Woman raised by two lesbian parents speaks out: I missed my Dad

Heather Barwick
Heather Barwick

This is from The Federalist. Just so you know, the author is a former same-sex marriage advocate.

She writes:

Gay community, I am your daughter. 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. That’s how I got here. It was complicated as you can imagine. She left him when I was two or three because she wanted a chance to be happy with someone she really loved: a woman.

My dad wasn’t a great guy, and after she left him he didn’t bother coming around anymore.

Do you remember that book, “Heather Has Two Mommies”? That was my life. My mom, her partner, and I lived in a cozy little house in the ‘burbs of a very liberal and open-minded area. Her partner treated me as if I was her own daughter. Along with my mom’s partner, I also inherited her tight-knit community of gay and lesbian friends.

But now she opposes same-sex marriage because it became apparent to her through her own life experience and the experience of having children that children need a mother and father.

She writes:

Growing up, and even into my 20s, I supported and advocated for gay marriage. 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. And it’s only now, as I watch my children loving and being loved by their father each day, that I can see the beauty and wisdom in traditional marriage and parenting.

Same-sex marriage and parenting withholds either a mother or father from a child while telling him or her that it doesn’t matter. That it’s all the same. But it’s not. 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. I loved my mom’s partner, but another mom could never have replaced the father I lost.

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. It is a strange and confusing thing to walk around with this deep-down unquenchable ache for a father, for a man, in a community that says that men are unnecessary. There were times I felt so angry with my dad for not being there for me, and then times I felt angry with myself for even wanting a father to begin with. There are parts of me that still grieve over that loss today.

I’m not saying that you can’t be good parents. You can. I had one of the best. I’m also not saying that being raised by straight parents means everything will turn out okay. We know there are so many different ways that the family unit can break down and cause kids to suffer: divorce, abandonment, infidelity, abuse, death, etc. But by and large, the best and most successful family structure is one in which kids are being raised by both their mother and father.

I recommend reading the whole thing.

Dawn Stefanowicz said similar things about her experience raised by her Dad and his gay partner in this interview posted on MercatorNet. This is mature subject matter.

It says:

MercatorNet: How did you feel about what was going on around you?

Stefanowicz: You become used to it and desensitised. I was told at eight years old not to talk about this but I knew that something was wrong. I was not thinking “this is right or wrong” but I was disturbed by what I was experiencing. I was unhappy, fearful, anxious and confused. I was not allowed to tell my father that his lifestyle upset me. You can be four-years-old and questioning, “Where is Daddy?” You sense women are not valued. You think Daddy doesn’t have time for you or Daddy is too busy to play a game with you. All this is hard because as a child this is the only experience you have.

MercatorNet: How did this affect your relationship with others?

Stefanowicz: I had a hard time concentrating in school on day-to-day subjects and with peers. I felt insecure. I was already stressed out by an early age. I’m now in my 40s. You’re looking at life-long issues. There is a lot of prolonged and unresolved grief in this kind of home environment and with what you witness in the subcultures.

It took me until I was into my 20s and 30s, after making major life choices, to begin to realise how being raised in this environment had affected me. Unfortunately, it was not until my father, his sexual partners and my mother had died, that I was free to speak publicly about my experiences.


MercatorNet: Why do so few children speak out?

Stefanowicz: You’re terrified. Absolutely terrified. Children who open up these family secrets are dependent on parents for everything. You carry the burden that you have to keep secrets. You learn to put on an image publicly of the happy family that is not reality. With same-sex legislation, children are further silenced. They believe there is no safe adult they can go to.

As I’ve written here before there are several completely non-religious reasons to oppose same-sex marriage. But the one that is surely the easiest to understand is that children need a mother and a father, and when they don’t have both they miss having both. In general, children do better with their mom and dad close by as they they are growing up. That’s a very good reason to promote the traditional definition of marriage – one man, one woman, for life. Period. I don’t want to have any part in depriving children of the safety and security of their mothers and fathers. It’s a scary thing to grow up in the world and not have two people who are YOURS. Who are interested in your development, and whose bond to you is irrevocable and undeniable.

8 thoughts on “Woman raised by two lesbian parents speaks out: I missed my Dad”

  1. That’s the one part aside from the politicalization of the gays that I do mind! The any family is a real family lie and that kids don’t need a two parent family of mom AND dad! A girl needs a father figure in their life to guide them in how a man should treat them and how to treat a man in return. Also to guard their hearts so they choose wisely in marriage. Women without father figures often compensate though promiscuity and are often more troubled statistically… The generations of mom and mom and bitter single mothers have waged a war on fatherhood!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. WK, not to stray off the beaten path here, but you as someone with their finger on the pulse of the current faith based community, how have more and more of the traditionally conservative evangelical Protestant denominations embraced a more wishy-washy stance on homosexuality? Having been born into, and raised in, evangelical Protestantism, then having left 20 years ago (converted to Eastern Orthodoxy), I no longer have a dog in this fight. But I’m puzzled by how many evangelicals are now heading in the direction of liberal mainline Protestant denominations. It seems especially true with some of the mega-churches, celebrity clergy, and Gospel Coalition folks, but even the traditionally conservative Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) hosted the Revoice Conference this past summer. I’ve heard admonitions from celebrity clergy to “engage the culture” or to be “more inclusive”. I don’t remember evangelicals being this way 30-40 years ago.


        1. I don’t know. The last two churches I’ve attended were PCA and then SBC. The PCA was pretty good, but they dragged their feet on my membership application. The SBC was also good, but they give money to the ERLC, so I can attend, but can’t give them donations. On sexual revolution issues, and on feminism / lgbt, they were conservative, but not really informed. Keep in mind that sermons usually don’t target apologetics issues or cultural trends or politics. The problem is, I think, that they are orthodox, but they don’t know how to discuss these issues in a cold, evidence-based, way. When you don’t read anything other than the Bible, it’s really hard to know how to have discussions with people who don’t accept the Bible as an authority. This is the core problem. I read people like Ryan Anderson, Jennifer Roback Morse, Jeffrey Satinover, Charles Socarides, etc. so I KNOW how to talk about these issues without being offensive. One of my most conservative evangelical friends is neck-deep in LBGT material and doing a PhD on it. But he and I are in the minority. It hasn’t sunk in to conservative churches that they are failing to dialogue with people on the other side. And they don’t know why that is.


    1. Dear lady, I knew a girl, her name was Sylvia, who had been raised only by her single mother. Sylvia, when adolescent, first flirted with men of ‘father’s’ age and then broke another woman’s marriage to get herself the ‘daddy’.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Woman raised by heterosexual divorced Mum with no lesbians in sight, speaks out. I MISSED MY DAD TOO. Lol!


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