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07:58 PM on 04/19/2013
I explained it to my son in a very similar fashion. He was a couple years older so I also explained that some people believe that's wrong but that we (his parents) don't. And since we have some gay friends in long term relationships, it was easy to say "For instance, Mark and Alan are gay and they're a couple and you know your friend Nathan has two mommies." And that was that. Children don't have nearly as hard a time understanding such basic concepts as a lot of people seem to think.

Congratulations on a really good response.
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05:35 PM on 04/19/2013
Yeesh, wish the not-quite-niece would clue in so easily.

I've been there with her uncle every Christmas and Thanksgiving of her life, and the little brat still keeps asking me about my girlfriend. Then again, apparently wearing a kilt confused her on my gender. Maybe she's easily confused.
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Wolfzilla
11:08 AM on 04/20/2013
Have you guys explained it to her or are you hoping she'll just figure it out? How old is she? What's her home life like? Does she understand what a kilt really is?

You left a lot out there that is really necessary to understand the context of her comprehension or lack thereof.
05:09 PM on 04/19/2013
I completely understand how you feel about the hesitation despite having strong personal beliefs that people can marry people, no matter what the gender. I actually worked this into playing with my son the other day with his two 'guys' (stuffed animals) he sleeps with. We make up funny 'soap operas' with them and I had one guy saying to the other that he wanted to marry him. Max didn't think twice about it. It helps that his friends have two moms and that seems normal to him, and I have two friends who are hoping to marry each other if/when Prop 8 is overturned. I had the same thought process of you. Work it in to play, etc. normally. Make it just a part of life and that will be what they learn. Intolerance is TAUGHT. Tolerance is taught, too.
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04:35 PM on 04/19/2013
its that easy
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carmenalex
STR8 AGAINST H8
03:15 PM on 04/19/2013
It really is very easy...had the same talk with my four year old...when she asked why one of her classmates only had a mommy...I told her there where different types of families..some have one mommy, some fave one daddy, some like hers have both a mommy and a daddy, some have two daddies, some have two mommies, some just have grandparents but that they are all families who love each other...she said Really? I said Uhuh..then she said O.K. and went off to play...took less than a minute.
03:02 PM on 04/19/2013
This is wonderful. See, parents, it isn't that hard to explain. Hopefully sometime soon this conversation won't even have to happen because children will have absorbed it elsewhere--as someone, an adult or the media, has already told him that marriage is for a boy and a girl.
01:33 PM on 04/19/2013
so... i'm just wondering why "marriage" in the context of his initial discussion wasn't an issue of "heter-sexuality" for you. But, when you discovered Kyle was female - it suddenly became "gay" marriage. BTW: that would NOT be "gay" marriage, it would be marriage - or if you wish to identify gender, it would be "Lesbian" marriage. While you are teaching you little guy to do more than just accept, please do us the service of teaching him the correct words to identify who we are - Lesbians are NOT gay. Males are gay. thanks, a lesbian mom (who sympathizes with the mom part of your reaction to tackling "big" issues and being caught off-guard. You might find amusing that my conversation w mine when she was little was "why is their family all the same color?", or "why are they mean in their church?" (a 4 yr old's characterization of religious endorsement of homophobia), and her arguing with me about the definition of "dad" when discussing the not quite step-father status of our neighbor, as he was the boyfriend of a mother next door - and to my wee one's eyes, fulfilled the role of "dad". So yes, from age 3 i discussed with her the definitions of biological, legal, and love relationships. While straight people may not distinquish those relationships - we queers are aware that a legal relationship, does not define a relationship of the heart, role and action.
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joe1964
Celebrate France, 1789 at Goldman Sachs
02:44 PM on 04/19/2013
Good Lord! Give the woman some props for being so great! All you did was criticize and question her motives. Friendly fire and the tone of conversation are important. Look, I am sure your intentions are good but please don't alienate the good guys.
07:06 PM on 04/19/2013
i'm not criticizing. you are. i observed, and responded. When you discuss heterosexual "marriage" with a 3 year old - do you stutter and stumble? What she said was somehow because the child uttered what is clearly internalized heterosexism, she stumbled. That only demonstrates two things - 1) the child has already been taught marriage is heterosexual, and 2) She is clearly one of his teachers. My point, as a mom was that i get how kids blind side us from time to time, and get us back on our heals. Understood with compassion - been there. And, my example of my own then 3 yr old questioned why a branch of our extended family is all one color - speaks to what we sometimes subconsciously teach our children is the "norm" vs what we actively seek to teach them about how folk 'other than ourselves' (' for emphasis) live - and are as valid as we are in their choices. So, my answer to my daughter was, (at that time) everybody in the family had found love in someone the same color as themselves. Since that time - i am happy to announce, we've added a bit of variety! ;) Thanks for your response. i ask that before you accuse someone, take a breath and try to understand what EXACTLY was being said....
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vlucasjr
When I woke up this morning I had one nerve left,
03:56 PM on 04/19/2013
I have to say, I'm a 48 year old gay man, and I never knew that lesbians aren't gay. All of the lesbians I know consider themselves gay, and there coming out always included the phrase "I'm gay".

