How to Talk To Your Children About Gay Parents

Imagine you’re at the train station, taking your kids into the city to see the Lion King. A man steps off the 6:16 from Grand Central, and two toddlers run up to him shouting, “Daddy!  Daddy!”  He gives out two hugs and about a thousand kisses and tells them how much he missed them while he was at work. You’ve witnessed scenes like this many times, but as always, your heart melts. Then the dad stands up, walks a little further down the platform and kisses… another man.

Well, that’s different.

“How was your day?” the first guy asks, and the other one starts talking about who got time outs, why the kids have maple syrup in their hair and who flushed what down the toilet right before they left.

OK, back to normal.

You’ve probably done the math by now — Look!  Gay dads! — but there’s a decent chance you’ll feel a tug on your leg, and your kid will look up at you and ask, “Yo, what’s the deal there?”

This is the story of my life. I am a gay dad, and I confuse children.

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I’m sure it happens more than I realize – at the supermarket, at the park, at MyGym.  Just by acting like any other parents, my partner Drew and I are inadvertently sparking countless conversations that start with, “Where’s their Mommy?”

You’re free to handle that question however you want, of course.  But if you don’t know where to begin, allow me to help.

You see, when Drew and I decided to have kids, we knew that the gay dad job description would include explaining our family to the world for the rest of our lives. That’s one of the reasons I started my blog.

It’s also why I am kindly providing you, the sympathetic straight parent, with some guidelines. (Unsympathetic straight parents are free to ignore my suggestions, in which case, I’ll enjoy watching them squirm)  Obviously, what you say will depend on how old your kids are and how much exposure they’ve had to gay people previously, but in a broader sense, these suggestions should apply to anyone.

I’m not a child psychologist, just a gay dad who’s thought a lot about the issue and who has a big stake in it.  After all, I don’t want your kids coming up to my kids one day and telling them they’re weird for not having a mommy.

If you don’t want that either, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Use the word “gay.”

How to Talk To Your Children About Gay Parents

 

Everyone’s concentrating on taking the negative connotation away from the word “gay,” but at the same time, let’s not forget to encourage the positive.  We don’t want “gay” to be a curse, so go ahead and teach it to your kids. That’s how we’ll really take the sting out of the word.

“Oh, Uncle Doug and Uncle Max? They’re gay.”  “Aunt Vera and Aunt Debbie aren’t sisters, honey. They’re lesbians.”  “Well, statistics suggest at least 3 of the Smurfs must be gay.” Don’t make a big deal about it.  Just say it.  If your kids hear some jerk at school sneering, “That’s so gay!”, their response will be, “Yeah? So what? So are Uncle Max and, most likely, Brainy.”

You could also use the word “queer,” I guess, but then your kids and I will just think you’re a pretentious dweeb.

2. You don’t have to pretend half the world is gay. 

How to Talk To Your Children About Gay Parents

 

Don’t play down the fact that your kids may have witnessed something unfamiliar.  “Geez, Madison. They have two daddies, what’s the biggie?” It’s natural for poor little Madison to be confused, so give her a damn break.

Kids are probably going to assume all families have one mommy and one daddy, because that’s all most of them see.  Be honest, and use words like “most” and “some.”  “Most families have a mommy and a daddy… but some have two mommies or two daddies.” As long as you don’t attach a value judgment to that statement, it really is no biggie.

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Some kids might say something like, “That’s weird”, or they’ll think you’re playing a joke on them.  That should just be a reminder of why you’re having this conversation.  Get to your kid before ignorance does.  If you’re honest with them, they’ll get it.  Explain that gay families are less common than the usual mommy/daddy family, but they’re every bit as valid.  “It’s not weird, it’s just different than our family.”

3. Get your mind out of the gutter.

It seems silly that I even have to say this, but when some people think about homosexuality and kids, they imagine that you’re suggesting they graphically describe intercourse to kindergarteners. Um, no. All you should be doing is answering the questions they’re asking, and save the rest for junior high health class. If they wonder why Owen has two daddies, it’s because “His daddies are in love”… or because “Some men love other men.” Hopefully, you’ve taught your kids to understand what love is, so no further explanation should be required.

And do use the word “love.”  That’s what we’re talking about here.  You don’t need to say “attracted to” or “some boys like boys.”  “Like” is how they feel about each other. A kid might think, “Well, I like boys. I guess I’m gay.”  Compare it to your own relationship (assuming you have a good relationship). “You know the way Mommy and I love each other?  That’s how their daddies (or mommies) feel about each other.”  And if your kid says, “Yuck!” it’s probably because they feel the same way about you and your wife. That’s progress.

4. Don’t make it about your kid — yet.

Understanding gay parents is a big enough topic of discussion, and your kid probably won’t be prompted to wonder about their own sexuality at this point.  You don’t need to say, “You might marry a man someday yourself, Junior!”  While it’s great to plant the seeds of acceptance early, you’ll probably just end up confusing them more.  Your kids have plenty of time to figure their own feelings out, and when the time comes, make sure you let them know that you love them no matter what. But no, they can’t marry Brainy Smurf.

5. If your kid does ask you to speculate, you can tell them they’ll “probably” be straight.

Again, only if your kid expresses some curiosity should you even broach the subject. But if they’re wondering, “Who will I marry someday?”, feel free to tell them, “You’ll probably marry someone of the opposite sex, but I’ll accept you either way.” Of course, if you’re like the mom from the amazing blog Raising My Rainbow, your “probably” might lean the other way. Just take your cues from your kid.

6. Remember the magic phrase, “Everyone ends up with the right parents for them.” 

It’s possible your kids will ask something like, “But doesn’t everyone need a mommy?” Even kids who don’t know exactly where babies come from understand that women are the ones who get pregnant and give birth.  When that’s all you know, then two daddies just don’t add up.

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Again, don’t go into any more detail than you need to.  Remind your kid that while it’s a woman who gives birth to a baby, your Mommy(-ies) and/or Daddy(-ies) are the one(s) who raise you. If two men want to start a family together, then yes, they’ll need help from a woman. But that woman is not the mommy. It’s no different than how you’d explain adoption by a straight couple. “The Strattons flew to Beijing and brought little Daisy home. Now they’re her Mommy and Daddy.” Assure your children that the kids are in good hands, and that everyone ends up with the right parents for them.

7. Most importantly, just talk to your kids.

Your kids are bound to see a gay family sooner or later, even if it’s just Mitchell & Cameron on Modern Family.  So if they come to you with questions, it’s really important that you don’t get weird about it.  Don’t change the subject, don’t tell them they’re too young to understand and definitely don’t lie and say that the mommy is home doing dishes or off fighting in Afghanistan.  Otherwise the message you’re sending is that there’s a reason to be uncomfortable around gay families.  The same goes for all kinds of families, whether they have two moms, two dads, a single mom, a single dad, foster parents or if they’re being raised by wolves – just explain that that’s a different kind of family and gee, isn’t it nice that everyone’s a little different.

… which leads me to a big secret.

You see, there is a gay agenda.  It’s true.

What most people don’t realize is that the gay agenda isn’t “everybody should be gay.” It’s “everybody should be themselves.”

Be a nerd, be a Yanni fan, be a real housewife of your particular geographic region. Whatever. It’s all part of the same cause, and it’s a great message to teach your kids.

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I shouldn’t have to say this in 2012, but for anyone who’s still wondering, NO, I don’t want to make your kids gay.  I just want to live my life with a sense of mutual respect for everyone else on this planet.  If you want the same thing, then let your kids learn by your example.  Show them that nontraditional families are nothing to be afraid of.

Teaching your kids to be accepting of gay people and gay families is a great way to teach them acceptance in a broader sense – and to teach them the ultimate lesson: to be accepting of themselves.

I know some people think differently, but that’s what I call family values.

About the writer

Jerry Mahoney blogs at jerry-mahoney.com. His book 'Mommy Man: How I Went From Mild-Mannered Geek to Gay Superdad' is now available pretty much wherever you like to buy books.

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nina 8 months ago

I just Google thisearch question because my daughter is starting school and I wanted to be prepared for this question. My parents always found the hay community to be obscene and shielded us from it. As if there was something terrible. I have to say you hit the nail on the head. Thank you so much for posting this article! It is such a big help!

M 8 months ago

What a great article. My son started life with a gay grandpa and more recently I carried surrogate twins for two dads. As a result I don’t think we ever really had this conversation but I realize I just got lucky with our diverse family- gay is normal and common as far as my son can see

Mercedes 8 months ago

I’m straight so I might be out of my league giving advice but she asks about it I would simply say you are with her bc you two love each other. And if she says anything else asking questions say that love is love and there is nothing wrong with two people being together if they are in love. Hope that helped alittle.

Mercedes 8 months ago

I really enjoyed reading this. I was looking up how to explain what gay is to a child. I don’t have children of my own yet, my husband and I are waiting a couple more years. But on recent visit to my MIL’s she said something that made me worry, she was retelling an encounter she had with one of the little girls she was watching. The little girl asked about gay and she told her that it was when two mean were together and she didn’t think god meant for that to happen. The little girl said ewww and she was like I know. End of story. And I sat there shocked in the back seat not knowing what to say. My aunt is a lesbian and I know the struggle she has had to go through. I understand my MIL has old school beliefs and thankfully we live a very long way away. And this gave me a lot to think about as far as how to talk about being gay in a positive light bc it is all about love. I know this was posted a loooonnnnggggg while ago but if anyone has any advice on how to address a family member who has negative beliefs about being gay, bc I do not want my children to be taught that it’s bad wrong or gross, however as much as I would like to be the one to explain everything to them, the possibility of someone else doing it could happen. How would you go about asking family members to not teach your children certain beliefs?

Julia 9 months ago

So I enjoyed reading this a lot. It was very helpful for some of the questions I had but I’m still concerned about a few things.
I have two girls with my ex who has since gotten married and a baby of their own. I also have moved on only with a woman. And at the moment I have just said she’s my really good friend. Their dad and his wife have them full time at the moment but i still see them once a week and we have recently have gotten to a point that my girls who are six and two will be coming to our house. I’m very scared on what my six year old is going to ask. She likes to ask questions and even after I answer them she then ask “well why mommy”. Anyone with any pointers on ways I could approach this situation?

Amanda 10 months ago

Thank you so much .. This is so great!

Carol Leigh Wehking 11 months ago

Thanks for this – my daughter posted it on her facebook page; that’s how i found it. I am her came-late-to-gay alpha mother; she and her brother call my partner their “Bonus Mom.”
After I pretty much mangled the whole transition from conventional/traditional family to our present status, my kids took a long time to forgive me. Explaining to children one already has when coming in late can be a pretty major challenge, too. But they recognize real love when they see it; my chief regret is that they did not grow up with it. Fortunately, they bore no prejudice against gay-ness, just against their mother’s klutziness.

