Today -a day when I feel that I can do nothing right as a parent -I am heartened by a recent report coming out of the Williams Institute, a research center on sexual-orientation law and public policy at UCLA School of Law. As my children run amok and the dishes pile up in the sink and the laundry topples over into a heap on the floor, I take comfort in a little bit of positive news regarding children raised by lesbians.
The Williams Institute recently announced new findings from the U.S. Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study, the longest-running study ever conducted on American families (now in its 25th year). According to an article published in the Journal of Health Psychology, 17-year-old sons and daughters of lesbian mothers who reported experiences of homophobic stigmatization did NOT report higher levels of substance abuse. The study is the first to address the relationship between homophobia and substance abuse in adolescents raised by lesbian mothers.
Despite my many failings as a mother, I take comfort in the knowledge that my lesbianism will not drive my children to drugs. My woman-loving ways will not force my children into an alcoholic stupor. My affection for cargo pants and propensity for “processing” issues into oblivion will not cause my dear children to flee to Mexico and join up with the drug cartels.
In this brutal job called parenthood, I will take positive affirmations wherever and whenever I can get them.