I recently came across the story of Dawn Stefanowicz, a woman who grew up in a homosexual home in Canada. Her story is more than just a story, it’s unvarnished insight into a life of experience most of us have only seen the opening lines of. It is a story that needs to be told because it flies in the face of the golden sunshine tales of normalcy we are often fed in the media by homosexual activists, anxious to paint this lifestyle in shades of vibrant normalcy.
We risk children being exposed to these types of “family options”, and the damage they cause, as society loosens the mores of familial stability in favor of adult personal gratification. Here’s a look inside that lifestyle and the children who bear the burdens and pay the price.
My name is Dawn Stefanowicz, I grew up in a homosexual household during the 60s and 70s in Toronto, exposed to many different people in GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, bisexual, Transsexual) subcultures, and explicit sexual practices. I am currently writing a book, soon to be published, on this experience. As well, I was a witness at the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs on Bill C-250 (hate crimes), and I have presented at the local school board.
My biggest concern is that children are not being discussed in this same-sex marriage debate. Yet, won’t the next step for some gay activists be to ask for legal adoption of children if same-sex marriage is legalized? I have considered some of the potential physical and psychological health risks for children raised in this situation. I was at high risk of exposure to contagious STDs due to sexual molestation, my father’s high-risk sexual behaviors, and multiple partners. Even when my father was in what looked like monogamous relationships, he continued cruising for anonymous sex.
I came to deeply care for, love and compassionately understand my dad. He shared his life regrets with me. Unfortunately, my father, as a child, was sexually and physically abused by older males. Due to this, he lived with depression, control issues, anger outbursts, suicidal tendencies, and sexual compulsions. He tried to fulfill his legitimate needs for his father’s affirmation, affection and attention with transient and promiscuous relationships. He and his partners were exposed to various contagious STD’s as they traveled across North America. My father’s (ex)partners, whom I had deep caring feelings for and associated with, had drastically shortened lives due to suicide, contracting HIV or Aids. Sadly, my father died of AIDS in 1991.
Are my childhood experiences unique? According to a growing number of personal testimonies, experts, and organizations, there is mounting evidence of strong commonalities to my personal experiences. Not only do children do best with both a mother and a father in a lifelong marriage bond, children need responsible monogamous parents who have no extramarital sexual partners. Parental promiscuity, abuse and divorce are not good for children. If same-sex marriage is legalized, a person, couple or group who practice any form of sexual behavior would eventually be able to obtain children through previous heterosexual relationships, new reproductive technologies, and adoption due to the undefined term sexual orientation. This would force all public and private adoption agencies to hand over children into experimental relationships or risk charges of discrimination.
What is the most suitable environment for children to be born or adopted into? The many personal, professional and social experiences with my father did not teach me respect for morality, authority, marriage, and paternal love. I felt fearfully silenced as I was not allowed to talk about my dad, his male housemates, his lifestyle and encounters within the subcultures without being browbeaten and threatened by my father. While I lived at home, I had to live by his rules. Yes, I loved my dad. However, I felt abandoned and neglected as my needs were not met since my father would often leave suddenly to be with his partners for days. His partners were not really interested in me. I was outraged at the incidences of same-sex domestic abuse, sexual advances toward minors, and loss of sexual partners as if people were only commodities. I sought comfort looking for my father’s love from boyfriends starting at 12 years old.
From a young age, I was exposed to explicit sexual speech, self-indulgent lifestyles, varied GLBT subcultures and gay vacation spots. Sex looked gratuitous to me as a child. I was exposed to all inclusive manifestations of sexuality including bathhouse sex, cross-dressing, sodomy, pornography, gay nudity, lesbianism, bisexuality, minor recruitment, voyeurism and exhibitionism. Sado-masochism was alluded to and aspects demonstrated. Alcohol and drugs were often contributing factors to lower inhibitions in my father’s relationships.
My father prized unisex dressing, gender-neutral aspects and a famous cross-dressing icon when I was eight years old. I did not see the value of biological complementing differences of male and female or think about marriage. I made vows to never have children since I had not grown up in a safe, sacrificial, child-centered home environment. Due to my life experience, I ask, “Can children really perform their best academically, financially, psychologically, socially and behaviorally in experimental situations?” I can tell you that I suffered long term in this situation, and this has been professionally documented.
Over two decades of direct exposure to these stressful experiences caused me insecurity, depression, suicidal thoughts, dread, anxiousness, low self-esteem, sleeplessness and sexuality confusion. My conscience and innocence were seriously damaged. I witnessed that every other family member suffered severely as well.
It took me until I was into my 20s and 30s, after making major life choices, to begin to realize how being raised in this environment affected me. My healing encompassed facing reality, accepting long-term consequences, and offering forgiveness. Can you imagine being forced to tolerate unstable relationships and diverse sexual practices from a young age and how this affected my development? My gender identity, psychological well-being, and peer relationships were affected. Unfortunately, it was not until my father, his sexual partners and my mother had died, was I free to speak publicly about my experiences.
“I believe same-sex marriage will dispose of unique values esteemed within marriage as recognized throughout history. Marriage needs to remain a societal foundation that constitutes, represents, and defends the inherently procreative relationship between the husband and the wife for the welfare of their biological children. Children need consistent appropriate boundaries and secure expressions of emotional intimacy that are not sexualized in the home and community. “
For more information on Dawn and her experiences, see her book: Out From Under, the Impact of Homosexual Parenting