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ELsMom 1 year ago

THANK YOU! I live in a small town so my kids aren’t exposed to gay couples on a regular basis. The few gay couples we know don’t have children so it has been a non-issue but I know at some point whey will have questions. My husband and I weren’t sure the best way to explain this to them at such a young age. This included GREAT advice that we will be able to use without confusing them, possibly misguiding them, having them (or us!) feel inadequate. It is very matter of fact and honest. I LOVE IT! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

Yusaf 1 year ago

Hey guys,I was supposed to be tecihang a class tonight, but no one signed up, so I’m coming to the benefit! Looking forward to meeting you! I’d like to donate one of the boards I just made, so I will try to get there around 8:00.Cheers,Dan

Eem 1 year ago

Jayme- I always knew Emily’s fliamy was beautiful inside and out, but these picture make that even more apparent. Beautiful especially the way you could capture moments with the boys, when anyone else who has tried to take their picture knows that can be difficult!! Amazing, simply amazing!!

Miftahul 1 year ago

Congratulations van Rensburg family. Daniella is truly spualacetcr! Here’s to a blessed and incredible journey with your little darling.God bless and all the best!

Magalie 1 year ago

I am sad to have missed the Binkies siingng the Awful Truth. I miss you up there in moss-land. Is Jay green yet? either with envy or with moss? I am glad that the dolls are continuing to be fashion forward, although perhaps they could use fewer potent cocktails as, by the look of it, they are falling on their faces at times. Gaysian mounding cranberries to you all!

Bree 1 year ago

I really love the way you define the “gay agenda”. As a mum in a hetero family, I happily espouse this agenda with my son everyday. And it feels great!

I too love your funny drawings. Thanks for bringing smiles to my face!

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stoicatheist 1 year ago

I work with someone who prefaces and justifies every reference
to a gay person with: _I don’t have anything against gays,
but I don’t want my kids,…(yadda yadda, bullshit)…I mean, what do tell my kids when they see that”?_

Here are some answers to that dumb-ass question. Pick the one that best suits your personality:

_”there are homosexuals and heterosexuals and many other kinds of “sexuals” in the world and you are to *make NO judgements* about them based on their sexual–or for that matter racial, cultural (etc.) orientation._

“None of your damn business, now eat your fruit loops and shut the hell up…and that goes for heterosexuals as well you overly inquisitive rug rat!!!”

“Your parent(s) use you as an excuse to discriminate indiscriminately and arbitrarily and you should probably question or at least cross reference everything else we teach you.”

Or you can just stop planting questions in their head that they never had in the first place.

lesbomom 1 year ago

I love this post and I think that I have read it before or something similar. Gay is just not a big deal. I have always taught my daughter that you love who you love and love is a beautiful thing no matter what shape it comes in. We are lucky enough to love in a lesbian-centric town (Ithaca, NY) that she is not singled out too often. And at the young age of 8, her friends still think it’s cool that she has two moms. I just hope that they still feel that way in 5 years or so.

Lotte 1 year ago

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You put it all so well! I hope I can say everything just like that the day I’d be a mom..

Christine 1 year ago

I really enjoyed this article! I believe in always being honest and upfront with children. My daughter is only 18 months but I get asked ALL the time if we will tell her she’s adopted. Absolutely, is my answer. We already have books about adoption and read them even though she’s too young to understand. LOVE. IS. LOVE. PERIOD!

Andrea 1 year ago

Lovely post. I have kids and we live in Vancouver, where it is not uncommon for kids to have two moms or two dads or even two moms and a dad or two dads and a mom. My kids have known this since they were tiny. Even today, when I was talking about brides and grooms, my 6yo corrected me and said that there must sometimes be just brides or just grooms, since “boys can marry boys, Mom!” When kids ask about 2 moms or 2 dads, I just say, “Families come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some live all in one home. Some live in two homes. Some have moms and dads, some have moms or dads. Some live with grandparents or other relatives. Some have bonus parents. What’s important is that families love and respect one another.” My kids have never found that confusing or hard to understand.

Sparrow 1 year ago

This is such a wonderful post. I have nieces and nephews, and a suspicion that one of them might be gay. It’s a wait-and-see thing, of course. They’re all very cool kids, though, so I am anticipating not much trouble in this area.

I do have one caveat about your list, though – the “every kid gets the parents they need” line. I’d be careful about saying that to a child. What if they see another kid whose mother yells at them, or whose father beats them? They’ll have the impression that perhaps that kid deserves to be treated that way, because :”every kid gets the parents they need”. My father was abusive (and is still a bully), so I’d never tell a child that, knowing from experience that some kids very much don’t get the parents they need.

Just a thought. :)

Jacqueline 1 year ago

6. Remember the magic phrase, “Everyone ends up with the right parents for them.”

So abused kids deserve it? WTF?

You need to think through the implications of your statements a little better before posting.

Katy 1 year ago

Tory, you made me throw up a little in my mouth. I hope you are a troll because it makes me sick to think there are people out there teaching kids to hate. People like you are a blight on society. Furthermore I’m sure plenty of other posters will refute your wholly inaccurate statements so I will not waste any more of my time. You are pure ick. I hope your kids grow up to let you down by being smart, tolerant, and loving people the exact opposite of their parent.

Kim 1 year ago

I wish people would learn what the bible actually teaches. Nobody gets to heaven based on behaviour, good or bad. The common denominator that saved people share is faith. A married gay couple who have genuine faith in God are in a much better position spiritually than the straight married couple who don’t believe in God. The bible says over and over again that we are saved by grace through faith, and that God does not consider anyone to be a good person. The message in the bible is so simple, have faith and receive eternal life, that’s the Good News! Another over looked message is that this authentic faith is a gift – we can’t believe in God unless God empowers us to do so. If a Gay man has authentic faith (not just for show) God has accepted him and he has nothing to worry about.

Kae Oz 1 year ago

“I had to explain all this to my son once. He had a look of disgust on his face. I guess he’s just born that way.”

Kind of like the looks most boys get when you tell them one day they might kiss a girl? Yeah. Kids think all kissy stuff is gross. Because they are KIDS.

Your kid, like all kids, are born open and wanting to understand. But you just keep filling him with the ignorant ideas that continue to ensure this one of the stupidest countries in the world. And he will be sure to become that backwards person with zero reasoning skills that is cock-sure of what he “knows” to be true that makes reality television such a thriving industry.

I just can’t help but wonder what you tell your child about children that are adopted. Or haven’t been adopted and grow up in the system. Does what you tell your child make him that kid at school that makes fun of the kid whose parent just died for only having one parent at home?

And what about this “militant scienc” you educate him with?
Do you tell him that human families should be arranged like many mammals, like apes and lions, with the one dominant male and a harem of females, all related to each other, all living and raising the young together? Do you teach him about the mammals tendency towards infanticide of the young of other males? Do you tell them how the Bonobos do not practice infanticide, but are the most promiscuous of all primates, having hetero and homosexual relations with many, many partners, frequently. And also have the least amount of violence among any group of animals? Ya’ know, “scienc”.

disgusted 1 year ago

The points you raise are simply ignorant of the realities of both straight and gay families.

1) Families with one parent and a stranger are not uncommon in the straight world these days (ever heard of divorced people who remarry?) and they can be perfectly functional families in every sense of the word.
2) Following your logic, the moment you call yourself straight, you’re also defining yourself by your sexuality. Also, a straight couple that produces three kids and has a normal sex life during their time together will engage in “assisted masturbatory acts” upwards of 99% of the time. Or do you have a baby every single time you have sex? Would you tell women to stop having sex after menopause just because they cannot procreate?
3) Many straight couples need a donor to become parents. Are they also pretending to be “families”? Which part of the world do you live in where prostitutes are paid to produce human materials? Weird.
4) I have met many unstable heterosexuals out there. Sadly, they insist on going on depression and take psych meds in spite of how accepting I am of them.
5) Most mammals are a mother and a father? I suggest you start watching animal life documentaries (the BBC has great ones). You will see plenty examples of single mums, one father and many mums,…

Your comments put a look of disgust on my face. I guess I am just born that way.

Guest 1 year ago

I had to explain all this to my son once. He had a look of disgust on his face. I guess he’s just born that way. But I did tell him the truth without candy coated PC parlance
-A gay family is one where perhaps one parent is the parent, and the other is a stranger who tells the kids to call him mommy, etc.
-A gay person is some who defines themselves by their sexual acts, which are not ontologically sex acts, but more accurately known as assisted masturatory acts.
-A child with gay parents is likely to have a mother or father that is nothing more than a donor who was paid to produce human materials (like a prostitute) so that homosexuals can pretend to be a “family”:
-looking at the homosexuals you know in our family, you will come to realize they are notoriously unstable, depressed, on psych meds- no matter how accepting you are of them
-All arrangements of family that do not feature a mother and father the way most mammals are used to will result in dysfunction, but since many gays are wealthy, and wealth covers a multitude of dysfunctions, you won’t be able to see it unless you look closely, or look at poor gay families instead.

I guess I am just a militant scienc

Rachel 2 years ago

Those of us who aren’t gay also have our rights to opinion on the subject. He wasn’t telling people to “reassure” their kids they won’t be gay. He was just telling people to answer their kids questions.

You are assuming kids are afraid of being gay, so then saying “you’ll probably marry someone of the opposite sex” is reassuring them that’s not so.

He’s assuming kids are just curious, so then saying “you’ll probably marry someone of the same sex” is just a straight-forward answer.

Do you really expect someone to answer that question by a 4 year old by explaining pansexuality, asexuality, bisexuality, and everything else? Or that the child may decide to be polygamous? Or marry someone transgendered?

Rachel 2 years ago

Your situation is no different than any other couple who divorces and the parents later enter new relationships. My ex-husband has a whole family now, and I’m sure when my son is with them people assume his girlfriend is my son’s mom. That’s not offensive to me. It *would* be offensive if my ex and/or his girlfriend TOLD people she is his mom. You can’t expect parents to look at a couple with a child and immediately know the child is from a previous relationship. And you can’t get offended and take it personally if they assume otherwise. I think it’s pretty clear the author didn’t have those situations in mind when he wrote the article. Not only from this statement you’ve taken offense to, but also by all the “Just like how you have a mommy and daddy/ Just like how your mommy and daddy love each other” examples that just wouldn’t be good examples to give a child from a “broken” home. (And I hate that term. My home was far more “broken” when my ex and I were together.) Maybe the author was a little presumptive in assuming every kid’s parents (whether same sex or not) were still together and in a loving, healthy relationship. I don’t fault the author for that though. We know what we’ve lived.

