Watch LGBTQ Nation columnist Rob Watson on “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell,” Wednesday, June 3, at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on MSNBC.
By now, unless your name is Rip Van Winkle and you have just awoken, everyone is aware of the Duggar scandal. Josh Duggar, the bright shining star of the anti-gay right, and a focal point of one of America’s premier reality TV families, was found to have (allegedly) indulged in sexual and incestuous molestation. The story implies cover up and manipulation by the Duggars including an intervention by an authority figure who he himself was later convicted on a child pornography charge.
To be honest, as a commentator, I have tried to stay out of the fray. I never watched their show. Since many of the victims are part of the family being scrutinized, I also would not want to stir up conversation that would create even more guilt, harm or shame.
Yet, there was still something missing in all that has been talked about. The Duggars were not just a benign family in which a horrific situation unfolded. They were advocates and proponents, not just of their own “lifestyle”, but in attacking various personas within the LGBT community umbrella, my family being one such target.
There is more to be said to them, and so I have decided to articulate it in this open letter to their matriarch, and one of the most homophobic voices in the family, Michelle Duggar.
Dear Mrs. Duggar,
I truly cannot imagine how you must be feeling right now, and the challenges you have gone through of late. I also realize that I am the last type of person you would welcome hearing from right now. I am member of the community you have made great efforts to reject and malign.
I am a gay dad, who with my male spouse, adopted two baby boys, and have raised them to become the upstanding 12 year olds they are today.
You were eager to defeat a proposed ordinance that would have protected families such as mine from discrimination. Your recording blasted out to thousands misrepresented it as a male predators in female bathrooms issue. You attacked transgender women and implied they were child molesters. You eagerly boarded a bus and traveled seven states to try to prevent families like mine from achieving legal and societal equality and protections. You and your family members have been vocal in declaring my family inadequate and intentionally withholding because we have not provided our kids with parents who are biologically different.
People have been calling you out for “hypocrisy” due to your current family situation, but that is not accurate. Hypocrisy is when you call people out for doing something that you are also doing. That is not what has happened. You have called out people who are innocent and have not done what has been done, and covered up in your family. That’s worse.
Through your current experiences, I am deeply hoping that you are able to have the humility to sit back and re-evaluate your stance, rhetoric and philosophy in terms of the real fabric of family and the unifying love required to keep it healthy.
Truly, you and I have little in common as parents. While you hold me in disdain for being a male who mothers his children, I have to admit, I have similar misgivings about your choices. The fact that you have given birth to nineteen children is heralded as wonderful thing, and something that many would like to see emulated. I don’t relate to that concept at all.
I have little argument against the idea that you have love for all nineteen. I highly doubt however, that you have enough bandwidth for the attention each really needs, and to use your word… deserves.