With Ellen and Portia tying the knot, here's how to talk to your kids about gay marriage. It's easier than you think.
Ellen and Portia are getting hitched! Yesterday, The California Supreme Court lifted its ban on gay marriage, and the happy couple announced their upcoming nuptials soon thereafter.
"Tweens (particularly those over age 10) and teens will likely hear about this on the radio or TV, or from friends," she says. Pamela says this is a great opportunity to talk about homosexuality with your kid. Don't know how to start? She offers the following pointers:
- Define the word. Start by explaining the word "homosexual" -- homo means same, so this means two people of the same gender are attracted to each other and fall in love. "Explaining it in a clinical way -- by starting with the definition -- takes some of the fear factor out of the discussion," she says. Tell them two men in a homosexual relationship are called gay, and two women in a homosexual relationship are called lesbians.
- Put it into context. "Tell them just like the relationship Mom and Dad have, homosexuals get attracted to each other, fall in love, and want to demonstrate that love for each other--in this case, by getting married," she says.
- Tell them homosexuality is a hot-button issue. "Tell them that some people do not agree with gay marriage or they think that homosexuality is wrong," she says. She says this is a good time to share your own belief system. For instance, she says she'd tell her own kids: "Those people's views are based on fear of the unknown," she explains. "Heterosexuals and homosexuals are more alike than not -- we fall in love, we have kids, we share a life, just like they do."
- Explain that if they have questions, they can come to you. "Approximately one in twenty kids is gay," she says. "You want to make sure your child knows if they ever have any questions about being attracted to a girl or a boy, you hope that they will talk to a trusted individual and you'd like it to be you." Let your child know that he or she can talk to you about anything.
This discussion should be made easier by the fact that being gay simply does not carry the same stigma it did when we were back in high school. There are gay characters on shows like Degrassi, Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty, and Gossip Girl. For many, homosexuality is no biggie. Explaining it to your kids doesn't have to be either.
Have you talked to your tween or teen about gay marriage?