Rach 2 years ago

I take issue with your suggestion to tell a child that they will “probably” be straight. Even if you say that you’ll accept them either way, why perpetuate heteronormativity? You should not have to reassure a child that they will probably not be gay. I think it would give the child a bias on what is “normal” and I think these discussions, from a young age, should be about all sexualities being normal instead of just accepting people who aren’t straight. I respect that because you’re gay you have a right to your opinion on the subject, I just think that it could be a bit dangerous. It’s not rocking the boat to imply they have a real likelihood of being gay. Anyways, statistics of sexuality are outdated and ignore bisexuality and pansexuality, also! It’s less than probable that they’ll be completely straight after all.
I like the article in general, just don’t think that a parent needs to fall into heteronormativity to make a kid feel reassured. If we’re trying to change their opinions from a young age, being straight shouldn’t be reassurance at all.

Burr 2 years ago

Cassie, that’s not at all what they’re saying. They’re saying that the woman that gave birth to a child that a gay couple decides to have (not the same as with you and your ex, I’m so sorry that happened), is not the mother. She still exists, she gave that child life, but she is not their “mother.” Your parents are the people who raise you, which isn’t always necessarily the ones that gave birth to you. That doesn’t make your birth parents non-existent, but that also doesn’t make them your parents.

Kacey 2 years ago

Wonderful post! I wish everyone would read this & take it to heart.

Juliann Rich 2 years ago

Love, love, love this!

Kathryn 2 years ago

My 7-year old heard the word ‘gay’ on TV and asked what it was. I explained “Some girls like mommy grow up and want to kiss and marry boys. But some girls grow up and want to kiss and marry girls, and some boys grow up and want to kiss and marry boys. That’s what being gay means.” Her response – “I think I already know about all that. A boy at my school has two daddies.”
That was our big discussion on people being gay.

rose 2 years ago

loved this article! my best friend is lesbian and her and her wife decided to do artificial insemination to have a baby together…she gave birth to her son 2 weeks before i had my son…we always have play dates, dinner, parties, you name it together. now our children are 3 and i was expecting this answer to pop up at anytime now because my best friends son already questioned why he doesn’t have a father like my son, she told me she had no idea what to say…now with this article we could definitely try to talk about it, and know exactly how. thank you!

Me 2 years ago

“I don’t want him to accept homosexuals because of societal pressures telling him how he is supposed to think. I want him to form an opinion regardless of how popular/unpopular it is.”

You do realise how completely contradictory that is?

Note the Sarcasm 2 years ago

Wow, you must have made it SO easy for your partner to accept himself. AND your kids have “special needs”! You deserve a medal!!!

Catherine 2 years ago

We never had to explain anything to our kids. Annie, Laura, and their son were just like any other family we were friends with. Their friend Robert has 2 mommies, some kids have 2 daddies, and some kids have one of each. The end. When you make it a point to outline differences in people that kids would otherwise not notice, then you’re teaching them what to look for to find a difference. My kids see people, not statistics.

Eric Rosset 2 years ago

Joseph B Masek Valentina obviously meant acceptance, just look at the intent and context. Do you think she told her kids to "just put up with them"? Joseph, I think it is you who should be more accepting and kind, even toward people who may not have sat in Gender Studies 101 at Texas State.

Antonia Lederhos Chandler 2 years ago

I like Keep It Simple, Silly :-)

Helene Lasserre Hill 2 years ago

Thanks Ang but I can't take credit for who he is :) I am just lucky to have him as my little man!

Angeleen Anderson 2 years ago

Your son is a beautiful, kind and loving little man. You must be so proud to be his mother. You've done and amazing job!

Helene Lasserre Hill 2 years ago

Ahah, too funny, I would never had to explain to MY son….because he told me the other day he thinks that it doesn't mater if you have a mommy and a daddy, two mommies , two daddies or just a mom or just a dad because "us" kids we just want to be loved!!

Alexis Rhiannon Bantau 2 years ago

Just had to answer questions Liam had about two mommies kissing and this was awesome! Helpful and to the point

Tory 2 years ago

Thank you. Amazing article. I wish I had it a year ago when my then 8 year old started asking these kinds of questions and even asked me why her own grandparents didn’t approve of gay people. I told her some people are mad because they believe that God only wants a man and a woman to be together and in love. Her response struck me to my core and brought me to tears. My then 8 year old daughter says completely exasperated, ” People get mad at each other for LOVING someone?! That doesn’t seem right! And it doesn’t seem like that is what God would want or how God would want us treating other people.”

I felt like all the teaching of homosexuality was over and I had learned more from my daughter than she had from me.

Magalie Rolles 2 years ago

Thank you so much for this posting… My son is 6 and I wanted to prepare myself for the day he would ask my about gays or lesbians. This is very useful… God bless you and your family!!!!

Shannon Knox 2 years ago

she taught them tolerance AND love. why attack a woman who raised children to be open-minded because you don't like her word choice?

Lil_Momma 2 years ago

“I want him to be a man”…sounds like you want him to be a biggot.
What will you do if your son is gay?

Karin Neely 2 years ago

Thank you for this article!! I am a 30 year old adult who was raised by 2 amazing lesbian moms!! I love my moms, and our family is just like any other. People say gays can’t raise children, but my brother and I are proof that they can!!

Wyn 2 years ago

I liked this article a lot, however, I feel that the most important thing to talk to kids about is just that families are different. My daughter just turned 3. We talk about different families almost every day. We don’t have a daddy. But, we have a mommy, a little girl, a cat, a dog, and grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. I’m lucky that my daughter has a lot of gay people in her life, some with, some without kids. All families are just different. Personally, I think that’s the best route to go.

Rebecca 2 years ago

Great article! When my son was six he became friends with a boy who lives with his two moms and has two dads in another town. When I explained the situation to my son, he looked right past the differences and was actually upset that he had only ONE mom and dad while his friend got to have TWO of each! Kids do take their cues from us, answer their questions honestly and age-appropriately and they will get it. The boys are 12 now and are still friends!

Tanisha 2 years ago

It is not right what happened to you I dont think that the article was referring to that some women are just incubators… They get pregnant with the intention of giving the child to the gay couple…. And you looking after the kids 24/7 tells me that man was a mere sperm donor.

Tanisha 2 years ago

I fought long and hard and it actually destroyed my relationship with my kids father because he wanted to teach my children that gay and trannsexual is wrong my kids are going to learn its normal and fine and when they ask if they are gay I’ll merely say that you will end up with someone you love be it man woman or something else I am a firm believer of falling in love with a person not a gender!

Clare Gervasi 2 years ago

Was I the only one put off by the heteronormativity of this article? Right, I get that the artile is supposed to be about gay acceptance, but the whole tone of the article was a defense of a nuclear family model of kinship that is the backbone of patriarchy and homophobia. The author assumes monogamy, coupling, heterosexuality, etc. Encouraging all these societal assumptions continues to make the world unsafe for LGBT folks as well as those with other minority sexual identities.

Olivia Strickland Enabulele 2 years ago

I suppose this is helpful information for some people, but I think if people would focus on using more inclusive language with their children from the start most of those questions won't be asked. I don't talk to my 4 yr old daughter about boyfriends or husbands (not gonna make assumptions), but on occasions relationships come up I try to remember to use gender neutral language and/or inclusive language so I'm not setting her up to think all families have a "mommy" and a "daddy".

Crystal Mackey Free 2 years ago

I agree with you Clare, but I also think that we have to accept all steps, including baby steps, in the right direction as a good sign.

Shekinah Irene Lavalle 2 years ago

In thinking about this, I'm actually reminded of Barney (my mom dated a guy who had a kid who was 2 when I was 8, so we watched lots of Barney–you know, the singing dinosaur). Anyway, there was a whole episode devoted to different types of families. I don't remember that they addressed gay families, but they did talk about how some families have a mom and a dad, some families have a mom and a grandma, sometimes there's just a mom, or just a dad, sometimes there's a step parent, sometimes an aunt and uncle are the parents, some kids are adopted, sometimes the immediate family has several parents of various types. While they didn't address poly or queerness or gay relationships, they did make a point to construct several types of families with an emphasis on "family" being whoever is close and in a loving relationship, no matter how expansive that is. I'm not sure I think that this guys message is detrimental, but it's definitely not breaking out of the nuclear dynamic, and I'm willing to let him pass because he's focusing specifically on how to address the questions *most* kids would have about gay parents. Maybe this guy has no concept of anything outside of monogamy (maybe he thinks that's wrong), or maybe he was just starting with that.

Deborah Rothman Mediation & Arbitration 2 years ago

Sandra, thanks for your comment. I am so glad you are not laboring under the illusion that somehow YOU were unlovable. It's too bad we only license cars and animals, but not parents.

Rachelle Grifsha 2 years ago

Looks like they have two parents that love them. That's all that matters.

Dana Smith Duryee 2 years ago

Love this article! As a stepmom, I too have confused kids. It's not easy to explain divorce, but it's a reality in many kids' lives. I applaud the writer for his matter-of-fact attitude. Inspiring!

cassie 2 years ago

and also……. even if that child was given up for adoption for example – that woman still exists. if you think its ok to tell a child that a woman does not exist then you seriously need help! Being gay men who decide is one thing and if you can give a child a home and love them great but telling a child that the mother doesn’t exist is plainly wrong! and very sexist!

cassie 2 years ago

your comment
If two men want to start a family together, then yes, they’ll need help from a woman. But that woman is not the mommy.

is really really offensive to people where my husband used me to produce 2 children then went off to live his gay life. He never told me he was gay! I look after my 2 children full time, I carried them and gave birth to both of them which was extremely painful.

Are you saying that when someone approached my x with his new partner that I become non existent??? How dare you? I do exist and I have had to give up my career and my life to care for my 2 children, who, incidently also have special needs. how arrogant of you to think that a mummy doesn’t exist just because you are gay! its really offensive!

just because a man decides to start a new family with a new partner who is a man does not mean that mother, that woman does not exist. I am very very proud to be a mother and nothing will ever take that away from me. PLEASE do not tell people that a mother does not exist!!!

Teddy 2 years ago

Living in nh where gay marriage is legal, we have already had the discussion about how if two people love each other they get married. Man-man. Woman- woman. Man- woman. And thanks to a single mom with no daddy (I don’t know the reason why) and the adopts child – we have already had the discussions of how families are formed in a multitude of ways.

But thank you for sharing this.

