Saturday, August 21, 2010

So, What Do You Tell The Kids?

Lately I've had something nagging at the back of my brain.  As far as our family and friends are concerned, the uniqueness of Those Two Daddies has pretty much worn off.  Sabrina's 16 months old now and I think they've all adjusted to the "difference" of it.  Not that anyone really had any issues to begin with, but we've kind of just melded in to the fabric of the family.  Now, I'm sure you realize by this point that I'm not the type to keep my mouth shut when I have something to say.  But a new wrinkle has been added; that is, what do you tell your kids when they're old enough to understand and they hear the anti-gay rhetoric that's always out there?

For example.  In Iowa, there is a local douche bag politician named Jeremy Walters running for state office.  Because he's a douche bag politician of the Christian variety and has learned to use The Facebook, he posted the following message:

“The Holy Bible says if your ‘GAY’ homosexual they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. This tells me a lot so should we kill them NO. They Need to ask God to forgive them of their sins and mean it turn away from it. They also need to know that when it says that their blood shall be upon them that tells me it is AIDS. That how I feel.”

“homosexual “GAY” is not of God!!!!!!”

Now remember, the guy is running for office.  He's trying to get people to vote for him.  Could you vote for him after reading that?  Of course not, his spelling and grammar are atrocious.  Well that and he's announced that AIDS is God's punishment for being a Gay Homosexual.  I'm not sure what a Gay Homosexual is, but I think it's a gay guy that sleeps with women.  Anyway, being a Christian, he probably thought this over and decided, all on his own with no input from anyone sane, to apologize the next day.  To wit;

I am not against people having a gay lifestyle, and the statements made on Facebook have been taken the wrong way. The statement regarding gay homosexuality was not meant to be offensive and I deeply appologize.

As far as the quote from Bible; I was replying to someone elses post. It should have been posted as a comment on their page, not my Facebook wall. I appologize for the mistake and if this statement offened anyone. Both postings have been removed and these comments do not pertain to my campaign or the Republican Party of Iowa. My passion is to listen and learn from the people so I can represent them at the statehouse. Everyone makes mistakes, please forgive me.

See?  When you read it the first time, you obviously took it the wrong way.  When he said AIDS is God's punishment and gays need to turn into normal people he meant it in the kindest way possible, not in the "Die Fag Die" way some of you took it.  He didn't say the statement was, I don't know, bigoted, idiotic, and ignorant, just that it could be construed to be slightly unsettling.  But at least the voters know that Jeremy Walters (R-Des Moines) is on good speaking terms with God (R-Heaven). 

This is just one of the more recent examples of the crap we have to listen to day in and day out.  Personally, it doesn't bother me as much as it used to.  But in a few years I'm going to have to explain imbeciles like this to my daughter.  Eventually she'll be old enough to see it for what it is, but I'm wondering, gay parents, how have you addressed this subject with your little darlings?  I'd like to hear what you have to say on the subject, or what you would say.  And straight people, please chime in as well.  Your kids may not be as inclined to notice this trash as those raised by a same sex couple may be, but they will hear it.  What are your thoughts on it as well?

In other news, Marcia Brady called, and she wants her pajamas back...


Anonymous said...

Wow! What a total freaking prat.

How do you explain such imbeciles to our kids? I'm going to have to think on that one.

Give our kids the tools to evaluate and dismiss such comments. The tools to recognize that those espousing such views are small minded idiots whose opinions are of little worth and who should never, ever get into political office.

Tammom said...

We talk with our four kids a LOT about this type of thing. Not just gays, but that subject has come up, too. My typical answer is "That's how God made them" (because Christian, to us, means a child of God - which is not hate) - but, that goes over about as good as "because I said so," especially to our teens. But, when we talk of people who say ugly things, we tell them that it usually means they are unhappy with their own life or unknowledgeable about the topic they are talking about. That's why we empower our children to learn as much as they can about anything in the world they want to know. The huge key is to have open discussion, on that child's level, about whatever they want to talk about. There is NOTHING in our house that we won't talk to the kids about, if they ask. My kids have even taken it so far as to include someone who may be hurtful in our evening prayers - which delights us to no end (pray for your enemies).

