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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
Tara March 2, 2009, 11:53 PM

Ya. For a group that doesn’t like gay people, all the religious politicans and leaders sure seem to like gay prostitutes.

Nathan March 3, 2009, 12:19 AM

And therein lies the biggest problem with “Christianity” as we know it - its adherents. Everyone who is on the front lines saying what is right and wrong all have vices of their own (even if many ignore them). All it proves is that no one is perfect - which is why Christ had to come. My aim is not to convert (in this particular argument), only to disprove those who say that “nowhere in the Bible does it say that homosexuality is a sin.” However, as Tracy points out, it’s important to note that sin is sin, and the Bible disdains heterosexual immorality the same as homosexual immorality. It’s all a perversion of God’s intentional plan for sex.

not gay March 3, 2009, 12:22 AM

wow, welcome to the demise of christianity and the rise of a satanic/pagan nation. pagans worship sex and want children to do it-very demented

jordin March 3, 2009, 1:03 AM

I’m 15 and gay and I wish my parents were like that. I’m totally a different person than who I want to be because of what I really am (if that makes sense). I have to put on a front and act like that I like girls. And I’ve know I’ve liked boys since I was really really really young, probably at least 3 years old. And let me tell you this, it maybe easy to poke fun and act like being gay really isnt a big deal, IT IS A BIG DEAL because of the ways kids to treat us and nothing can ever really be done for it to stop.

Kate March 3, 2009, 4:36 AM

People who criticize gays just for being sexually deviant are obviously too obsessed with sex. Why is a person’s sexuality so important to you? You surely don’t plan on interacting with them on that level, so it should be no more than they like baseball, you like golf. Sure, compare it to sex with children and animals, but as someone else pointed out, you have to compare it to fat priests too.
In the end, what matters for our lives on this planet as mere humans, who only can dream that they know the word of God just because they read a book, is whether or not our behavior hurts others. Because none of us has even the slightest idea of God, none of us really knows how exactly we all should live. Therefore it is only important to live your life according to your beliefs, while causing no harm to others and allowing them to live theirs.
Think about that next time you compare consenting adults (including fat, rich priests) to people who hurt animals or children. It is just as bad as when people compare religion to childish beliefs in fairy tales, and I know from experience that both statements can hurt the other person.


Trisha March 3, 2009, 8:16 AM

I commend this mother! I have also told my (now 10 year old) son that sometimes people are gay or lesbian (we haven’t got into Trans or anything else yet) and that it’s okay. Sometimes people are just born that way. I would never want him to feel that he couldn’t come to me if he was gay. And I would never want him to treat someone else badly for being gay.

As for Roman’s… those verses were talking about a Boal fertility ritual to insure a good harvest. God is condemning the ritual and the worship of false gods and the cheating of spouses. Nowhere in the Bible does it talk about actual Homosexuality. I’ve done my research because I couldn’t understand why a religion that’s supposed to be based on love is so hateful. And I’ve come to find out that the hatefulness is just human-based, not scripture or God-based… and definately not Jesus-based because Jesus NEVER once said anything about Homesexuality and you’d think that if it was a sin, he might have mentioned it just once… But no, he said there were two laws. 1. Love GOD with all your heart. 2. Love your neighbor as yourself.

With those two laws everything else falls in place.

Anonymous March 3, 2009, 10:33 AM

I find this theory absurd! A 4 yo can hardly tie their shoes, how in the heck are they going to just “know” they are gay?! Yeah right! And while the gay lifestyle isn’t normal or natural, it IS a choice! God gave everyone in life the ability to choose what they do. But one day everyone will be held accountable for their choices, good, bad or indifferent. Just b/c you feel attracted to the same sex doesn’t mean you have to ACT on that, and that is a choice! One that I don’t accept nor do I support.

MissionChik March 3, 2009, 11:15 AM

Be very careful. Our society, this world for that matter, is upside down. I have two best friends that are gay and they have not found peace.

Please, can we respectfully agree to disagree?

In My Opinion, it doesn’t matter whether or not you believe the Bible, but homosexuality still puts you at odds with God, there living life without peace. I also know people who’ve been completely delivered from the unnatural desires with the help of Jesus. God loves us and truly wants the best for us, and he’ll help is we ask.

Your desire to raise a healthy and well balanced child is commendable!


Kate March 3, 2009, 11:36 AM

I forgot to ask people who think gays shouldn’t act on their desires - how would you feel if someone told you that you can’t fall in love and be with the person you love, who happens to be of the opposite sex? True, some people choose not to act on their sexual desires, like nuns and monks, but unless you are one of them, would you agree not to love? Gays feel attraction to the same sex in exactly the same way, and I think the main reason they haven’t found “peace” is because of people like you who haven’t allowed them to. I know gays who HAVE found peace, with the help and support of others, not with hostility, ridicule and exclusion.
And yes, attraction can be felt as early as 4. Haven’t you seen a child talk about another with affection? At this young age, it is hardly a choice. It is the parent that can choose whether to shame their child into “peace” or peacefully let them live as who they are, even if some think it’s a sin.

Michelle March 3, 2009, 4:46 PM

Brianne you’re my hereo!!!!! As a mom of 3 what I pray for is happiness for my children, with whomever they find it with.

