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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.

Want more? Connect with Radical Mommy in the momlogic community.

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Christine March 4, 2011, 3:59 PM

To Brianne and all others of a carnal nature. Setting the bible aside. The body is not physically designed for such an act. Medically that area (the anus) is damaged after constant misuse. Things are meant to come out not go in. Homosexuality is perversed and is out of sink with nature. So much more can be said its a shame the media makes the lifestyle seem so enticing when its not healthy physically, mentally or otherwise. May God have mercy on your souls.

Patrick D. March 22, 2011, 6:51 PM

I’ve known I was gay since I was about 9 and I was raised Christian and was told it was bad. So when I realized I was having these “impure” feelings I prayed and prayed for God to fix me, to make me like girls. And guess what? No dice. Nothing changed. I’m 25 now and still gay. And even sadder yet, I haven’t ever acted on it because I have yet to resolve it with myself. Being gay is NOT a choice. The only choice involved is whether you choose to deny who you are or not. And I truly hope that one day I can find happiness with someone and live a wonderful life, probably with another man.

As for anal sex, being gay also does not mean that you are automatically interested in that. I personally think that particular aspect is kind of gross. But there are other ways for two men or two women to experience sexual intimacy. But regardless of what they choose to do, unless they are doing it right in front of you, it should be no concern of yours.

I don’t know whether gay is right or wrong in God’s eyes but I do know that I didn’t choose it and it is not my fault. I am a good person and if God is real, he must have had something to do with it.

Izaya April 17, 2011, 4:53 PM

I think telling your child its okay to be gay is a great idea. I am gay, but even though my boyfriend shizuo and I never plan on adopting any kids I think your on the right track!

Anonymous May 31, 2011, 2:27 AM

bahahahahahaha…what a load of crap

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