Archive for October 30th, 2008

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Back to Reality

October 30, 2008

What I wrote yesterday was #116 out of over over 400 blog posts who participated in Write to Marry day yesterday. I really liked Mijk’s comment about how her son has always grown up with legal gay marriage in Holland. She says, “My uncles marry in december and it is so wonderful to really be able to teach our kids that love is love. I remeber asking why my uncle couldn’t marry if he loved someone and my mom saying because the law is stupid. It isn’t anymore and it is wonderful!”

I’ve heard a lot of comments about how people oppose gay marriage because they don’t want to have to talk to their kids about it, don’t know what they would say. I’ve never really understood how they keep their kids from encountering the issue on the news or in magazines at the doctor’s office or something, but apparently for a lot of people this is a big hurdle to overcome. And whatever they may think about gay people, I just don’t get it. Reality exists; refusing to talk about it just doesn’t seem like an appropriate response to reality. I mean, I oppose the death penalty but it’s legal here. I feel really comfortable telling my hypothetical child when there’s a question about something on the news that capital punishment is legal and implemented here and I believe it’s wrong and here’s why…. I’d feel comfortable telling my child that Lee and I aren’t married like other kids’ parents because we’re not allowed to and here’s why….

Maybe it’s easier for me to imagine when I’m dealing with a child who’s coming out of the foster care system and I don’t have any preconceptions about needing to shield a child from reality. A lot — though I’m sure not all — of these parents complaining about having to explain gay marriage find a way to explain abortion to their children, and that seems much more likely to upset a child’s view of the state of the world. I just really don’t understand how this is an argument about the children rather than about parents who are homophobic, I guess.

When I was younger and trying to figure out what I want to do with my life (still a work in progress) my professor father used to say, “you know, we’ll love you even if you become an accountant,” which I guess was the worst thing he could imagine. Then the middle of my three brothers won his high school’s accounting prize and my dad felt bad about teasing. You never know where people are headed, and that brother did go on from aiming for a business degree to currently working in public health. And we’re all very proud of him! My parents also told us we weren’t allowed to tease our youngest brother or talk about his insistence at age 4 that he and his male friend at babysitting were married; they didn’t want to make it a big issue either way. And that brother got his first college acceptance letter this week and changed his Facebook status to show he has a girlfriend a few weeks before.

Kids grow up and some things change and others don’t, but they live and will have to live in the real world. Laws change, too, and I hope to have an experience like Mijk’s someday.

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