By Carol Rood
So I have read a few funny posts lately about “if latinos said the things white people say” and if “asians said the things white people say.” Also, things you shouldn’t say to a lesbian, or a gay dad, and I decided to add my own list of things you shouldn’t say to people. Specifically gay people. Even more specifically gay parents.
Now admittedly some of these things would not necessarily apply to me personally, but I still think they should be on the list, because, the list. So here is my list of things you should never say to a gay parent:
1. Are you worried your son/daughter will become gay?
Are you just messing with me, or did you really mean that? Ummm, I don’t know, are you worried your kid will grow up to be straight? Hmmm, now let’s think about this for a minute. First of all, both of my parents were straight and I am not, so I guess people just are what they are?
2. What do your kids call you?
Well, my kids call me mom. What do your kids call you? To be honest our family is a blended family so my bio kids call me mom and call my partner by her first name, and vice versa. If all of our kids were our bio kids I am sure they are smart enough o be able to tell us apart. So mom/mommy or mom/mama or mom/mum, any combination of the words could be used. Or you could simply notice that your kid is looking at you and speaking to you to know they are addressing you. That could make it easier. Dumbass.
3. Are you worried people will tease your kid because you are gay?
Well, to be honest this has crossed my mind, but when I really think about it kids are teased all the time by their peers. For anything. Having braces, having glasses, their clothes, whatever. So should I not have kids because they might get teased? If that was the case nobody would have kids. Ever.
4. Does your child miss out on doing “dad” things?
I am sure my face would contort if someone asked me this. Really? “Dad” things? I am not sure I even know what a “dad” thing is , but if you are implying that somehow I or my partner are incapable of doing “male gendered” things you are crazy as hell. Although I suppose it would be rather difficult for us to spell our names in the snow by peeing (due to not having the ability to spray our urine away from our body..), there isn’t anything else I can think of that is “male gendered” that one of us cannot or has not already done. Throw a ball? Check. Change a car tire? Check. Take care of the lawn? Check. Teach my son to tie a tie? Check. Fix a helicopter? Double Check. Done.
5. Along the same lines as #4. “Which one of you is the Dad?”
Well, dipshit, neither of us is the dad. We are both moms. Because we were both married to men before we fell in love our kids do have a dad they know and spend time with, but this is not always the case for same-sex parents. Sometimes babies are born to gay couples. I know that may amaze some people, but two women and two men can adopt a baby, or use a surrogate to have a baby or use a sperm donor to have a baby. LOTS of advances in medical science over the past 100 years can give people all kinds of ways to “get” a baby. That is just as bad as asking us “which one of you is the man?” Umm, neither, we are both women. Enough said.
6. (Similar to #1, but it still gets asked believe it or not) Will you be upset if your kids turn out to be straight?
Well, I suppose if our kids turn out to be straight we will clearly decide to never speak to them again, kick them out of the house and tell them they are an abomination because they have “chosen” to be something “different” than us. Yup, that about sums it up. No of course not. Our kids can be whatever they want to be or are born to be. They are who they are, and we love them no matter what.
7. Sometimes my husband and I just don’t get along. It must be great to be with a woman.
Of course, because the fact that we both have the same XX chromosomes make us inherently more able to get along. Are you kidding me? We have kids! We fight! We have jobs and are tired. We fight! We are crabby! We fight! I will say that we don’t fight as much as we used to, but that isn’t because we are both women. It is because we have grown into a comfortable place in our relationship and know when to not push the others’ buttons.
8. “I didn’t know you were gay, you look so straight.”
Hmmmmm, that one has come up before. Even though I have heard it many times, it just stops me dead in my tracks every time. I will admit that I have countered that one with, “Thanks, I tried my best to do that this morning before I left the house. Were you trying to look stupid?” Now I admit that wasn’t a very nice thing to say, but it did get my point across, and led to a conversation about what an ignorant thing that was to say, and an opportunity to retrain someone’s way of thinking. Even if they didn’t “get” it, I am pretty sure they won’t ever say that to someone else again.
9. “Wow, you are so brave.”
Well, thanks. I did calmly put that spider outside the other day and came within 5 inches of it. Oh, and I attended my kids high school graduation. Oh and I had the “talk” with all 4 kids about the birds and bees. Wait, you meant because I am with a woman and raising kids? That doesn’t make me brave. That makes me a moron. I knowingly got into a relationship that a great many people in the world not only frown on but outright kill people because of, AND we decided to blend our families which is difficult with straight families, let alone families with same sex parents. That was NOT brave, it was crazy! But it has turned out to be the best thing I ever did! For me AND my kids.
10. Do you think your kids will turn out okay?’
As opposed to what? Becoming ax murderers, or bigots? I think every kid everywhere has a chance to be great or not so great. Part of that is HOW they are parented, not by WHOM they are parented. Part of that is the kid’s own personality, self motivation, work ethic, etc. Part of that is simply chance Life is crazy and random. You never know what is around the next corner or what opportunities may be presented to you. My kids have the same possibility of greatness or failure as every other kid out there and that has NOTHING to do with my sexuality.
So that is my list of 10 things you should never say to a gay parent. This list can also easily be adapted to single gay people as well. Please feel free to educate others on this topic because you never know who may suddenly realize they are not who they thought they were, or have friends who realize the same thing.
If you would like to add anything to my list, or comment on questions you have been asked that you wish had never been uttered please feel free to share them!
Photo Credit: Alan Light