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Young People Share Their Experiences Of Growing Up With Gay Parents

Gabriela Herman is asking people with one or more gay parents about how it has affected them.

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Last Friday's Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality came after years of intense debate about the merits of same-sex parenting.

During the ongoing debates about same-sex marriage, one subject routinely arises: children. Judges, activists, and academics have been locked in a search for evidence of how having gay parents affects a child's family life.

Photographer Gabriela Herman decided it was time to ask the kids themselves.

"For the past four years, I have been photographing and interviewing subjects who were raised by one or more gay parents. Their experiences are wide-ranging. Some were adopted, some conceived by artificial insemination. Many are children of divorce. They were raised in urban areas, the rural Midwest, and all over the map. They juggled silence and solitude with a need to defend their families on the playground, at church and at holiday gatherings. Here are their stories." – Gabriela Herman

"€œI think the operative word in describing our family is not LGBT, it's in family. If you look at the vast majority of things that define who my moms are, or who my family is, it's really no more accurate to say that my moms are gay married, than to say they are Packers-fan married, or work-in-healthcare married. They're both really just about as accurate in describing who my moms are." – Zach Wahls

"The fact that my parents were divorced way overshadowed the fact that my dad was gay. I think it's great for [my son] because he's growing up with two grandpas and will never know the difference. My dad is not more of a grandpa than [my dad's partner]; he's growing up with both of them, at the same time, they're both equally as much grandpas." – Lauren Harper

"My dad is gay. He's still really in the coming-out process right now. I had an inclination that my dad was gay from the very beginning of time. I always knew I was queer, which helps. I would see early on in my childhood, my father using the same behaviours to conceal femininity that I did, like he would uncross his legs or he would stop talking with his hands." – Mark Snyder

"I slowly started to come out to people [about my mom] after college. It went from like a fourth- or fifth-date conversation to like a first-date conversation." – Dori Kavanaugh

"My moms split up when I was about 7, because my biological mom fell in love with a man. I knew my family was different, but it wasn't weird-different, it was just a different kind of family. – Aaron Sachs

"He said, 'It's time for me to confront my identity' and I asked 'Are you gay?' and he says 'Well, I haven't had any experiences to be sure.' And I think the next words out of my mouth were, 'Dad, I'm pretty sure you're gay.'" – Elizabeth Castellana

"My mom being gay was always really easy for me to accept because I was brought up in a way to accept all people. It was unusual, but it wasn't hard at all. If the situation was worse for my mom, if it was harder to be gay than it is for her, then I probably would be more determined to fight for her rights." – Lucas Goodwin

"I knew that there was other structures of families because I would see my friends' families and my aunts and uncles, and I knew that people had something called a mother that I didn't necessarily have, but I didn't really think that I was so much in the minority. I wondered about my birth family and my birth mother in particular, but in terms of my own development, I don’t feel like I suffered because of it. I think that my parents did a fantastic job of helping to raise me to be a strong woman, but in terms of that question about where did I come from – sometimes I still wonder that, and then other times it just kinda disappears in terms of its importance." – Hope Steinman Iacullo

"Me and my moms have always been super close, but of course there was that young teenage phase of hating her. But now she's like my rock and always there for me. I love her." – Moshe Alpert

"I was raised by my mom and her different partners, but a lot of her past partners and friends were in my life, to the extent that I feel I was raised by a lot of different women." – Jamie Larsen

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