gay [gey]
adjective, gay·er, gay·est.
1.of, pertaining to, or exhibiting sexual desire or behavior directed toward a person or persons of one's own sex; homosexual:

You gripe about this highly positive and accepting mom's use of the label "gay marriage" and then go on to tack your own labels onto people. "Lesbians are NOT gay. Males are gay".

Try just saying "thanks for being such a great role model and supporter".
10:51 AM on 04/20/2013
I'm a female and I identify as gay. I much prefer saying "gay men and women" than "gay men and lesbians".
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04:04 AM on 04/22/2013
Of course the common spoken reference is "gay" ... even when speaking of lesbians. That doesn't change the fact that they're lesbians.
GWBear
Reality focused educated progressive
01:32 PM on 04/19/2013
Great story.

I have always loved reading these postings. In many ways, the fun comes from calling your boy "Little Dude." Two words that allow the love to come shining through...

And yes, kids seem to get it early: it's all about love. The hang-ups - and the bigotry/hatred come later - and have to be taught.
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Jax328
Allergic to Bullsh**
01:24 PM on 04/19/2013
From the mouth of a child shall you learn.....beautiful
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KristineE
Out and Proud Of It
01:14 PM on 04/19/2013
It seems like a child is often better at learning and understanding than adults:)
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AllenMcw
My marriage now more equal with DOMA, Sec 3 gone!
09:32 PM on 04/19/2013
Nothing is more true than what you just said! :)

For a child it really just comes naturally. With no hangups like many adults have, they just understand what love means and what it means to be a family. It is second nature to them until someone tries to tell them otherwise.
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Pantsy
01:13 PM on 04/19/2013
sounds like victoria would be a lucky lady if she were to marry your son.

this reminded me of a video i saw a while back of a little boy, probably around the same age, who just met to married men. and they explained they are both husbands. he looked very curious and said, so you're a husband, and you're a husband, and you love each other? yes, they replied. he simply said, oh. want to come play with my toys?

its adults who make a big deal about it. kids are smart enough to know it doesnt matter. love is love.
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AllenMcw
My marriage now more equal with DOMA, Sec 3 gone!
09:33 PM on 04/19/2013
So true and such a cute thing for the boy to say. :)

F&F.
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Pantsy
11:15 AM on 04/22/2013
lets see if i can link you to the video. it so super cute and i love how he's so surprised!
http://youtu.be/Fz7_J2D3uw4
12:54 PM on 04/19/2013
It would be a great world if everyone could have this put in their head at such a young age. It's not corrupting, it's not staining their virgin mind, it's simply putting how things are and how they should be. Very well done.
12:37 PM on 04/19/2013
i am not going to comment on the content of the article because you already know it and you are amazing.

i just have to say you are such a talented writer. to be funny and serious without the pretension is such a gift. the words just seem to flow and i thoroughly enjoyed reading this. thanks for putting a smile on my face this morning! :)
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AllenMcw
My marriage now more equal with DOMA, Sec 3 gone!
09:35 PM on 04/19/2013
Well said. I also thoroughly enjoyed reading this and it is so heartfelt and well...just beautiful.

Allow me to be your first fan.
12:20 PM on 04/19/2013
What a fantastic parent! Congratulations! I do think you might be a little more surprised about 6, though. Boys, 6, have moved on to discussions about gaming computer processor speeds, the need for much faster memory if one is to smoothly play Global Thermonuclear War games without balking, why Johnny's bandwidth on Time-Warner is inferior to OUR bandwidth on Comcast, and discussions about the benefits of C++ over other languages for decoding DivX compressed movies...and other things related to advanced physics to frustrate his parents and drive his classically-educated teacher crazy. You'll never understand why he knows about quantum theory but not the War of 1812.
Been there, done that.....(sigh)
11:54 AM on 04/19/2013
i wish it was easier with adults to explain such things! ;-)
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kitty9
11:07 AM on 04/20/2013
It is when you use a hammer and water boarding.