It Starts at Home

When I’m driving, I listen to today’s hits on the radio.  Some of them may be inappropriate and I change the station for the really bad ones. For the most part you can find me and the kids singing to Kesha, Kanye, and the occasional Katie Perry on any given day.  And my kids love music and I’m sorry, there’s nothing cuter than hearing your five year old kid sing Gangham style.

One day, when my older son was about 5, a song came on.

“I kissed a girl and I liked it”

I like that song.  It’s got a good beat.  Then I hear from the backseat:

“Now, that’s just gross”

“What’s gross?”

He replied “She’s singing about kissing a girl”

(Keep in mind he’s 5 and gender equality/ homosexuality were not on my list of lessons for that day.)

I reply “Yeah? So?”

“Well, that’s just gross”

“Why do you think that’s gross?”

“Well, it’s just UNNATURAL”

“What makes it unnatural?

“Well, that’s two girls kissing, and well, I don’t know but that just seems wrong”

 

And he doesn’t know.   He said it himself.  Though his perception of what “natural” is has had some growth in his 5 years (man/ woman, animal mating, whathaveyou) he doesn’t know.  He has not been taught.

 

“I guess you didn’t know that two people of the same gender could kiss.  And now you do.  Two girls can kiss, two boys can kiss, and a boy and girl can kiss.  It’s all natural because they are all people expressing their feelings and emotions, and that is natural to all humans”

He wasn’t totally buying into it and it ended up with him saying “Well, I don’t know about any of that, it just doesn’t seem right”

I followed up with how we, as a family, don’t judge others and accept whatever preference people have.

A few years pass by.

We’re driving in the car and notice a new restaurant being built.  My son says “What is that Chick-Fil-A place?”

“Oh, it’s a place that makes chicken sandwiches but we won’t be eating there because they don’t support equal rights for all people.

“What do you mean equal rights?”

“Well, they don’t support the idea of two men or two women being in love and getting married and your father and I do, so we won’t be supporting a company like that”

“Oh”

A year or so more passes by, and again, we’re in our car.  A new Chick-Fil-A has been built closer to our house and now my younger son (who is now 5) notices.

He asks “What is that restaurant?”

And before I could answer, his older brother who is now 10 says:

“Oh, that’s a chicken place that we won’t be eating at because they have problems with homosexuals getting married and I don’t know why.  What business is it of theirs who gets married?   They’re a chicken place.  They should just worry about chicken.”

It starts at home.   It starts with you.

________________________

This post dedicated to all of those who don’t think that an effort is made to educate the young about gay rights.

And for my friend @JeniSpin

50 thoughts on “It Starts at Home

  1. Thank you … Those are the only words I can find through my sniffs to express the deep gratitude I feel to you and your family and all the other families that are so lovingly Educating their children about Human Rights. My 15 year old son is gay and has experienced far too much negativity already at the hands of people who were not raised in such open loving environments. Thank you xo

  2. I’m actually very lucky that I have a WHOLE bunch of gay examples in my family that I can point to when the children start asking questions. My older son saw a gay wedding on television one time and said, “Boys can’t marry each other!” and I said, “Uh, sure they can — what about your Uncle Bob and Uncle Keith? They’re married? And what about Uncle Eddie and Uncle Brian?” And he said, “Oh, yeah, that’s right.” Simple. Thanks Gay Uncles!

  3. You are an awesome parent. I wish there were more people like you in this world. Your kids are so lucky to be growing up in such an open-minded household. Hi 5 to you!

  4. I just randomly discovered your blog via Twitter, and I’m glad I did — this the best thing I’ve read so far today. I also love the comment Rebecca added. So much awesomeness.

  5. I’ll never forgot the day my high school best friend & his partner arrived for a visit. My boys, then 3 & 5, peered out our front window as they got out of their rental car…”Mommy, Gary’s a boy?”

    Then my older son asked, “Mommy, do Will & Gary live together like you & Daddy?”

    “Yes they do,” I answered.

