I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed a couple of days ago and I saw a post by the Daily Mirror titled “Gay dads and their baby who appear in new McCain chips ad labelled ‘sick’”. I felt that horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach, thinking how can this keep happening? So I clicked open the article and read through it.
It explained that Lee and Mat Samuels-Camozzi, fathers to 19-month-old Carter, have received “dozens of hateful comments” after being part of McCain’s new chips ad. People have called them perverts, paedophiles, sick and have been accused of denying little Carter a mother (they had him via a surrogate). They have since responded to the hate messages saying that they are “proud of our little family and [they] have nothing to be ashamed of.” They also can’t believe (and neither can I), that this attitude and approach to the LGBTQI community still exists in 2017.
To put all of this in context, and to further prove that this abuse was entirely uncalled for, I’ll give you an idea of what the McCain ad was about. The narrator in the video begins by saying, “When it comes to family, what is normal? Normal isn’t normal.” The video continues and shows different kinds of family units, be it single parents, stay-at-home parents, working parents, adoptive parents, grandparents, same-sex parents, long-distance parents, separated parents, siblings, half-siblings, or friends. The video ends with the narrator saying, “Families come in all shapes and sizes but it’s meal times that make a family”, showing that no matter what family you come from, it still is one and it is special in its own way. It’s a beautiful ad, celebrating all diverse families, and you can watch it here.
I personally can’t understand why this is still such a major issue. Granted, everyone has the right to his/her own beliefs, but that doesn’t mean that you can go around calling people unspeakable names just because their sexual orientation is different to yours. What some people don’t realise is that words hurt. You are hurting someone’s parent, someone’s child, sibling or friend. How would you like it if your child was called a paedophile because of his/her sexual orientation and desire to have a family of their own? Think about that.
It is very easy to hide behind the screens of our phones and laptops and send out whatever we please. However, words are words and they still hurt. I’ve got many friends and also family members who are part of the LGBTQI community and I wouldn’t want this to happen to them at all. My heart is with the Samuels-Camozzis and whilst there is still a long way to go, I hope we can all grow as a community that will eventually respect one another, no matter the race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or any other label we have managed to come up with since humanity’s existence. As Ellen Degeneres would say: “Be kind to one another.”