Since the day my oldest daughter was born, I have been dreading the day she and her brother became teens. As we are edging closer to their teen years I have been laying the groundwork toward open conversations. I had the sex talk all planned out, but I never thought about how I would explain same-sex marriage.
Trigger warning: Many of you will not agree with me. That is okay. Many of you will be offended, that is encouraged. But I hope you will read this with an open mind.
This is the part where I try to be funny about ZOO sex before we get really serious.
We have all been to the Zoo when animals were getting it on, right? Well, did you take that perfectly educational time to tell them they were making babies? If you did, then congratulations you have just avoided a really awkward sex talk in the future.
If you didn’t and you shielded them or were appalled that those animals were doing exactly what you did to make the same children you were shielding. Well, congratulations you are a hypocrite and I have some serious concerns about your sex life.
SEX is simple. We do it to procreate and to have a little fun. It’s the emotions that complicate it. When they are older you can add emotions and rules. Like, when to do it, how to do it, what to use when you do it, and the consequences of doing it without the proper protection.
If you don’t go to the Zoo use humping dogs to start the conversation. It will help make the subject less taboo and awkward for both of you. Just call it like it is, and I promise your kids will feel comfortable asking you questions and hopefully avoid asking their friends, Google or Alexa. Could you imagine that search history? Thank God I didn’t have internet growing up.
Here is the part where I talk about same-sex marriage. Notice I am not talking about homosexual sex. I am still trying to figure out how I will talk about that and will let the be a natural conversation initiated by my children. I also want to add, this is the part where I learned more about myself than my kids learned about gay marriage.
If you were raised before 2015 when same sex became legal in all 50 states, chances are your parents didn’t teach you about gay marriage nor did you ever discuss these topics in sex ed, read about them in books, or see it on TV. Like it or not, these topics have to be discussed with your children. Unless you want Google to teach them. It’s your choice.
When in doubt use Ellen DeGeneres.
I know some laughed at this but it is my method. Why, because my kids love Ellen and she is the perfect example of making difficult conversations something funny and normalizing what others might find difficult.
Let me explain: One day my daughter and I were watching Ellen’s Game of Games. There were two women on the show who were picked for a game. One said she was in the military. My daughter always perks up when she sees women, military members. Probably because she has an awesome veteran mom who inundates her with female military empowerment propaganda. But the woman also mentioned that she was recently married to another woman. I heard it but when I asked my daughter who they were she said “two friends.”
Back story: I had been mulling over how I would explain same-sex marriage to my kids. Not because I don’t support it, but because I had zero examples of what to say, how to say it. To be quite honest, I grew up in a place where it was shamed, against the Bible, and not welcomed. While I never believed that, it wasn’t something I grew up seeing or talked about. But I knew I wanted to teach my kids
I took this moment as my window of opportunity. My heart was racing, I was trying to be as cool as possible and just sneak it in there. I told her. No, those women are married. Ellen is married to women too. She looked at me and I was dreading the mountain of questions that would follow.
She looked at me puzzled. She is? Yes, her wife’s name is Portia and they have been married for a long time. They are very happy just like mom and dad are very happy. Men can also marry men too. But biologically only a man and women can create a baby. (we’re still on the biology of sex right now).
She looked at the television and said okay, that’s cool. I asked if she had more questions or was confused. She said no and we kept watching the show.
Holy Shit I totally nailed it!
I did it! Why did I feel so relieved? Then I thought about it. I wasn’t relieved I was ashamed. Ashamed that I made such a big deal in my mind about something I was trying to normalize and my kid had more composure and more acceptance than I did. It made me check myself. Was I inadvertently prejudice? Then I looked back at all the opportunities I had when they were younger to tell them. The times where I fast forward men kissing or people talking about the time they came out to their families during the Voice or Americas Got Talent. The times I shielded them from something I claim to support.
Wow, was I a hypocrite or what. I still have residual guilt, but I know it wasn’t prejudiced, it was the fact that I simply didn’t know what to say, how to say it and normalize something my religious leaders taught me was a sin my entire youth. The internal battle my whole life was a constant struggle lets just say that. And I am not saying I need an award for this. I am no expert parent. I am just a mom who is pushing back against an ideology that I knew deep down was never right.
And, I do not want my kids to feel this way when they explain sex and marriage to their kids. So, I am the guinea pig for them. It ends with me. If I can teach them that love is love and gay or straight doesn’t really matter, then they will be better people for it.
I know many have stopped reading this, or are extremely pissed I am even talking about it or told my kids or trying to normalize same-sex marriage or homosexuality, but I get to raise my kids the way I want them to look at the world. I want them to be educated, accepting, loving, compassionate, and aware of the world around them. It changes, faster than we are ready for, but darn it my kids will not be ignorant. They will be equipped to go through life.
My kids will be active participants in this world because someday they will have a say in how it turns out and I will be darned if they grow up influenced by what others tell them and not have the gumption to make their own decisions and use their intelligence to decipher what they truly believe and have the courage to stand up for what is right and just.
That is how I am raising my kids and that is why I want them to know about same-sex marriage, sex and everything that goes along with it and in a manner that is normalized and open.
If I can’t be open and honest with my kids how in the hell can I expect them to be open and honest with me?