*** WARNING: This post is definitely for grown-ups only! ***
I was listening to the latest Dr. J podcast on “Why Marriage Matters”, and I heard about a woman named Dawn Stefanowicz, who was raised by her gay father in Toronto.
So, I looked around and found this interview with Dawn posted on MercatorNet. This is mature subject matter.
Gay marriage and gay adoption are being fiercely debated in a number of countries. Usually these issues are framed as a human rights issue. But whose rights? Patrick Meagher, MercatorNet’s contributing editor in Canada, recently interviewed a woman who was raised by a homosexual father. She feels that her rights as a child were completely ignored.
Dawn Stefanowicz (www.DawnStefanowicz.com) grew up in Toronto. Now in her 40s, she has written a book, Out From Under: Getting Clear of the Wreckage of a Sexually Disordered Home, to be released later this year. Stefanowicz has now been married for 22 years, is raising a family, and also works as an accountant. She has also testified about same-sex marriage in Washington and Ottawa.
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.
I noticed that Bill Muehlenberg has an even more controversial review of Dawn’s book about her childhood, too. When I was doing research on these issues, I read Dr. Jeffrey Satinover’s “Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth” and Dr. Joseph Nicolosi’s “A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality“. But I think I am going to buy Dawn’s book, too. It sounds like a tough read, but it may be necessary to understand what is really at stake, so my views can be formed by real data.
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