I'm not sure if this blog is the appropriate place for my question, so apologies if it is not.

A white, straight friend of mine told me that he would prefer his children date white people and that none of them were gay. He is generally a very accepting/supportive person, so this kind of confused me. Is it okay to have a preference for race/sexuality/etc., as long as you're not *against* the other possibilities? Anonymous

hopelessly-romantic-cynic: No, it’s not okay to have a “preference”. Your friend can tell his kids all day long that he’d love them no matter what, they’re still going to be afraid to tell him if they are not heterosexual or date a person of color. It’s still going to be a block. I know from personal experience that your parents preferences in your life can have a serious affect in your relationship with that parent/those parents and even sometimes have an affect on your self-image/self-esteem.

And it still shows a certain amount of bigotry to prefer that your kids be straight and only date other white people. Your friend probably justifies it by saying he wants their life to be as easy as possible and the world doesn’t always take too kindly to non-heterosexual folks and/or interracial relationships, but that’s a really bad excuse. The reality is, whether your friend knows it or not, he prefers that his kids be straight and date other white people for a similar reason that people say, “I accept gay people, I just wish they didn’t have to be so in-your-face about it.” He’s cool with other people not being straight or being in interracial relationships because he just has to accept that they exist and not be uncivil about their existence. Even if his friends are in interracial relationships or aren’t straight, he still is just required to not be a bad person towards them. Maybe he’ll have to comfort a guy whose boyfriend broke up with him or a white person who had a fight with their partner who is a person of color, but that’s about it. He can still go home and not have gayness/non-straightness or people of color in his house everyday. Your kid(s) being non-heterosexual or in love with a person of color though? You have to accept that into your family. You have to look a person who isn’t heterosexual in the eye and say, “I love you and I’ll always love you because you’re my kid and you’re awesome just like you are,” and/or welcome a person of color into your family with open arms.

To reiterate: No, it’s not okay that your friend prefers that his kids date white people and that none of them are gay.

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