We live to love.

s said...

can i just tell you that sabrina looks just like you and gregg in those adorable pics?!?! <3

wildflowers said...

first of all let me address the remark worth adressing; which is the pajama's!!!!- Lmao!!!
.....that was a goood one. how cute :)

i am not going to address the comment made by that person you mentioned within the post- he does not deserve my typing abilities :)

now, i am straight. we (my husband and I) are. i do have a gay brother, hes 21. anyhow it pisses me off that he has to hear this crap as well. and one day i hope he will meet the right person and become a daddy too. but i remind myself that he is strong and capable of enduring. he will be okay. but i still feel for him when that type of trash surfaces.
it is just the whole ignorance thing. and there are so many flavors of ignornace toward each direction of the compass, it is distateful witin itself. some people just close their eyes and point their finger at a subject and that is what they will bash that day. im sorry you have to put up with this paticular flavor. i hope one day ignornaces' 'arm floaties' deflate and people become more aware of others for your daughter- whatever she hears in the future, she has you two to guide her through. and she loves you both.

Eva said...

My wife and I are adopting a little boy and while waiting for a match, I began to write about the ignorant things people said to us, as a gay interracial couple. I haven't even begun to ponder what I will say to my son when he can understand how ignorance and hatred manifest themselves in political rhetoricbut I'm glad that you raised the issue. I guess I still have a little while to go since he is only 3 months old.

BTW, the pjs are adorable!

Michelle said...

WOW! What a freaking douche bag!! Seriously??!

I would hope that Kayla grows up to believe in what we believe. We are all human who all love the same way. Who cares what sex they are?

Mike and Mike said...

This is a topic Mike and I discuss off and on with no real answer. We're hoping that by the time the girls are old enough, the world will have changed enough that it is not an issue...hope springs eternal. At the same time, because we've done surrogacy and through India, we've become very good at dealing with stupid and insensitive comments.

This topic will keep entering our conversation for years to come. I'm confident we'll figure SOMETHING out. But then again, when our niece said to us once (she was about 8 at the time) that some of her friends called us "hobos," we just laughed. So maybe that's the answer?

Laugh a lot. Life is too short to get angry all the time...

Anonymous said...

I think by the time your daughter is old enough to understand what is being said you will be surprised at home common the situation is. Your daughter will grow up knowing she is loved. As a Mum (straight if that makes any difference) I would say to my kids if they asked about a situation such as yours that your child was truly wanted and is loved and adored. That is the main point! And any awful comments (like that idiot posted) is simply out of ignorance and stupidity. My children will be told that your daughter is in a FAMILY and that all families are different. I would instill in my children that comments such as the one posted should be pitied for their ignorance. I think your daughter will grow into someone who does not judge people but understands differences and appreciates them. She will become a much nicer adult. Shame some others cannot follow suit!

Heather Leah said...

Not sure what to tell your daughter about that moron... other than that he IS a moron... but maybe you could read her books that present different kinds of families? There is a book "The family book" by Todd Parr that shows different kinds of families, including familes with "two mommies or two daddies". "X, Y, and me" also has a book about two dads (although they used a surrogate). I would guess that there are others as well. Good luck! (Your daughter is beautiful, btw.)

jaenkes said...

Well, we are 2 (white) moms raising our bi-racial child, Alex,(I had him) and this has become our reality. Alex's good friend, also 9yrs old, and also our neighbor, has started increasingly offensive topics with him of "how the bible says it's wrong", "we're going to hell", "god doesn't approve" etc. The latest is teasing him he's going to be gay because of us. Mind you, all while wanting to be at our house ALL the time playing, eating, hanging out.

