The GAY question

I was making some tuna noodle crap for dinner and the rest of the family was watching Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood on the DVR. Every now and then, Tori’s friend Mehran (her gay husband) would throw out some funny observation about his gayness or other people’s gayness. I don’t usually pay attention to gay people talking about their gayness (because I just don’t give a crap) except my ears did perk up a tad when I heard Mehran exclaim to Tori and Dean that they had a gay baby.


At first my daughter seemed more excited about the fact that little Liam kissed an Asian baby (because she’s all about Asians now – thanks, Delilah). But after the two little babies gave each other a peck, Mehran felt it was absolutely necessary to declare on a national level that Tori and Dean had a gay baby. Or was it more like, “OH MY GOD, YOU HAVE A GAAAAAY BABYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Yeah, it was probably more like that.

So, okay. I thought that was a little weird. And it wasn’t a few seconds later while I was stirring my tuna noodle crap (and wondering how truly crappy it was going to taste) that I felt a slight tug on my left side. I turned to see my daughter staring at me with that I’ve-got-something-to-ask-you look on her face.

Me: What?
Her: What does it mean when they say you’re gay?

Um…..(phew)…well, um…yeah, how do I answer this? Take a deep breath, Dena, because just last week didn’t you convince her to stop laughing about the fact that boobies are a food source? And didn’t you explain to her that some babies come from a mommy’s belly (because, technically, she was born via c-section and came directly from my belly) and then thanked your lucky stars that she didn’t ask about the rest of the babies that don’t come from a mommy’s belly?

Suck it up, Mom!! You can do this! Sure, she’s almost 8 years old, and at the rate kids are growing up these days, it’s very possible she’ll be asking for a bra and starting her period in the next two years and then you’ll really have some ‘splainin’ to do!

Me: Well, sometimes boys fall in love with boys and girls fall in love with girls.
Her: So?
Me: Usually you hear about boys falling in love with girls, right?
Her: Yeah. So why do they get a special word?
Me: Uh…I don’t know. Here, you want some ice cream?

It was that easy. But almost immediately, I thought it was strange that my daughter had asked me about the gay word before she’s even asked me about the sex word. Then I realized that most people who are gay probably recognize that within/about themselves before they even start dealing with the sexual aspect. And I actually prefer it that way. At least now Elle knows that people just fall in love with people. But I am sooo dreading the sex talk.


About Dena

I'm a suburban Clevelander by way of Oklahoma City, by way of North Florida, by way of Southern Maryland, by way of Upper Michigan, by way of Northern Italy, by way of Lower Michigan, by way of Texas. Because of living in so many places, I have something in common with almost everyone I meet. I love reading, writing, and American history (especially reading or writing about American history). I'm interested in culture of place, historical trauma, and writing about the kinds of histories most people don't know about.
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5 Responses to The GAY question

  1. Margo says:

    Love this.You are hilarious.We recently had the gay marriage talk with Storm. He wanted to know when I was going to marry Windy. I had to explain that Florida isn't as progressive as Iowa (in smaller terms of course) all he said was, “That's not fair.” and walked awayI love kids. I guess he has an advantage at not being a bigot since he's growing up with two moms.

  2. Sra says:

    Lovely. I love the tact of doling out information to kids based on literally addressing what they ask. Sometimes they don't need the whole story right away.When I was 8… let's see that would have been about 2nd grade… I distinctly remember having some concept of sex. It was misinformed, however. It went something along the lines of how a hot dog fits into its bun. Yeah, close, but not quite right. I don't remember when that got straightened out. But I was aware of sexuality at that age, in the sense of sexual feelings, and crushes on other people. By the time my mom got around to the talk, sometime maybe around 5th or 6th grade, I already knew what was up.So, I remember having access to these books, one called “Where Do I Come From?”, and one called something like “What's Happening to Me?” The first is about sex and babies, and the second is about puberty. They do a pretty good job of explaining the facts of life on a child level. I personally think there's no such thing as being too informed about these things. Best to be prepared.

  3. Chris says:

    You're right, it could have been much worse. She could have asked you what “gay sex” is 😉

  4. Laura Lee says:

    You did an excellent job. I have immense respect for those parents who just don't try – even just that little explanation leaves it so simple, like it actually IS, people falling in love with people, doesn't mean you have to answer EVERYTHING all at once. “Small moves, Ellie.”

  5. Windy Days says:

    Does Little Miss Fabulous need to come and spend the weekend with Aunt Windy and Aunt Margo? 🙂

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