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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sex, Love and... "Hold on, I'll Google it"...

One of the motivating factors for me to come to terms with my thoughts on homosexuality, is the possibility that one, or more, of my three children might one day tell me that they are gay.  No, I do not suspect it in any of them at this point, but I have to consider that the potential exists.  Current statistics suggest that anywhere from 7% to 20% of the population is gay.  (This is a difficult element to measure since it relies largely on people's admission to being homosexual.)

So, if one of my children is gay, what will my response be?  More importantly, will they feel safe enough to be honest with me?  I already know, without reservation, that my arms will be wide open.  I will march at the front of every gay pride parade, will advocate and vote for their rights at every opportunity, and will welcome their loves into my heart and home.  Do they know this?  And, how will they respond to each other if one of them is gay?  Will they be compassionate?  There is a good statistical probability that one of their friends will "come out" at some point.  How will my children react?

I think the answer to those questions relies heavily on my attitude and actions NOW.  If I hide the reality of homosexuality, or sexuality in general, from them, then I am choosing to rely solely on external sources for their education.  If I want them to make wise sexual choices and respect themselves and others, then I have to be willing to expose them to what is out there, and be ready for their questions.  If I want them to become compassionate human beings, and humanitarians, then I must be one myself, and they must see it.

Please do not take this to mean that I am presenting my children with sexually explicit, age-inappropriate materials, in order to manipulate them into activists.  I am merely saying that I do not feel the need to shield them from the gay couple walking down the street, and I welcome their very normal questions about sex and love.  We have had many conversations on what "family" is and how every family is unique.  Our own family has non-traditional elements which, together, we have learned to embrace in very positive ways.  I do not handle these conversations perfectly.  I flounder and stutter.  I frequently say, "I'll get back to you on that," and the spend then rest of the day Googling for answers.   At one point, I even directed Kinsey to that book I bought her about her body with all the cartoon drawings in it.  But every new chat is a new opportunity and I do my best to let them know that the door is open.

And, in those discussions, the question, "can boys marry boys?" has presented itself.  Of course the typical preadolescent giggles accompany these conversations, as my boys can hardly imagine marrying girls, let alone other boys.  I answer honestly that some boys do love other boys and want to marry them but they can only do so in certain places because of the laws.  Their sweet, cherub response: "Why? That's so sad!"

Yes, loves, I agree.

To Be Continued...


  1. So glad you are "ahead" of me so I can see how it goes! We're only at "penis" and "vagina" at the moment. But we'll get there soon enough.

    I'll never forget asking my senior class one year how many of them had THE TALK with their parents and being shocked that less than half had.

    I totally support your choice to talk NOW about thing relevant to their stage... Your comfort/openness to talking will, I think, show itself in their comfort/openness to talk to you.

  2. Sometimes we can put our own questions and concerns about our understanding of life on this earth, its twists and turns, and what is what on our children. It is important to remember that what might be a burden of thought and growth and adjustment in our own adult/mature lives isn't, necessarily, in our children's hearts and minds. When questions arise, yes, honest and straigt-forward answers are important. However, it is easy to over answer when the question is looking for simplicity. I remember Brian pulling out a particular item from under my sink when he was 5 years old and asking what it was. I went into an explanation of the female reproductive process and cycle, explaining for 20 minutes. After I was done I was so proud of myself for meeting the question head-on. He looked at me and said, "Oh. I was hoping it was a firecracker." and walked away. I gave him much more than he sought. There are many more issues and "things" in the world than homosexuality that will come across their paths as they mature. The key is not only to address highly sensitive issues with openness and honesty. It is to address everything in such a way. So, they will learn from your actions (even to admitting a mistake in judgement on your part, to crying and praying with them when they get themselves in deep trouble..AND helping them figure out a solution) that will show them that you are on their side no matter the situation. Putting too much effort and worry in a single issue that is as loaded as homosexuality is, can make them focus on it, too. When in reality, it just hasn't crossed their concern line, yet.

  3. I agree, age appropriate answers to age appropriate questions.

  4. As a mother of a 19 year old bi-sexual mancub, I applaud you!!! His godfather is gay, so this issue was never an 'issue' with us. I had the opportunity, while living in a very diverse neighborhood when he was aged 6 to 9 years old, to raise him color/culture blind! We had families from all around the world (it's a university town) and I am very PROUD that my son is extremely non-judgemental, with a very open mind. His typical comment is "Hey, whatever floats yer boat,ya know? Might not be *my* cuppa.... but if it works for you, and nobody is hurt by it... GO for it!"

    Good luck, and keep that Google page up and running! Been there! ;-)

    Jan in WV

  5. Jan, thank you so much for you input. I love hearing from someone who knows this issue so personally. I applaud you and your son.


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