Kelli March 3, 2009, 5:17 PM

I personally think that telling a 4 year old it’s ok if they want to be gay is wrong. Why are you wishing that kind of life on your child? I am a Christian and I feel that people are not born gay, its a choice. Would you want to wish them to be a male escort, prostitute, or murderer? Those are morally wrong choices in life too. Being gay is an abomination and results in death. I’m not saying that I’m perfect, far from it. But I do know that it’s not right and you are not starting your child on the right foot by telling them foolish and detrimental things like that. Parents don’t have backbones anymore and are willing to accept anything. That is what is wrong with this country. Be better parents!

Jill (the other one) March 3, 2009, 5:55 PM

I’m with one of the Anonymouses - acceptance is one thing but I’m a bit puzzled by the remark about wanting the child to be gay.
Oh well. To each his own, right?

Rachel March 3, 2009, 6:23 PM

While I admire her for wanting to tell her son “it’s okay to be gay”, he is FOUR years old. At that age, children do not need to be bombarded with this kind of stuff. He’s in pre-school at that age, for god’s sake! This is something more fitted for an older child, when they are ready to talk about this kind of stuff. But seriously…he is FOUR.

leelee March 3, 2009, 6:23 PM

Laura - www.metrogirl.typepad.com, I am the only one in my large family who is a Christian and I was the first my brother came out to. I told him right off that I loved him and that God made him, however that is. So please don’t pass judgment on me. I don’t pretend to know what or why God does as He/She does, it is only my job to pray for and love on those He/She put in my life. As I stated, I would love my boys no matter what. I have not passed judgment on anyone, yet you go ahead and feel free to.

Jennifer March 3, 2009, 6:25 PM

It’s always amazing to me that every time a ‘gay’ issue is spoken about ANY WHERE it ends up being a matter of God. I am a Christian, and I know with all my heart that God looks on every person just the same. He wants to have a realtionship with me just as much as he wants to have a relationship with every living being HE CREATED! I believe the Bible is the inspired word of God, and the Bible is very specific about a man and a woman standing in HIS presence and becoming one. I don’t have all the answers as to why people are gay, or what makes them that way. What I do know is that we live in a fallen and imperfect world and to have ANY type of true happiness and peace we must accept Jesus as our savior and enter into covenant with the ONE TRUE GOD. Everyone here can argue and fight all they want, and that one fact will remain for all of eternity. He is Jehovah, the Word made flesh, the lamb that was slain FOR US ALL. Let’s not make the mistake of judging the God of the universe by man’s actions. Just because a person does something and claims it’s in the name of God, doesn’t mean it is…..
I would challenge everyone here (who obviously have been affected by this issue in our society in very personal ways) to just stop and ask God what HE thinks. What does His word say? Let’s take ourselves and everyone else out of the equation and look to God. He has all the answers. He is the only one who is perfect and just. He always has been and always will be.

Rachel March 3, 2009, 6:32 PM

To “not gay”, if you did your research, you would find that many of christianity’s practices and “holidays” are BASED ON PAGANISM. Why? They found it easier to convert Pagans this way. That is why “Christmas” is near the winter solstice and “Easter” is near the Spring equinox…Christianity IS Paganism in more than one way. Except for the judgemental practices, thinking that homosexuality is wrong…There is a point in the bible where it states it is a SIN to cut one’s hair, yet all of us go around cutting our hair. How can you take one thing from the bible and say “God says its wrong” (homosexuality) and then take another thing and say “well, I don’t think God would really care…”

Kate March 4, 2009, 2:36 AM

Actually, we’ve gone off topic a little bit. I wanted to comment on the story itself.
I don’t think you need to CONSTANTLY make the point that he could fall in love with a girl or a boy, not because it’s wrong, but it’s just unnecessary. If you mention once or twice that people fall in love with people of the opposite or the same sex, that will be more than enough. Definitely talk about it if they use an offensive “gay” term, and tell them then about orientation. My mom only twice in my life said all sorts of crap, because I was looking at girls in magazines, but I have remembered it, especially the ignorance and negativity. So, no need to overdo it I think.
And yeah, I agree that the comment about wanting her kid to be gay is a little weird, but hey, maybe by the time he grows up people will treat each other as humans, regardless of such minor details.

not gay March 4, 2009, 10:53 AM

yes, encourage your 5 yr old to get “gay bowel syndrome” because it’s sooooo normal to put things up your rear end in the name of love. another pagan practice

not gay March 4, 2009, 11:06 AM

Hey Rachel, if you did your research you would know that Christmas was put near the celebration of the Epiphany, that’s why we give presents on Christams-3 magi. The star they were looking at was the alignment of Venus and Jupiter, very bright in the sky during the winter months at that time. No one knows the exact day of Jesus’s birthday, so the Church put it near the Epihany because they are part of the nativity story. Christmas from the Bible not pagans.

Jen March 5, 2009, 11:02 AM

Concerning the comment in the article about wanting their child to be gay…I think it was meant as a joke. That’s how I took it anyway. It seemed like a tongue-in-cheek comment. Brianne, I totally agree with you! Jordin, I hope you are able to come out and be the person you are.


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