Kari 2 years ago

I agree with everything you said (except that I’m not fortunate enough to have a gay best friend or more than one child at this point). Love your name, btw 😉

Donna Barton 2 years ago

When my friend ‘came out’ she was worried that other parents wouldn’t want their kids around her, her partner, her children and their home. No problem!! We simply explained to our children that we believe that any loving relationship is a healthy relationship and that it doesn’t have to be between a man and a woman. I offered to answer any questions that they had and they were also welcomed to ask my friend if there was something that I couldn’t answer. My son’s only question “Who’s going to put up their Christmas Lights for them” – The very first explanation was that women CAN put up their own lights!

Kari 2 years ago

Sad. Just sad. I am a Christian myself, and I proudly and STRONGLY support marriage equality. I don’t think there’s one damn thing that my husband and I can give to our children, support our children through, or love our children any more or less than a family that has two daddies or two mommies. One of my best friends is gay; I just know he is going to be an excellent father and I can’t WAIT until he has children. The reason I stated that I am a Christian is because I hate the bad name Christian’s get over, well, comments like this. I am not throwing away any of my morals or values. In fact I think I have damn good morals and values…I will teach my children about love, acceptance, and non-judgment in all aspects of life. Simple as that. God is LOVE, when did Christians forget that?!?

Erica 2 years ago

I went back and tried to find the other, but I guess I’m just lazy… I didn’t find it. :)

I personally (can only speak for myself) use the term because (again, to me…) too many people use the term “Christian” because they’ve sat their butt in a pew at some point in their lives and/or they pray sometimes but generally don’t follow the actual principles of the Bible/Christ. So, they’re magically a Christian. I don’t always sit in a pew (I do pray a lot) but I DO try to follow the message/principles of Christ in my life. Hence, my preference of Christ-follower vs Christian.

Julia 2 years ago

I wish I had read this years ago- it would have helped me so much! When I didn’t know how to explain to my kids about their friends’ gay parents or our gay family members, I started with “everyone is different” or “every family is different”. It was a good jumping off point, but I didn’t always know how to say more in an age appropriate way. Thanks for the great read!

Colette 2 years ago

Great, great post!! I have already had a similar conversation w/my oldest son (6), when we saw a gay couple shopping together, he could have cared less (judgement), but he was curious… I simply said, “that boy has 2 dads, you have a mom & a dad, it’s pretty simple bud, people love who they love” :) This completely satisfied his curiosity.

Allen @ Funny Baby Videos 2 years ago

The idea that one “live in a way that makes you happy, as long as you aren’t harming anyone” is flawed.

At what point are you harming someone? Is paying a companion/prostitute for sex considered harming someone? One person is having his/her sexual needs met and the other person is making money. If I decide to do smoke marijuana in my home and not operate a vehicle is that considered harming someone? Why can’t I grow marijuana in my yard then?

I would suggest that the only people it bothers are the ones who “choose” to make issue with it.

The greater concern is that we (society) does not allow for an an exchange of opinion and assume that the opinion is based on hate.

Kathy 2 years ago

I wish you would consider writing some children’s books! As a former preschool teacher I always had multi-cultural books for the kids in my classroom to look at and that I could read to them. However, back then (5 years ago), I never found any children’s books addressing the “Two Daddies – Two Mommies” issues. It would be a fabulous way to teach the kids that love is love….and there are many different kinds of families. Oh! And by the way, I am sharing your blog with everyone I know. It is wonderful!!
“Slowly, slowly, slowly,” said the sloth. People will change when they know more and aren’t so afraid of things they don’t understand. Love is love. Period. Keep up the great work!!

Joseph Masek 2 years ago

You taught your sons tolerance? Tolerance and Acceptance are two totally different things. You can love things that you accept. You can't feel love for things you tolerate.

Karyn 2 years ago

Thanks Jerry – I love the post and am following your blog now! You hit the nail on the head about people being so focused on the *furtive whisper* “sex” part when all they actually need to explain to young kids is LOVE. My son was devastated when I had to explain to him that he couldn’t marry his little sister (“But I LOVE her!!”) but now he’s excited because the world is his oyster and he can love and marry whoever he likes!

Amanda 2 years ago

How about any God worth following accepts his children as they are! When God created Adam and Eve, it was because the world needed to be populated. Can’t do that with 2 men or 2 women now, can you? It had nothing to do with love, per se. Now the world is plenty populated, it’s not an issue. The bible was written by a man going by the stories passed down. I believe that if there is a God, he would want love and acceptance not finger pointing. While you may look at it as your values, I see it as judgement. Judge not lest ye be judged. The family dynamic is of it’s own making. Whether a man and woman, 2 men, 2 women, one person….it is it’s own. As long as there is love and respect, it need not matter what the outside world believes. Everyone has their own values, but once you treat others differently because of it, it takes the “value” away from it. I personally think this was a great post. As he said, he’s not telling you how to explain it to your children, he is offering his perspective on how we can handle it. Giving us an option to use, and it’s up to us whether or not we use it. I for one loved this post and appreciate it. My oldest daughter is 9, and she thinks it’s okay to love who you love, and live in a way that makes you happy, as long as you aren’t harming anyone. A man loving a man, a woman loving a woman, that harms no one. The only people it bothers are the ones who “choose” to make issue with it.

tlc 2 years ago

This article is fantastic! But what really gives me warm fuzzies are all of the supportive comments. I am over the moon that so many people are understanding, supportive, loving, and positive about the richness of family diversity. Ahh!

Christina Michalatou 2 years ago

Thank you for your beautiful article…

Shanna Platt Cummings 2 years ago

Thank you for sharing with heart I and humor. Really love what you have to say.

Shanna Platt Cummings 2 years ago

Thank you for sharing with heart I and humor. Really love what you have to say.

jen 2 years ago

Wonderful posts,with one exception.Not every child ends up with the right parent. Every child should,but as we have all seen some parents shouldn;t be allowed to raise a dog,let alone a child (and this has nothing to do with gay or straight) I have actually had a harder time explaining to my kids parental child abuse,more then sexual oreintation.

Jen Murtagh 2 years ago

From my upbringing gay means "happy" ; happily excited, merry, keenly alive and exuberant; having or inducing high spirits. Gay in society today has taken on a connotation of the word that bears absolutely NO resemblance to it's origin. I love all humanity, sexual orientation SHOULD have no bearing on how you choose to love, live and be a decent human being! and the world needs to wake up and accept the fundamental basics of any of the religions. I am a devout Atheist as from what I can see religions are the basis of all the wrongs in the world and I have not come across a religion yet that devoutly loves their fellow humans beings with all their faults and failures unconditionally; the closest I can see is Buddhism.

Kimberly Leonard 2 years ago

Kudos! Great article. As a mom, I always seem to get the questions from my kids about EVERYTHING daily in their lives. It is as simple as you make it. Yes, some people have two mommies or daddies. Isn't that awesome that two people love them as much as your dad and I love you? K.I.S.S. is my way with my young kids~Keep It Simple Stupid. (Stupid is to remind myself that sometimes we make it too complicated!)

Kimberly Leonard 2 years ago

Kudos! Great article. As a mom, I always seem to get the questions from my kids about EVERYTHING daily in their lives. It is as simple as you make it. Yes, some people have two mommies or daddies. Isn't that awesome that two people love them as much as your dad and I love you? K.I.S.S. is my way with my young kids~Keep It Simple Stupid. (Stupid is to remind myself that sometimes we make it too complicated!)

Maureen Dundon Paetz 2 years ago

Awesome article. I explain to my kids, when they ask, that theywill marry their soul mate and i don't stipulatewhat sex their spouse will be.

Ashwani Naidu 2 years ago

-to teach them acceptance in a broader sense – and to teach them the ultimate lesson: to be accepting of themselves''. Parents , people always forget to tell kids to chill out and be themselves and not being main stream is not a bad thing actually.

Kathy Crosta-Walsh 2 years ago

Wonderfully explained. When my kids were younger, 4, 5 or 6 I would say that some women love women, some men love men and some love the opposite sex. Some kids have 2 daddies or 2 mommies and it's okay to love anyone you choose. It's ALL normal.

reed 2 years ago

Do really believe your actions will not affect your children? Let me know when they are adults-how well your decisions worked for them.

Mandi Leigh Kessler 2 years ago

I have always told my children (15, 4, and 14 months) that love comes in many forms. Sometimes it is two men, sometimes two women… but in the end, it is just that- love. And these days love is hard enough to find without having to fit in to some stereotypical model of what it "should" be. Once my eldest child was old enough to understand, I always made sure that I told her I did not care who she fell in love with, same-sex, opposite-sex, or race/ethnicity… So long as that person treated her with the love and respect she deserved. I hope I'm setting her up for a relatively normal way to look at the world and all the differences people can have.

Jessica 2 years ago

This is the second mention of “Christ-follower” mentioned in the comments. Is there a difference between a Christ-follower and a Christian?

Jessica 2 years ago

Very well said, Collette!

Sandra Chandler 2 years ago

I could not agree more Deborah, that was my only problem with this beautifully written blog post. I was not born to parents that were right for me. My mother abused me mentally and physically, I would have much rather had two moms or two dads that actually wanted me.
Everything else is spot on and great advice.

Beth 2 years ago

My son last year at the mall ‘ew why are those men kissing?!’
Me ‘probably because they love each other.’
Him ‘like you and daddy?’
Me ‘yea’
Him ‘are they married too?’
Me ‘maybe. is it ok if they are?’
Him ‘yea but they shouldn’t kiss like that here. they’re making everyone look and if they[the other people in the mall] aren’t married they’ll feel sad.’

Penny Shore 2 years ago

my uncle is gay and lives with his long term partner "uncle mike" it was never explained to me what gay was and it was never needed to be. there was no big family secret. it was just uncle johnny and uncle mike. my children were raised the same way. even as youngsters, it was not weird to them and there were no uncomfortable conversations. it just was and it was accepted as the norm. as teens and young adults, they have friends of both sexual preferences and they are as accepting to one as they are to the other. I think exposure and acceptance by the parents can really make the explaination easier and kids are really more accepting to differences than adults and will pick up on the parent's attitude.

Sarah Kelly 2 years ago

I love it!

Amy 2 years ago

Love this. I actually look forward to explaining to my daughters all about their guncle one of these days. Warms my heart that our kids are living In a world that continues to become so much more accepting of differences. So much more than we were ever openly exposed to, and it’s fantastic. Great article, thank you!

Valentina Harper 2 years ago

If I may as a hetero mom of two boys 😉 I would never have to explain to my boys 9 & 15 why there's two dads, I've never had to and I never will. I'll tell you why: Because my boys have never asked. WHY? Because to them there is nothing different about two dads, versus two moms, or mom and dad, or one mom or one dad, you get my drift, we taught our boys tolerance and love from the beginning – never pointed out that gay parents where different because we don't feel they are, they're just people. So when my kids have met other families of all different kinds they don't bat an eyelash, to them its just a family. Love your blog, but do know that soon I hope you will not longer have to feel that your family needs to be explained – <3 One love.

