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Hey Son, It's OK to Be Gay!

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I want my 4-year-old son to know that it's totally OK with me if he's gay. In fact, deep down, I might secretly want him to be.

Mom talking to son

Radical Mommy: I don't claim to know what it's like growing up knowing that you're gay and having to hide such a big part of yourself from the world. But I do know that the gay men and women I know who were accepted and embraced by parents and friends when they came out say they are much happier, and are much more secure now because of it.

Having a gay child has never, ever been an issue for me, and when I met my husband, I was thrilled to discover it was a non-issue for him as well. Of course, like all parents, we want the best for our child, and I would never want my son to suffer because of who he is and how idiots might see him if he's gay. But gay people do not chose to be gay -- they ARE gay.

According to some of my friends, they knew they were gay from a very young age, some as early as 4. Well, if that's my son, then that's great with me -- I only hope he feels comfortable enough to tell us when he is young so he doesn't have to feel shame or fear, at least in his own home.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I want him to be gay (well ... maybe a little -- after all, then I could have TWO sons when he meets someone), but I'm not saying that I want him to be straight either. What I want is for my son to be who he is, not who society or bigots (or even my husband and I) tell him he should be.

In an effort to let our son know that we love him exactly how he is, whenever my husband and I talk to him about his future, and how one day he'll fall in love with someone, we ALWAYS make a point to say, "You may meet a girl OR boy who you fall in love with."

I am proud of the way we are raising our son. If he isn't gay, so be it -- but hopefully he will take with him all the love, affection, acceptance and tolerance that his parents have for ALL of humanity and spread it wherever he goes.

I hope our attitudes will teach him that it's not OK to judge people, make fun of people, or ostracize people just because you don't like or agree with something about them. I hope our attitudes will teach him that it's OK to stand up for other people, even people who are different than you. I hope our attitudes will teach him that love and respect are the ONLY things worthy of filling his heart and head with.

I wanted to know more about what my husband and I can do to raise a child who is comfortable with who he is and accepting of people who aren't the same as him, so I spoke to parenting expert 'Gay Uncle' Brett Berk. Here's what he had to say:

Sounds to me like your current pro-gay practices are pretty spot-on. Normalizing homosexuality for young kids -- through casual exposure to gay friends, by providing awareness of the idea that there's a range of human sexuality, by suggesting options beyond hetero-normativism -- is the best way for them to think of being gay as ... normal (which, obviously, it is).

My only concern would be not to overdo it on the whole "falling in love" thing. I find that parents often tend to focus in on this stuff too much from an early age, and it just feels like a silly form of pressure to put on kids' nascent social relationships (see my post on BFF BS). When a 5-year-old tells me that they just broke up with their boyfriend, I think that someone in their life has done them a huge disservice. Oh, and being gay, like being straight, isn't only about love. It's also about genetics, and animal magnetism, and attraction, and fun and sex. But you certainly don't need to tell your kid about all that.

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116 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous March 2, 2009, 11:23 AM

that’s so gay

Mama Kelly March 2, 2009, 1:33 PM

We’ve had similar conversations with my girls when they were young and now that they are older (9 and 14) I have made it clear that I dont care a whit who they choose to spend their life with (man, woman, black, white, pink w/ purple polka dots) so long as there is love and honesty and respect between them.

Anonymous March 2, 2009, 1:37 PM

Sorry, but this is too radical for me.
As for me and my house we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15. Yes I can love my brothers and sisters in spite of their sexuality, but it’s not what I’d want for my children and would not indoctrinate him/her about this at such a young age.

leelee March 2, 2009, 1:44 PM

I agree with the second Anonymous (Joshua 24:15), but I will love my boys no matter what. I do have a brother who is gay and while we (the whole family) love and accept him, he has told me that he wishes this life on noone. He says people have the wrong idea about it, it’s not glamorous or cool, so I have to go by what he says and others I know in that situation.

Rebecca March 2, 2009, 1:53 PM

I am really happy to read this! It’s nice to see parents recognize the dangers of Heterocentrism.
When my brother was about 6 years old, I heard him say something was “gay” and I immediately had “the talk” with him. I mean, the “it’s OK to be gay” talk.
He is straight, but if he had been gay, he would have known that he would have the support of his sister, and that he wasn’t an abomination.
And even though he’s not, he knows not to say things are “gay,” and to correct his friends if he hears them use that word derogatorily. It takes a lot to change the world, and the best way to do it is to teach children.

(and boo to the anonymous posted before me)

Tarcash March 2, 2009, 1:57 PM

I have to admit, the reason why people don’t feel its glamorous or good is because people say its not glamorous or good. Put it this way, if someone said, “Well, I would rather my child not make the choice of Christianity, but if they do, we can forgive them, its their choice.” Imagine how that sentence makes you feel, now you know how gay children feel when they hear things about something they can not change.

god made people gay, just as he made some straight and bisexual. I do sincerely hope he forgives you for your intolerance of His grand design when you finally meet him.

Laura - March 2, 2009, 2:36 PM

Oh that’s nice, Anonymous - you love them “in spite” of their gayness? I love that you went off spouting the gospel and chose not to identify yourself, on top of that. lol Way to stand up for Jesus! You think you are serving the Lord with your comment, but you are actually committing a huge disservice to your children by perpetuating your hatred.

And Leelee, of course your brother doesn’t wish HIS life on anyone - it’s probably been very hard for him his entire life having to live with the shame and guilt of talking to you and your likely overbearing, God-fearing family about it. You may believe you still love your bro and that you’d still love your kids if they were gay, but true love entails acceptance.

Despite people like you two trying to tell the world otherwise, gay people can and indeed do serve the Lord just as easily as straight people. Being a Christian is a choice. Being gay is not.

