On several different occasions, Paisley and I have talked about what it means to be gay. We took her to the Pride parade last year and she’s overheard us having conversations about different things. I told her that it means a man loves a man, or a woman loves a woman in the same way that Mommy and Daddy love each other. She has accepted the idea without judgement or confusion. She’s only five but without the social or cultural context she just sort of embraced it and moved on. I realize that as she gets older there will be more conversations, but I also think (hope) that by the time she is a teenager, it won’t be a big del. Already in my own lifetime, I have seen incredible steps taken towards equality and I can only assume that will continue.
The other day I was reading the newspaper and Paisley peered over my shoulder, “What is that picture of Mom?” It was a picture of a protest. Angry people were holding up posters printed with homophobic slurs. They were protesting gay marriage. I tried to explain to Paisley that some people don’t want gays to get married. She didn’t understand, “Why not?” I didn’t really have a good answer. So I tried to explain that for a long time, gay people had to hide away. That they couldn’t tell people who they really were or love who they loved. She found the entire idea hard to grasp and very sad, “But you should just be who you are, right Mom?”
I found it very interesting that homosexuality was a concept both easily explained and understood,but that we both struggled with understanding the hatred that so often accompanies it.
I guess it’s not really that complicated at all.