Republican opinion leader Ann Coulter thinks parents disowning their gay kids is a joke.
“Last Thursday was national ‘coming out’ day. This Monday is national ‘disown your son’ day.”
I recognize that this is a joke, and that she is not really taken seriously in any context anyway, but with this coming right after National Coming Out Day, at the start of Ally Week and just days before Spirit Day, I thought this would be a good opportunity to talk about this idea of hers. There was a time in our culture’s history when, if thousands of LGBT kids were to come out on the same day, the next week genuinely would be exactly what Ann describes, all across the country. Fathers disowning their sons and kicking them out onto the street. Mothers locking up their daughters or sending them to charm school. Children forced to undergo electro-shock or even worse forms of “therapy” to rid themselves of their orientation. To learn how to not be true to themselves.
And although we’ve come a long way from those ideas as a cultural collective, I have no doubt that last week, more than a few American households experienced the tragedy that Ann joked about. Approximately 50% of LGBT youth experience some degree of family rejection. There are as many as 100 thousand homeless LGBT youth on our nation’s streets, and it’s estimated that LGBT youth make up as much as 40% of our nation’s homeless youth population. LGBT youth who are completely rejected by their parents are more than 8 times as likely to have attempted suicide. Pretty funny, right?
I’ll add a word too. Coulter is a joke, so why do we write about her? Because she and Rush Limbaugh are the biggest things the Republicans have going as far as intellectual leaders. In all their coarseness, rudeness, and bigotry, they represent the leadership of the modern GOP. They’re not a bug, they’re a feature. And it’s important that Americans be reminded, every day, of who the Republican party really is, and what it’s become. Limbaugh and Coulter are outcasts on the left, and they get big bucks to speak on the right. We don’t do ourselves any favors by ignoring them. We should do what the right would do had we anyone this embarrassing – give her a pedestal and let her turn independents against the GOP.
She wants press? Give it to her.