    “Ok,” was their matter-of-fact, tandem reply as they dashed out the front door to greet them.

    So simple.

  6. awesome! just goes to show you should never poo poo a question your child asks cause even if your answer doesn’t seem important at the time, they will remember the lesson in the long run.

  7. You’re like the best mom ever. And now I know exactly how to handle this when my kids bring it up. (How are they 6 and 9 and this hasn’t come up yet??)

  8. At 5 my kids thought ANYONE kissing was gross, especially mommy and daddy…ewwwww! I’m pretty sure they still feel that way at 8 and 7, but they don’t feel that any one set up of who is kissing whom any grosser than the other. They also have been taught that marriage is about love and commitment not about body parts.

  9. Love this post, because it is so right. We do the same thing in our home. We may not be able to influence the adults around us when it comes to equal rights, but I’ll be damned if my kids aren’t taught to love and support everyone.

  10. Could you please stop making me love you so much? But seriously, I’m hoping I get to teach my stepdaughter these things. Her mother takes her to Chik-fil-A all the time, got all huffy that little one knew the word “lesbian” (neither her father nor I are particularly straight), and is constantly posting really insulting right-leaning political posts on Facebook. All while on government aid that she wouldn’t qualify for if she claimed her tips on her taxes. I hope I can teach my little love about acceptance and the other values her father an I hold so dear without creating some giant rift. But alas, she’s not even 5 yet, hopefully we have time.

  11. I love this post. It does start at home. I like the tv show Brothers &Sisters and one brother marries a man. My kids have been in the room on occasion when they’ve kissed or been talking about being a couple. Neither have said anything, and I don’t feel I should point it out (because then I think it says that’s different so let me tell you about it). Everyone can love who they love and I want my kids to think of it as no big deal. Because its not.

  12. Thank you for writing this. My brother is a homosexual and the fact that a company like CF gives two shits about gay marriage blows my mind. I hope their business model feels a pinch from their stance.

  13. as the partner of the friend @jennispin, I want to thank you for this. I think too often the straight allies get forgotten in the conversations. It’s the allies who will change the conversation and make the world better.

  14. AMEN! During the election, my 15yo commented (to the tv show he was watching) — “I don’t know why it’s even something people should even have to vote about.” So I guess our open conversations have gotten through.

    Hoping that the next generation makes sexual equality a moot point.

  15. We’ve had similar conversations from a young age. Mine liked to talk about marrying their friends when they were younger and some friends were the same sex and others the opposite. We’ve always told them they can choose whoever they want though we’d appreciate if they wait until they are older for a final decision :)

  16. love this. we had a similar conversation in our car a few days ago with 6 yr old son and 9 year old daughter Boys can marry boys and girls can marry girls since that’s what ppl who love each other do.

  17. We either choose to pass on hate, or choose to pass on love. We don’t have to “agree” with what others do. We just have to accept that they have the right to do it. What an awesome lesson you are teaching your children.

  18. Nice. I blogged about a similar conversation with my six year old about gay rights and marriage not too long ago. It’s amazing how simple it is for kids.

  19. I love this so much. So much. And even though I love waffle fries from that chicken place we don’t eat there anymore either. Xo

  20. Nice going, you!

    I like to think . . . all those hens in the same house? I’m sure there were more than a few lesbian chickens. Take THAT concept and chew on it, Chik-Fil-A.

  21. My 5 year old saw two men kissing on TV and made a remark about how gross it was. I had a similar conversation with him. We’ve also had conversations about skin color.

    This may be weird but it kinda makes me smile that none of his ‘girlfriends’ (yes, that’s PLURAL !!!) have the same color skin as him. Neither does his best friend.

    Probably my biggest and most important goal as a parent is to teach my boys that physical differences shouldn’t matter, what’s inside is what counts and that everyone deserves to be treated equally and with respect.

    I love what your 10 year old said to your 5 year old.

    Yes, Chik-fil-A, you SHOULD just worry about chicken.

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