Mary 2 years ago

THANK YOU!! I’m a straight mommy. I want to teach my kids what’s right, but also as a straight mommy, how the hell do I know what’s right when explaining gay parents?? I get it, but kids don’t right away. Thank you for explaining it in a way that will make sense to my kids and be considerate to how gay parents want to be perceived. Thanks.

Ana 2 years ago

Wonderful post! This is a great read especially for those of us who were not exposed to the “norm” growing up. I have also substituted the word “normal” with “healthy” – encompasses a greater wonderful variety of families, cultures, traditions, habits, ideas… etc.

Deborah Rothman Mediation & Arbitration 2 years ago

What a wonderful article. Just the right tone (light) about a serious topic that many people are still uncomfortable with. My only quibble is with your advice to tell kids "“Everyone ends up with the right parents for them.” That's a bigger lie than "The Mom is off fighting in Afghanistan." Some children unfortunately are cursed with awful, abusive, cruel, drug-addicted or otherwise troubled parents, and they are NOT right for their children.

Richard Strelitz 2 years ago

If I got the parent I deserved, I must have been a polio virus before I was reincarnated into this life. I have to read the article.

evilinheels.com 2 years ago

I have a druncle. I would much rather have a guncle. I loved this entire article and shared it on Facebook. Except… I cannot be openminded enough to accept Yanni fans. I will work on my intolerance, but I am not there yet.

Quay Medley 2 years ago

I love this. This is exactly how I responded to my son who wanted me to SO BADLY marry one of my friends. I told him it wasn't possible. He said why. I said "cause XXXX is gay." He asked what gay was and I told him it means "XXX likes boys" and further explained that "some boys like boys some boys like girls and some girls like girls and some girls like boys.." MY proudest day, when my kid heard a friend call another kid "Gay" at a playdate years later (as an insult) and my son said "don't say gay that way. that's not what that word means. Stop being a jerk".

lara 2 years ago

thank you. this is perfect. everything i’ve wanted to know to get this right.

Jen 2 years ago

Not to brag, but I have been following your same guidelines (before even coming across youjr post) since day one with my five year old daughter, and my 7 month old will also be taught the same way. I really love the agenda, and wanted to share a positive outcome of “your guidelines” (even though I had instituted them long ago of my own accord). We live in Germany where it is not uncommon to walk through a park in say Frankfurt at lunch, and see a woman in a dress suit skirt and stilettos and bare chested sunning herself. No one thinks gay or straight really there. But I digress “Bug” and I were going to the kinder museum and there was a gay couple kissing on the stairs ton the trains saying goodbye etc. She said, and I quote, “They must be in love! Isn’t that so cute” and that princess sigh expelled from her lips that dreamy look in her eyes. I know silly story, but it is gay men likke you who make the world (or US) a more educated and hopefully understanding place. I applaud this blog post, and applaud your doodles. Wonderfully written, direct and educational. I am sure you and your partner are great dads-but I bet you are the best lol!

Zimzies 2 years ago

I was also uncomfortable with that.

Zimzies 2 years ago

Hmmmm… I have NO idea when I introduced my son to the existence of homosexuality, neither does he. I only remember explaining to him why I was uncomfortable with his joining the Cub Scouts. As soon as I did he didn’t want to join anyway because “that’s not fair,” but already knew about gay people then.

I do have to disagree with not explaining sex and sexuality pretty early and waiting until Jr High Health Class. Though perhaps as the response to the question about two daddies or mommies is not the best time. Knowing what sex is and for whom it is appropriate is one of the BEST defenses against childhood sexual abuse, and makes it easier for a child to tell if it does happen. It also makes discussions about sex and sexuality SO much easier when the child is older and has questions or is looking for guidance- makes it so much more natural for them to come to you to ask questions.

Isela 2 years ago

I have been looking for answers.
Our dearest friends are a gay couple, we’ve knows for almost 8yrs. They are not publicly out, so it’s a harder.
Our son (5) has recently started asking questions and I just don’t or didn’t know what to do. I wanted to be true to to how we as parents feel about it.
Thanks for your post, and for getting us on the right road to talking about it.
Any advice, welcomed.

headstrongdamsel 2 years ago

When we first introduced my stepkids to a couple of my gay friends, my boyfriend was a little worried about how to explain it. I told him not to worry and that I could handle it. We got to their house and hung out for a while, then at one point one of my friends gave the other e kiss on the cheek. The oldest asked my why they were kissing like that, they were two boys. I simply said that they were “amoureux” which translates to people in love. It’s a word that I have yet to find an equivalent to in english, it’s more than a couple, it’s two people in romantic love.

When I told him that, he repeated theat it was two boys. I told him that “amoureux” can be any type of people, sometimes it’s two boys, sometimes a boy and a girl, and sometimes two girls, and that what is important is that they found eachother and make eachother happy. He walked up to my one friend and said “Do you make eachother happy like my dad and Damsel?”. my firend said yes. He just said “Ok” and then walked away. Later that evening I heard him explaining it to his brother, and all hea said was “they love eachother, they’re “amoureux”.”

The important thing I feel, is to remember that kids don’t have preconcieved ideas and barriers like adults. If you tell them a positive message right off the bat, that is what they’ll remember.

PS. The kids love going to visit my firends, and we have a great time all together

Sandra 2 years ago

Hi Jerry
I just wanted to say thank you for this post. I have a 6 year old daughter who at the dinner table last night asked whether Girls could Marry Girls, and thanks to your blog post I knew exactly how to handle it. I was able to confidently spread your message of loving who you love regardless of their sex. Such a shame that in Australia, same sex marriage is still illegal. Thanks again

j9 3 years ago

ahahaha…! thank you for that laugh :)

Allen@Funny Baby Videos 3 years ago

Debbie, I’m glad to see that I am not the only one not willing to disregard my values, morals, and beliefs because society says I have to.

I am who I am. I am proud of that.

My Dance in the Rain 3 years ago

Great post! I have seven children and I have always talked openly with them about the gay community. I wanted to make sure if any of them ever felt different that they knew there was nothing wrong with them and that they could talk to me about anything. Some people are so up tight though. There are so many different normals it’s important for my kids to know they don’t have to fall into the stereotypical normal just to fit in.

misszippy 3 years ago

Great post! I have a 12-yr. old son who recently watched a suggestive gay scene on Downton Abbey (of all places!) with me. The characters reacted in various ways, which was a perfect opening for me to discuss with him that some men are attracted to each other; it’s ok; and the fact that some people aren’t ok with it and will treat gay men unfairly because of it. He immediately chimed in that discriminating against gay people is akin to discriminating by color. Made me proud that he picked up on that!

Jessica Smock 3 years ago

Great post! It really does seem like kids take their cues from us. If we act like something is weird or uncomfortable, they’ll act accordingly. If we act like other families — in whatever form — are also loving, happy, and perfectly natural, they’ll respond that way too. Kids pick up just as much from your nonverbal signals as the actual words you use.

Tara 3 years ago

Great article. But oooh… #6 is a toughie. I am not sure that this is the right message to send when so many kids are abused, neglected, or otherwise haunted by parents who don’t cut it. Saying that these parents are “right” for these kids seems pretty screwed up.

My Half Assed Life 3 years ago

This post is fantastic. Completely matter of fact – exactly the tone we should use when explaining the different types of families out there to our children.

Elizabeth 3 years ago

GREAT post!

When I was teaching middle school 15 years ago my teaching partner came out to the class in mid year. (Very offhand, he made a reference to some conference or association of gay teachers or something.) The administration called ME in for a special meeting about how we were going to Handle the Crisis. I told them the kids were going to take their cues from us – if we acted like it was a big deal, it was going to be a big deal. If we said, “Yep, he’s gay. And…?” the kids would move on to the next potential source of melodrama. Thank goodness they took my advice for once.

It’s been a relative non-issue now that I’m a parent, since we’re good friends with a gay couple who have children around the age of our own, and my older daughter has a friend in her class with two mommies. It’s just part of the landscape for my kids. Of course, two nights ago my kindergartener asked me, “Mommy, what does sexy mean?” and all I could do was blibber. Apparently I do not handle all potentially touchy subjects with equal aplomb.

blair 3 years ago

Thank you so much for your post.
I knew some of the stuff, but you brought up things I hadn’t thought of.
As the mother of a 6yr old, it’s certainly key to be prepared…if I can. I have a feeling this conversation will be coming up any day now.

KC 3 years ago

I love this article and it is very close to home as we are one of those non-traditional families with 3 moms and 1 dad! My husband’s ex (whom with he had a child) is married (yay for Maryland for voting yes on same-sex marriage) to her long time partner and all 4 of us are actively involved in raising our daughter.
She is in second grade and it is refreshing to see how completely OK most of her friends and classmates are with the mom-and-dad, mom-and-mom, combo. It’s totally no big deal to them and it gives me real hope for the future. In kindergarten one of her classmates exclaimed how lucky she was to have 3 moms and it was so cute.
My favorite anecdote proves that it’s all about perspective and normal is in the eye of the beholder. One day my husband took then maybe 3 or 4 year old daughter to the park where there is a duck pond. As they watched the ducks and ducklings swim, she turned to him and asked, “Do duckies have three mommies and one daddy too?” To which my husband chuckled and said, “No, honey, you are just extra special.”

Alicia 3 years ago

love this! i had to explain the opposite of this to my nephew who has two mommies. He wanted to know why I was married to a boy. :)

Victoria KP 3 years ago

I think this post is really helpful and well written. A few years ago my son realized that a pair of sisters in our neighborhood has two moms. He had hung out with them a number of times, but had never seen both moms together. We had a quick discussion about what the word gay means and how there are many different ways to be a family. He took in the information and went on with whatever he was doing that day.

Just like that. Kids have an amazing capacity to NOT make a big deal about being different… if adults model that kind of behavior.

Chris Fretwell 3 years ago

Single lesbian mom here.
Great post. Really great post. I had a friend, who is part of a long running gay couple (17 years) recently ask me what/if I will tell the boys about my sexuality (their 3 right now). It took me a bit to figure out what he was asking because he said “you know about you being a, well, not liking men”. He couldn’t even say lesbian and in fact, I’m not sure he can say gay. He told me about how he and his partner have never shown affection around his nieces and nephews or talked about their relationship and he said the kids never brought it up. Of course they didn’t. They thought it was a shameful or forbidden topic.

