I just got done reading the article titled "My Son is Gay." It was simple, straightforward and powerful. So much so that I can’t help but post something in response to it. I hope other’s read it and it continues to be passed around and around because it has the potential to teach a lot of people a simple lesson- be open-minded. If you don't feel like reading much, please read her post and save my response for another day! I’ve never read her blog before, but I happened upon the article on facebook, via another’s friend’s wall. I have since posted it on my wall and hopefully the cycle continues.
I think I love this article for three reasons:
1. I am a mom to two boys, who I will always love no matter what, and being gay is not high on my radar of concerns. Okay, it’s not on my radar at all because it does not matter. Plus, I tend to find myself in a defensive position when issues arise in regards to parenting sons.
2. I can think of multiple instances where the issue of pink/blue and girl/boy has come up in regards to my children by others and myself, as well.
3. Lately, I’ve been really saddened by the way our country’s heading and I'm not talking financially. Political parties aside, I just feel like we are moving backwards in terms of acceptance of people for who they are. We’ve made such tremendous strides over the last one-hundred years for equal rights, but we’re still not there, and I just get angry about it. I do not understand why it’s so hard for people to be open-minded.
So my first reason goes something like this. If I loved my children any less for being themselves, what kind of mother would I be? Whether they are gay, straight, superheroes, astronauts, sociable or shy. All I can ask is that they are happy. Regardless of what they encounter or where they end up on this journey of life, I will offer my support and love, because they are my children and nothing in this world can ever change that!
Now on to reason number two. We were at the Salvation Army a few months ago and there was a pink Radio Flyer scooter there. Ry spotted it as soon as we walked in the door and he was so excited. He had seen a friend on a scooter recently and thought this new concept was pretty cool. Of course my reaction was, “but it’s pink.” I instantly wished I could retract my statement.
Ry really wanted the scooter, but was now convinced it was for a girl. I learned a lot in those few minutes, like how quickly our children soak up everything. They are so smart from such an early age and they don’t get nearly as much credit as they should. By the time we left, we had the scooter in hand. However, it would not stay pink. Ry wanted to paint it black. Did it really matter that he would scoot around on a pink scooter? Would it really make this 3-1/2 year old boy less of a man? No, absolutely not, but I opened my big mouth and learned a big lesson. Suddenly flashbacks of nature verse nurture came pouring back. It was a good personal lesson, though, and I make a conscious effort to try and avoid doing it again.
On that note, sometimes it is done and not so unintentionally. Like a month or so ago, when Ry was telling one of his dad’s friends that he was going to be Dory for Halloween (the girl fish from Finding Nemo). His response? “You’re going to be a girl fish?!?!?!?!?” Ry looked at me, saddened, and informed me he no longer wanted to be Dory. He never put the costume on again. I was upset and angry, especially because he was so excited for his costume. He ended up being a purple dragon, which is kind of funny in itself. Whenever someone asked him what he was going to be and he replied a dragon, they always went through the colors. “A blue one? A black one? Hmmmm, what color?” When they got purple, it usually resulted in an extremely long “ohhhhhhhh, purple.....”. (On a side note, I saw an adult woman dressed up as Nemo on Halloween, do you think anyone said to her “You’re going to be a boy fish for Halloween?!?!?!?” yes, this is where the defensive mother-of-boys comes in to play!!!)
Now my third, and final reason. Why is it that it is 2010, but yet we still act and think like it’s fifty years ago? I get so angry when I hear about these children being bullied, especially for being gay. It has been in the news a lot lately and it's awful. It is so wrong. We should be continuing to move forward, but for some reason we seem to be in such a closed-minded rut. It’s time to get out of it, quickly.
What is the point of being closed-minded? It gets you absolutely nowhere! Open your minds, accept people for who they are and love your children no matter what. While I know this sounds easy enough and good in theory, unless we all actually start acting on it, we will continue down this backwards path. We are all the future, let's create one we all want to be a part of!