In short, we tell Alex judging others is wrong. We likened it with racism recently, in trying to find a concept he could use to defend himself. We've told him we disagree with those view, but everyone has a right to thier own opinions/beliefs... However, those opinions are disrepectful to be spewed at our son and that if they continue, his friend might not be so welcome at our house.

We try to give Alex words to fight back with, logical approaches to loving all humans as just that HUMANS. Sorry to say, we had to deal with the racist comments by about 1st grade. Kids have always been very accepting of his 2 moms. But it seems the closer we get to middle school, this is where the "hate" or rather ignorance of what it really means to have 2 moms is going to be an issue. To most people, it still isn't, but it just takes one to really hurt your child or confuse them.

I believe Alex will come out of this a stronger, more confident, loving person. :)

Peter said...

Yikes. Stick to playing in the pool and bury your head in the sand for five more years?

I'll be watching to see how you address it.

Bobby said...

What great thoughts! And yes, "The Family Book" by Todd Parr is one of Sabrina's favorite books. She's got three or four she wants to hear over and over again and that's definately one of them.

Stacey said...

Love your comments on it. LOL

I used to be really annoyed by people like that but now I just know they're idiots and why should something some idiot say upset me? Unfortunately even idiots run for office and get elected--that's the nasty part.

We haven't had to deal with anyone saying anything so far. Our kids are 3.5 and 17 months. I imagine we will just talk about how some people are mean and making others feel bad makes them feel better. Maybe we could liken it to a villain on the Carebears or something. :P

It'll be interesting when we do come across it. I just know that our kids are very proud of their families now and I hope that continues.

mommy3 said...

I'm with the "these are idiots" comments when people are just stupid and say moronic things. I do tell my children just about that for starters at times. I'm a straight woman married to a man and have 3 multi-ethnic children (mainly Hispanic, although my littlest daughter has some Chinese ethnicity included, which is beautifully predominant). We've heard our share of racially-spawned comments vield as compliments (you know the type). I expect that my son (middle child) will come out as a gay man and am so glad he is part of our family; we love him dearly and want our children to be who they are and be centered, whole people. Our son as a gay man (he's only 13 right now) will be difficult for some of our family and our assured support will be just as difficult for those same people. They better stand back when that time comes, a I won't take any shit from anyone about our son, or any of my children, for that matter. Equipping our children is a different responsibility -- and one that tells me that our children are definitely in certain of our families (bio or adopted) for good reason! My comments will include exactly the pieces about love and unparalleled embracing of our children, enjoyment of who they are, not in spite of who they are, etc. He will, and perhaps his sisters will, have to handle issues such as the drivel posted by the idiot you noted -- and at those times, I'll be so glad *I* am his mom. He's quite stoic, which will come in handy. He basically ignores much of anything he doesn't like or won't do, which will also be helpful. I think of how much children "get" to handle in this world -- and how as parents, we are there as sounding boards, supports, script collaborators and so much more. I'm not Christian and some of this drivel is why I'm not, including imperialism in the name of Christ, etc., but don't get me started.

You have a beautiful family, period. I hope that beautiful family gets larger (hint, hint) -- and one cool aspect of that will be that Sabrina will have collaborators to help in crappy and scrappy situations, along with her cool Dads. Sabrina is in the right family -- I'm sure you'll help guide her through the morass that humanity can push our children through, at least until the world sees things more fairly (hmmm, in their lifetime? I can hope).

Sara said...

Just stumbled upon your blog. Right away I knew I would be checking back in, I really want to see the super secret dress.

As for what to say, how to address those people who just "throw up" horrible judgments and vicious hurtful words: It's fear. Of what? many things, that doesn't really matter anyway. By raising Sabrina to be a strong, self assured person, you will be giving her the tools to deal with this stuff.
I too, think that by the time she has to deal with it, things will look differently. Not that those people will be out there, speaking their hate and fear. BUT that she will have daily contact with more and more people who value and embrace all types of families and love.
Keep up the love, that's all you really need to do!