The boys know I’m a lesbian (even if they don’t understand what it means). They know if they get another parent if would be another mommy (although one asks about a daddy and his brother wants 8 mommies).

He has promised that they boys will never see/know that they are partners. Um, yeah, they will figure it out. We live in the gay district. They go to the pride parade every year. We talk openly at home about different families. You can’t live in a studio apartment with only one bed and expect kids not to know. I would rather they talk about it than think its a shameful thing.

I don’t want my kids to grow up ashamed of showing affection, (even if they turn out straight)

Katybeth 3 years ago

I feel so fortunate that my kid has attended a Waldorf school where
“his dadS” or “his momS” had always been a part of my son’s class room, and playdate culture. Now that he is a teen, and several highschoolers have “come out” it’s just not a big deal.
My son understands that a healthy relationship can look many different ways and family can mean a lot of different things.
Our community, his school…has supported my parenting values.
Great tips, and wonderful post.

Allen @ Funny Baby Videos 3 years ago

How am I going to talk to my child about gay parents?

I’m going to tell him that my opinion is that a healthy relationship between a man and a women is best.

I don’t want him to accept homosexuals because of societal pressures telling him how he is supposed to think. I want him to form an opinion regardless of how popular/unpopular it is.

I want him to be a man.

Kristine 3 years ago

Love this! My son’s best friend has two dads and I’ve always been fine with it. I love that since they’ve been friends since age 5, my son thinks nothing of this. And blogs like this one will certainly help . . .

Liz 3 years ago

Hahahahaha! I agree! I loved, loved, loved this article! Yanni Fan is just going a little too far! In the words of Bon Qui Qui, “Don’t get Crazy!” Going to “like” your site Mommy Man: Adventures of a Gay Superdad right now!

Crystal 3 years ago

This is such a wonderful post! Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing it! :)

Jennifer 3 years ago

Thanks for posting this. Sometimes I feel like I’m not really sure if it’s okay to ask things like this. Do gay people get sick of answering these questions? Am I thinking too much? But I think it’s important. It isn’t even that I want my kids to be accepting as much as I want them to know that I accept them. Although, of course I want them to be open minded as well :) But you hear so many stories of gay youth kicked out of their home by parents who somehow (HOW??) only love their children if they are straight. I never want my kids to be afraid of losing my love.

Ashley 3 years ago

Thank you for sharing!

Tiffany Neiss 3 years ago

I thought it was pretty much confirmed that all the Smurfs were gay. Great post!

Debbie Spence 3 years ago

Great post! My 12 year old has seen boys/men kissing on TV and he’s still in the “that’s gross” stage, and we’ve talked to him about gay love/marriage.

He knows we are accepting no matter what, and if he comes home with another boy one day, we’ll be okay with that and just want him to be happy and safe.

tiah 3 years ago

I have shared this on my FB page. It is a good post. I hope many read it.

However, I do take issue with this line: ‘that everyone ends up with the right parents for them.’

No, they don’t. The number of children who are abused and neglected proves that.

I do see, in the spirit of the post, that the line was not meant to put blame on a child for their horrific parents. But having been raised by a parent who ‘survived’ such terrible parenting (if we can even call it that), I am very aware of how much these Hallmark-esq lines hurt. That baggage never totally goes away – the self blame and all the people who were happy to reinforce that mind set.

Jenny 3 years ago

Full disclosure: I tend to be keen on writing fun little one-liners in the comments sections when I like a particular blog post. Not today. I’m a new visitor, and you’re timing and this piece are PERFECT for a real topic that, quite honestly, does keep me up some nights. My sister is gay, and I wish I’d had your post here as a handout over the past year or two. It’s been a little complicated trying to figure out how to best talk about homosexuality with both of my kids, particularly my 9-year-old, who ‘s getting old enough to ask the real questions. For the longest time, I did the “him or her” and “she or he” thing when talking about romantic love and parents, but I really started to feel like it was too many shades of gray for a kid of her age, so I reverted back to hetero-speak. And then I felt really guilty about doing that, like I was betraying my sister but also like I needed to keep in mind that either or both of my kids could grow up to fall in love with someone of the same sex. And I think I was way overthinking it and way overshooting, and my sister has tried to articulate to me so many times what you just perfectly stated. I can’t wait to share your post with her, and thank you so much for helping me exhale and just go with the flow on this one.

Jessi 3 years ago

Dude. They are two parents …….parenting. who gives a fuck about gender. If you raise them to care, they will. There is NOTHING unnatural about two people that love eachother raising a family, gender be damned. Way to completely exacerbate the rift.

Amy K. 3 years ago

ditto, ditto & ditto to many of these comments – beautiful post, hilarious & helpful at the same time. I, too, have a gay agenda, if it means everyone gets to be themselves!

Jessica, The Debt Princess 3 years ago

I came out to my kids during the summer of last year. They get confused from time to time because they only know me as having been married to their dad and I’m not dating anyone as this time. We talk about it from time to time and I know it will become more real some day but for now it’s, meh, whatever.

I love your advice, it’s exactly what I would say, if I were a better writer! Thanks for speaking for scary gay parents everywhere!

Collette 3 years ago

I also wanted to let you know that you have a new follower :)

Collette 3 years ago

Jerry, what a wonderful post! When my daughter was born, I had to find someone to watch her while my husband & I were at work. Someone told us about a woman who had an incredible in-home daycare not far from home. One of the first things she told us was that she was gay. My husband & I just said “And…?” From the time my daughter was only 5 1/2 weeks old, we were a part of their family, and we, a part of theirs. My daughter is 19 y/o and to this day were are all still as close as any family could be. I also have many family & friends who are gay so it has never been an issue, but I’m glad you are here for those who need to find a way to share this.

Collette 3 years ago

I’m sorry, but I am surprised you posted this. Some people would not agree with your lifestyle either, even though “you are probably a very nice person”. Everyone’s morals, values, & beliefs are different. It doesn’t mean that they are any worse (or better) than your own.
For example, I believe in one marriage for life, until death. But, I won’t think any less of someone if their life differs from that. I only think less of people when they become hypocrites.

Jerry Mahoney 3 years ago

Thanks so much for the comment, C.J. It’s so nice to hear of parents like you dealing with the subject so well. Such a shame about your friend’s sister. I’m bracing myself for the day when my kids find out some parents won’t let their kids play at our house for the same reason. I hope it never happens, but I want to be ready if it does.

Jerry Mahoney 3 years ago

Great, Lisa. Wordy is never good, but I do it myself with my kids all the time. I’m working on it, too. :)

Jerry Mahoney 3 years ago

Glad I could help Hillary. I hope I don’t sound like I’m saying any of this is easy. It’s hard to talk to kids about tough subjects, and I have trouble myself sometimes. It’s just nice to read from so many people who want to have the dialogue.

Jerry Mahoney 3 years ago

Kristin @ What She Said, you’re too kind! Thanks for the awesome comment.

Jerry Mahoney 3 years ago

Thanks, Leighann! So nice to read all these great comments from people who agree with my suggestions.

Jerry Mahoney 3 years ago

Yeah, it’s confusing, because we constantly tell our kids not to say “gay” in a negative way. But I don’t know anyone who’s gay who’s personally offended by the term, as long as it’s used in a positive way. The f-word is different, but gay (in the right way) is A-OK.

Jerry Mahoney 3 years ago

Ugh, how sad that kids are still using the gay/lesbian accusation to attack other kids. At least your daughter will be more open-minded thanks to the way you’re raising her.

Jerry Mahoney 3 years ago

Nice. It’s that simple.

Jerry Mahoney 3 years ago

Hilarious. I definitely support not making a big deal about gay parents. Wait for the kids to ask, just like you did. My kids are only 3 years old, so they’re not really asking their parents (or us) about why we have two dads in our family yet. I’m sure we’ll be sparking a lot more conversations in a couple of years. :)

Jerry Mahoney 3 years ago

Don’t beat yourself up about it too much. The world has come a long way toward accepting and understanding gay people. A lot of people used to be more closed-minded about it. What matters is how you treat your kids now, and it sounds like you’re doing great. How awesome that you get a second chance with the new batch, so to speak. :)

Jerry Mahoney 3 years ago

My kids are still too young for video games. Can I come over and play at your house? :)

Jerry Mahoney 3 years ago

Good luck! I wish more parents were as broad-minded as you are, wanting to expose their kids to things they don’t see where they live. Remember, that’s what books (and TV and movies) are for! I highly recommend Todd Parr’s book The Family Book for that reason.

Jerry Mahoney 3 years ago

Awesome. Congrats to Brittany and Cake!

Mamaof2 3 years ago

I love this! Last year, while driving somewhere, my kindergartener suddenly asked me “Can a girl marry another girl?” I told her that some people think it’s ok and other people don’t, and then asked what made her ask. As it turns out, her new little friend in school has two mommies. When she asked how that could happen, I told her that you are supposed to marry the person who makes your heart the happiest and that I hope someday everyone will think it’s ok for them to get married. She just said “Me too Mommy.” I have read a few blogs or other articles that are so political, or not very relatable for my straight friends who don’t quite ‘get it’, and there is usually at least one or more things I can kind of nitpick about the lists I see that help drive the wedge a little further. I have to commend you. Your points are all valid whether we’re straight or gay, and a testament to how, even in our differences, we are all the same.

Wendy 3 years ago

Totally agree:) thanks for speaking your values!

Erica 3 years ago

As a Christ-follower, mom of a 20 year old trans kiddo and a very typical (so far…) 7 year old son – I love, love, love this article! When my oldest came out in high school I nearly had a panic attack (very staunch religious upbringing) – truly!! I tried convincing him (at the time, now her…) (a LOT) it was a phase… Yep, didn’t work… In fact, hurt her a LOT.

However, with some time and reading and talking, I’ve recovered. And so has he (from her crazy mom). I love my transgender kiddo (whom I just refer to as my kiddo normally…) and my 7 year old has an amazingly open heart to people who may be different than us. It’s articles like these that help make this world a little more accepting – over time, hopefully a lot more accepting.

My 7 year old (despite his still crazy mother on so many other levels) has been raised to love all people (unless they’re rotten & mean – then they’re okay to avoid) for their hearts and not for how they look, who they love (unless the sicko loves kids in a pervy way) or any other notion.

Thank you!

Dawn 3 years ago

When my daughter was in second grade in the middle of dinner she asked me if she was gay. I asked her if she wanted to marry a boy or a girl. She said she wanted to marry a boy. I said then you aren’t gay, finish your chicken. Very matter of fact, no judgement. She has an Uncle Carmen who is more of an Aunt, and an Aunt Heather who is more of an Uncle. We don’t care in this family. We are who we are and we love who we love.

