“Mom!” my youngest called from the shower. “What does LGBT stand for?”
Why do we always do our best thinking in the shower? This is the same kid who asked me what it meant to be straight a few months ago.
My kids might be more involved with the LGBTQIA+ community than other kids their age with cis-gender, straight parents because of my work. When my youngest asked me what it meant to be straight I realized he had learned what it meant to be gay because of some of our friends and also the drag community but we never gave a term for a straight couple because we were living it. (Or if I did teach him he didn’t listen. Both options are equally as likely.)
Some subjects may feel heavy or confusing but they are not just adult issues. There is controversy on whether or not Gay history should be taught in schools. People are “afraid to expose their children” to this topic. But why? Because the oppression is still happening? Because the parents feel uncomfortable with the subject? Here the the thing, we learn about other versions of oppression and history so why can’t we learn about all of it? It can only make them sad and angry and ready to make a change. Hopefully in 50 years the opposition to marriage equality will be looked at withthe same surprise as marriage equality during the times when you could only marry within your own race.
When my sister was in third grade she had a kid tell her that our friend who passed away was going to Hell because she was Jewish. This stuff is passed down from their elders and, because the kid only knew what they heard at home, they (probably) unknowingly said hurtful words to a grieving child. I believe my kids need to learn about what has happened, and continues to happen, in this world, on a level they can comprehend, so they can learn from history and forge a better future.
So this brings us to the “yelling from the shower” conversation. I went over the acronym and how all people identify in different ways. Then, as many conversations go in our house, it turned to food to help explain.
- My oldest does NOT like tomatoes. She has never like them. It’s not because she one day said, “Eeew, this is gross,” because she decided she didn’t like them but she just plain doesn’t like tomatoes. She can appreciate that others like tomatoes but she will not be ordering them on her burger.
- My youngest LOVES tomatoes. He can’t get enough of them and will bring them as a snack to school to eat plain. He didn’t wake up one day and decide, “Today is the day I will love tomatoes.” He just loves tomatoes.
- Other people might be different. Maybe sometimes they want tomatoes on their burger and sometimes they don’t, depends on the burger or the tomato. And then again some people might be indifferent about tomatoes.
It’s such a simple idea. No should be forcing you to eat or not eat tomatoes based on THEIR love or distaste of tomatoes, plain and simple. I happen to love tomatoes (actual tomatoes, nothing to read into here!) but I appreciate that my oldest does not and I will never force her to eat them.
Everyone was born the way they were born and should be free to be exactly who they are with no hesitation. I want my kids to understand that my husband and I will accept them for exactly who they are and will love them unconditionally no matter what they eat on their burgers.