t matter for the project as we were only giving a factual overview and then each presenting on our own sub-topics, so we didn’t have to agree. [Student] had been planning something about how terrible it was for children to be raised by parents who weren’t straight. Eventually, I came out to him formally. He was surprised and didn’t say much.

At our last meeting before the presentation, we went over each of our sub-topics as some had changed a bit.

Student #2: “So, [Student], what have you decided for yours?”

Student: “I’m going to talk about the psychological harm to children when they’re taken away from their loving gay foster parents.”

And so he did. It was perfect.


This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for April 2021!

Read the next Feel Good roundup for April 2021 story!

Read the Feel Good roundup for April 2021!

1 Thumbs
871