Kristen Daukas 3 years ago

OMG I love this! We went for yearrrrrs before my girls finally asked any details about Aunt K and Aunt A. It’s such a natural part of our family that we FORGOT that it’s not “typical” and had never discussed all the different types of love in the world. Love, love this post . And now I’mma go share it all over the world.

Tammy 3 years ago

Wow. This is just about the best post I’ve ever read. I feel like I’m “doing it right” and I still learned stuff. Showing it to everybody.

TheHeadacheslayer 3 years ago

FANTASTIC post :) I used to be one of “those” parents….thankfully now I’m not 😉 (Nevermind the fact that late in life I realized I’m bisexual). My family definitely supports your family!!

Toy With Me 3 years ago

Exceptional post!!

“I just want to live my life with a sense of mutual respect for everyone else on this planet.”

Well put.

Julie 3 years ago

Erika, I completely agree, in fact I read your comment with all of these and then went back and looked for it again, because this line stuck with me “The kids understand love-they have a lot more trouble understanding love ending”. I used to actually get ANGRY when people around us divorced, because we then had to try and figure out how to explain this to my kids. It’s heart-wrenching. And now, as recently single mom (not by my choice…after 20 years of marriage) you couldn’t have stated this any better. My own kids are still struggling to figure it out, but I am blessed that they don’t care WHO loves WHO–just so it committed and true.

Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes 3 years ago

The straightforward approach. Noted.

Julie 3 years ago

Exactly!

Julie 3 years ago

Wow. Incredible piece. Informative and humorous!! I intend to share this with many! I especially found it interesting that using word “gay” IS okay/acceptable. There are so many mixed messages for our kids today, making sure we use the “right” word(s)–it’s nice to have valuable input!

Debbie 3 years ago

Wow, after reading this post and all the comments, i am surprised. You are telling people how to handle talking to there kids about gays. I realize that we all can use advice once in awhile, but this also involves morals, beliefs and values.

As I have told my children. When it comes to gays, they are most likely very nice people as for the way they live, if God had intended for men to marry men or women to marry women, there would be only one sex.

You are probably a very nice person. when it comes to children I was a single mother for many years. I realized that I could never replace for my kids what it was like to have a father at the time.
I could only be there mom. Dad’s think different and do things different. Families are meant to have a father and mother in them and when this does not happen there is an uneven balance. I know this from being a single parent.

It is totally impossible for man to met the needs that a women gives and it is totally impossible for a women to give the needs that a man give .

No i do not dislike gay people, but I will not throw away my values, morals and beliefs, because society tells me that is what I need to do. I can very much accept you as a person and you deserve the right to speak as anyone does. Do i beleive you are right when it comes to your life style? The answer would be no.

Thank you for a very interesting post.

wendy 3 years ago

Great post –

When my 13 year old was introducing her Guncle to some friends recently, there was some snickering. My daughter didn’t ‘explain’ she just flat out stated “They aren’t gay…they are just moderately happy. They are parents of teeneagers, afterall.”

brilliant response #appledoesn’tfallfarfromtree

Tanya 3 years ago

Perfect timing! I had this discussion with my 6 year old recently. I decided to just keep it simple and tell her that men can love other men and women can love other women and that whoever you decide to love is ok. She asked if they can get married and I said yes… because even though its not yet legal where we live I didn’t want to get into the politics behind it and how unfair the system is :(

I hope that by the time she reaches high school gay marriage will be legal.

Emily 3 years ago

This was awesome! I hope we reach a point someday soon where such a blog post isn’t necessary, but until then you’ve eloquently laid it all out here…thank you!

Jen @ Mommy Tries 3 years ago

What a great post–lighthearted, refreshing, and right on target. “Get to your kid before ignorance does”–a good reminder not just about gay parents, but about so many other things in the world, too.

Jennifer 3 years ago

Whew. I feel so much better now. I had this talk one morning while taking my daughter to school She used the negative connotation of gay (as in, “that’s so gay.”) I explained what gay really means and that it isn’t nice to use it that way. Although, I did use the word like, but I wasn’t describing parents or partners so I think we’re still good.

Jerry Mahoney 3 years ago

I would so buy a copy of “Taqueta Has Two Daddies” and read it to my kids every day. :)

Jerry Mahoney 3 years ago

Ha! It’s the homophobes who can’t stop thinking and talking about gay sex. Not to get too specific, but I’d guess most gay marriages are about as sexual after a couple of years as straight marriages are.

Jerry Mahoney 3 years ago

Good point, Erika. Of course, there are plenty of divorced families these days, too. Most kids have friends who split time between two parents or two homes. Divorce isn’t easy to explain, but I’m sure we’ll all end up doing it sooner or later. Maybe someone can write a post on it. :)

Jerry Mahoney 3 years ago

Awesome, Amy. I believe we’re sharing the “nontraditional family” umbrella, so howdy. I really believe in being as honest and open as possible about our families and how they were created. Not to do so implies that we feel some shame about them. I’m proud of my family, and single moms who use sperm donors should be proud, too. That pride is sure to carry over to our kids.

lesbomom 3 years ago

From a lesbian mom – thank you :)

Joe 3 years ago

Brainy? I mean, obviously Vanity and probably Hefty and Handy. Brainy’s probably not interested in Smurfs (or Smurfette).

Jerry Mahoney 3 years ago

Aw, thanks. This comment made me feel quite gay.

Jerry Mahoney 3 years ago

I think “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” are great. My partner and I aren’t married, and I usually call him “partner” or “boyfriend”. In general, since there’s no universal language yet for gay partners, you should go with what the particular couple prefers. But no one expects you to go around asking every gay couple what terms they use for each other, or if they’re legally married or whatever, so if you stick with boyfriend and girlfriend as a shorthand, I don’t think anyone would mind.

Jerry Mahoney 3 years ago

“The same goes for all kinds of families, whether they have two moms, two dads, a single mom, a single dad, foster parents or if they’re being raised by wolves – just explain that that’s a different kind of family and gee, isn’t it nice that everyone’s a little different.”

Thanks for the comment, Sara. As you can see, I did actually mention single-parent families. Sorry if I gave the impression I was ignoring them by not mentioning them in the line you quoted, but of course, I believe kids should appreciate and respect single parent families as much as any other.

Jerry Mahoney 3 years ago

Thanks, Brittany. I know not every religion has nice things to say about families like mine, but it’s my hope that we can all at least teach our kids to respect everyone. Sounds like you feel the same way.

Jerry Mahoney 3 years ago

Yeah, I’m so glad the days of “that’s Uncle Jimmy’s… er… special friend” are behind us. Or at least that they’re on the way out.

Jerry Mahoney 3 years ago

Thanks, Nicole!

Jerry Mahoney 3 years ago

Amazing story. As more kids know families headed by same-sex couples (or gay individuals) topics like this will become irrelevant. Even for me as a gay dad, I still like my kids to know other gay dads (and moms), so they know we’re not the only ones. We hung out with some gay dad friends yesterday, and my daughter said to theirs, “You have two daddies, just like us!” It was very sweet.

susie 3 years ago

I was talking about marriage with my children in a general sense, since they were curious. I had also mentioned how mommy and daddy were best friends too. My son (4 years old) put two and two together, asked if boys could marry boys, and I said yes, of course, if they love each other. He decided then that he was going to marry his best friend (another boy). And life moves on. :-)

Jerry Mahoney 3 years ago

Thank you for loving the terrible drawings. I tried. :)

just JENNIFER 3 years ago

Such a good, straight-forward and simple approach. I wish those who are intolerant and choose to hate would see how much simpler it is to accept and love instead. Oh, and just how evil it is to teach a child anything other than acceptance and love.

Jerry Mahoney 3 years ago

It’s a great word! Your kids are lucky to have a guncle!

J A 3 years ago

I sure wish this article had been around a few years ago. DSS was 9 or 10 when DH went to a work for a gay man. We, as a family, were invited to his home to have dinner with him and his partner. After the dinner, we were waiting for DSS to ask the obvious questions. He seemed to be thinking.

“What did you think of Jim and Dave?” DH finally asked him. He thought for another moment.

“I like Jim fine, but I think his boyfriend might be gay,” replied DSS.

It was a long drive home.

adrian 3 years ago

Awesome post! My son is 14 and we talk about this a lot. Even though we live in Utah, there’s a surprisingly large gay population here – go figure! I just tell him to be kind. The gay kids at his school get a lot of grief every day from all sides and I don’t want him to add to that one little bit. And he really seems to get it. I tell him about the cross-dresser at my work. It’s a little unusual, but he has just as much right to be there as I do and I am just as polite and respectful to him as I would be to anyone else. That’s just being a good person, I think.

Kristen Mae at Abandoning Pretense 3 years ago

I am seriously going to memorize this so I get it right with my kids. I’m also going to share it. And of course I’m going to have to follow your blog now. I just love love love this. LOVE.

And that’s what it’s all about, right? Love?

=)

Laurie 3 years ago

Love this post! It is great that you have done this for anyone who isn’t really sure what to say. You are right, all children will ask about it at some point, but they will ask about anything that isn’t the same as what they have grown up in. I’m not sure how old your child(ren) is/are, but I’m sure there will come a day when you will have to explain straight families to them. I don’t think that will be as difficult for you, however, since you have such a wonderful grasp of how to talk with children and how to make everything sound normal – even being raised by wolves!

C.J. 3 years ago

I love the way you explained this. There are lots of people who should read this. My oldest daughter came home from school one day when she was in Kindergarten with a question. A grade 8 student told her that she and her little friend (another girl) could get married and she wanted to know if it was true. We live in Canada so it is true, gay marriage is legal here.I told her that most girls marry boys but sometimes girls marry girls and boys marry boys. I also told her that families come in all different ways. Some have a mommy and a daddy, some have 2 mommies or daddies. Some have one parent. Some have no parents but have grandparents, foster parents, aunts or uncles or even an older sibling. I told her the only thing that matters is that the family loves each other. I told her that everyone is different in their own way and that is what makes the world so wonderful. If everyone was the same the world would be boring. Now fast forward a few years. A friend of mine’s husband passed away leaving her a widow with a baby. A couple years later this friend calls me up to tell me she is dating a woman. The woman also had a child. The ended up getting married. They eloped so we weren’t at the wedding. I never really discussed the situation (didn’t really think to, it wasn’t a big deal) with the kids and the kids didn’t really realize they were a family at first. One day I needed someone to pick up my kids because I had an appointment and I called my friends wife and asked her if she would mind picking them up and watching them for a couple hours. She said no problem and picked them up. My husband went and got them after work. My older daughter came home and asked if they lived together like her dad and I do. We think she noticed how many bedrooms are in the house because my friend isn’t a touchy feely kind of person and didn’t come in and hug and kiss her wife after work.. I answered yes, they are married and that was the end of the questions. She already knew what being gay/lesbian means so it wasn’t a big deal. Kids only make a big deal out of things if we do. On a side note, my friend’s sister won’t let her see her kids any more because she doesn’t want my friend to turn her kids gay. I’m not quite sure how one would turn someone gay, kinda ridiculous. Unfortunately her kids are likely going to grow up with no respect for other people and their choices. Sorry for the long post, this just really reminded me of how we handled my daughter’s questions. We always encourage our kids to ask questions about anything and try to give them the most accurate answers.

