I don’t want my kids to be bigots.
My six year old is really into playing families.
“Girls can only kiss boys” she declares to her toys. And I almost break my neck, trying to butt in and correct her.
Because I am one of those liberal parents (SMALL ‘L’, people, SMALL ‘L’) who is desperate to ensure that although my kids are being raised in your pretty stereotypical, heteronormative, nuclear-family environment, they are well-rounded individuals who would never march around telling people what they should or shouldn’t do with their hearts and private parts. And, of course, who know full well that whatever they decide to do with theirs is going to be Just Fine with Mum and Dad.
On the latest episode of This Glorious Mess, Holly and Andrew get advice on how to raise non-bigoted kids:
“No, darling,” I start. Deep breath. Here comes the monologue. “If a girl wants to kiss another girl, that’s ok. And if a boy wants to kiss a boy, that’s ok too. And some little dollies have two mummies or two daddies. And sometimes people who are born a girl, feel like they are more like a boy. And the other way around. And that’s ok too! Because families come in all shapes and sizes and what’s important is not who you kiss or love, but that you’re a family.”
But I push on because: "What if my gorgeous girl turns out to be a homophobe?"
This week on This Glorious Mess, Andrew Daddo had a similar dilemma. There's a new family at school. Gay dads. And when his kid told him, he got excited.
"REALLY!" he said. Before checking himself.
Because if it's cool, fine, and normal, he shouldn't over-react, right?
With the news that the plebiscite won't be going ahead, we asked a gay mum, Jacqui Tomlins, what it's like being on the receiving end of curious questions, awkward encounters, and well-meaning but possibly ignorant parents. What do we say? What do we NOT say?
She has three children and raised them in a school where she says, they were the "only gays in the village". And her advice was brilliant. BRILLIANT.
And here it is:
We need to stop kids from saying "That's so gay."
A general term of insult, ‘That’s so gay!’ is endemic in high schools; it’s the roll-off-the-tongue term for anything that’s ‘lame’, ‘uncool’, or ‘unimpressive,’. But Jacqui explains why it's a big problem: