| TO: Members of the
and All Massachusetts Legislators
FROM: Jakii Edwards
DATE: April 28, 2003
SUBJECT: Testimony in Support of the Marriage Amendment
I am the adult child of a lesbian. I wish to tell you my story
to help you understand what it is like to be raised by homosexuals.
My testimony begins with the first chapter of my book, "Like
Mother, Like Daughter?"
Please keep marriage between a man and a woman - for the sake
of the children.
Excerpts taken from "Like Mother, Like Daughter?"
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. . . Autumn of 1955
I awoke with a start to the sounds of moaning and heavy breathing.
The noises were obviously coming from someone lying very close to
me in the bed where I was sleeping. Terror gripped my body, and
I was not about to open my eyes to see who it was! As a twelve-year-old,
I knew this was not just another bad dream. The bed was moving and
the sounds were slightly muffled, but most assuredly they were real!
What should I do? I frantically asked myself. My mind was
reeling. My first response was to run, but I wasn't even sure where
I was. Instead, I decided to freeze in position to keep from drawing
attention to myself. If the person knows I'm awake, whoever he
or she is, I'll be in more danger, I predicted. So, for
what seemed like an eternity, I continued to lie in a paralyzed
state and tried to remember what had happened earlier that evening.
The cold room was my first indication; my covers had been tossed
to the side. I was freezing, but everything started coming back
to me from the evening before. My four-year-old brother and I were
spending the night at Carrie's second floor flat.
Carrie was one of our mother's "special" friends. Even
though Reggie and I preferred the security of our grandparents'
home, there were occasions when we had no choice but to stay with
our mother, Dorothy. We never knew which one of her "friends"
she would be staying with or what our living conditions would be
like. My grandmother did not mind having us stay with her, but sometimes
she would be so furious with Dorothy that she would kick all three
of us out.
That's exactly what had happened yesterday afternoon'. I
gradually recollected. Our grandmother had scolded Dorothy for not
showing up for three weeks to check in on us, so we were out of
the protection of her house again. Tonight we were in Carrie's double
bed in her one room flat. It was a large, rectangle-shaped room.
The part which served as the kitchen was simply furnished with a
chrome and Formica table. The double bed was at the opposite side
by the window.
Around nine o'clock that evening Reggie and I had settled under
the covers at the foot of the bed. There I could see the streetlight
shining through the frosted window pane. It had reminded me that
at least we were still on South Euclid Avenue, just a few blocks
down from our grandparents' house. It could have been worse. Sometimes
Dorothy stayed with women clear on the other side of Pittsburgh.
Reggie'. I panicked. Is he still beside we? My mind
was screaming, but I did not dare let the words be heard. In fact,
my heart was pounding so loudly I was afraid the noise would give
me away. Very carefully my hand reached to my left. Yes, Reggie
is still here Lord, don't let him wake up! I mentally prayed.
I didn't want him to know the terror I felt.
The moaning was getting louder and the bed seemed to be rolling.
In my hysteria, every sound seemed to be magnified a thousand times.
No matter how hard I tried, I could not make sense of what I was
hearing. I couldn't remember anything from my past to compare with
Now the bed was really moving! Someone's skin brushed up against
me, probably a leg,
I guessed. It was swaying strangely to the rhythm of the moaning.
I tried desperately to lie still and breathe normally as if I were
still sleeping. At least, whoever it was did not seem to notice
me or care that my brother and I were in the way.
So, who else is in this bed with us? What's really going on?
As these questions tormented my mind, I heard someone speak in a
low, breathy tone.
"Dot . . . Dot!" A female voice was slowly whispering
my mother's name over and over again.
Suddenly it became painfully obvious. The sounds had to be coming
from both Dorothy and Carrie! Of course, there was only one bed
for the four of us to sleep in! Their heavy breathing and loud moaning
now filled the room. So, just what are they up to? I wondered
with a new twist in the mystery. Somehow I knew that whatever they
were doing was something I did not want to see.
No matter what was going on, I was a captive to the bed. How
long will this last? was another burning question. I had nowhere
to go to escape their dreadful deed and no one to tell.
Hatred for my mother became the only emotion I could feel. Other
emotions had long since been shut down from other horrors my mother
had put me through. As I continued to lie there with my eyes tightly
shut and my breath still, I couldn't help thinking about how Dorothy
had shattered my perfect world six years ago.
Excerpts taken from "Like Mother, Like Daughter?"
were used with the permission of the author and the book may be
purchased through Xulon Press or Amazon.com.
Dear Massachusetts Legislators,
Life with my mother was not an easy one by any stretch of the imagination!
She was openly gay in a time and era when it was almost unheard
of for a young lady to graduate from high school and not get married
The scene you just read about took place when I was 12 years old,
but when I was fourteen, I walked in on her and a lover in the throes
of having sex. I was so scared, that I turned and ran as far as
I could and as fast as I could in an attempt to obliterate the sound
and images I had just witnessed.
From that night on I realized that the bad dreams and nightmares
I had experienced were real. It became obvious to me that I had
been awakened before by those noises and I would force myself to
go back to sleep thinking that it was just the sounds of the wind
outside our house or my aunt or uncle playing tricks on me.
It was not often that my mom's lovers would be happy about her
dragging two brats along with her when she came over to spend the
night. The only bed I was offered was the floor or a sofa and that
offer was never made with kindness but with a luke-warm smile of
Time at school was the joy of my days; that is until the other
kids would find out who my mother was and then the teasing and name-calling
would begin. And the adults were not much better - they would always
point at me, shake their heads and say . . "She's going
to be just like her mother, you know the old saying, 'Like Mother,
I hated to hear those words! I hated the people that said those
things about me just because my mother was who she was. And most
of all, I hated my mother for causing my life to be a living hell
because of the way she chose to live!
When I was old enough, I got out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and
ran as far away as I could hoping to bury her and any memory of
the misery I had to endure.
But my past followed me all the way to California, because all
through my twenties and thirties, I had a fear that I lived with
every waking day.
I thought, was I going to have to become gay because that is what
my mother was? Even though I did not look at women that way, or
even desire them sexually, I lived with that haunting fear for over
I have spend the last 13 years of my life helping men and women
who want to come out of homosexuality walk free of that life style
and to face their fears, the anger, and low self-esteem that has
plagued them over 90% of their lives. I have talked to many people
who have lived with a gay parent or parents and almost all of them
have said that they had fears that they would have to become gay
also. Facing down that fear is a monumental task!
I was 57 years old when I was able to purchase my first home. Do
you know why?
Because I had a fear of sleeping in a bedroom alone at night. I
had gone through years of counseling, I was teaching Bible and helping
others walk through the pains of their childhood, but I never understood
why I had such problems staying in a house alone at night and sleeping
in a bedroom.
I had no problems living in apartments alone, and I had no issues
sleeping in a house on a sofa in the living room, or any other room
in a house, but not a bedroom.
I decided to press past that fear and buy a home, but before I
could move in I went back to a counselor and talked with her about
this problem. She told me, "Jakii, your problem is the first
two chapters of your book, "Like Mother, Like Daughter?"
"You associate a bedroom in a house with the bedroom in Carrie's
flat. Those noises and the bed shaking still frighten you."
She was right! 45 years later my mother's life style was still
taking its toll. I purchased that house; I moved in and fought my
demons. But no child should have to go through that.
I personally know of another young lady who as a teenager of divorced
parents, had to spend weekends with her father who was gay and living
with his lover. When she returned from those weekends, she would
sleep with as many boys as she could just to prove to herself that
she was not gay.
I remember sleeping with a boy when I was 16 or 17 just to prove
that I was not like my mother. I hear this story a lot from children
of gay parents.
The bottom line is that children of gay parents face:
- Anger issues due to being teased by other children.
- They are often social outcasts because straight parents do
not want that "gay couple's kid" sleeping over because
she or he might do something nasty to my child.
- Regardless of how much they love their gay parent, it is
still hard for a child to watch their mom or dad kiss and hug
another man or woman. It is hard on a child from a straight
family to go through a divorce and then have to see daddy kissing
another woman other than their mom or vice-versa. Just imaging
how the child of a gay parent feels. And exposure over the years
does not soften that pain.
- We suffer with gender identity problems - wondering if we
will be gay because our mom or dad is.
- Watching mom kissing Sally or dad kissing Ralph does not teach
us, the children, how to interact with the opposite sex. So
even though we have no desire to enter the gay life style, we
have a long way to go in learning opposite sex behavior and
habits. It can make marriage even more of a hardship because
we have no frame of reference to draw from.
I realize that not all gay parents are like my mother was, but
over 90% of children raised by gay parents will experience the 5
issues I have listed above no matter how good a parent they may