Anonymous March 2, 2009, 3:36 PM

its one thing to say you are okay with him being gay (if that becomes the case) but to “Secretly” wish he does become gay?? thats the dumbest thing i have ever heard. i dont even know where to begin to argue this. i am just shocked.

Tammy March 2, 2009, 3:50 PM

Wow Laura,

Yes, you love people “in spite” of who or what they are. That is the very definition of acceptance. How is anything that she said hateful? Just because she chooses not to express homosexuality to her FOUR year old, doesn’t mean she’s a hater. There are many things that a FOUR year old is not ready to learn. And neither one of them said anything about not being able to serve the Lord or about anything that was hateful. They just said that homosexuality was not something that they will teach or encourage in their homes. They didn’t say that they would “shame and guilt” people that they love if they were gay.
Maybe you should think about what you type before you go spouting off. Your post is by far the most hateful thing on here and it is completely off base and prejudiced against Christians.

Wendi March 2, 2009, 7:53 PM

To Tarcash…I think you need to learn a few more things before posting such words. God does not create someone gay, he created us all equal and with free will and it is with that, that we take it to extremes of our desires. He gave us the free will, but also the knowledge of how we should be living according to his word. And no where in it does it say that he created people to be gay, in fact it says just the opposite of it. Yes we will love the sinner, but not the sin. My brother was gay and struggeled his whole life with it. He tried to get back into being a christian, but in the end he knew that he could not live the life he lived and worship God knowing he was going against God’s wishes. This is not a black and white area. People are not born this way, the CHOOSE it with the free will that has been allowed to them.

Kyle March 2, 2009, 9:43 PM

Youre just going to end up weirding your kid out. Im totally fine with gay people, but telling youre young child that youre okay with whatever boy or girl he ends up with is ridiculous. its hard enough trying to understand your world while youre growing up without youre parents making it stranger than it has to be. If he ends up being straight hes gonna wonder what the hell is wrong with his parents constsntly telling him he should love men. Dont get me wrong though i think youre doing everything you can to make sure he does end up gay so youll probably get your wish, but why you would subject your son to that if there is even a chance youre actions had something to do with it is beyond me.

Tracy Lee Nash March 2, 2009, 9:48 PM

No one chooses to be gay anymore than
someone chooses to be heterosexual.
You are what you are.

ame i. March 2, 2009, 10:01 PM

Ok,I think 4 is a bit too young for to hetero/homosexual talk with a child.
I have 2 daughters and love to imagine seeing them married and having their own children one day. I would prefer they marry men, but that isn’t my decision to make.
I’ve only recently explained to my girls (9 & 11) that some people fall in love with people of their own gender after they asked questions after seeing a clip on a news program.

Tracy March 2, 2009, 10:24 PM

It is amazing to me that people
can criticize homosexuals and
state they go against God’s law.
What about obesity in the

Take a look at how many largely
overweight pastors there are,
for example. If I recall, gluttony
is a sin, too, yet, the magnifying
glass always seems to be placed on
gays. If you criticize one “lifestyle”
le’s be fair and criticize them all.

dee March 2, 2009, 10:31 PM

She is retarted,,,it’s a sexually deviant lifestyle and sends them to hell if they don’t repent. Where’s her brain.. why doesnt she tell him he can be a drug addict too.

dee March 2, 2009, 10:34 PM

Just cause someone is drawn to something doesnt make it right. What about child molesters, or having sex with dogs. That will be her next discussion.

janel March 2, 2009, 10:54 PM

I am 26 years old an have a Master’s degree in social work, and I have to say that this is sick. As a mother of five children, I am shocked that my children have to be raised in a society that has become so tolerant of sexual deviancy. People are teaching our children to “Do what feels right or good at the moment.” I consider myself lucky, as I was not brainwashed with this great tolerance of immorality. I pray that parents do not continue to accept the content within articles like this.

Nathan March 2, 2009, 11:07 PM

Believe what you want about Christianity as a whole, but as based on the Bible, make no mistake that God does not create anyone to be homosexual. Romans 1:26-27 (NKJV):

“For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the due penalty of their error.”

Brianne March 2, 2009, 11:37 PM

Oh, “janel”. You’ve got a Masters Degree in social work and not a damn ounce of humanity in you anywhere. An education is vastly different than intellect, and you’re clearly lacking in one.

And as for anyone who is currently spouting off biblical (no caps, it’s about as philosphically important as toilet paper nowadays) quotes to back up their ignorance, here’s a few for you: Leviticus excuses beating your wife to “keep her humble”, says that female victims of child rape are seducers and should be put to death, and says that if a child curses, they should be killed. Why aren’t you adhereing to THOSE? If you’re a Christian, READ THE DAMN BOOK BEFORE YOU START USING IT TO BACK UP YOUR WHIMS ON HOW OTHER PEOPLE GET TO LIVE.

Seriously, people. You’re disgusting, and I hope your “God” actually does exist, along with heaven and hell. I’ll be going to the latter, but guess what? You’ll all be coming with me.


Tracy March 2, 2009, 11:51 PM

Many people never
seem to want to
touch on all of
the hypocrisy within
the church, as in
my example of obesity.

But, God will judge
each and every one
of us for our
regardless of
how much we try
to dismiss or
marginalize those
acts which seem
more acceptable or
comfortable to
speak about than
others. In the end,
a sin is a sin.

Church leaders
sexually assault
children and are
simply moved from
one church to
another. The Ted
Haggards of religion
have sex with
male prostitutes
and are whisked away
and apologetic for
their actions. Other
church leaders use
drugs, have porn
addictions- the list
is endless.

Again I say, if we
call one “lifestyle”
onto the carpet, we
have to cover all
of the bases folks.
It’s just the right
thing to do.

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