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LGBT Lessons for Straight People: So Simple a Child “Gets” It

May 12, 2009 By: geekgirl Category: LGBT Lessons for Straight People

Gay Education [image edited from the public domain]Even straight people who support gay rights can struggle with what to tell their children about gay relationships. We’re barely comfortable talking about straight relationships. And for many straight people, sex is front and center, covering up the real person.

Let me tell you about my friend at work. Last fall, there was a movement to send postcards to Obama, asking him to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA. I bought forty postcards, addressed and stamped them, then sent an email to folks at work that I knew support gay rights. This is a dear friend. She comes to me and says “Tomorrow I will let you know how many postcards I need.” Ok.

The next day she comes in and says she needs three postcards. I’m curious so I ask her why.

She tells me that their family discussed this at dinner. She has a ten year old and six year old. She explained that in California, the judges gave everyone the right to marry. Boys could now marry boys and girls could now marry girls. She explained that love is so rare, so special and so priceless, that if you find love with someone and want to spend the rest of your life with them, that it doesn’t matter if they are a boy or a girl. And that we are born usually preferring one over the other. But then, there was an election and people voted to take that right away. She explained that it meant these people might not be married any more and if they had children, they might not be a family anymore under the law.

Her six year old son was outraged. He pounded on the table and said “You can’t take away some one’s family. You can’t take two people away from each other if they love each other. I want MY OWN POSTCARD.”

My postcards were all superhero postcards, and my selling line was “because if you are straight and support gay rights, you are a superhero.” She took Spiderman, her son’s favorite and let her son write his own message, in his six year old handwriting. At the bottom she wrote “My son is six. And he gets it.”

Children understand love and family instinctively. Because that is what makes them feel safe and secure. I wonder what the law would be if children made the rules. More so, what can we adults learn from them?

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11 Comments to “LGBT Lessons for Straight People: So Simple a Child “Gets” It”


  1. Honestly, this brought tears to my eyes. Very touching story.

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  2. Ditto, Firebolt. I had to share it with everyone I know! Kids really do get it. It’s the grown ups that need the help.

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  3. Thank you both for your commentary – Jude (geekgirl), the author of the post, is an amazing and wonderful person. She recently started sharing her postings at jaysays.com and I’m thrilled to have her. You can click on the author link under the title and see more of her writings or visit her personal blog at http://itisalwaystoday.blogspot.com.

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  4. PixieDrea says:

    Ok, this also made me cry. It’s a testament to raising tolerant children into tolerant adults. What a great story and a great mom!

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  5. You go QueerGrll! Thank you all for the nice comments. My friend is truly a great mom. She was unwanted by her own family and was moved through many foster homes until she was adopted by a UCC minister. She knows what how it feels to be excluded and unloved. Amazingly, those circumstances have made her a wonderful person, friend, wife, mother and employee.

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  6. GO JUDE GO

    I still love this story! I’m so amazed that I got to hear it in person!

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  7. Thank God this child has not been taught to hate nor feel morally-superior to other families.

    I feel for the children of the Religious Reich, who have their own children holding their bigoted signs at protests. THAT is child abuse.

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  8. What a great story and experience for these kids!

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  9. What a great post – this brought tears to my eyes too.
    Thanks.

    (Just dropped by from Mombian)

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  10. The boy's outrage is natural because the mother framed the story such that it is taken for granted that same sex couples should have children, and in the event that the couple gets broken up by the law, the children of these couples would suffer from a broken family. But I do think that it can not be taken for granted that same sex couples should have kids when they come together.

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  11. Hello Eliza
    Same sex couples do have children. In fact, this family is friends with such a family. So it was very real for my friend. Also, she framed a loving married couple as a family. It does not children to be family. But I agree, we can't take it for granted that any couple will have children. Which is why the argument that marriage is for procreation is flawed. The law does not require that a couple have children when they get a marriage license.

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