On the drive to Atlanta it occurred to me that I never had the opportunity to talk with my kids about their uncle being gay. They don’t see him often and when they do, he is usually alone. It was a passing thought in the car and I dismissed it because I wasn’t sure what to think of it. This was the first time that any of us had visited him at his home in Atlanta. I wasn’t concerned, just unsure if I would need to explain it.
I dropped my husband off at a Phish concert before arriving at my brother’s house with the kids. We came in , put our bags down and in the first minute of walking in the door a conversation ensued.
Five year old: So are you two like brothers or something?
Well, geez I thought I would have more time to feel things out. I had a strong sense of not being prepared. My brother looked at me and asked “Can we go there?” I barely got in a nod…
Brother: You know how your mommy and daddy love each other? Well, that is how Thom and I love each other.
Five year old: So, are you married?
Brother: Not in this state! (with a sarcastic tone)
Five year old: Huh?
Brother: but maybe someday.
Five year old: Hmm, oh. So, What’s your parrot’s name?
End of the conversation and a beautiful start to recognizing, accepting and celebrating diversity. What a great teachable moment it was and a subtle pre-requisite for further conversation on the topic. Although my five year old was the one to ask the questions, we were all there to witness the conversation and it seemed to satisfy the curiosity of the other kids as well.
A simple, honest and straightforward answer was all that was needed. If grown ups could be as accepting and open-minded as children, how do you think the world would be different?