After dinner, Offspring asked a very direct question.
Covered in pizza sauce—again, he asked, “What does ‘Being Gay’ mean?”
I took a moment to let the initial shock kick in. However, it wasn’t shock I was feeling—intrigue would be better suited. For a seven-year-old kid, he bluntly asked for the meaning of what used to be a sensitive issue or perhaps still is.
Having my own opinion on the matter, I told him the truth.
“I think being ‘Gay’ can mean a lot of things. The origin of the word means ‘Happy’, but people have used it in such a way that it means the opposite.”
Not satisfied with the answer, Offspring tried a different approach.
“What if a boy likes a boy or a girl likes a girl? Is that okay?”
Alright…time to put parenting aside and mean business. Here are “2 Questions” to ask in any situation when approached to anything in life.
Why is it good?
Simple—Happiness. If two people are together, whether opposite genders or not, and they’re happy, then they’re happy! You think it would be that simple.
A person always looks for “Acceptance.” Whether it’s a façade they have to put on every day or if it’s how they really are, we crave being accepted. Not just by the people we love and care for but the world and society.
To a child, it doesn’t matter whether they have a girl or boy friend. They’re content because that person, regardless of gender, makes them happy.
Why is it bad?
Not wanting to bring in religion, politics, or upbringings, I had a tough time explaining this. Time for what I call, “The Gray Scale.”
Using the “Gray Scale” thought process, a person is able to step back from personal or influential opinions and look at everything as a whole. Anyway, back to the question.
So, why is it bad? Even in this day and age, people distaste the idea because of “Their” morality. If it’s not right to them, then they will make sure to sway everyone else’s opinion because of—whatever. Should that matter to a child? No. Do parents, teachers, and mentors of any kind have an impact on a kid’s social upbringing? Definitely. There will always be a side to take, it’s just life. That’s where we get the bitter rivalry. In this case, all we can do is support our ideas and hopefully, they will be passed on to future generations.
So, after the questions, he knew he had to answer.
He looked at me, after minutes of processing his thoughts, and said,
“So, it doesn’t matter whether a boy likes a boy or a girl likes a girl.”
Analyzing his thoughts, he continued. “I get it! As long as you are happy, and the other person’s happy, then that’s all that matters. Love is a feeling and not for anyone to get mad about.”
Smiling, I turned to him and said, “Alright Confucious, time for a bath.” Needless to say, he went on to other topics that again were just random.
Wrapping this up, it comes down this.
Every question has an answer. Every answer has both a ‘Good and Bad’ outcome, whether we choose correctly or not. There are those who are devout on their choices, while others fight the other way. But if you can separate yourself from one side and see it as a whole, wouldn’t that be looking at the bigger picture? I may be wrong but I want Offspring to be able to think for himself, given his options. Even if he’s wrong or I’m wrong, there’s something right about it.
What do you think? Does the “Gray Scale” give you a better insight on the topic? What if a child asks you the same question? How would you approach it?
Leave a comment.
Offspring and I will be reading them together and discussing how others think.