Lisa 3 years ago

Thanks for this. I often wonder what to say to my kids if/when they ask or have questions. I want them to be raised to be accepting of everyone and themselves. I tend to get “wordy” when trying to explain things such as “where do babies come from” “why is that guy kissing another guy” and I want to be able to keep it simple. This article helped put it simply.

Hillary 3 years ago

Thank you so much for this, sincerely. Sometimes I just can’t find the right words to explain things to my 4 year old, like when my sister broke up with her boyfriend and moved out of his house. I never want to give too much information but I do want to answer her questions. Thank you again.

daycaregirl 3 years ago

I see your point, but it seems to me like this article was geared at talking to your kids to explain their questions when they see a gay couple together. In my experiences so far as a parent, my kids are used to seeing single parents, both dads and moms, and I haven’t really felt the need to point out whether they happen to be gay or straight. Seeing one parent with a child is more familiar to my kids than seeing two mommies or two daddies with that child.

Kristin @ What She Said 3 years ago

You crack my shit up, Arnebya. :)

Kristin @ What She Said 3 years ago

Jerry, I love your big, fat, gay agenda! Excellent post – well-written, informative, helpful, and funny. In other words, perfection.

Leighann 3 years ago

This is fantastic.
Thank you for your open dialogue and for encouraging parents to speak to their children about all families, not just mom and dad, but all.
It’s not cookie cutter anymore folks.

Lori@TheLyonsDin 3 years ago

My adopted daughter’s biological mother is in a same sex relationship. My child’s older half-sister lives with them and has a Mom and a Mama. I have raised my child to know all of this and have tried to help her understand it. And she has. Yesterday, a 6th grade girl told another 6th grade girl that my daughter is a lesbian. There was drama. The guidance counselor told my daughter that it’s “OK to be confused about your sexuality.” And suddenly, years of teaching tolerance have gone out the window. This is where it all begins. In 6th grade. With mean girls. God bless you and your children.

Jen 3 years ago

We are sorrounded by gays and fortunately my kids love gays and lesbians. Their godfathers are gay and one godmother is lesbian. They don’t treat people differently and when they ask why aunt married a girl, I just told them they love each other.

WinnieCooper 3 years ago

I loved this! Thank you for posting this!! I cried.
Our daughters have friends with gay parents but are too young to notice. They only care that someone is dishing out the snacks at playdates, not who they are married to. When our oldest asked about it (in 1st grade) we casually said “Oh, Ashley has two mommies. God thought she could use two mommies. Sometimes kids need extra. Just like you have Mom & Dad, she has a Mom and Mom.” She was like “Cool. Can we go on in the pool now?”

Nina 3 years ago

Perfection!

Aimee 3 years ago

I agree with you 100% – although I’ll confess I didn’t always see it the way I do now. When I was raising my oldest two daughters (now 19 and 16) it didn’t occur to me to explain things this way; I never “expected” to see gay parents with their kids. I’m lucky we didn’t because I would have been at a loss as to how to explain it. I was also under a big misconception about gay people, having been raised to think it wasn’t “normal” and that it was a choice. Thankfully I have enough working brain cells that I realized differently. This was even before I discovered that my oldest daughter is bisexual. I had suspected as much for quite some time but having heard me and others refer to homosexuality or bisexuality as a choice kept her from confiding in me. That’s still something I feel guilt over. Having seen my change in attitude has helped her confidence grow and though she doesn’t necessarily talk to me about women she’s attracted to, she doesn’t hide it either. My 16 year old realized a couple years ago that she’s pansexual; I’m still trying to understand the concept of not seeing people in terms of gender, but I don’t discount it and she knows it doesn’t change my feelings for her one bit. Now that I have two younger children (17 months and 3 months) I know I’ll approach the subject in a much different way.

Danny 3 years ago

You lost me at ‘Yanni Fan’…

Otherwise, a very even and reasonable post!

Michele C. 3 years ago

This is such a great post – thank you for sharing this!

Aimee 3 years ago

LOVE this! Thanks for posting!

Among our friends is a gay couple (soon to be legally married! Yay!) who’ve adopted two boys close in age to my son. DS has known our friends since, like, forever, so it’s really never been much of an issue. And anyway, sorting out squabbles among the boys about which video game to play, does the 3rd boy get to play the winner or loser, who gets to use the “best” controller, etc…. is a much bigger deal. :-)

Amanda 3 years ago

Bravo! Fabulous post. I wish there were more open minded people in the world.

Rachel 3 years ago

What a great reminder. Sometimes I think changing the subject is the best route, but you’ve reminded me it’s really not.

Lisasjm 3 years ago

You brought tears to my eyes. Raising my children in a small town where they don’t see many racially diverse people, or people with apparent disabilities, I have struggled with how to expose them to these topics so they come to embrace them as a normal and not be afraid of them or worse – make fun. In the moment, I freeze – caught between wanting to take time to explain to them and not wanting to offend the gay couple (or disabled person, or person of a different race, or whatever). You made me realize that I am inadvertently teaching them all wrong by doing that. I can do better than that. In fact, I’m going to find ways to to introduce the idea myself and to talk about different kinds of families this month. Thank you for the inspiration. Wish me luck!

Brittany 3 years ago

I have been working on spinning gay also. Try this one. Sally yells, “I won the lottery!!!!!” Suzy responds, “That is SO GAY!”
My flower girl got into a fight while playing Barbies with the bride barbie because her friend insisted on the typical Ken and Barbie wedding. She ttarted screaming “Mommy! You tell her! Girls marry girls- Brittany and Cake (what she calls my wife kate) got married!” It was cute.

Arnebya 3 years ago

2a. “Most families have a mommy and a daddy… but some have two mommies or two daddies.” (Or, some have two mommies and a special friend like Aunt Jackie and that, Cindy, is called Big Love.)

It’s been interesting to see my kids’ perspectives on the gay families around us. When my oldest was perhaps 4 she began to describe a girl in her class as “Taqueta. You know, the one with two daddies?” Um, yes, I know by the name, honey (because I’m hoping she’s the only damn Taqueta.) Now that she’s 12, I find her stance fascinating (and evolving) (and sometimes ignorant, which we are still combating, but it’s hard fighting all the stupidity her friends get from tv, the internet, AND THEIR PARENTS.)

kristi 3 years ago

I think some people really believe gay people are overtly sexual. I have a gay sis in law and she and her girlfriend are very “Non” touchy feely.

Ola 3 years ago

Wonderful post. Thank you

Erika 3 years ago

Very well written. My husband’s brother is gay so we’ve had a few conversations with our boys here and there about what makes a family. There are also so many combinations of single, divorced, remarried parents out there that nothing’s really “normal” anymore. It’s been harder to explain divorced families to my kids than it was to explain gay couples. The kids understand love – they have a lot more trouble understand love ending.

AmyM 3 years ago

Great post. It reminds me that even though I am straight I am also living an “alternative lifestyle” because of my choice to be a single mother through the use of a sperm donor. I believe my child will grow up accepting of all the ways to make a family because of that. It will be interesting when he is to the point of asking these questions and I am sure out family will be the object of other kids confusion at some point too. Love these talking points as a great way to frame your attitudes about differences and individuality for your children.

pilatesjenn 3 years ago

THANKS!

Pam @Mommacan 3 years ago

Well, there you go. The positive approach always wins. Its all in how we tell the story. We can make a really cool generation if we can teach them responsibility, tolerance and a good work ethic.

momma

Leanne Shirtliffe (Ironic Mom) 3 years ago

Putting the happy connotation back in the word “gay.” Love it!

Lori Beth Johnson 3 years ago

Awesome post!!

My kids had a gay uncle when they were little (he’s since passed) and we used very much a similar philosophy. We did use the word love but we also used “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” when explaining same sex relationships because even when very little, kids usually know these terms. We’d say “Some men like to have boyfriends instead of girlfriends.”

In any case, keep on rockin’ that agenda. Love it!!

Sara M 3 years ago

I like this article, and a lot of these points needed to be made. But at the same time, it is limiting.
“Most families have a mommy and a daddy… but some have two mommies or two daddies.” Well, what about one parent? Especially single gay parents? Especially single gay dads? I know that this was prompted from the blogger’s personal situation. But the idea of a single gay parent seems to be left off of the media landscape entirely. It could have at least been mentioned here.

Brittany Walker 3 years ago

Thanks for a very well put way to explain gay parents. As a Christ-follower I want to explain to my daughter who has a gay uncle and partner but don’t want to confuse her. This was well written article and gave great advice. Thanks for sharing and look forward to reading more. God bless!

Lady 3 years ago

I love this! I have always believed in just telling it like it is, and not ignoring questions.

Nicole 3 years ago

*stands up and applauds*

That was so well written, thank you for sharing!
Nicole

Lisa 3 years ago

I LOVE this post!!
My kids have known gay couples since they’ve been born and have never questioned it (to be fair, we talked about it often using words like most and some and were always accepting).
When my daughter was in kindergarten she got into a fight with a friend. They were playing “house” and the friend wanted to be the mommy. My daughter said “ok, I’ll be the mommy, too” and the friend said “no, you can’t have two mommies”. My daughter insisted that wasn’t right and finally yelled, “but I KNOW someone with two mommies!” My daughter is now a young adult and I still think back on that and love that she’s known since she’s been born that everyone can live however they chose and can have families that look different from ours.

Amy 3 years ago

Love! Love the commentary, love the gay agenda, love the terrible drawings.

Kids like things to be different. It’s interesting. Grown ups are the ones who are uncomfortable with individuality. As a straight parent, I thank you for some talking points. We live a state where gay marriage is legal, so my kids know that some boys marry boys and some girls marry girls, but they haven’t had too many detailed questions. Yet.

Alison 3 years ago

Hear, hear.
Families are made up of people who love each other, who care about each other, who have each other’s backs. That’s what matters.

ilikebeerandbabies.com 3 years ago

My kids’ guncle thanks you! Yay gay! It’s not a bad word!