Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What We Teach

"Mama, what does 'gay' mean anyway?"

That's what Sylvie asked as I hopped back into the car, having forgotten something in the house and foolishly having left the radio on. So, I said, "You know, like Aunt G. I wanted to marry a man, but Aunt G wanted to marry a women. That's what people mean by 'gay'."

Then she told me how the radio said in Washington you could not have two gay parents if you were adopted and wasn't that sad, because everyone needs two parents. I explained that probably most of them DO have two parents. She said, "What's a legal guardian?" So, I explained how if she got hurt and had to go to the hospital, either Jason or I could tell the doctor to fix her broken arm, or whatever. Or if she needed a form filled out for dance, either Jason or I could fill it out. I explained how there are places where both parents aren't "allowed" to do this if the parents are gay.

"Why? That's STUPID!" she said.

I asked her of she was prettier because her eyes are blue. She said no, she was just born that way, it did not make her prettier. I asked if it made her smarter or better or if it meant that she should get more candy than her brown-eyed brother. She said no, and gave it that particular twang of "Don't be stupid!"

I said that Aunt G was just born gay and there were people in the world who thought that meant she was less. And that that's just as wrong as thinking blue eyes are better.

Then she said, "Marrying a woman is a pretty good way to not have babies." I concurred, and I explained that while Aunt G likes being an aunt better than almost anything, she never really did want to be a mother.

Then she said, "I know how it is, knowing those things. I've wanted to be a mother my ENTIRE life."

A little empathy, the idiocy of bigotry- I guess I like how that "lesson" went.

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