A woman who was raised by two lesbian mothers has come forward to explain why she transformed from an activist in favor of gay marriage to an opponent of same-sex nuptials, saying the traditional family structure is the most successful and beneficial to children.
“My mom raised me with her same-sex partner back in the ’80s and ’90s. She and my dad were married for a little while. She knew she was gay before they got married, but things were different back then,” Heather Barwick wrote in an open letter published in the Federalist. “She left him when I was 2 or 3 because she wanted a chance to be happy with someone she really loved: a woman.”
Barwick said she lived with her mother and her partner in a “very liberal and open-minded area” and was treated well by both women. She said her father, by contrast, “wasn’t a great guy.”
Speaking directly to gays and lesbians, the 31-year-old married mother of four noted that she has learned so much from her lifelong experiences with the gay community: empathy, bravery, how to listen to others — and even how to dance.
“You taught me not be afraid of things that are different,” Barwick wrote. “And you taught me how to stand up for myself, even if that means I stand alone.”
Despite expressing her love for the gay community, Barwick said that she believes that there is “beauty and wisdom in traditional marriage and parenting,” which she observes in her own household.
“Growing up, and even into my 20s, I supported and advocated for gay marriage,” Barwick wrote. “It’s only with some time and distance from my childhood that I’m able to reflect on my experiences and recognize the long-term consequences that same-sex parenting had on me.”
She charged that same-sex marriage prevents children from having a traditional family structure and that kids are told that having two mothers or two fathers is really just the same — a notion that Barwick pushed back against.
“A lot of us, a lot of your kids, are hurting. My father’s absence created a huge hole in me, and I ached every day for a dad,” she wrote. “I loved my mom’s partner, but another mom could never have replaced the father I lost.”
Barwick added, “I grew up surrounded by women who said they didn’t need or want a man. Yet, as a little girl, I so desperately wanted a daddy.”