I have interesting conversations with my kid all the time.
I’ll never forget one in particular when she was 5 yrs. old. We were watching a TV movie about a super hero dude who happened to have long hair.
Out of nowhere she says, “He looks gay.”
Doink! “What does ‘gay’ mean to you?”
“When a boy likes a boy.”
Present day. She recently did a school project on Same Sex Marriage (got a 95 – at least that’s what she told me) and asked my opinion on the subject.
“I come from a different era than you,” I started. “When I was growing up, I don’t recall seeing same sex partners. On our block just about every household had heterosexual parents – that’s what I grew up with and that’s what I knew – bam, normal!”
While giving my response, I was thinking really hard on whether I had actually seen and recognized gay couples back then. I couldn’t come up with anything. I searched my brain for neighborhood folks (is that word already plural sans the s? Can never decide), classmates and their families, relatives – nothing involving same sex couples. Maybe one of my siblings can jog my memory or maybe there just isn’t a situation to recall. I even mentioned to the kid that folks were not so open with being gay then – “it was like taboo or something.” Then she wanted to know what “taboo” meant (I sighed). But to bring it back home, I let the kid know that I have never been around a same sex couple who lived together. Gosh, this is really trippin’ me out (I’m jogging my own memory) because I remember now that there were two older women on our block who lived in the same house – but they were “sisters” – at least that’s what everybody said….
Even now I am not closely related to a same sex couple at all; sure I know of some but not on a personal level. However, I do have gay family members near and far, and if they decided to take that step toward marriage, I’d be right there to celebrate with no ill feelings, but (and I strongly emphasize the word) I still believe a man should be married to a woman and a woman to a man. My kid asked if that was being racist – I told her it’s not racist – “might be sexist, but not racist.” I told her I would never disrespect a gay couple and even went into my work relationships with gay people. I worked with a female who married another female. She referred to her spouse the same way my husband referred to me – “my wife.” I’ve never treated her differently because of who she was married to… “however, I still stick to my opinion though.”
And don’t get me wrong folks, I know this is a controversial topic – I even thought twice about blogging on it, but I believe it’s worth the blog. I’m constantly learning about life (on many subjects) through the vision of a 15 yr. old in today’s screwed up society – she keeps me fresh and makes me delve deep into my thoughts, beliefs, and how much I really know (or don’t know) about life. Like I explained to her, “your generation have no boundaries – anything goes (figured I’d explain hedonism for another conversation). I told her, “Heck, even the solar system has boundaries” – no collisions involving planet Earth. “You guys want to try and experiment with anything and you do anything.” I’ve never seen so many “gay” and “bi-sexual” teenagers in my life! That’s not being judgmental, it’s a factual observation.
She even told me she got into a debate with a male classmate who had opposite views on same sex marriage – said she got a little heated, and I told her that’s a great debate subject, “but you can’t get upset when someone has different views than yours.”
Then she drops this on me, “How would you feel if I brought home a girlfriend?”
“What do you mean – like a girl who’s a friend or a girlfriend?” I knew what she meant, I just needed a lil’ response time. “I’d accept it because I love you.” Shrugging my shoulders, what else would I say? She’s my kid.
Then she says, “What if I dated someone other than Black?”
Who was talking about that?
“As long as they or their family and friends don’t call you ‘nigger’ I’m cool.” Real talk, y’all – told her I was serious. “Don’t let nobody you’re dating call you that – even in jest.”
So, there you have it folks – her opine versus mine. The conversation was actually a lot more detailed, but I’d be writing all night if I included everything. She feels very strongly that gay couples deserves to be happy and adopt kids the same as heterosexuals. I applaud her strong beliefs; however, she has to keep in mind that people can have opposing opinions as long as respect remains intact. I will never make her feel as though she has to share my beliefs or agree with me on every subject just because I’m her mother; however, on this subject we respectfully agreed to disagree.
Where do you fit in this debate?